A couple years ago we were told to prepare for losing our big dog, Heyoka. He had something wrong in his throat. We never really knew what was, but it was serious and made every breath a bit of a struggle for Heyoka. Until February 2011 he stayed a happy if somewhat sedate dog. We got used to his noisy breathing, to the snoring and the gasps.
Then he took a turn for the worse. He started using every muscle to breathe, he was struggling and we feared the time had come to let him go. We took him to our vet who wasn't ready to give up yet. She took some x-rays, did some tests and thought the big dog might have a chance, but that chance was beyond the scope of her general practice clinic. Heyoka needed a specialist.