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Then the next question, which I don't think there's any way to know, is whether this is coming from improvement in the nerves, or from an injury or misalignment acquired during frequent falls walking. He doesn't seem to be doing the kicking as much today or yesterday. That might indicate it was an injury that is healing.
He hasn't been doing any exercise, nobody has. Dolly is back on meds for her neck. The soreness came back at 4:30AM on 8/8 and she couldn't lie down again. Assuming the 7/30 episode was not fully resolved. I didn't think the 7/30 episode was her usual problem, it presented in a way that made it look like something else. So bad call on my part, I should have kept her quiet and on meds, but I didn't know. Didn't update Dolly's thread yet. Anyway, we're not even doing wall exercise with Pip right now. Everybody's just resting and taking it easy.
It never occurred to me, when we do Wall Treats exercises and he picks up very small treats from the floor, that could be a tongue exercise. I wonder. Sometimes they get away from him. I only thought of it as walking exercise.
Haven't looked up tongue and swallowing rehab for humans. Need to.
He just spent 10 min outside in 95 degrees and did OK. I kept checking him out the window. Not overheating. It would be good to know what "degrees" his upper limit is that he can tolerate.
Maybe it would help him hang his tongue out so he could pant.
I've been doing the lick-the-cat-plate-clean exercise every morning. He likes it.
I think he is going to need a dental soon. I worry about the anesthesia if they put a tube down his throat since I don't know the cause of the swallowing issue. The neurologist said it had nothing to do with the cervical FCE or ANNPE.
He explained the goldfish breathing when it is hot. He says he is struggling to pull in enough air through a smaller gap in his throat. Remember I also described how he started nose-licking recently when he's hot? The nose-licking has pretty much replaced the goldfish breathing, though it hasn't been quite as hot lately. The vet said yeah, it just took him a while as he was trying to figure out how to deal with his condition. Makes perfect sense! I mentioned to the vet that I had thought it might be a thermoregulation problem with the cervical paralysis, and he was familiar with that and said it could be both.
He thinks the swallowing and the paralysis might be related, or at least they are both paralysis. I would have thought so, too, but the neurologist said they were different things. On something like myasthenia gravis they could certainly be related. I worry about everything, and he's not walking as well as he was, but I'm hoping that's just because it was 100-105 for 2 months and we couldn't practice. We'll have to see what we can do when it finally cools down here.
He said a problem could be aspiration pneumonia. Water isn't a problem but inhaling food would be, and to watch for that. I asked about a pneumonia vaccination and he said there isn't one. He mentioned using thickener in water and I told him I tried Thick-It and he didn't like it. However, after he said aspirating food could be a problem, I ordered some more Thick-It and I'm going to mix it into the water that goes with his breakfast. At breakfast I mix water into w/d kibble and it is very watery. He's been drinking it, but if I could thicken it just a bit, maybe the taste of the kibble would cover the taste of the Thick-It and I'd be more sure his breakfast is safe for him when he drinks the "kibble soup", and he won't risk inhaling water that has kibble flavor dissolved into it. At least we can try.
There is another brand of water thickener on Amazon but I don't know if the ingredients are safe for dogs.
The Knox gelatine and chicken broth came so I can try making Knox blox and see if I can get some water into him at mid-day. Surely he must get thirsty sometimes, don't you think?
He ate like a champ this morning. I've been having to tip his bowl for him in the morning as it has a full half cup of water.
I made Knox blox last night and it set up. Just have to cut them. Will try giving him some this afternoon when it's hot and see if he'll eat them when we come indoors.
EDIT TO ADD: Took him out at 12:45 pm, came back in and gave him Knox blox. He ate them. I made 3/4" cubes but they're too big, they get away from him when he chases them around the bowl. I broke some smaller and put them on his towel and he ate them in small bits the size of large peas. I think he ate over 1/3 c of water. I'm trying not to be excited, just in case "What if he doesn't want them next time?" but it's tempting to really celebrate. I hate having him not have water between meals. More water has to be a good thing.
The Thick-It came. You're right, it says on the label no flavor.
I mixed some in his dinner, which is a raw diet chicken patty with 1/3 c of water. He liked it. But I mixed some in his breakfast, which is dry kibble soaked in 1/2 c of water, and he didn't like that, I had to redo his breakfast.
We are having a new problem with the Knox blox. Now he isn't waking up dry in the morning. He has been wet both mornings since we started it. Without the Knox blox he empties at 8 pm and has dinner mixed with 1/3 c water at 10:30 and wakes up dry. Rats. I really think more fluids are good for him as long as he wants them, which he does.
The broth I was using was "low sodium". Maybe the salt was making him retain water? I found some called Cafe Nara that has no salt on Chewy, so maybe that will make a difference.
Thick-It is 15 cal per tbsp, so he gets 10 cal with dinner. Knox Blox is about about 14 cal per half cup, which is about what he gets. Calories per pound for a dog is 25-30, so with Knox Blox in the afternoon and Thick-It in his dinner, he could gain a full pound. His weight is about perfect the way it is now.
EDIT TO ADD: Reduced the water in his dinner from 1/3 c to 1/4 c and he woke up dry. Hopefully now he isn't trying to hold a full bladder all night, and can sleep better. He gets plenty at breakfast and then plenty in his gelatin, which he cleaned up again today.
I need to start making smaller recipes because I don't think Knox blox will keep any longer than chicken broth, which is 3-4 days. I'm going to be throwing a lot out making 4c recipes.
GOLPP is usually large breeds and they tend to be older than Pip (they think he's 8), which is another reason I'd like to check.
Found a good video with a boarded soft tissue surgeon who did a study of this type of laryngeal paralysis. That study is the one that found there is often upper esophagus involvement and motor deficits in the hind legs in dogs with geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis. This is the direct link where she says that.
Dr Stanley says while these dogs have some upper esophagus swallowing dysfunction they very rarely have megaesophgus. That would fit with Pip. He has trouble swallowing but has never spit up so far. I really hope that's it. The only way I can see to feed him upright would be in a kangaroo pack twice a day. Not sure a Bailey chair would work for him.