So, about a week ago, Gizmo started coughing in the evening, and it got progressively worse overnight. He also coughed so hard that he threw up! The next day, Tricia (who was also very sick at the time) decided that it was time to take Gizmo to the vet. The short story is that Gizmo was in very serious trouble, but the doctor knew exactly what to look for, took great care of him, and he’s fine now.
The long story is that the attending Veterinarian who saw Gizmo (Dr. Haydel at Metairie Small Animal Hospital) just so happens to be quite familiar with pugs (he has pugs, himself). And, he diagnosed Gizmo with something called everted laryngeal saccules. Basically, there is a little membane on the larynx, and, in dogs with brachycephalic syndrome (flat faced dogs like pugs), the pressure of breathing can cause the membrane to “pop out” and obstruct their breathing even more. Eventually, it can get so bad that they can’t breath at all.
Gizmo’s layrngeal saccules everted, and then he started coughing. All that coughing caused his larynx to swell up a lot, which caused him to have even more trouble breathing! He could have gotten worse at any time, so it was great that Tricia took him to the vet in time. To help treat the problem, Dr. Haydel removed some of Gizmo’s palate (the roof of his mouth), because, in Pugs, it can be too long and it can obstruct the airways. Once he did that, the swelling started to go down, and, by the time the swelling went down enough to be able to do the surgery to cut out the everted laryngeal saccules, they “reverted” back to where they were supposed to be.
So, he’s back home now (but on some steroids and antibiotics for a little while), and he’s doing great. The only thing is that he’s now a “stealth pug” – because you can barely hear him anymore! No more loud snoring! He breathes great now!
This first picture is the “before” picture. If you look at the tube, you can see it going back down into his throat, and there’s a lot of swelling around the tube.
This second picture is a few days after the surgery. If you look right in the middle of the picture, you can see a lot less swelling around the back of his throat.