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Old 12-28-2012, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Heavy Breathing, looking for help!

My 10 year od german sheppard, Igor, has been breathing heavily for almost one month now. He has never had this problem before. He is also sneezing and is congested. He continues to lick his paws/floor/carpet and shake his head. I noticed a new thing on his licking. After he drinks water or finishes licking his paws, carpet or floor, he starts to put his tongue out making a splashing noise like pla pla pla, which seems his tongue is kind of glued to something, it is just weird and different. I taped that as well and my vet said that is related to the congestion he is heaving.

He had a bacteria in one of his ear last month. My vet prescribed trizultraketo with baytril and I was suposed to drop a small quantity in his ear but since he shook his head with the first drop, i was giving a little squeeze inside his ear instead. I was supposed to do that for 3 weeks but after 2 weeks, I noticed he was getting congested and then the heavy breathing started. I stopped with the ear drops thinking it could be related.

I initially gave him Benadryl but did not see any improvement, I actually thought it made worse. I then took Igor to my vet who said his simptoms were allergy related. My vet then prescribed Temaril P, an anti inflamatory, 3 pills twice daily and then 3 pills once a day for additional 6 days. During the first 3 days, he was better but on the night of the 5th day, the symptons came back. I still gave it to him for 4 more days until all finished.

As he was still not doing better, I noticed my Benadryl expired in 2007! I then bought a new one but had the same effect, no improvements and actually thinking it made worse.

I talked to my vet again and he said we should put him back on Temaril, now 3 pills twice a day for 4 days and then 2 pills twice a day for additional 7 days. I told my vet I am concerned that we are treating the symptoms with an anti inflamatory not knowing what is really causing this, allergy diagnostic can vary a lot but I am not convinced this is allergy related. During his heavy breathing, sometimes Igor does a very long deep breathing and exhaled heavily.

I switched my dog food from Science Diet for German Sheppards to Eukanuba for Seniors. He has been eating a lot and I changed from 2x to 3x a day. I noticed the size of the dog food is a lot smaller in the Eukanuba and my dog chokes when he eats. I was wondering if during one of those he might have inhaled a dog food to his lung instead. I saw a liquid drop from one of his nasals with a little brown dot in it. I taped but have not shown my vet yet. The other nasal has some white crust around which my vet told me is coming from the congestion.

I taped some videos with the heavy breathing, sneezing, chewing, licking and shaking head and sent to my vet. I am very frustrated with this whole situation where I do not know what else to do to see improvements in my dog's well being. my vet said the next step would be to put him on predsolone (?), an antibiotic. I am not convinced Igor has an allergy so I am turning to you guys for help. I can send you the videos if you need to see them.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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do an x ray -- to rule out cancer --
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would suggest a chest xray asap.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey there, sorry to hear your dog is having such trouble

I am posting links from Pet MD symptom checker - first I ran the curser and clicked on head neck and nose and clicked on the symptoms you described (box on the right), below gives you a comprehensive list of possibilities ranging from heart to lung to viral to fungal and auto-immune. You can click on each individual condition (some you have to hit the ctrl. key and click at same time and then the tool bar box at top of screen - others will open automatically)...

Dog Symptom Checker | Dog Health & Ilness Symptom Checker Online | petMD

I then used the symptom checker to click on chest area and entered symptoms there too...(note: I chose "loud breathing and Noisy breathing" not "difficulty breathing" as the later gave only one condition prominant in small flat faced dogs)

Dog Symptom Checker | Dog Health & Ilness Symptom Checker Online | petMD

Not sure if these links will provide the check boxes I used, but you can enter yourself.

One condition (did not check all) was this - it relates to most or all (?) symptoms you describe, noted below the link
Uncoordinated Cilia Function in Dogs | petMD

Clinical signs predominate in ciliated organs: a lack of mucociliary (interaction of mucus and cilia) clearance in the respiratory tract can lead to recurrent bacterial rhinosinusitis, bronchopneumonia and auditory canal (ear) infection, as well as chronic inflammation and obstruction of the airways

This is a genetic disease with a probable autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Signs typically develop at an early age, from a few days old to five weeks of age. Some dogs, however, will remain asymptomatic for prolonged periods; from six months to ten years

They don't list the GSD as breed predisposition, however - it note Purebreed and inbreeding as a cause...

Anyhow, there are many more, this was just a start - finding the ones that incl all symptoms including the ear will help narrow down your search so you can ask appropriate questions (side links for what to ask your vet per condition) and focus on the most probable tests req'd to either manage or cure where can be.

Also consider fungal - re: nose and chest, I think a nasal swab or biopsy looking for spores may be a start - some dogs can manage fungas and the immune system assists in destroying organisms - So an effort to boost the immune system if need be should be considered unless of course this is an auto-immune related (over active) disease, then I think steroids would only be the option.

Perhaps you may want to consult with a holistic vet - they have many more options in their arsenol to deal with bateria's fungas's and viruses then conventional meds w/less side effects (toxicity to liver and kidneys)and more curative then managed...and without abx. resistance issues - incorporating holistic AND conventional would be your doggies best chance. But don't "waite and see" and then go to holistic as a last resort.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your comments, I can feel the love in here! Gatorbytes, your posting was awesome, I will check that very interesting link. I was developing a similar pet vet decision tree software back n Brazil, more than 20 years ago, to help dog owners have an indication, based on % probabilities related to answers to several yes/no symptoms questions, on what your dog might have. I lost some sheppards back then and was very upset with the lack of a proper diagnostic so I decided to develop that software as part of my IT thesis, had several interviews with veterinarians and was able to build a very large decision tree knowledge base. Some vet clinics demonstrated interested in buying that software once it was completed but I came to the US and never went back to finish that...

My vet was not in today so I left him a msg, he called me back and told me to keep observing Igor after the third dosage tonight and the fourth dosage tomorrow morning. If he does not improve, I should take him to the animal hospital so my vet can exam him tomorrow. I told him I am concerned this might be something else and the anti-inflamatory is hiding the root cause of the problem.

Last edited by Kaluig; 12-28-2012 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would recommend getting an x-ray done as well.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Igor had 4 x-rays taken from torax and other areas...All clear and vet said his lung looks better than a lot of of other 10 years old dog. Great news indeed! He had his ears cleaned and nasals and there was some blood in one of them.

After he came back from the vet on Sat, he was doing great on Sat and Sun. However, on Monday and today, the heavy breathing came back along with sneezing and congestion.

He continued on the anti inflammatory and my vet told me to change his food. I changed it from Science Diet to Eukanuba beginning of Dec and 1-2 weeks later, these symptoms started.

I have already ordered 2-15lbs Fromm (duck &sweet potato and salmon a la veg) but because of the holidays, they have not arrived yet. Today, I bought a small bag of Blue life protection formula lamb & brown rice. He seemed to like that a lot. I am trying to get away from chicken as one dog owner mentioned his 3 GSD had allergies with chicken. I am going to test that now so all new food has no chicken ingredients.

I will keep everyone posted as I am reading some similar allergy problems in other posting as well.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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long shot but start giving him bottled water.
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