Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Riley - Last Days of Winter

Spring is here and 70 degree days (and higher) are fast approaching.  I am trying to get Riley outside as much as possible while we are still blessed with cooler temperatures.
The laryngeal paralysis has progressed enough that she has trouble breathing when it is too warm especially if we are in the sun.  
It sucks because she still grabs her toy like she is a 2 years old and takes off.... and then the coughing and loud breathing starts.  She takes breaks and runs a lot less than she used to because of the gagging interruptions.  The good thing is that Riley still has good cardio fitness so she catches her breath quickly.
Sometimes the gagging causes inflammation under her tongue.  She gets these reddish bubbles.
I researched and thought a lot about the tie-back surgery for laryngeal paralysis.  Its funny because people are either dead set against or they think it is the greatest surgery in the world.  I found few opinions in the middle.
Those in favor of the surgery said to do it as soon as possible while she was in good shape.  That made sense, but I was not willing to put her on the bench recovering from surgery during the cooler months.
Ultimately, I decided against it.  I have two good friends that are vets that do agility with sighthounds and they both told me they would not to the surgery on their own dogs.  Riley LOVES food and most of our activity revolves around treats.  The surgery makes them more susceptible to aspirating food and water.  Riley already chokes on treats.  I did not want to make it even more likely to happen.
And then there is the polyneuropathy.  It is quite evident that the polyneuropathy is progressing.  Riley's muscle tone is diminishing.  Her muscles are so soft and she is getting more shaky.  I've stopped doing any agility with her.
If Riley did not have polyneuropathy, I may have been tempted to do the surgery in the coming months.  But since she does, I am just going to let nature take its course.  She is just going to get weaker and weaker and if she eventually can't hike, run, and play then there will be no reason for her to just lay around breathing easier. 
So we are enjoying the days.... hiking almost everyday and playing with a toy in the yard a few times a week.
Once summer sets in, we will stick to indoor games.  We will work the stairs, cavalettis, peanut, and balance discs.  I will try to keep her as fit and strong as possible.