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Laryngeal paralysis is the effect of an inability to abduct the arytenoid cartilages during inspiration, resulting in respiratory signs consistent with partial airway obstruction. The aetiology of the disease can be congenital (hereditary laryngeal paralysis or congenital polyneuropathy), or acquired (trauma, neoplasia, polyneuropathy, endocrinopathy). The most common form of acquired laryngeal paralysis (LP) is typically seen in old, large breed dogs and is a clinical manifestation of a generalised peripheral polyneuropathy recently referred to as geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy.

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Anatomy refresher


Can you identify the structure?


Click on the name of the structure

to see where it is located

(but try and guess first!).

by Adriaan M. Kitshoff,

Bart Van Goethem, Ludo Stegen, Peter Vandekerckhove, Hilde de Rooster

Laboured breathing


This video shows bilateral laryngeal paralysis and the paradoxical movement of the arytenoids. Inspiratory stridor is clearly audible.

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A new ‘old’ technique

Partial laryngec-tomy is an older technique involving removal of the vocal cords and a substantial ...

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Blue-eyed bother

Congenital laryngeal paralysis (LP) polyneuropathy has been reported in a number of breeds, including ...

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Many surgical techniques have been developed and successfully applied. They can be classified as intralaryngeal or extra-laryngeal procedures.


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Laryngeal paralysis in dogs:

An update on recent knowledge

Volume 25(4), Winter 2015

Reprint paper