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Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs Education and Protocol

Laryngeal Paralysis Holistic Protocol for Dogs has been developed by a certified Master Herbalist and certified Canine Nutritionist with The Pet Health and Nutrition Center. Our Laryngeal Paralysis Protocol is the finest coordination of science and research-based recommendations that include diet, supplementation and herbal remedies to help support your dog with laryngeal paralysis. Everyone here at The Pet Health and Nutrition Center truly cares and wants to help your pet get better, so give our suggestions a try because we are confident you will be pleased with the results.

Holistic Laryngeal Paralysis Protocol for Dogs

1. What is Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs?

The larynx, commonly called the voice box, is situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus and is involved in breathing, producing sound, and helps to protect you from food entering the trachea when eating.

The opening to the trachea (“wind pipe”) normally is pulled open on two sides when breathing in, and relaxes when breathing out. In dogs and cats with laryngeal paralysis, the muscles that normally pull the airway open do not function properly. When an affected pet breathes in, the walls of the airway do not pull open—rather, they are sucked into the opening, or in severe cases sucked shut. Dogs with laryngeal paralysis are believed to have a neuromuscular disease.

2. Causes & Symptoms of Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs

What are the causes of laryngeal paralysis in dogs?

In the majority of cases of laryngeal paralysis, the cause is idiopathic (unknown). Trauma to the throat or neck can cause laryngeal paralysis. Tumors or space occupying lesions in the neck or chest area can also cause this condition. Endocrine (hormonal diseases) such as hypothyroidism and Cushing's disease have also been associated with laryngeal paralysis in dogs. Some dogs are born with congenital laryngeal paralysis.

Recent studies have led to the conclusion that most dogs with idiopathic laryngeal paralysis have a neuromuscular disease and that this is one of the first signs of the disease. A new term, geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy (GOLPP), has been developed to describe this.

However, we do suspect that, as with many conditions that we see in our canine companions, that laryngeal paralysis can be associated with poor nutrition along with over-exposure to chemicals found in vaccinations and flea and tick products. Whether genetically predisposed, or caused by lifestyle choices, nerve paralysis rapidly leads to laryngeal muscle wasting in your dog. Other causes include:

  • The majority of cases of laryngeal paralysis, the cause is idiopathic (unknown)
  • Vagal nerve abnormality - the vagus nerve supplies nerve fibers to the voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), windpipe (trachea) and other organs
  • Abnormality involving the recurrent laryngeal nerves (branches of the vagus nerve)
  • Diseases in the chest - such as infections, inflammation, cancer
  • Abnormalities of muscles (myopathy)
  • Immune-mediated disorders
  • Possible hormonal deficiencies - such as inadequate production of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), or inadequate production of steroids by the adrenal gland (hypoadrenocorticism)
  • Trauma to the throat or neck

What are the symptoms of laryngeal paralysis in dogs?

There are two causes of laryngeal paralysis in canines. Hereditary paralysis of the larynx in dogs is part of a generalized disorder involving several nerves (polyneuropathy syndrome). Symptoms of hereditary paralysis can vary from breed to breed and generally show between four and six months of age. In addition, male dogs appear to be affected up to three times more often than females.

Acquired paralysis (a condition that develops sometime later in life/after birth) of the larynx in dogs has been seen in higher numbers in giant-breed dogs such as St. Bernards and Newfoundlands, and in large-breed dogs such as Irish setters, Labrador retrievers, and golden retrievers. In the acquired form, the reported incidence shows males being affected twice as often as females.

Symptoms of both of these types are directly related to the degree of polyneuropathy (damage affecting peripheral nerves) of the voice box or larynx. Symptoms of acquired laryngeal paralysis are often associated with exertion, stress, or extreme heat. Some common signs of laryngeal paralysis in a dog include:

  • Coughing, especially after exercise or exertion, is probably the most common reported symptom
  • Panting
  • Noisy respiration and a high-pitched sound when breathing
  • Change in character of the bark
  • Reduced activity, exercise intolerance
  • Elevated rectal temperature (especially during warm weather months)
  • In sudden, severe cases the dog may develop respiratory distress with bluish mucous membranes (cyanosis) of the mouth and may collapse.

3. Standard Veterinary Medicine Approach for Dogs with Laryngeal Paralysis

Mild cases of laryngeal paralysis can often be controlled with medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and sedatives. Avoid hot environments and strenuous exercise with your pet and do not use collars that will put pressure on your dog’s neck. Harnesses are recommended for dogs with laryngeal paralysis.

In severe or congenital cases, surgery is indicated. Patients with laryngeal paralysis are at slightly increased risk of anesthetic complications. A common surgical procedure involves arytenoid lateralization (tie-back). This is a surgical procedure that involves creating a wider airway in the larynx by placing a suture between the cartilages of the larynx to hold the cartilages in an open position. Surgery will often dramatically improve an affected dog's quality of life but does not restore laryngeal function. Keep in mind that there can be complications such as food aspiration so the dog will have to be closely monitored for the rest of their lives.

As we mentioned before, we believe laryngeal paralysis has a nutritional component that plays a role in your dog's neuromuscular condition. So, if you decide to go ahead with surgery we recommend that you also use our protocol suggestions to provide the nutrients necessary to improve the health of your dog's nervous system, cartilage and lean muscle.

4. Holistic Laryngeal Paralysis Protocol for Dogs

The goal of our Natural Laryngeal Paralysis Protocol is to support the proper functioning of your dog's nervous system as well as providing nutrients necessary to maintain the health of cartilage and lean muscle.* At the same time, in a holistic fashion, we want to address any contributing factors whether these are in your pet's diet, environment or are related to medication side-effects. Since we do not necessarily know the root cause(s) of the imbalance in your particular animal, we do know from our research and experience what are the primary culprits.

Core Recommendations Suggested products are included in the Core Laryngeal Paralysis Package found below.

Our "Core Recommendations" form the backbone of our Laryngeal Paralysis Protocol. They consist of supplement recommendations that we feel are the most important to provide to your animal companion for this condition. They are displayed as a package and individually at the bottom of this page along with other helpful products from which you may make additional selections.

A complimentary Laryngeal Paralysis Help Sheet is included with every core laryngeal paralysis package purchase. If you require more direction please feel free to use our Email Consultation Form or if you desire some personalized "hand-holding" to help with your canine's laryngeal paralysis therapy sign up for a Phone Consultation with Maria.

Vitamin Supplement for Dog with Laryngeal Paralysis Core Recommendation #1 - Daily Multi Plus

Our Daily Multi Plus is formulated with organic, whole foods that are extremely important to an animal's nutritional needs but are often missing from the majority of canine and feline diets. This special formula provides the enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, glandulars, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that are so beneficial to the body's daily maintenance and repair needs for healthy aging. In this formula you will find the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants recommended by the veterinarian community for laryngeal paralysis - only in an organic, whole food form! Feeding a dog organic, whole foods is holistic therapy for laryngeal paralysis at its best!

Nerve Tonic Remedy for Dog with Laryngeal Paralysis Core Recommendation #2 - Nerve Tonic

Since the damage from laryngeal paralysis targets nerves that are important to the proper functioning of the muscles around the trachea, a Nerve Tonic can be a very beneficial holistic therapy for affected canines. This organic, herbal supplement contains St. John's Wort, an herb renowned for its ability to rebuild damaged nerves. This herbal remedy also contains nerve tonics like skullcap, oat straw and gotu kola that help maintain the health of the nervous system. This wonderful herbal supplement was formulated by a certified Master Herbalist and is a strong weapon against the debilitation seen in dogs with laryngeal paralysis.

Myelin Glandular Remedy for Dogs with Laryngeal Paralysis Core Recommendation #3 - Myelin Sheath

During the nerve degeneration process a dog's myelin sheath surrounding delicate nerve tissue is broken down. This occurs in what is suspected to be an autoimmune reaction as the body's own antibodies attack and destroy the proteins in the myelin. This can also be caused by poor nutrition, an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism or other unknown cause. The end result are the symptoms you see in your canine caused by poor nerve transmission to the muscles surrounding the larynx. This myelin sheath glandular contains proteins believed to be important in the process of myelination, which is the production of myelin. This is exactly what we are looking for to counter the demyelination, or destruction of myelin, that likely occurs with laryngeal paralysis and makes a wonderful, safe holistic treatment therapy for your dog.

Highly Recommended

Respiratory Tonic for Dog with Laryngeal Paralysis Respiratory Tonic

Since dogs with laryngeal paralysis can suffer with a variety of respiratory complaints it is important to provide these canines with some relief form uncomfortable symptoms. This herbal remedy can do just that by helping to support a healthy respiratory system* by providing anti-inflammatory, expectorant, bronchodilating and soothing qualities. By providing this respiratory formula to your dog or cat you can help them to breath easier and ease coughing (please be aware that coughing can also be a sign of another serious condition called heart failure). It has been formulated by a certified Master Herbalist using USDA organic herbs in an alcohol-free formula!

Degenerative Myelopathy Diet for Dogs Whole Food Nutrition

We suspect poor nutrition/lack of important nutrients/low-quality protein play a role in a condition like laryngeal paralysis. Because of this we believe it is vitally important that you feed your dog the best diet within your budget. We highly recommend a whole-food diet that provides real nutrients, not primarily synthetic, like commercial pet foods. We urge you to find a local raw food diet that you like and try that.

If a raw food diet is not your cup of tea, the next best thing would be a cooked, whole food diet. There are now many quality premixes to choose from to which you can add your own raw or cooked meat. If you decide to make a homemade diet for your canine please research the proper way to do this and make sure to add a calcium source to your dog's food like our Seaweed Calcium. For a quick and easy way to add high-quality protein for your dog with laryngeal paralysis take a look at our Whey Protein Isolate. For more information read our article How to Feed Your Dog that can be found in our Education section.

Lion's Mane Mushroom Remedy for Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs Lion's Mane Mushroom

Lion’s mane mushroom is one of nature’s most powerful brain foods because it helps stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) production. NGF is a neuropeptide that helps maintain neurons, which are the cells responsible for helping your dog's brain process and transmit information. This mushroom has been shown to regenerate damaged nerve cells, which means it may be a particularly beneficial holistic treatment therapy for a dog with laryngeal paralysis. We are excited our research to further help our canine laryngeal paralysis clients has brought us to this supplement!

Cartilage Support Remedy for Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs Elk Velvet Antler

Our elk velvet antler contains all the nutrients necessary for a dog's joint maintenance and repair in one whole food product. However, these nutrients also support the health of cartilage, and since the larynx and trachea are comprised of cartilage this supplement can greatly benefit dogs with laryngeal paralysis by helping to keep these areas firm so they doesn't easily collapse inward. Perhaps the most important nutrients for those suffering with a degenerative disease are the IGF and EGF growth factors that help to repair damaged tissue and maintain/increase lean muscle mass. Highly recommended as part of a holistic laryngeal paralysis treatment protocol for dogs.

Homeopathy for Dogs with Degenerative Myelopathy Homeopathic Remedy Hypericum Perforatum (Hypericum)

Hypericum perforatum is the Latin name for St. John's Wort. This herb is found in our Nerve Tonic because it is well known for helping with nerve damage. Homeopathic remedies work on an energetic level, so it would make sense that this would be able to help animals with nerve damage, like that found with laryngeal paralysis. A study was performed using rats with damaged nerves and showed faster and better recovery of regenerated nerve axons. The conclusion was that "Hypericum improves functional recovery of peripheral nerve regeneration."(1) This may be huge for pets with nerve damage and is a new addition to our protocol. Use 30C twice daily for at least a month and reevaluate. Place remedy in fold at corner of your dog's mouth. Purchase at an online retailer of this remedy.

BioPreparation Spirulina for Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs BioPreparation Microalgae Formula

This special blend of four unique algae was developed by a Russian Scientist, Dr. Michael Kiriac after decades of research. It is grown in controlled hydroponic conditions so it is the purest microalgae supplement on the planet. Its thousand of nutrients are so bioavailable they do not have to be digested, they easily pass through a canine's digestive tract and feed cells on a cellular level. BioPreparation can cross the blood brain barrier to feed a dog's brain, support the hypothalamus to help balance the entire endocrine system and even cross the blood retinal barrier to nurture a canine's eyes. We have had outstanding success with this product and it is highly recommended as part of a holistic protocol for laryngeal paralysis in dogs. For most dogs select the F3+ Forte for this condition. However, in animals of advanced age such as those over 13 - 14 years or so, select the F2 instead. This is because the F3 formula can be more stimulating to animals of advanced age.


Laryngeal paralysis. Retrieved from

Laryngeal disease in dogs. Retrieved from

Top 7 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Backed by Science). Retrieved from:

W. Krista DVM, E. Ward DVM. Laryngeal paralysis in dogs. Retrieved from

5. Natural Supplements and Herbal Remedies for Dog with Laryngeal Paralysis

Dog Laryngeal Paralysis Testimonial

This is Casey and he loves your products!!
I just want to let you know that your products are wonderful!!
My 11-year-old Labrador retriever Casey has laryngeal paralysis with poly neuropathy. When he starts coughing and gagging after eating and drinking from the laryngeal paralysis his hind end gets very weak and he loses his balance and will fall. His hind end is very weak from the neuropathy in his back legs. He has been treated by a chiropractor vet through underwater treadmill therapy and acupuncture and a few supplements for about the last 2 1/2 years.
Memorial day weekend was very bad where he could barely walk at all and we had to carry him up and down the stairs. He was very weak and barely able to stand and walk.
As soon as I got your products I started using them. The Nerve Tonic, Elk Velvet Antler and the Myelin Sheath. Within a few days he was able to stand and walk again. I just recently ordered the Daily Multi Plus powder too.
He loves your products especially the nerve repair and can’t wait to get that one especially:) It’s like a treat for him and he loves his treats.
Thank you so much!!
God bless you all!!
Maria R. and Casey
P.S. I’ve been telling everyone about your products and how wonderful they are especially my veterinarian and the vet tech who is helping with the underwater therapy. she’s been passing along the info to other people who are looking for help with their dogs.