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Chronic Respiratory Problem-- Any Advice?


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Guest houndgirl

Hello Y'all!

I've been a long time lurker on this board, but finally signed up. I am hoping to get some advice about my pup's health issue-- maybe someone has had a similar problem?

I am an American living in Budapest, Hungary. Several years ago I adopted a Hungarian greyhound (Magyar agar) from the city pound. Her previous owners tried to race her, but she ran the wrong way on the track. Then she was sold to a hunter, who dumped after she proved herself to be a bunny-lover. She is kind of a greyhound version of Ferdinand the Bull.

She is now 6 years old and very happy. We had a rough start after her adoption, but the past two years have been problem-free (after the identification of a poultry allergy). UNTIL NOW. We moved into a new flat in April and by the third week, she was coughing and lethargic. The vet diagnosed her with a bronchial infection and took a tracheal sample. It came back positive for a specific bacteria and we treated her with the recommended antibiotics. The 10-day stint didn't do the trick. She spent 4 weeks on-and-off antibiotic pills. While she did improve, the coughing, sneezing and colorful mucus problems did not go away.

For two additional weeks, she was given antibiotic shots-- but her progress generally plateaued after the first 14(+/-) days of treatment. She showed more energy and a better appetite, but these symptoms just aren't backing off and its dragging her down. The vet suggests that the stress from the move made her more susceptible to a virus, which led to the secondary infection in her bronchial tubes. He chalks everything else up to the "sensitivity of the breed." Either way, my sweet pup had been on antibiotics for 6 weeks without much relief of symptoms. If it continues, the vet said in a week's time we will start steroid treatment for the remaining symptoms. Though he says the x-rays show her lungs and bronchial tubes have improved and show no damage.

I can't shake the idea that the new apartment has something to do with the timing of these problems. Its in a very old building (built in the 1890s, a bit drafty). I have found no evidence of mold or fungus. I've cleaned thoroughly and frequently with all-natural products. She's never shown evidence of any seasonal allergies in all our years together. Our vet is a good guy; I wouldn't call him a grey expert, but I am limited to vets that speak English-- and he is the best one of those.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? Is there something I am missing? Any advice is greatly appreciated. And thanks to everyone who posts on this board-- I've learned so much!!

Thanks in advance!

Emma (the person) and Pavi (the regal queen of hounds)

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Do they have fungal infections like Valley Fever out there? Do they have TBDs? Do they have lungworm? Are there some good knowledgeable greyhound vets? If so, can you get a referral?

 

In people, at least, antihistamines don't tend to help much with pulmonary reactions to allergies or I'd suggest trying her on Benadryl or the equivalent. After that, not sure I can be of any help. However, if antibiotics have improved her symptoms, I'd be wary of adding steroids because they damp down the immune response and if it is a resistant infection of some type, it may cause it to flare up badly.

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Guest houndgirl

Thanks for your response!

 

I did some research and we don't seem to have Valley Fever here. Lungworms would have shown on the x-rays, I think. But they weren't there. TBDs are possible, but we were still under a lot of snow after a long winter when the symptoms started. But I don't think we blood-tested for TBDs, I'll suggest it next visit. I wish there were more veterinary options-- he offered to send me to veterinary university for a bronchoscope, but said the x-rays didn't really suggest that sort of intervention. I will look into TBDs, THANKS!!

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I just wonder if she had a high enough dose of antibiotics. My reason for saying this is that many years ago I had pneumonia which was treated by my GP with antibiotics but I did not get better until I was admitted to hospital where they doubled the dose.

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I've shared this with a friend in Budapest who has Galgos. Maybe she can help.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest Tunde

I am Hungarian and I always get sick when the flat is drafty. Same for my whole family...

Normally it is a kind of inflammation like facial nerve inflammation, toothache or even an inflammation or inner ear inflammation. In such a case antibiotics never helped with us, I mean the effect did not last.

I would not wonder when the dog would get sick from the air draft.

Even when a Magyar Agar can normally well tolerate the cold (better then my galgas, anyway), that does not mean that the dog tolerates well a drafty place.

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Guest Tunde

P.s.: here is the address of the vet I go to with our galgas:

http://boxivet.hu/

Her name is Dr. Orsolya Szepes. I know her from the rescue (we helped a certain rescue group together some years ago). I suppose she understands English pretty well.

She is an excellent vet in my opinion and loves animals very much! She takes time to do a PROPER anamnesis, meaning she leaves you time to explain the circumstances and the symptoms and would ask you a good couple of questions for sure.

 

I suggest you to write a list with all the things you regard as unusual, any kind of symptoms, circumstances anything, maybe even a kind of diary before going to the vet (to any vet) again. Especially with this kind of longer illness it is an enormous help!

 

There are EXCELLENT veterinarians in Budapest but there are a couple of crooks, too.

The costs of the veterinary service have not necessarily much to do with the quality, I mean some very good vets can have very reasonable prices. Of course laboratory tests have normally fixed prices... The Allatkorhaz has a good reputation regarding blood testing and with ultrasound (if you need it some time) Dr. Tamas Vrabely is pretty good (he practices on some days in Pesthidegkut, on other days in the Allatkorhaz.).

 

Basically the Magyar Agar is no particularly sensitive breed. These dogs are often kept outside most of the time. My galgas would die from things a Magyar Agar still tolerates...

BUT... a dog with an unknown past (a pound dog) could have already had lung inflammation or some severe lung disease before coming to the adoptive family. So such a past can leave a dog with a little sensibility.

I translated for the Hungarian sighthound rescue (aka Henni & Co.) for a while because some of their dogs went to Germany for adoption.

What I witnessed was that a part of their dogs had a very rough upbringing, under very bad circumstances (with the hunters) and this stress made some of them sensible to certain environmental impacts.

I can very well imagine, that even if your dog was originally a perfectly healthy pup with no sensibility whatsoever, through the life with the Hungarian hunter the dog had to spend a winter or two outside in an unheated dog house and so a drafty flat brings out something.

 

I would keep the dog warm (even with a thin coat even at home), and above everything, I would block all the holes where the cold air can come in and cause air draft in the house.

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Guest houndgirl

Thanks everyone for your advice!

 

I spoke with the landlord today, he has a better understanding of the situation and seems on-board if we need to make changes or find new accommodations to improve her health. The flat isn't SO drafty, but the windows are quite old. If we can rule out fungus or mold, perhaps we can upgrade the windows. I am hoping to get the house-manager to let me into the attic above us (we are on the top floor) and see if there is something up there contributing to the problem.

 

I think its time for us to try a new vet. Thanks for the information, we will try Dr. Szepes. I have been keeping notes about how the illness has progressed and the names of the drugs and dosages. I will put all this together, so hopefully we can get closer to solving this problem. I am not sure if its allergies or just psychosomatic, but now I am sneezing too!

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Guest Tunde

Hello,

 

I wish you and your dog all the best!

There are many old buildings in Budapest and especially the top floor flats are normally pretty good. Actually, better than many modern houses! The buildings are totally old but they were built in an age when the architects were really good and knew their stuff.

Unless there were leaking pipes in the wall or holes in the roof lately, mold should not be a problem.

My uncle has lived in such a top floor flat near the big market hall for at least 50 years, and even he is 80 he is happy and sound! Same for his wife.

 

I, too, had lived in a house that was over 100 years old. The windows were not exactly the latest model, either. But the building was basically o.k. so I have never had any health issues when living there.

In Brampton, ON, in a normal, average house that was approx. 15 years old, my whole family had health issues. Mostly some inflammation.

 

Anyway, I hope that your dog will become healthy again soon.

 

I so not know what the dog eats but BARF might help, too, to improve her health. Unfortunately, the best stuff, ground raw green tripe is not available in Budapest.

I bought it in Vienna for our galgas.

Best stuff ever, in my opinion. Helps much to improve the condition of the dog. I got the tipp myself from the Irish Wolfhound Association.

They sent me the following article:

http://www.google.hu/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=raw%20green%20tripe%20pdf&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fforhealthypetsonline.com%2Fapp%2Fdownload%2F6257909604%2FWDJ%2B-%2BGreen%2BTripe.pdf&ei=j_ywUe2YOInRsga98YDIDA&usg=AFQjCNHNYNynb1VRQpmD8unvoaZCZUzX1g&bvm=bv.47534661,d.Yms

(if the link does not work then try to google "Green Tripe old-fashioned wonder food for dogs" )

I bought my tripe on the Viktor Adler Markt in Vienna.

The only problem with the green tripe is that it STINKS LIKE HELL and you need a freezer for the storage. But with my galgas it did wonders.

 

Another idea is maybe, that you take a look if your dog was vaccinated before the health issues started.

Sometimes vaccination has some very strange side effects.

 

I try to keep vaccinations to a minimum and if I can prevent it then do not let the vet to give any other shot together with the rabies shot, because the rabies shot contains adjuvants and those are basically poison.

There is a university somewhere in the USA where an experiment is going on: how long a single rabies shot protects the dog. They are in the sixth year now and all the dogs withstand the rabies infection still! They are still immune.

 

Here two articles on the vaccination topic

http://www.britfeld.com/vaccination-adverse.htm

and

http://www.dogs4dogs.com/JR_Articles/Rabies%20Scam%20Article.htm

 

Of course the symptoms might have nothing at all to do with any vaccination but it is a possibility, too...

Vaccination can have immediate side effects or late side effects (often allergies and autoimmune diseases for example). In Hungary nearly no one knows that, whereas in North America there are already some good articles are on the internet.

Dr. Jean Dodds is one of the authorities on the topic.

 

Here is the latest article on the (over)vaccination topic:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/05/23/pet_owner_sues_vets_for_pain_and_suffering_over_dogs_death.html

Edited by Tunde
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Guest houndgirl

Köszönöm szépen, Tunde!

 

I'm afraid the house did have some issues with the roof in previous years. I've uncovered some old water spots and chipping plaster in the ceiling of a closet. But the landlord said it was old damage and the problem areas have been repaired and treated. It's true these older building are built to last! While mine is definitely in less-than-perfect condition, its has survived better than most modern architecture would-- and with style! But I've refitted my pup's light fall jacket as a housecoat to see if that helps. Poor puppy was up an down all night sneezing green mucus.

 

I've been reading a lot about BARF lately. Thank you for the information. I have been speaking to other large dog owners in my neighborhood and I am trying to assess interest in starting a BARF co-op. Maybe that could offset the initial cost and divide up the time commitment.

 

She hasn't had any new vaccinations in nearly a year. The veterinarian I was seeing until recently was very conservative about vaccinations. That was quite new to me after coming from the US, where there is a pill for everything. Hopefully with Dr. Szepes's help we can do a more comprehensive allergy test and get to the root of this problem.

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Guest Tunde

Hi Emma,

 

when I was a child we were always told that we must inhale the hot water vapors because then our dry cough changes into a wet cough and that is good (supposedly) as then all the yellow and green mucus comes out of you and with it, all the bacteria...

 

No idea... in fact we regularly suffer the torture bending over a cooking pot full of boiling hot salty water when in the wintertime the dry cough starts. Then we take 3 times a day a full teaspoonful Vitamin C powder and otherwise use the hot salty water vapor torture (usually once a day), just like our grandparents did.

In this case we normally do not need any pills at all.

We do this water inhalation treatment in the evening and then we must not leave the warm flat on that day anymore. That would ruin the effect.

 

The pure vitamin C is a miracle drug against bacteria in general. They seem to HATE the stuff.

I discovered accidentally that when I have a beginning cold, it can be stopped entirely and immediately when I take an overdose of vitamin C. The method works with me in 95-97% of the cases. Other family members apply this method with success, too.

 

Of course a dog will never be willing to suffer for the good cause and inhale the painfully hot salty water vapors.

But maybe the coat did her good, too. I really hope so!

I do think that it is good when the mucus comes out... because then a big load of bacteria come out with that.

 

I think dogs can normally synthesize vitamin C but nevertheless some extra might help, too.

 

Let's see what Dr. Szepes says to this (to the symptoms).

I hope that it is only a nasty and persistent cold and nothing serious.

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I hope you get the problem solved son. I'm quite convinced too, that the problem has something to do with the flat.

How about the breed Magyar Agar? I've never known any hound of this breed. Are they similar to Greyhounds concerning

the charácter etc? They look a bit stronger, are they as sensitive as Greys?

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I expect your dog is allergic to something. It could be anything. Inhaled allergeries can be tough to pin point.

 

If it's an infection, "four weeks off and on" antibiotics is confusing. A really tough infection might take a good solid 4-6 weeks on one or even more antibiotics. My last dog almost died from a bone infection, and he took two antibiotics for two months.


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  • 1 month later...
Guest houndgirl

After seeing several vets, we still haven't gotten much closer to a solution for Pavi's chronic ailment. We were sent to a specialist at the veterinary university here, where she had an endoscopic exploration. The bottom line is definitely an allergy, but on top of that is a reoccurring bacterial infection. I don't think we can clear up one without the other.

 

The vets suggested longterm strong antibiotics followed by steroids. But it seems more reasonable to me to figure out the allergy and limit her exposure first. The vet said the blood work for allergies is not very conclusive (for her breed? does that make sense?) and the treatment would always be steroids-- so skip the blood work and just do steroids.

 

There has to be a better solution! She is not running a fever, her appetite is good-- am I being an awful grey-mama if I hold off on all the medications and try other options? Maybe BARF (in case food in the issue)? Staying at a friends house for a week or two and see if it improves (if the house is the culprit)?The last rounds of antibiotics were very hard on her. And because she's brought down by the mystery-allergy, the infections keeps reappearing. It just seems logical to fix the underlying problem first.

 

One more question: She doesn't have any skin problems, only respiratory systems. Can this help to determine what the allergy might be? Or will allergy manifestations just depend on the dog?

 

Snoring, sneezing and wheezing through the summer,

Emma and Pavi.

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Some say that essential fatty acids will go a long way to helping allergic reactions like this. Can you give her a good dose of extra virgin olive oil in her food every day? A couple of spoonfuls should do it. You could ring the changes with oily fish, or fish oil capsules, or flaxseed oil, canola oil, or any of a number of other things which provide EFAs. Might help, can't hurt!

 

Sorry to hear she is still having problems - and also slightly disturbed to hear that you are beginning to. On the other hand, you may just have a cold. If your symptoms continue, though, I'd go to the doctor and explain what's been going on with your dog. Maybe he or she will have some ideas which will help both of you?

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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  • 1 month later...
Guest houndgirl

Update:

We have now been battling these problems for 5 months. In August, Pavi stayed at the dog-sitters house for two weeks. The sitter said she saw some improvement. Honestly, I didn't return feeling that she had improved in any measurable way. She was still sneezing and snotty-- although its possible it was a little less. Within two days of being back at home she was definitely as bad-- if not worse than usual.

 

We did another 5 days of antibiotics, restarted mucus-thinning medicine and have maintained vitamin c and olive oil. Thursday night was the worst its has been since April. She was wheezing and snorting to the point that neither of us slept. On Friday, we were back at the vet. She gave a shot of steroids and Pavi improved in half an hour. By Saturday evening the symptoms began to reappear and now she is back to bad.

 

Hopefully we can find a better treatment plan. Poor girl hasn't been able to run or play all summer!

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Sorry to hear the update wasn't better. If she improved after the steroid injection perhaps she might continue to improve with starting a course of a medication called Temeral P (not sure you have that there)--it's a combo of an antihistamine and a low dose of prednisone.

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