Raevon Pugs

:: Home ::  About Us ::  Our Pugs ::  Puppies ::  Fun Photos ::  Pug Portraits ::  Life at Raevon ::  Links ::
::  Pros & Cons of owning a Pug ::  Treatment for Ulcerative Colitus in Dogs ::  Permanent Tracheostomy in a Pug  ::  Eye Ulcers ::  Hand rearing Orphan puppies ::  Pug Rescue ::

Jackson's Story
Permanent Tracheostomy in a Pug

The following is in reply to a letter from a lady in the States who was going through the same thing with her pug ....

Having had a most beautiful pug boy of mine, Jackson, suffer from a paralysed laryngeal chord and subsequent inability to breathe - I went with much anxiety to my surgeon (who had been treating him) for a permanent tracheostomy.

Jackson had steadily got worse over the weeks, and the tracheostomy had been discussed. I had read about them however (in humans) and it seemed like the last thing I wanted to do. I felt like I was going to be butchering my dog and his quality of life would not be worth it.

Then all of a sudden, one afternoon, Jackson could hardly breathe in OR out. I threw him in the car and raced the hour long drive to the clinic, beside myself with worry. I thought I should put him to sleep, as the pain and his quality of life just wouldn't be worth it. Charles Kuntz (the surgeon) simply wouldn't hear of it however, and he and his team were scrubbed and waiting for me at the clinic door, ready to go as soon as I arrived at 5pm.

I thought I would never see Jackson again. We had already done so many other operations, and each time there were complications, and nothing improved his breathing. The tracheostomy was our last resort.

Well, of course I checked all throughout the night - and the next morning, at 8am they rang and said come and get him! He was up, had been outside for a wee and had eaten breakfast!!
I couldn't believe it.

Well - the operation went beautifully, and it is important to note that they made a good sized stoma (hole) and it never needed further surgery.

The day he came home

Close-up of the operation

Keeping the area around
the stoma warm.

Jackson about 4 weeks after surgery.
You can see the skin is still shaved,
but notice how healthy he looks!

There are difficulties, however none of them were a problem, and the 24 hour care he needed at the start has now dwindled right down.

You will find your girl might be very tired for around 6 months after the operation. That's fine. She will learn to sleep on her side to keep the stoma open, however I had some little long bags made (similar to the long tubes that people put across their doorways to stop draughts) filled with uncooked rice, and nicely covered. I have them scattered around the house so Jackson can lie on this stomach and he rests his chin on them, keeps his stoma clear.

I purchased a nebuliser, which I don't use now, however it was invaluable for the first 8 weeks after the operation. I filled it with hot water so a warm mist came out of it, and I kept his stoma and lungs moist by applying it several times during the day and night.

I had little hankerchief neck ties made up initially to prevent cold air going straight into the trachea (caused it to seize up a bit) and also prevented dust etc going in.

I warmed his food, as I found cold meat had the same effect as cold air.

I put vitamin e oil on the site several times daily to keep the stoma surrounds clean and moist, and used baby wipes.

Using the rice bag to keep his stoma clear!

His Buggy. He could rest his head on the side and breathe easily!

The top half of the buggy could be removed and I transported him in the car in it.

Starting to heal!

I found his stoma was blocking up with mucous - I went to my vet and he put Jackson on Mucodine tablets ... they break the mucous down to a watery substance, and over night most of my workload was reduced - and the mucous became a watery substance and he could clear himself easily.

I purchased a pram with cross country type wheels (a Silver Chair from the UK) so he never missed out on going for walks with the others during the first 6 months, and I could take him everywhere with me as the buggy folded easily into the car.

Jackson in his red racing buggy
with his son Andre

You CAN NOT really leave them unattended - as they need their stoma checking - unless you can get the Mucodine (it's not a veterinary only prescription, you can get it over the counter) as it breaks down the mucous that WILL plug up the hole.

Two years later ... no need for neckties anymore. Cold food, cold air, no longer a problem. I can leave him unattended for several hours. I have boxes of tissues around the house, and I warm flannel him daily around the area to keep it spotless. I do think his lungs are a bit more full of debris than they normally would be, so he gets a bit tired a bit more quickly than my other pugs, but that's fine.

Naturally NO SWIMMING and be careful when you bathe them.

He can now sleep peacefully!

Jackson today

He is happy, healthy, you wouldn't see the tracheostomy unless he lifted his head up high and you were looking for it. I am eternally grateful to my surgeon for giving me back my boy. He no longer needs the buggy either, though he did love it!! He thought he was the King Pin.

Having dinner with his grandma June.
Some Handy Hints:
  • Obviously, keep your trach dog away from water at all times, as they will drown immediately.

  • I found Jackson could not clear his nose by sneezing (too little pressure, as the air came out of his stoma).   He would have violent sneezing attacks, so hard he would hit is chin on the ground and bleed.  I soon learnt to time it properly, and when he took an intake of air to sneeze, I could place my fingers over his stoma - giving him the pressure he needed to clear his nose :)) Stopped all the issues immediately.

  • He also lost all sense of taste (as no air going in or out of his nose) … so had to be very careful of what he would pick up in the garden and eat - as he couldn’t differentiate any longer.

  • I used Mucodine to break down the thick mucous into a watery substance and stop the stoma from plugging … as this is no longer available I have heard that Bisolvan has had as good an effect. This is available over the counter at a pharmacy.


:: Home ::  About Us ::  Our Pugs ::  Puppies ::  Fun Photos ::  Life at Raevon ::
::  Pros & Cons of owning a Pug ::  Eye Ulcers ::  Links ::

                Copyright © - Raevon Pugs - All rights Reserved.     Site design by   Webpage World