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Thread: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

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    Potty Trainer Become a 4 Paw Member mackbob's Avatar
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    Default My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Hello all! Bob is now 16 months old and just had his palate trimmed as his nares were fine. Surgery went great and I brought him home yesterday afternoon. He's high as a kite on doggy morphine (lucky him!) and thankfully recovering just fine. They required him to sleep there in case of complications as they have a Dr. and nurses on staff 24/7.

    The decision to do this surgery was a tough one and something I would love to hear others opinions on.

    First off, Bob had no problems breathing on a day to day basis. He never vomited food, water or regurgitated. He's a mild snorer and a grunter but it's his sound and I love it. I actually felt sad at the thought of not hearing that anymore! But when Bob gets hot... it's a very different story. An example, one day I took him to the beach in Carmel, Ca with my sister and her dogs and his bro. And it was around 80 degrees. He went from 0-10 (10 being burning hot) in about one minute as soon as we stepped on the beach and he wasn't even running around. And getting him to cool down took 30 minutes. Just watching him, I knew this couldn't be good for his heart among other things. Or mine!!

    I assumed in some ways that it was the dogs that were rasping and gasping 24/7 that really needed this surgery. I was always hearing things like "that's just how bulldogs are" "you can't do this and that with bulldogs" "bulldogs can't take heat" "bulldogs can't breath well" "bulldogs sometimes vomit their food and water" "bulldogs don't live long lives" - it's almost like all these statements were of acceptance. Why? Why can't bulldogs breath well? Why do bulldogs have such a short life span? I'm supposed to accept that? No chance.

    I brought up the palate reduction to his regular vet when he was getting neutered at 8 months (I wanted to wait longer but he was cryptorchid aka one testy wasn't dropping) and he said it was too early--but i think that was just his opinion and some might disagree. Anyway, last week I took him to a board certified surgeon in Orange County. I love this particular doctor. He's honest, super conservative and incredibly skilled. I'm in LA and I drive over an hour to see him. He had repaired both of Mack's cruciates (bobs brother) after he tore them one after the other. And he chose to do the more conservative surgery and Mack is 100% healed. He was also the only one to accurately diagnose my Ex-boyfriend's EBD's orthopedic issues and insisted that surgery wasn't the answer. Anyway, needless to say I totally trust this guy and wanted to know what he had to say.

    First, he said that an elongated palate is confirmed under anesthesia but all EBD's have one otherwise they wouldn't be EBD's. He said it's just the severity that differs. He said to me that if Bob was to lose a little weight it would help a lot. I asked him if I should wait and then see, and he surprised me with his answer...

    He said "I wouldn't. There is no english bulldog that won't benefit from a palate reduction. PERIOD." This usually soft-spoken surgeon was suddenly unusually passionate about this particular statement. He went on to say "Regardless of the degree -- the abnormalities of the airway pathology progress with age with brachycephalic airway syndrome." He went on to explain that the palate starts to droop as the dog ages (same reason people snore more when they age) and the symptoms become much more pronounced. But by the time it's OBVIOUS that the surgery is necessary and the dog comes in for the procedure, much of the damage has already been done. Not only the impact on the heart, but the trauma on the larynx and the trachea has caused the tissues to thicken and even further narrow the respiratory passages and surgery cannot reverse that. So while it helps and they can breath better, the prognosis is way more guarded. In other words, they'd be more comfortable but it's not necessarily adding on any years to their life span because the negative pressure it takes to breath has made it's mark.

    So i agreed to do it the following Friday. But then I started freaking out. What if I was doing something too aggressive? What if there was a complication during surgery over something elective? I wouldn't be able to live with myself. And I didn't want his little sounds to be gone etc. My mind was spinning. And mostly, he seemed fine most of the time! ....It was only when he was hot. Was i really going to risk this? So i flaked out on my Friday appointment! But then my logic kicked in... when it's warm and I see how hard he is trying to cool down to no avail... it's a different story. So i read everything I could. Every single study done, every report, you name it. And I came to the conclusion that his doc was right. And regardless of what any doctor was telling me, doing this surgery made logical sense in my mind. So Bob had it done this last Wednesday. His insurance covers this btw!

    He's still snoring a little (it was always pretty minimal) and he still sounds the same with his little grunts. THANK GOD! I would love to hear what others think about this issue. Thanks for reading my long post!

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    The Ultimate Sourmug nycbullymama's Avatar
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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Did we have the same surgeon?

    I agree with everything you wrote. Can't even add anything, well said! Glad you had it done, it will definitely benefit Bob.


    Regarding the heat, even after surgery you need to keep them cool. It's just the breed. Cooling down now should be quicker now, but it won't stop him from over heating in 80 degree weather unless you're gonna keep him in the water.

    We drive down to Fl a lot. Blue does fine in 90 degree weather provided he's in the water most of the time. He just can't be out in the sun. And when he does come out of the water, I make sure to keep him in the shade. But even in the shade he can't take the heat for more than a few minutes at a time. They just need to stay cool.


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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    What a great post..... our vet has actually started suggesting having nares done (when needed) at age of 16 weeks to help lessen the impact on the organs and palate.
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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Wally needed eye surgery, and at that time we decided to do his nares and palate. BEST decision that we have ever made, and honestly I really WISH I would of had that done to my other bullies.

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    I agree. Frank had his done at the age of 3.5 except under emergency circumstances. Prior to that, he never seemed to have a problem with breathing during his walks and had pretty mild snoring for the most part. So we had never considered that he needed it. Well, one Easter we were over at the family's house and Frank was running around, got overheated, aspirated and had to be rushed to the emergency vet. He was intubated and sedated for two days to allow him to stabilize and inflammation to go down, then the surgery was done. Luckily he pulled through and breathes much better now. We are overly careful but it is something that I wish we had looked into prior to his incident. It may have helped prevent the emergency.
    Happiness is a warm bulldog!

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    Potty Trainer Become a 4 Paw Member mackbob's Avatar
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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by nycbullymama View Post
    Did we have the same surgeon?

    I agree with everything you wrote. Can't even add anything, well said! Glad you had it done, it will definitely benefit Bob.


    Regarding the heat, even after surgery you need to keep them cool. It's just the breed. Cooling down now should be quicker now, but it won't stop him from over heating in 80 degree weather unless you're gonna keep him in the water.

    We drive down to Fl a lot. Blue does fine in 90 degree weather provided he's in the water most of the time. He just can't be out in the sun. And when he does come out of the water, I make sure to keep him in the shade. But even in the shade he can't take the heat for more than a few minutes at a time. They just need to stay cool.
    Yes! I am definitely going to keep him cool. The problem is... he hates the water! Water=enemy! I'm so glad I did it!

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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddnene View Post
    Wally needed eye surgery, and at that time we decided to do his nares and palate. BEST decision that we have ever made, and honestly I really WISH I would of had that done to my other bullies.
    Thank you so much these posts make me feel so much better!

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    Potty Trainer Become a 4 Paw Member mackbob's Avatar
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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biogirl71 View Post
    I agree. Frank had his done at the age of 3.5 except under emergency circumstances. Prior to that, he never seemed to have a problem with breathing during his walks and had pretty mild snoring for the most part. So we had never considered that he needed it. Well, one Easter we were over at the family's house and Frank was running around, got overheated, aspirated and had to be rushed to the emergency vet. He was intubated and sedated for two days to allow him to stabilize and inflammation to go down, then the surgery was done. Luckily he pulled through and breathes much better now. We are overly careful but it is something that I wish we had looked into prior to his incident. It may have helped prevent the emergency.
    I'm so glad he's ok! It's tough to decide on a surgery when you're not really seeing any problems! But the situation you found yourself in with Frank is exactly what i wanted to avoid. Thank God frank is good now though! And on another note, Bob refused to take any painkillers and he's ready to party already! ha!

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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Glad to hear Bob is doing fine after surgery!

    Castor had nares and soft palate surgery done a year ago, when he was 19 months old, and it changed his life. Summer last year was warm here and we couldn't take him on long walks without him panting heavily and throwing up. When he played with other dogs or got agitated in any way, he would throw up too. It might be a bit drastic to say the surgery saved his life, but it definitely changed his life. I love the breed but the frequency of bulldogs with severe breathing problems is a serious problem.


    Castor is on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/castorthebulldog/

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    Potty Trainer Become a 4 Paw Member mackbob's Avatar
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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by cefe13 View Post
    Glad to hear Bob is doing fine after surgery!

    Castor had nares and soft palate surgery done a year ago, when he was 19 months old, and it changed his life. Summer last year was warm here and we couldn't take him on long walks without him panting heavily and throwing up. When he played with other dogs or got agitated in any way, he would throw up too. It might be a bit drastic to say the surgery saved his life, but it definitely changed his life. I love the breed but the frequency of bulldogs with severe breathing problems is a serious problem.

    I don't think it's drastic to say this was a life saving surgery for him - especially hearing all these stories. Bulldogs die all the time from the issues that the palate/nares surgery resolves! There's no reason they should live like this if it can be helped. I really believe there is no price in the world to what OXYGEN is worth.

    I'm also starting to realize that this surgery should be a part of the accepted protocol in properly caring for an english bulldog. Sadly so many people buy bulldogs and they end up in shelters because they have NO IDEA how to care for them. I even know people who could easily afford this surgery and never thought to do it. I like that vets are starting to be more firm and vocal about it. Like i said in my post I was shocked how adamant this normally conservative surgeon was! I think it's because it is a matter of life and death and the quality of their life.

    I've had dogs my whole life. And EBD's are some of the greatest little spirits I've ever come across. They bring light into every situation. They are pure joy. They deserve to live the healthiest, happiest and most pain free lives possible. I'm going to start being one of those annoying people that preaches how important this surgery is! HEH

    Just today seeing Bob today, it was the first day he's not on painkillers. He was running around and i noticed that his tongue falls out more! And that he's taking big deep breaths of air. It's different. There's no restriction of the airflow. And i'm so happy for him!!! I believe he'd do it for me!

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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    So glad Bob is doing well after surgery!!

    We had Barkley's done at the same time he was neutered at about 16 months. He had been a very heavy breather and would regurgitate a good amount so I figured he def needed it. The vet we used to see when we lived in Phoenix was awesome and said he would check it out after he put him under because he didn't like to do them unless it was absolutely necessary.

    I got a call less than 2 hours after dropping him off that he was all done and did go ahead and trim the palate and tonsils because they were all very long. The vet used a laser and it definitely made recovery so easy. Barkley was able to come home later that afternoon and had to be on soft foods for a few days and I had to make sure he didn't eat and drink too fast (since he had so much more room in his throat it would've been easy to do). He was good to go and acting normal after a few days and the surgery has made such a difference! His breathing is SO much quieter and he is able to be more active!!


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    Default Re: My guy just had a staphylectomy aka palate reduction! Thoughts?

    Glad that Bob is doing well and ready to party!
    Happiness is a warm bulldog!

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