Golden is truly a cat with more than nine lives. I actually think he is on his 10th right now. He survived his first death sentence by purring his way into Almost Home Animal Shelter’s heart. They rescued him from Animal Control in 2011 and he made many friends there. Unfortunately, while at the shelter he began suffering from what people thought were upper respiratory issues. The shelter, being good stewards of this little fellow, got him checked by different veterinarians. But still he suffered breathing difficulties. Thinking Golden had a weak immune system and needed a better living situation, he was transferred to my foster care where he received months of different meds and care. But still no improvement. Golden was finally diagnosed with something more common in dogs and horses than cats. Laryngeal Paralysis. A disease that every pet owner should know about and many veterinarians aren’t aware of.
Laryngeal paralysis is condition that severely affects a pet's breathing. The larynx, more commonly known as the “voice box,” is the entrance to the wind pipe and the lungs. The job of the larynx is to open and close as we inhale and exhale, and most important to shut off when we eat and drink so we don't 'swallow and choke.'
When Laryngeal Paralysis occurs as with Golden, none of these things happen. Taking a deep breath was impossible for him, and meowing was not an option. That is why the condition is sometime referred to as “The Silent Meow” in cats. It is a very stressful, especially to an animal who doesn’t understand what is happening. Golden was literally suffocating and drowning each time he got excited. This was so hard to watch, since he is a kitty who really wants to be loved, but when he got purring and rolling around on the floor he would end up coughing and not being able to catch his breath. He would go off and hide and it was painful to watch the sides of his chest heave and cough.
The nerves which control the muscles of Golden’s larynx were slowly shutting down. Often, this is only caught when the condition gets severe, even by veterinarians. It is more often overlooked, the symptoms being blamed on old age. Dogs with this disease can overheat, since panting is their main mechanism for cooling and their bark changes. With Golden he lost his Meow.
Again Golden was blessed. He was finally diagnosed by Dr. Miller at Veterinary Specialists in Charlottesville. He appeared to be a good candidate for a special surgery, and he came through with flying colors! The surgery was performed by Dr. Jason Wheeler at Veterinary Specialists. Golden was a changed cat right out of the surgery. You couldn’t hear his breathing at all. In fact, after I got him home, I kept forgetting he was in the room. His breathing, which for months was noisy and labored, was calm, easy and quiet. So was my own, now that he was comfortable.
We don’t know Golden’s age, but age shouldn’t be a disease and Laryngeal Paralysis does not have to be a death sentence. As the foster mother of Golden it is a relief to see him playing easily and enjoying life again. He will always have this condition, and it comes with some neuropathy in his hind legs so he will always need some special care, such as raised food bowls for eating, special exercises to keep him mobile, and a watchful eye out for aspiration pneumonia, a possible risk of the surgery. No one knows how the condition will progress, but given the success of the surgery he most likely will live a good, silent, purr-filled life. He is in permanent foster care unless the perfect home appears. And who knows? Golden has defied the odds before, thanks to the generosity of donors and Almost Home’s willingness not to give up on a sweet critter when others might have.
Golden a sweet kitty is in need of more support than just finding a loving home. He survived his first death sentence when Almost Home rescued him from Animal Control last year, but he has another fight to win. He has been recently diagnosed with something more common in dogs than cats. Laryngeal Paralysis is a disease that any pet owner should know about.
Laryngeal Paralysis is condition that severely affects a pets’ breathing. The larynx or more commonly known as the “voice box” is the entrance to the wind pipe and the lungs.
The job of the larynx is to close off after we inhale, open up when we inhale, and again shut off when we eat and drink so we don't 'swallow the wrong way.'
When Laryngeal Paralysis occurs as with Golden, none of these things happen. Taking a deep breath for him becomes impossible, meowing is not an option. It is a very stressful condition, especially to an animal who doesn’t understand what is happening. Golden is literally suffocating. The nerves that control the muscles of his larynx are slowly stopping to function normally. Often, this is only caught when the condition gets severe, even by veterinarians. It is more often overlooked, symptoms being blamed on old age which delays treatment. Golden has a chance right now. He was luckily diagnosed early enough for surgery, which can provide instant relief. Please help Golden breathe again. We don’t know his age, but age shouldn’t be a disease and Laryngeal Paralysis does not have to be another death sentence for Golden. Let’s just make it a bump along the road to a long life for him. Please donate as little or as much as you can to Golden’s surgery. He’s beat death once before, let’s help him do it again.
For more information on how you can donate to help Golden get his needed surgery, please visit our website's Donation Info page at:
VOLUNTEERS and DONATIONS NEEDED. Visit our website for more info http://nelsonspca.org
Your message has been sent to Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County.
You'll receive a copy, too, at to help you keep track of which pets you've inquired about, and which shelters and rescues you've emailed.
NOTE: Some shelters have physical locations you can visit; some of these shelters may only have pets for a limited time, so please do not wait for a reply—just go visit the shelter! Other organizations are rescue groups run by busy volunteers who may take a while to reply. You can find information about the shelter or rescue group caring for this pet, and their adoption procedures, on the pet's details page on Adopt-a-Pet.com.