Kansas' LP Journal

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I donít remember when she first started waking up in the middle of the night panting for no apparent reason but I think that it has been happening for several years. Although she was panting it was just that. It sounded like normal "I am a bit warm" type panting - it did not have the husky base notes at the end of each inhaled breath that is now there.
FEBRUARY 1, 1998
Today we vaccinated everyone with their annual DHLPP vaccine and also gave them Bordetella so they can be kenneled while we are on vacation.
FEBRUARY 5, 1998
Kansas has developed a reaction to the Bordetella Vaccine. She has a slight cough, but nothing more.
FEBRUARY 9, 1998
Kansas has started a different type of panting. She pants at odd times and there is a harsh or husky base note each time she breathes in. Not too severe but we will keep an eye on things.
FEBRUARY 22, 1998
A perspective buyer came over and brought his sister who is a Vet. She heard Kansas panting and said it sounded like LP. I have done some research and this ties in with what I have been thinking.
FEBRUARY 24, 1998
Emailed Labrador-L and Labrador-H for information. The posts I have gotten back seem to also confirm my fears. The most common treatment seems to be surgery to "tie" up one side of the larynx. Other treatments are other types of surgeries and various medications.
FEBRUARY 28, 1998
One of the suggestions that I got from the email list was to try 25mg of Benedryl twice a day. This seems to be working.
MARCH 11, 1998
The Benedryl does not seem to be as effective as I had hoped. Made an appointment with Dr. Dan.
MARCH 14, 1998
Kansas went to the Vet today and the Diagnosis of Laryngeal Paralysis or LP was confirmed. We did a Thyroid test to determine if a low thyroid is a a factor. We will get the results on Monday. Dr. Dan wants to wait on any surgery. He does not feel that Kansas is at the point where it is mandated. He has prescribed 5mg of Hycodan every 12 hours. This can be supplemented with an occasional Benedryl should the need arise. We will see how this works. We can also try Prednisone and other medications Kansas was pretty stressed after coming home for the Vetís and it took her quite awhile to relax. We gave her a Hycodan and she was much better within an hour. She did not have any more problems today.
MARCH 15, 1998
No abnormal panting and no honking.
MARCH 16, 1998
Not a good day. Had to add Benedryl at about 2 PM. Got the Thyroid results, they are normal so we can rule out low Thyroid as a cause.
MARCH 18, 1998
A so-so day. Got upset at the gardener next door had severe panting at 12:30P PM. Gave her a Benedryl. She had a couple of honks in mid afternoon.
MARCH 22, 1998
Had a very good day. Chased a squirrel and did not even pant. Woke up at 3AM with heavy panting and a couple of honks.
MARCH 23, 1998
Once again she had a good day but problems at night. She woke up at 3:30 AM with an episode which lasted for about 10 minutes.
MARCH 24, 1998
Was somewhat stressed in the morning, gave her a Benedryl. She was fine for the rest of the day.
MARCH 28, 1998
Kansas has been doing OK since the 24th. One or two small episodes but nothing severe. Today I received information from an online Vet. She said that there are occasions when the LP has an idiopathic cause. There is a possibility that the LP was caused by a reaction to the IntraNasal Bordetella vaccine. It may be the grasping at straws but who knows, maybe we will be one of the lucky ones and have it resolve itself or at least diminish for the moment.
MARCH 29, 1998
We are leaving on a weekís vacation. Kui, Wanna, Vida, and Giana will go to a kennel in Palmdale while Saucy and Kansas get to stay home with a house sitter.
APRIL 5, 1998
We are back from vacation. Kelly reports that there were no problems and she did not have to give any Benedryl while we were gone, just the Hycodan.
APRIL 13, 1998
Things have been going well. She only got one Hycodan on Saturday and Sunday and still did very well. She has been panting but the "husk" has not been there for the last 3 days. She has also cleared her throat but the loud honking is also missing. She did get a little stressed tonight while we were in line at McDonaldís, but it didnít last long.

APRIL 19, 1998
Had the first bad day in weeks. Gave Kansas the first Benedryl since March 24. She panted off and on during the night even after the Benedryl. She did not seem overly stressed - I was probably more stressed than she was.
APRIL 20, 1998
Kansas was fine this morning, breathing was quiet and non stressed. She made it through the day with only one episode, tomorrow will be another test when the air conditioner guy comes to service our AC and is up on the roof. We had another bad night.
APRIL 21, 1998
The air conditioner guy did not seem to stress Kansas out. She did get a little panty at about 4:30 after she decided it was time for dinner (over 1/2 hour early I might add). She settled down after dinner. Tonight was the worst night we have had. Heavy panting with very little let up. Gave her 50mg of Benedryl at 10P which seemed to do the trick. She woke up a couple of times during the night but things finally settled down.
APRIL 22, 1998
Today was the first day that Kansas did not show much improvement from the night before. Gave her a Benedryl with her morning Hycodan. Called Dr. Dan. We will start her on 20mg of Prednisone twice a day for one week and then drop down to one time per day for another week. Have also started her on Kava which is an herbal relaxant that we have used on some of the dogs in the past. If we can only keep her calm.....
Kansas always gets excited when she gets to go for a ride. I tried letting her ride in the front seat (a no no at our house) and this helped tremendously. (Could she be using her LP to gain special favors? NOT MY KANSAS!)
The night was a bit better. She woke up 4 times but the episodes were short in duration and not as violent as the night before.
APRIL 23, 1998
Kansas was a bit panty this morning but was able to settle down fairly quickly. Once again she got to ride in the front seat on the way to Grandma's and once again it had a calming effect. I have her entered at the LRCSC Specialty, Veteran's Obedience, this week-end, but unless a miracle happens she will have to stay home. This was going to be her swan song and the beginning of her full retirement. It hurts knowing that she won't be able to do what she enjoys so much. The Jekyll and Hyde aspect of this thing is what is so hard to take. Most of the time, she is her normal, happy self and then this thing hits. It just tears my heart out. When she is having an episode there is nothing I can do but try to calm her and stay with her. I can't even cry when she is around since that upsets her even more. I know that it is getting close to the time to start looking at our other options.
APRIL 24, 1998
YIPPIE!!! Kansas slept ALL night!! She did not have a single episode. This morning when I took her to Mom's she didn't even pant until we turned on to Mom's street. The panting did not even last until we got in the house.
APRIL 25, 1998
Kansas slept all night and only did a little bit of panting at about 5AM. Unfortunately I felt that she wasn't up to going to the LRCSC Specialty so she stayed home. I did not realize just how much I had been looking forward to her showing in Veteran's Obedience until this afternoon. I was sitting beside the conformation ring watching the Best of Breed competition when the PA came to life asking that all Veteran's Obedience dogs report to the ring for judging. Without any warning what-so-ever I realized that I had started to cry. I know that I should have gone over and watched but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
When we got home I was glad that Kansas had stayed home. She was quite panty and it continued even after she had her dinner time pills. I gave her her nightime Kava early and that seemed to relax her enough so we could go to bed.
APRIL 26, 1998
Kansas slept most of the night but started into pant when she woke up. When I got to Mom's house I found out that Kansas had managed to slip her Hycodan from her food Saturday night. We only had a so-so day. She did a fair amount of panting but there was little stridor associated with it. It's funny up to this point I took an OK day to mean that there was little or no panting. I now find that my definition has changed to panting with little or no stridor.
APRIL 27, 1998
Kansas woke up twice during the night. This morning she seemed more stressed than usual. Once again there is more panting than there has been prior to last week. Made it through the day with minor problems. Gave her a Benedryl at 3PM. She was panting off and on all evening.
APRIL 28, 1998
Last night was the worst night we have had so far. I had to give 50mg of Benedryl before bed and even then they had minimal effect. Kansas went into long episodes of panting, some lasting as long as 40 minutes. She had several "attacks" with no more than 1 hour between each one until about 3AM when she (and I) finally settled down for what was left of the night. If there is any good news it is that there was very little stridor present and her tongue was pink with no bluish tinge. For some reason she is worse at night than during the day which sort of surprises me. It is getting hotter but that doesn't seem to bother her much. It is only when things have cooled off and are quiet and relaxed that she has the most problems. She was doing better this morning when I took her to Mom's so hopefully her day will be a good one. At least she gets to take a nap. Dr. Dan is not in today. I will talk to him tomorrow about our next move.
APRIL 29, 1998
We had a better night last night; we were both able to get some sleep. Earlier in the evening I was watching Kansas pant and it struck me that she looked more like a dog that was VERY hot instead of a dog that was trying to get enough air. This would make sense in that dogs with LP have a harder time dispersing heat when they pant. I decided that I would try letting her sleep in her "Cool Coat" which is built like a horse blanket, printed fabric on one side, velour on the other with a layer of foam between. When this is soaked in water it will keep a dog cool in hot weather. I placed a shower curtain under the sheet I use as a bedspread, soaked the coat and put it on Kansas. After the cool had a chance to "seep in" Kansas stopped panting and stayed pant free the rest of the night.-----Just learned from my Vet that dogs with LP DO have a hard time regulating heat, in fact, it has been known for dogs in a heavy panting episode to show a temperature rise to as high as 107 degrees and sometimes higher and to suffer from heat stroke.
APRIL 29, 1998
After talking with my Vet it looks as if we have come to the end of our medicinal options and that surgery is the next step. Because of the specialized nature of the surgery a specialist will be called in to perform the operation. Dr. Dan will try and get in touch with Dr. Henry today and get back to me this afternoon with a date, probably next week. In the meantime we need to work out ways to elevate her food and water dishes. The food dish is not much of a problem, but the water dish is shared by all the other dogs so we have to come up with a solution that will hold a VERY LARGE water dish.
APRIL 30,1998 AM
The "Cool Coat" is doing its job, we had another good night last night. Kansas had two very minor episodes. We have increased the Prednisone back to the original twice a day dosage and we are still giving the Hycodan, Kava and the Benedryl when necessary. The surgery with Dr. Henry is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5th at 11AM and she will go in this Friday for a physical and blood work. In order to keep the stress to a minimum, Kansas won't be going to the Vet's until about 10AM. This way they can immediately start her sedatives and such and she won't have to sit in a kennel and get herself worked up. She will spend the night and I will be able to pick her up on Wednesday, probably in the early afternoon. One good thing about the surgery is that we can get her toenails cut way back. Kansas has always stressed out when it comes to cutting toenails. Since we have not wanted to stress her out any more than necessary, she has not had hers cut since the LP started.
APRIL 30,1998 PM
When I got to my Mom's after work she met me with the news that Kansas had had the best day ever since her LP started. She was even able to run and chase a squirrel with no panting what so ever. Now you might think that this would be great news but I had mixed feelings. My head had finally convinced my heart that surgery was needed and we had gotten it scheduled. When I heard that Kansas had a great day it caused me to second guess my decision. Was I jumping the gun? Was I reading more into her recent episodes than was really there? I must say that I met her panting later in the evening with guilty relief.
MAY 1, 1998
Kansas had a good night. There was some panting just before we went to bed but it didn't last long. She slept all night and we didn't even have to use the "Cool Coat". She did some panting when I took her over to Mom's this morning but she settled down quickly and was fine when I left for work. After hearing her pant this morning, I know that the decision on the surgery is the correct one. It is still a frightening situation but I know that we have made the right choice. We have received many posts from Lab-L, Lab-H, LABSR4U listers, as well as from friends who will be sending good thoughts and prayers out on Kansas' behalf. We went to the Vet's the evening for the pre-op bloodwork. She got a bit stressed but recovered faster than I had expected. Learned a bit more about Dr. Henry. He comes with a complete team of 4 which includes himself, a tech that serves as anesthesiologist, and 2 surgical techs. Knowing that she will be in good hands helps calm the nerves a bit.
MAY 2, 1998
Got the blood results - everything looks good.
MAY 3, 1998
Took pictures of everyone today, I thought it would be nice to have pictures of Kansas before they shave off most of her coat. A pretty good day overall.
MAY 4, 1998
Our worst night so far. The Benedryl, Cool Coat, etc, did not seem to have much of a effect. Kansas would pant for about an hour with only about 15 minutes rest in between. She finally settled down at about 3:30 after I resoaked the Cool Coat and put a fan on her. As usual seemed fine this morning. Where I used to dread the idea of surgery, I am now glad that it is going to happen. I don't know how much longer she could go through nights like this. I dreamt that I had to keep hiding her from "the gnome of death" long enough to get her to surgery. In my dream I knew that once I got her to the Vet's that she would be safe from the gnome. But I had to keep moving her (even taking her to work and hiding her) to keep her safe.
Kansas has been having the ocassional bloody stool. Mom called Dr. Dan today and he thinks that it is probably Stress Colitis. This makes sense as it is always worse after a bad night. There is nothing we can do about it at the moment. The best thing is to eliminate the stress which will be done tomorrow. She is to continue with all of her medications.
MAY 5, 1998
We stayed at Mom's last night to see if it would help keep Kansas calm. It worked. She had a fairly quiet night. We have started with a new "medication" for her stress - chicken soup, or at least frozen chicken broth. We mix 2 cans of chicken broth with one can of water, pour into plastic cups (about 3 inches around) and freeze. We can give these to Kansas and she slowly licks them which calms and cools her at the same time.
TODAY IS THE DAY!!! Kansas goes into surgery at about 11AM this morning. I don't think that we could have waited much longer. Almost any activity causes her to pant and yesterday she seemed depressed. It is definitely time. I sat and cuddled her both last night and this morning. It was really hard to go to work as I did not want to leave her. I could really use some of the chicken pops to calm my nerves - they are really stretched to the limit today.
POSTPONMENT - The surgery has been postponed until late this afternoon or tomorrow. The surgeon's wife had to have surgery this morning so he could not make the 11AM start time. We are leaving Kansas at the Vet's for the moment. They have her tranquilized on "Ace" to keep her calm and they will let me know what is going on as soon as they find out themselves.

It is 5:30 and I just got word that Kansas is out of surgery and did very well. She is still sleeping but all of her vitals are strong. They only had to tack up one side which is good news as they thought they might have to do both of them. I don't know exactly when she will get to come home, they may keep her an extra day just so they can keep an eye on her. We will stop the Prednisone and only do the Hycodan if needed but she will be sent home with a sedative (probably Ace) to keep her quiet for a few days. The biggest concern it so keep the other dogs from bugging her for awhile.
MAY 6, 1998
Kansas made it through the night OK but she still is experiencing some heavy breathing. There is a very good chance that she will spend one more night at the Vet's, but I won't know until about 5 tonight. The main thing we want to avoid is any excitement at this time - and let's face it, coming home to a house full of other labs produces excitment. Leaving her one more night is fine with me as I know that she will get the best care.

11:45AM Just got a call from the Vet. Kansas is not doing well. She is experiencing severe swelling and is having a lot of trouble breathing. They have given her some medication for the swelling and have placed her in a special oxygen cage and she is doing a little better - at least the cyanosis has gone away...At this time they do not know if she will make it or not. I will call again at 2PM (PDT) for an update.
2PM Just talked to my Vet's office. They had to go in and do a trachiostomy. The surgical site is OK but for some reason her vocal cords have swollen. They will have to go back in tomorrow and tack up the other side and see if they can figure out what is going on. Because of the critical nature of this, my Vet's office in not really able to handle it. We will have to pick her up tonight and take her to another office where they have a larger night staff and that is where the surgery will be done tomorrow. They can't really give me a prognosis, we just have to take it hour by hour at this point. I am to get another update in a couple of hours.
4PM This will probably be my last update for the day. The Trach has made it easier for her to breath. She is still unconscious but is holding her own. We will pick her up at around 7 and take her to the other Vet's office. I am just hoping that I don't totally fall apart when I see her. All I really want to do right now is to hold her and never let her go. I know that my other girls will get an awful lot of loving tonight.

For five years Dreaís waited high on her ridge
waiting for Kansas to join her at her home at the Bridge
made of rainbows.

She has been keeping a watch on her family on earth
sharing their joys and their sorrows, exalting in the birth
of each new generation.

It is now a new Spring and the years have moved on
to a time when our Kansas may leave and be gone
from her family that loves her.

But Kansas holds on, she wants to stay here below
Where her family still needs her, she just refuses to go
and leave them behind.

So she ignores the predictions and fights all the odds
And she grows strong and healthy and gets on with the job
of living.

MAY 7, 1998
Picked Kansas up at Adler's last night and took her over to Dr. Henry's clinic. As I waited at the car for them to bring her out, I kept trying to imagine what she would look like - What kept coming to mind was a Frankendog being wheeled out on a gurney, after all she was unconscious at 4PM. You can't believe my amazement when she WALKED OUT TO THE CAR ON HER OWN!!! She had an IV in place, her trach, a bandage around her throat, one on a front leg which held the IV in place and one on a rear leg which protected the pain patch, but SHE WAS WALKING. Of course I started to cry.
After we got her loaded we drove over to the clinic without any problems. Dr. Henry says that she had a great night and will be going into surgery soon. He isn't really sure why her vocal cords were so badly affected as they were not touched during the surgery. One thought is that the week prior to surgery had been a very stressful one for Kansas. She had to struggle to breathe well and was probably very tired from not being able to get a good nights rest. This stress could easily have contributed to the problems. Dr. Henry's plan is to go in and take a look around. He is not sure if he will be tacking pack the other laryngeal fold, removing the vocal cords or what.
When I went to my emails last night I found dozens of prayers and good wishes being sent her way. These wonderful folks will probably never realize just how much those thoughts mean as I can't find a words to truly express my gratitude.
I just talked to Mom who had just talked to Dr. Henry. When he went back in he discovered that Kansas had a complete prolapse of the larynx and there was a lot of cartilage that needed to be cleaned out. He did what was needed and they are in the process of trying to get her to wake up so they can give her some real food. I am sure she will love that - after all she is a Lab. He is a little concerned about all the excess cartilage and is holding out the option of going back in one more time. All of her vitals are good at this time and he is hopeful. I have a call into him in the hopes of getting more details.
3PM Just talked to Dr. Henry and he still doesn't have a prognosis. But here is what is going on: When he went back in this morning he discovered that the larynx had collapsed in on itself. This does not commonly accompany LP but it does happen from time to time. He removed some calcified tissue, removed the vocal cords and sutured both of the cartilaginous flaps to the laryngeal wall. This was done to open up the airway as much as possible. He then looked down through the mouth to make sure that the airway was clear and was distressed to find that it was still too narrow. He had to cut out a small segment of cartilage on one side in hopes that it would provide enough room. Kansas is now awake and resting comfortably. Tomorrow he will give her a light anethesia and look again. If the airway still appears to be compromised then he will have to cut the cartilage away from the other side. If that does not do the trick there is nothing else they can do. If it does the trick they will start working toward getting the trach tube out so she can come home. One way or the other everything will be resolved in the next couple of days.

MAY 8,1998
It is 8:30 AM and I am waiting to hear from Dr. Henry.

JUST TALKED TO DR. HENRY'S OFFICE - THEY DID NOT HAVE TO TO ANY MORE SURGERY AND THEY HAVE TAKEN THE TRACH OUT! She is breathing well on her own and is resting comfortably and has even shown her true lab colors and eaten. They will keep her through the weekend and if things continue to look like they do now, she will come home on Monday. I will talk to Dr. Henry this afternoon and see if we can go visit. I want to take her Bear to her. She has always used him to comfort her when she gets stressed.
4:30PM Talked to Dr. Henry. Even though we can see the daylight at the edge of the forest, we are not out of the woods yet. They put the trach back in. She was doing well but she got a bit frisky after they took her out for a walk and started to have a little trouble. There is still considerable swelling throughout the entire throat. She is on cortisone so they can get the swelling down as soon as possible. She won't come home Monday as we had thought as Dr. Henry wants to give her a slight anesthesia Monday morning and go have another look. We are just taking it all on a day by day basis. We will probably be going out there tonight and taking her Bear to her. We will also take her a frozen chicken pop to cool her sore throat. I just want to touch her and make sure that she is really there.
Went and saw Kansas this evening and took her her old Bear. I she looked OK but seemed a bit depressed. She is eating and drinking and her dishes aren't even elevated.

Continued on Kansas' Journal Page 2

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