Congestion in dogs? Advice? - MEGA UPDATE

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by rszdtrvl, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    My Beagle sounds congested. She always snores, but this sounds more like a congestion. It comes and goes. She sounds fine, and then she sounds like she is a bit congested.

    I took a hot shower and had her in there with me to help ease the congestion. Anything else I can/should do, besides try to keep her inside as much as possible?

    Of course, it is Sunday and the vet is closed. And I will be lottery lucky if I could get her seen tomorrow at our vet. I do not find this emergency vet worthy, as she is still playing/eating/sleeping like she normally does. I will try to get her in tomorrow if she still sounds a bit "off".

    Any advice? I read online somewhere it is okay to give dogs Benadryl for congestion, but am not sure if I want to.

    Again, she is acting fine, just sounds a bit congested. If I put my ear to her tummy, sometimes she sounds fine and sometimes it sounds a teeny bit raspy.

    It may be nothing, but a couple of years ago our male Beagle had Aspiration Pneumonia, so now anytime there is more than the typical amount of snorting coming from the dogs I get concerned. I am pretty high-strung anyway, LOL.

    MEGA UPDATE : I finally decided to take her in for yet another dental cleaning. I almost lost my male dog during a dental sedation and was so scared. Our vet got a new dental machine in since then and they were able to see that she had 5, YES 5, IMPACTED teeth! Poor girl! The roots on those teeth were pressing on her sinuses. She ended up getting 10 or so teeth removed. The vet, and entire staff, was shocked that she had so many impacted teeth. She is recovering from her surgery now (had it on Tuesday) and while she is still sounding congested, it is expected to go away as soon as she recovers. He also peeked in her nose in case there was an issue with a nasal tumor and saw nothing.

    I am relieved and so glad that I got the push I needed to get her in for a dental. And so happy that my vet office was able to see the issue!
     
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  3. nephthys43

    nephthys43 DIS Veteran

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    When my dog is congested I take her into the bathroom with me while I take a hot shower. My vet told me to do this with her when she's wheezy.
     
  4. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    Did that already this morning. And will send her in there with DS when he takes his shower this morning also.

    Thanks!
     
  5. JessB320

    JessB320 DIS Veteran

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    Skip the Benadryl, hot showers are good, even just putting her in a hot steamy bathroom. You can try a humidifier near where she sleeps. If she is eating, drinking, playing no big emergency. Was she boarded recently , like within the last two weeks? Has she played with other dogs in the last two weeks? If it gets worse, with a lot of green discharge or a lot of wheezing, or a really hacking/almost duck sounding cough it could easily be kennel cough. That you would want her seen for. I'd make an appt now for whenever you can get in, sounds like it will be a few days, then if she gets worse you can get her in, if she gets better just cancel the appt the day before.
     
  6. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    DS is in the shower now. I plan on putting her in the bathroom with him in about 5 or so minutes - after it is all steamy.

    Nope, no boarding. We have in-home pet sitting when we go anywhere and have not been anywhere in a while.

    The only other dogs she has been in contact with (through a fence) are the neighbor's dogs. They have not been boarded either.

    It sounds like a throat congestion. Almost like she has phlegm or something that she needs to hack up.

    She was doing fine, but started making the phlegmy sound 10 minutes ago. She is going to be DH's football buddy today, so he will let me know what he thinks.
     
  7. JessB320

    JessB320 DIS Veteran

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    I would just keep doing what your doing then for the next few days and see how it progresses. I spent over 10 years as a vet tech so feel free to PM me if you have any questions :)
     
  8. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    Thank you! I appreciate it.
     
  9. luvwinnie

    luvwinnie <font color=green>And how are YOU feeling?<br><fon

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    When our last bulldog had epsiodes like this we actually used the Vicks vaporizer with steam (no medication). In his case, he needed antibiotics. I hope your pooch is better soon. In the bulldog world, we often use a squirt of lemon juice to break up phlegm also.
     
  10. Rence

    Rence <font color=cc00cc>Anyone who puts fashion above a

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    The head of our rescue recommended this. Get a stew bone (we sometimes have to ask at the butcher counter) -Put it in a pot, cover it with water and simmer it for a few hours. Try to push any marrow that is in the bone out and into the water after it has simmered for a while.

    Remove the bone (but leave as much marrow behind as possible) - let it cool and give your dog a bowl. They will lap it up because they taste the meat. This gets them to drink a lot of liquid - which is good for congestion (watch out, they will need some extra potty runs after this) and the marrow is also very good for the dog.

    We put any extra in the fridge, warm it up (to about room temp) in the microwave and give your dog this two to three times a day when congested.
     
  11. Squirlz

    Squirlz DIS Veteran

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  12. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    Okay, this may sound crazy, but I think she had a piece of food stuck in her throat.

    I gave her some warm broth, which she loved, and I noticed she was licking the floor when she was done.

    I found a piece of dog food, which was very soft and looked like it had been soaking in water on the floor. And I KNOW it was not in the broth (freshly made) or on the floor (freshly mopped and not even close to where I feed them).

    She is now acting all obnoxious - rubbing herself on the fireplace like she always does - and just seems perky now.

    Could this be possible? I have not heard her make any wierd raspy noise since that happened. Crazy!!
     
  13. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    She was doing it again last month, so I took her to the vet.

    He did xrays to see if it was pneumonia, and it showed that she had an enlarged heart.

    We put her on an antibiotic, just in case she had a sinus infection or something, and she was fine for a while. Now it is happening again.

    With both the congestion and her enlarged heart, I am freaking out that she might have Congestive Heart Failure.

    DH said that we could take her to the vet again to get their opinion on what to do next. The vet didn't say anything about the Congestive Heart Failure on our last visit.

    Meanwhile, I am freaking out. I hate the internet because I just freak myself out with self-diagnosis.

    She is definitely making noises like she is congested in her throat. She is coughing on occasion, and her breathing through her nose is again, sounding congested.

    Anyone have any experience like this?

    She is 9 years old. Still eating/drinking. My dogs don't play much, but she still chases the neighbors dog along the fence line. Sleeps a lot, but that is normal with my dogs.
     
  14. PelletierBears

    PelletierBears Mouseketeer

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    I don't have any advice but... :hug:

    Hope all is well.
     
  15. JessB320

    JessB320 DIS Veteran

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    I think it's time to take her back in. Yes the enlarged heart could be related to the congestion, and since the congestion keeps returning and hasn't been resolved I think a trip to the vet is needed. Good news is that if the heart is the cause there are a couple pretty inexpensive medications that could help her maintain. Good luck!!
     
  16. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    Thanks. I am hoping that he can put her on something. I did read about a couple of meds - one I think started with an "A", as well as special prescription food for her heart (weight be danged - if her heart is in rough shape that is more important than a slightly pudgy Beagle).
     
  17. JessicaR

    JessicaR <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>

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    Similar situation - they put my boy on Prednisone.

    Please keep us posted. :grouphug:
     
  18. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    It's hard to say why your vet didn't talk about CHF in the setting of an enlarged heart and ongoing "congestion" issues.

    Generally an enlarged heart means that it's gotten big to compensate for ineffective pumping ability. With CHF, it's gotten too big, and is unable to effectively pump blood and fluids around the body and they begin to back up into the lungs, the abdomen and the extremities, etc.

    In people, treatment is much more complex, but in dogs, it's fairly simple. It includes medications that get rid of some of the excess fluid (diuretics) and help strengthen the force of contraction (digoxin). You will also want to feed a high quality low sodium dog food and limit excessive fluids. Following his weight will help you gauge his fluid status in order to avoid his retaining it, thereby increasing symptoms.

    I hate to say it, but dogs are also at risk for sudden death with an enlarged heart, because the electical conduction fibers in the heart muscle itself stretch and therefore can cause arrythmias. Some of those arrythmias can be lethal. In people, we put in defibrillators prophylactically. In dogs, we don't.

    That said, people are living longer with CHF than ever before due to better knowledge and treatments available for the disease. It is no longer an automatic death sentence. Same in dogs. It will require regular medical care and monitoring, though.

    If your dog develops fluid in his abdomen, he might not be very hungry. Feed smaller meals more frequently. He may also be tired sometimes. Let him rest and don't overexert, but light regular exercise is good if he can tolerate it. He may be thirsty from diuretics. It's important he have enough fluids, but not too many. Don't let him drink back what you've taken off with diuretics.

    Like with people, you will learn to manage it as you go along - if that's really the issue. You need to sit down with the vet and figure out if this is what he actually has first. You can always see a veterinary cardiologist if you want another opinion.

    Good luck.
     
  19. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    The vet did call and say he was concerned about her enlarged heart.

    I didn't get a chance to talk to the vet when we picked her up (it was an "emergency" vet visit, as the vet was booked for 2 weeks solid) because he was dealing with an emergency euthanization of 2 dogs who were in a fight.

    To be honest, I was anxious to get my girl home after having her at the vet in a cage for 6 hours, and out of all the chaos that was in the vet office.

    I am hoping I can get in for a visit - or at least get the vet to call and discuss stuff with me more in depth - on Monday. Fingers crossed. Our vet is very popular and there is only one veterinarian at the office that I truly trust.

    She seems to go through phases with the congestion - no congestion one day, the next maybe a little, one day she sounds congested a lot - you just never know.
     
  20. mamamary

    mamamary DIS Veteran

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    No advice just a :grouphug:
     
  21. rszdtrvl

    rszdtrvl DIS Veteran

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    I got her in to the vet this morning. How, I have no idea. I think the Canine Gods were shining on us and all of the planets were aligned perfectly or something.

    She has been doing great since the last post, but I wanted to get her in anyway.

    Anyway, the vet doesn't think her heart is *that* enlarged, from the xrays. He said that because her bloodwork is fine that he wants to try a couple of other thing before putting her on medication for her heart. He said that he sees dogs way worse than her daily, and that while the heart is enlarged, it is not 911 emergency enlarged. And is typical of a dog her age anyway (she is 9).

    He gave her an exam and said that her tonsils were a bit redder than normal.

    He decided to put her on a month's worth of antibiotic to see if that will combat her red tonsils and her teeth (she has dental issues but I don't want to put her under anesthesia to get her teeth cleaned again because we almost lost our male Beagle after anesthesia).

    If that doesn't work, he wants to try Benadryl, in case it is allergies.

    And if that doesn't work, he wants to put her on Benazepril for her heart.

    I am hoping that it is just an infection of some sort still.

    It was nice to be able to talk to the vet. I am very high strung anyway when it comes to my family, so I always blow things way out of proportion.

    Anyway, just wanted to update everyone.

    Thanks!
     

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