May 07, 2021 12:00 PM

ATTENTION, PLEASE SHARE WIDELY: beginning Wednesday, May 5, the MSU Small Animal Emergency Service will only be able to admit patients that our clinicians consider unstable or to have a life-threatening condition. Please visit the Hospital's website for more information:

The GOLPP study group is working to identify and characterize geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy (GOLPP), formerly known as idiopathic laryngeal paralysis.

GOLPP is a common clinical condition affecting geriatric, large-breed dogs in which the laryngeal innervation degenerates over time.

Affected dogs exhibit respiratory stridor, exercise intolerance, dyspnea, throat clearing, and may even collapse. Treatment includes surgical correction to relieve breathing, and is generally very successful. The most common post-operative risk is aspiration pneumonia.

Studies at MSU have shown that esophageal function is also affected in these dogs. It is suspected that a similar neurodegenerative process causes both laryngeal and esophageal changes. As esophageal function deteriorates, risk of post-op aspiration pneumonia increases. Over time, affected dogs will invariably progress to show generalized neurologic deterioration, initially most notable in their hind limbs. Overall, it appears idiopathic laryngeal paralysis is in fact part of a progressive generalized neuropathy. Due to these findings, it was determined the disease might be better termed geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy, or GOLPP.

To further investigate this condition, MSU is conducting additional clinical research. The safety and wellbeing of our study participants are the most important considerations and will always prevail.