Lottie, aged 5½ years old is one special cavalier. Right from a puppy Lottie had a very loud snore. We never saw it as a problem, just a part of who she was. As Lottie grew she start to get chesty, breathing complaints, including bronchitis. Our regular vet referred us to a specialist (ARH - Homebush). Everyone thought that it was possible that she had soft palette issues so an operation was arranged. It was a surprise to the vet and to us that they found no soft palette issue but rather that her throat had granulomas. The granulomas and her tonsils were removed and steroids recommended plus an elimination diet plus special food. We also began to visit a naturopathic vet, who consulted with the specialist, to help aid her issues and over time her steroid dose did go down. Through tolerance testing we also found out a number of things that Lottie was intolerant to, including chicken and turkey, which we had been feeding her.
For a long time things did stay stable and Lottie was enjoying her obedience and flyball training. Early last year Lottie had been entered for her first flyball comp and we were so excited. A couple of weeks before the comp late on a Sunday evening Lottie started to not be as bright as usual. By very early Monday morning she was having difficulty breathing. We contacted the specialist practice and raced her straight there. Her airways were constricting and collapsing. Breathing assistance was given but things weren’t looking good. The vet was wonderful and outlined plainly what our choices were. It was a frightening time and the only way to save Lottie was to perform a permanent tracheostomy. I couldn’t believe this was happening to our little dog. I contacted Petplan who were wonderful in clarifying quickly for me our policy as I was at work and we needed to make a decision quick. Petplan paid out a combined amount of over $11,000* for both surgeries!
Lottie had the tracheostomy and in total spent 6 days in the vet hospital including time in ICU in a special air tent. We were so happy when we could take her home. We had to learn a new way of life for Lottie including the now twice daily tracheostomy cleaning, no going near water or the beach being careful of the general weather conditions and deciding not to continue flyball with her (she is the cheerleader dog now for our club!). Now when most people look at her they can’t even see the tracheostomy and we do talk to people out and about we educate them about her needs in the hope that if they are ever faced with a similar situation they will have hope.
*Less any applicable excess and non-claimable items.
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