Bailey – Hind Limb Weakness & Loud Breathing (GOLPP)

Bailey – Hind Limb Weakness & Loud Breathing (GOLPP)

Meet Bailey, our June 2019 Pet of the Month!  Bailey is an 11-year-old Labrador Retriever mix, who was first seen here at Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine in December 2018.  At that time, he had been having hind limb weakness issues for several months.  The first thing we noticed about Bailey was his abnormal gait.  He was ataxic (aka uncoordinated and wobbly) in both of his hind limbs.  Plus, his breathing was very loud and harsh sounding, and this worsened with excitement.  Upon physical examination, Bailey also had some neurologic deficits in both of his hind limbs as well.  Based upon his loud breathing and his hind limb neurologic signs, Bailey is suspected to have GOLPP or Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis polyneuropathy.

GOLPP is clinical condition affecting geriatric, large-breed dogs in which laryngeal nerve function deteriorates over time.  This results in dysfunction of the laryngeal muscles responsible for keeping the airway open during inspiration.  Without good innervation, the laryngeal tissues are pulled closed as the dog inhales, which reduces the amount of air that can flow into the trachea and down into the lungs. This condition can be exacerbated in hot, humid weather and also during stressful situations when dogs are more likely to pant.  In most cases, the cause of this dysfunction is unknown.  Other nerves may also be affected, resulting in hindlimb weakness and esophageal dysfunction.  Definitive diagnosis is made via a sedated laryngeal exam.

With Bailey’s rehabilitation, we wanted to focus on strengthening his shoulders, thighs and core muscles.  It has also been important to use exercises to promote and improve her conscious proprioception (recognition of where his feet are in space and time), balance, coordination, and body awareness.  Bailey’s rehabilitation therapy sessions have utilized therapeutic exercises, laser therapy and acupuncture to help improve his quality of movement and stamina.  Bailey’s family has seen improvements in his gait and have noted less hind limb weakness since starting his rehabilitation journey.  Bailey has such a lovable, goofy personality that everyone looks forward to his visits to the clinic.

For more information about GOLPP, please check out the following website links:

Pawsitive Steps Blog – Laryngeal Paralysis, aka GOLPP from February 2019: https://www.pawsitivestepsrehab.com/blog/laryngeal-paralysis/

Michigan State University GOLPP research website: https://cvm.msu.edu/scs/research-initiatives/golpp

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