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I was just wondering if anyone on here has experience of this condition? MY 4yr old, Harry, gave us all a fright at a companion show yesterday. I thought he was going to collapse and die. He had been in the ring and they were all about to be placed when he started to stridor, kind of choking and snorting, he has done this before on occasion and once demonstrated very nicely for the vet who dismissed it as floppy epiglottis and nothing to worry about. Well after yesterday I AM worried! The episode went on for about 5-10 mins, obviously we withdrew him from the class and got him into the shade trying to calm him as he seemed in distress and almost unable to breathe. He was fine later but another exhibitor told me to get his heart checked.....when I got home I looked on the internet and was horrified by what I read as it seems this can become quite serious, needless to say we will be taking him to the vet to get him checked out but just wondered if anyone on here could advise? Many thanks

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Hi Christine sorry to hear about Harry, sorry I have no advice, I just hope he is ok, Ellen x

Thanks Ellen for the support anyway!!

Hi Christine, most of mine past and present, have done this kind of noisy snorting which lasts for a few minutes at a time. I don't think it's anything serious, it passes and doesn't happen very often. However I've also had one that had Larangeal Paralysis and that is serious, very serious. Requiring expensive specialist surgery.

I think you'd be right to ask your Vet about what's happening, it may well be little or nothing to worry about, but you need to know.


Best wishes, let us know how you get on.

Dawn R.

oh thanks Dawn, that sounds reassuring at least!! will let you know xx


I've had several dogs do this from time to time. If you hold the mouth shut and cover the nose it helps them stop. I thought it was to do with the soft palate/uvula rather than the epiglottis. Of course, it might not be the same thing as Harry does, but I've seen it happen to dogs in the ring (often if they've been 'strung up'), and others do the same as me and it stops.

Anyway it wouldn't hurt to see the vet again.

Thanks Sue, yes we have been told to do that but to be honest it really doesn't seem to help even though it does sound the same as you have described, maybe I am just over reacting but will get him checked anyway and thanks very much for your input xx

I know your vet has actually seen the dog doing it but try to get a quick video clip of it on your phone if it happens again.  I have witnessed similar with my own dogs at home, other dogs at training classes and dogs being shown in the ring and yes you shut the mouth and cover the nostrils just to stop them breathing for a few seconds and hey presto they are all ok again.  I hope this is all that is wrong with Harry.


good advice thank you Angela xx

Just to let those of you who have been kind enough to reply....Harry has seen the vet, she has examined him thoroughly including his throat and says it is most likely his larynx and not worth doing anything unless it becomes a very frequent occurrence. She has also taken blood to check his thyroid as, I forgot to mention on here, Harry is a VERY lethargic dog!! Sloth springs to mind...he is not an active typical setter...he may just be very lazy but he never runs anywhere if he can help it...even going off to greet other dogs he ambles over and ambles back...given the fact he is only 4yrs old ....worth looking at. Thank you to you all for your reassurance and for taking the time to reply xxxx

Hi again Christine, I'm glad to hear that the Vet is satisfied with Harry at the moment. However I think the Thyriod thing is likely to be sigificant. Often Underactive Thyroid and Larangeal Paralysis go together.

Have a read of this article it aknowledges the connection, and indeed my Bailey was also Hypothyroid.


There are lots of articles if you google for Laryngeal Paralysis in dogs.

I'm happy to tell you Bailey's story if you like.


Dawn R.


Hi Dawn, thanks so much for the very interesting article!! I would be most interested to hear Bailey's story yes please....I have just had the results of Harry's blood test and his thyroid is indeed low.

Ah, I thought so. You will find that once he's on treatment his energy and activity levels will improve drastically really quickly, I mean within a few days. Possibly his larynx will seem better as well, who knows. 

Looking back, I think Bailey always had problems with his larynx. He never had a big boys bark, he had a funny high pitched squeek instead. It wasn't until he began having breathless episodes, usually during warm dry weather after running through long grass. I used to say it was like he had an allergy to the dust or something. By this stage Bailey was 7 or 8 years old and it was not too problematic.

When he was 11 years old he began to have much more frequent and more severe difficulties with his breathing. I had a chance conversation with another Irish Setter exhibitor and all the symptoms her dog had been having, mine did too. I researched the condition on the net and asked on dog forum sites about treatment options and success rates, so I diagnosed him myself really. When I discussed this with my Vet, she agreed it sounded like I was right. He had his thyroid function tests done which confirmed Hypothyroidism and treatment for that and also some tablets to promote respiritory function were started. The ''breathing tablets'' didn't work.

One Saturday I took Bailey out for a short onlead walk of only about 15 minutes, and he went into respiritory crisis, I thought he was going to collapse die in the street he just couldn't get enough air past his vocal chords. Somehow I got him home and rang the Vet. He was still very breathless an hour later when he was at the Vets. He was booked in there and then for the Laryngeal Tieback operation which he had 3 days later. It's a difficult operation with risk of complications, but Bailey recovered without any problems and was restored to a happy active setter. I was elated.

He lived a futher 2 1/2 years with completely normal breathing and I lost him in Feb 2010 aged 13 years and 8 months.

All the best with Harry, keep me posted.

Dawn R.




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