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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

George's noisy/ laboured breathing initially almost disappeared with antibiotics and his lymph nodes got smaller and less firm, but he hasn't finished the course yet but his breathing's getting worse again :( It's when he lies down flat at night that it's most noticeable. When he exercises and pants, his panting sounds very harsh as though he's struggling to get enough air in.

Initially I worried about DCM so I had an echo done and his heart is normal, and his lungs sound fine too. His white blood count was slightly elevated. His lymph nodes have gone down now but one of them is now larger and firmer than the other, could this be normal or does it indicate a problem?

I'm pretty sure now that it's his throat or larynx that's the problem. I managed to get him to do his normal cough and retch by massaging the bottom of his throat firmly, and got it on video so you can see what I'm talking about. At least I'll be able to show that to the vet too, as they always just say he looks fine, lungs and heart sound normal. The retch thing he's been doing occasionally for around a year, usually after he's had a rawhide so after the vets found nothing wrong I assumed the chews were just irritating his throat, but the soft cough and loud breathing have developed over the past few weeks.

So I was thinking it could be paralysis of the larynx, but his bark sounds normal. I read about collapsing trachea, but he never makes a honking noise. Maybe he has a growth in his throat somewhere? I've shone a torch into his mouth but it looks fine to me, but he has two incisors that have recently turned pink for no obvious reason. A tumour somewhere couldn't have caused this pulpitis, could it? The vet said he'll have just killed the teeth by chewing something hard, but as they're not infected we'll just leave them. Apart from that his mouth looks good, no tartar, and I had a look at his tonsils and they just look like two holes, is that normal? I read somewhere that they're hidden in pouches unless they're swollen.

I'm tearing my hair out over this. I'm going to take him back to the vet next week, but where do we go from here? I want to avoid a general anaesthetic unless really necessary, given his age and throat problems, but I'm thinking x-rays might be necessary now to look for lumps in his throat and check his larynx? What else can I do? I'll get bloods done again to see how his white cells are now, is there anything else we can rule out before x-rays are necessary?

Given that the retch has been present for a year, if he had a malignant tumour would he be showing obvious signs of cancer now, such as losing weight? His appetite is great and he's drinking loads... He's a bit lethargic and not his normal happy self. Oh, and he burps a lot too which seems to be connected to the breathing problem. And he makes weird noises when he eats or drinks, I'm not sure how to describe them though! No vomiting or regurgitation, although he does seem nauseas sometimes, will sit there licking his lips like he feels sick but it not actually sick.

George coughing (he only does about one or two single coughs like this per day):
VE_20130301_090849_zps47ef6aee.mp4 Video by Rayemond | Photobucket

George coughing and retching:
VE_20130301_091014_zps87f8fbfd.mp4 Video by Rayemond | Photobucket

:thanx:
 

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nutsaboutmydobes
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Can I ask how long ago it was you had the echo done? Have you seen a cardiologist to definitively rule out DCM?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He saw a cardiologist on the 6th of February, so nearly 4 weeks ago now, and he had all these symptoms at the time. In fact the symptoms were worse then. Here are his results:

IVSd - 10.7
IVSs - 11.7
LVDd - 45.6
LVDs - 33.8
PWd - 11.8
PWs - 16.9
FS - 26%
EPSS - 1.8
LA - 26.4
Ao - 25
Ratio - 1.05

All flows are normal
 

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While I am not suggesting you avoid going to the vet/vet school, I would like to share this:

Malia has done something very much like what is in the videos for a few years now. I have had her checked for just about everything under the sun, and other than her lipomas, and some teeth/mouth issues (neither should cause/affect breathing/coughing issues) she keeps getting a clean bill of health. She is 9yrs, she is over weight, she is way oversized (out of standard), but no one can find an underlying cause for the cough and retch. 3.5-ish years ago, when this started with my girl I was in a panic. I still get worried when it happens. I keep expecting the worst, she keeps chugging right along.
If you do find an answer please let me know. None of the vets i have gone to have been able to find anything.
 

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Keep going to the vets, swollen lymph nodes and elevated WBC count is worrisome. Try an anti acid pill and see if it stops the retching. This might alleviate the symptom, but not cure the problem.
 

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While I am not suggesting you avoid going to the vet/vet school, I would like to share this:

Malia has done something very much like what is in the videos for a few years now. I have had her checked for just about everything under the sun, and other than her lipomas, and some teeth/mouth issues (neither should cause/affect breathing/coughing issues) she keeps getting a clean bill of health. She is 9yrs, she is over weight, she is way oversized (out of standard), but no one can find an underlying cause for the cough and retch. 3.5-ish years ago, when this started with my girl I was in a panic. I still get worried when it happens. I keep expecting the worst, she keeps chugging right along.
If you do find an answer please let me know. None of the vets i have gone to have been able to find anything.
I still would go to a vet/med school personally. But I do have to say that when my Mother passed I ended up with her two Shelties. One of them kept coughing and couldn't find out why. Then when we finally did a chest X-ray it just so happen he coughed and was able to see a before and then during trachea collapse X-ray. He is still kicking at 14. Sleeps 22 hours a day, but hey...


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Rocket Dog
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You should get checked for megaesophogus. They can do a barium swallow and XRay to see if thats the problem. My sweet boy was coughing and then retching for months until I found out what it was. No cure, but feeding small amount of food, water several times throughout the day helped. Best wishes...
 
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