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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Laryngeal Edema




Condition Overview

Sudden swelling of the larynx and vocal cords can result in marked narrowing or complete obstruction of the airway.


Signs are stridor, rapid labored breathing, cyanosis, and collapse.


Insect bites can cause an anaphylactic reaction with sudden swelling of the larynx. Another cause of laryngeal edema is excessive panting, particularly when it is associated with heat stroke. Similarly, any process that results in forced breathing across a narrowed airway (such as vocal cord paralysis) can lead to swelling that exacerbates the original disease.


Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.


Sudden stridor and difficulty breathing is an acute emergency. Proceed as quickly as possible to the nearest veterinary clinic. Corticosteroids are given to reduce swelling and inflammation. adrenalin is a specific antidote for an allergic reaction. Antihistamines are also beneficial. Sedatives help to relieve anxiety and panting.


There is no prevention for this condition.


Please contact your veterinarian if you feel your pet may be experiencing this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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