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Throat Issues


Guest Fasave
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I posted a little over a week ago about my 10 year old who had intermittent snoring. I took him to the vets for his rabies shot and explained the situation to the vet. She listened to his lungs which were fine and said he was breathing well through his nose as well and likely it was just a cold or aging.

 

Since then when he sleeps on his side, his breathing seems more "strained" and is getting worse. I wouldn't exactly call it snoring anymore. I've also noticed if I hand him a treat and he stretches his head up to get it, he chokes on the treat when he swallows. Today he ran across the yard and stopped at the bottom of the deck stairs and started coughing, almost like catching his breath but only a few times and then ran up the stairs. Otherwise sitting up, walking through the house, etc. he appears normal which makes it hard for a vet to see actual symptoms.

 

He's eating well (no choking eating from a raised feeder with head down) and energy level is good. His normal whining seems a little raspy. I plan to bring him back next week as he's not improving and hoping we don't end up at the e-vets in the meantime. I've also removed all his collars to make sure nothing is pressed on his neck.

 

A friend who has medical training felt his neck and didn't mention feeling any swollen glands. It really looks to me like a sore throat or even something stuck in his throat. Anyone experienced anything like this before? Any insights would be appreciated.

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I'm not sure, and have no experience with it, but you might want to do a search here on laryngeal paralysis and see if symptoms sound familiar. :grouphug

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Thanks for the suggestion. I did do a little research and it appears LP is more related to heat and heavy exercise and there would be more signs of panting. LP was one of my first thoughts. Could be he's in the early stages though. It's hard to see these guys age.

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Guest Energy11

Yes, could be LP. What you are describing is not normal, and I would suggest seeing your vet to get to the bottom of things. Snorning respirations, and strained respirations, usually indicate a narrowing of the airways. Good Luck and lots of love!

 

 

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I wish I could give you some good feedback, but all I can add is that our vet suspects LP in Peanut and her symptoms are very much fixated on regurgitating water after drinking. Our vet feels that surgery should be a last resort and only if it starts to impede her breathing. So I'll throw that out there in case your grey has anything like this. Good luck, I hope you get an answer soon and that it's an easy fix! Oh, and I should add that Peanut is 10.5 and this has been going on for nearly a year.

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I hope it is only a virus or something minor, but my previous two experience which kind of 'sort of' fit with this description, did not have good outcomes.

 

Renie began gulping a bit when eating and choking now and then. Nothing serious. The vet dismissed it as 'one of those things, maybe she's eating too fast' and she did bolt her food, it's true, and otherwise she was a very fit, healthy, bright and active (within her 'laziness' parameters) ten year old. Then she began with an intermittent limp. X-rays of her leg and shoulder showed nothing. Then last Christmas she started yelping. And screaming. And screaming and screaming. The GSOD to make your blood run cold and give you the shakes. Turned out she'd had a benign tumour deep within her neck near her shoulders which no-one had suspected was there, and it had got into her spinal cord - just by the mass spreading and infiltrating. We only found this out on a referral we insisted on, and let her go on the spot.

 

Jack began snoring a lot when lying down. I mean, all greyhounds can be world champion snorers, but you know when your dog starts doing something unusual, don't you? He was elderly, and our vet dismissed it. Then he began having little 'breathing episodes' when out walking .. this was a very fit and active little guy, thirteen years old, but you'd never know it to look at him. Came the day when we thought he was going to die out there in the field and we weren't going to get him home. :( Took him straight to the vet, couldn't find anything. One said his heart sounded odd, but she was wrong, and I knew it at the time. We could hear the rasping in his throat. Another (within our practice) said he had 'chronic airway disease'. Eventually, he had to be rushed to a different vet (ours wouldn't come out) who diagnosed multiple embolisms, and he was right. He kept Jack in an oxygen kennel and treated him for his symptoms but eventually he threw another clot which took out his back legs and we had to let him go. :cry1

 

I'm not suggesting your guy has anything like approaching these problems, but I wish with all my heart I'd had Renie investigated properly sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if we'd insisted on getting that gulping properly investigated and she'd had the tumour removed, my Princess would still be with us. With Jack, it probably wouldn't have made a difference, but you can be sure we've switched to a different vet now.

 

Just saying, go with your gut. If you think there's something to be investigated, insist on having it investigated. And good luck!

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I hope it is only a virus or something minor, but my previous two experience which kind of 'sort of' fit with this description, did not have good outcomes.

 

Renie began gulping a bit when eating and choking now and then. Nothing serious. The vet dismissed it as 'one of those things, maybe she's eating too fast' and she did bolt her food, it's true, and otherwise she was a very fit, healthy, bright and active (within her 'laziness' parameters) ten year old. Then she began with an intermittent limp. X-rays of her leg and shoulder showed nothing. Then last Christmas she started yelping. And screaming. And screaming and screaming. The GSOD to make your blood run cold and give you the shakes. Turned out she'd had a benign tumour deep within her neck near her shoulders which no-one had suspected was there, and it had got into her spinal cord - just by the mass spreading and infiltrating. We only found this out on a referral we insisted on, and let her go on the spot.

 

Jack began snoring a lot when lying down. I mean, all greyhounds can be world champion snorers, but you know when your dog starts doing something unusual, don't you? He was elderly, and our vet dismissed it. Then he began having little 'breathing episodes' when out walking .. this was a very fit and active little guy, thirteen years old, but you'd never know it to look at him. Came the day when we thought he was going to die out there in the field and we weren't going to get him home. :( Took him straight to the vet, couldn't find anything. One said his heart sounded odd, but she was wrong, and I knew it at the time. We could hear the rasping in his throat. Another (within our practice) said he had 'chronic airway disease'. Eventually, he had to be rushed to a different vet (ours wouldn't come out) who diagnosed multiple embolisms, and he was right. He kept Jack in an oxygen kennel and treated him for his symptoms but eventually he threw another clot which took out his back legs and we had to let him go. :cry1

 

I'm not suggesting your guy has anything like approaching these problems, but I wish with all my heart I'd had Renie investigated properly sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if we'd insisted on getting that gulping properly investigated and she'd had the tumour removed, my Princess would still be with us. With Jack, it probably wouldn't have made a difference, but you can be sure we've switched to a different vet now.

 

Just saying, go with your gut. If you think there's something to be investigated, insist on having it investigated. And good luck!

 

Thanks for this reply. I was just saying to a friend that you walk a fine line between taking a dog in too soon and having the issue dismissed as "nothing" or the opposite is that they launch into a series of expensive tests that turn up nothing. I've had both happen to me and it's incredibly frustrating. Still trying to figure out how to walk this line and get the veterinary care my pups need. I'm fortunate that I'm in the Boston area and have a ton of specialists available. I've learned that often it's best to go straight to a specialist. The outcome far out weighs the cost. I've also learned to trust your gut and get second opinions when things aren't right. Sadly, I've also learned that no matter how hard you try, sometimes it's out of your and everyone elses' control. For today I'll keep him quiet and see how he does. Hopefully I'll be able to get him seen tomorrow.

 

In this case, I'm not sure who the specialist would be. I haven't found "eye, ear & throat" vets so I'm going to start by going back to my regular vet to discuss options and make sure we have an action plan in place (ex. if it's not this, then explore this, etc.) with a timeline for all next steps.

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Thanks for this reply. I was just saying to a friend that you walk a fine line between taking a dog in too soon and having the issue dismissed as "nothing" or the opposite is that they launch into a series of expensive tests that turn up nothing. I've had both happen to me and it's incredibly frustrating. Still trying to figure out how to walk this line and get the veterinary care my pups need. I'm fortunate that I'm in the Boston area and have a ton of specialists available. I've learned that often it's best to go straight to a specialist. The outcome far out weighs the cost. I've also learned to trust your gut and get second opinions when things aren't right. Sadly, I've also learned that no matter how hard you try, sometimes it's out of your and everyone elses' control.

 

Absolutely. And I'm the same. You try to walk that line, and in the end you have to both trust your vet, and your own gut feelings.

When it comes to the point that your gut overrules the vet, you need to insist on a referral. The trouble with my old vet was that he was just SO reluctant to refer. I had to insist, each time - and I'm lucky too, we have two specialist centres (each with an MRI) and one vet school within a couple of hours' drive.

 

But yes, sometimes, it's out of our hands. :(

 

 

In this case, I'm not sure who the specialist would be. I haven't found "eye, ear & throat" vets so I'm going to start by going back to my regular vet to discuss options and make sure we have an action plan in place (ex. if it's not this, then explore this, etc.) with a timeline for all next steps.

 

If it were me, I'd get them to scope his larnx and oesophagus to check for LP and anything else that might be there, and if your local vet is experienced in ultrasound, let him do one of his throat and neck, and if that didn't turn anything up I'd request a referral to a general vet at a specialist centre and get an MRI. Our veterinary specialists at the referral centres are still a whole lot more experienced and up to date than the local vet, and at least they'll be able to confer on-site and refer him on to someone else in the building if necessary. JMHO.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I trust my gut, in this issue, I would tell the vet, I know I know, Mrs Bossy here, I would look for CHF, sometimes a chest listen is not enough, the snoring is what makes me wonder! :huh

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We have an appointment with my regular vet this afternoon. He's a very cool guy, grey savvy and awesome (wait list for new patients). He knows his limits and has no problem with referrals. He really likes learning what the specialists have to say as he sees it as a learning opportunity. I went to him when my guy first had a corn and the vet I was seeing at the time wanted to do a full series of leg x-rays. He hulls corns for $25 and has even trained one of my friends vets on corn hulling! When another of my greys had a dental with him and lost 18 teeth, he gave me his cell phone number and told him to call any time during the night if I was worried which I found amazing seeing I am within 20 minutes of three 24 hour emergency veterinary hospitals. So I'm confident this is a good start and hopefully we will have a game plan at the end of the day. Now I'm off to shovel 6 inches of rain soaked snow so I can get to the appointment. Thanks for all the feedback. I'll post more later.

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Good luck at the vets Melissa! I hope they figure out quickly what is going on with Ave.

6" of snow, Wow! We don't even have the ground covered here. It did not even switch to snow until sunrise.

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Back from the vets. Thinking it's an upper respiratory infection and going to try a round of clavamox. If he's not showing signs of improvement within the next 48 hours, we will go back. Could be that the "snoring" that he had was the start of a cold and the rabies vaccine made everything worse. We'll start the antibiotics tonight with dinner and he'll get some plain yogurt as an extra treat to make sure we keep the good bacteria in his system. Thanks everyone for checking in.

 

PS Scott - Feel free to come North and shovel my driveway. I gave up at 2 hours and let the four wheel drive do the rest. Weather in Boston is nuts. You get rain, I get snow. ;)

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Guest LindsaySF

Hey Melissa,

 

I hope the antibiotics work. Hopefully it's just a URI. His symptoms do sound like infection/inflammation.

 

I had a similar experience with Cody, about a year ago I'd guess. (He is from a shelter and we are estimating his age now to be about 6-7 years). Based on his symptoms (and my Googling wink.gif) I thought it was collapsing trachea caused by allergies or a reaction to something. He would start out with a very minor cough that would progress to honking and he couldn't stop. It sounded like something was stuck in his throat. It happened the most at night when he was relaxed. Interestingly he was able to be distracted/fixed by offering him a cookie or taking him outside, or him getting a drink of water, so I figured it was a spasm of some sort and his panic made it worse.

 

The vet could never get him to cough in the office or feel anything strange, and he was otherwise totally normal (eating/drinking fine, no exercise intolerance, etc). She said to limit his exposure to dust, pollen, etc. She suspected allergies or even asthma could be triggering it. I also walked him on a harness for a while. He hasn't had an episode in a long time. He will occasionally give a cough when laying on his back, or after drinking water too fast, but other than that he is fine. The "something stuck in his throat" sounds just like what you described, but he would have episodes of honking and times of being completely normal. In your case it seemed to be getting worse, which makes me think of a URI progressing, instead of what Cody had. If the meds don't help though it could be a virus or even LP. Let us know how he does!

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Guest SoulsMom

Back from the vets. Thinking it's an upper respiratory infection and going to try a round of clavamox. If he's not showing signs of improvement within the next 48 hours, we will go back. Could be that the "snoring" that he had was the start of a cold and the rabies vaccine made everything worse. We'll start the antibiotics tonight with dinner and he'll get some plain yogurt as an extra treat to make sure we keep the good bacteria in his system. Thanks everyone for checking in.

 

PS Scott - Feel free to come North and shovel my driveway. I gave up at 2 hours and let the four wheel drive do the rest. Weather in Boston is nuts. You get rain, I get snow. ;)

 

That was some heavy snow to shovel today!

 

We suspect that my older dog, Archie, has LP: he sometimes has trouble breathing, gagging sometimes when eating/drinking, bark has gotten raspy. He's old, and fearful, so I'm not taking any drastic measures, but sometimes he sure scares me :(

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