Also of note: Schwanson has peed in the house twice in the past two days, something he has never done in the almost 3 years I've had him. From a Google search, it looks like this is due to the Temaril-P.
He is still wheezing/coughing a bit, but not as much as before. I believe some x-rays are in order!
Update: I came home today to find that Schwanson had peed on the floor again. I'm told that it will take a few days for the steroids to be out of his system.
He was also wheezing/coughing so I called the vet who happened to have a slot open for xrays today.
The xrays showed some collapsing of the trachea. I was given a cough suppressant (Torbutrol 5mg) to give him for the next week.
I was also given Clavamox (antibiotic) just in case he has kennel cough -- the reasoning being that I volunteer at an animal shelter, so it's a possibility. The vet just wanted to be safe.
So, yah... it's what was assumed... collapsed trachea. I believe that it is something he has had for a while (hence the daily hacking occurring 3-4x a day).
I'm not sure what has aggravated it to what it has been the last few days. I hope that it isn't going to be any worse than this. :(
My first thoughts are... (and I know this problem is common in small dogs but...) will this lower his quality of life? Will this be what eventually kills him?
Any consoling or tips from someone else with a pug with a collapsed trachea would be helpful. Thank you.
I have and have had many pugs with collapsing tracheas. I am a foster who specializes in geriatic, hospice and special needs pugs.
this is my go to protocol when dealing with CT, it is by no means the only treatment or medications and your vet may prefer the meds she currently uses, your vet can also see your dog and the x-rays and I'm only going by what you describe and the videos.
First off, in general CT dogs can live many happy years with very little problem from their CT. Some dogs it comes on quickly and progresses rapidly others it develops slowly and gradually over years. It can be caused my many different things ranging from a bad case of kennel cough, to second hand smoke or chemicals in the environment to a tumor or growth in the neck/chest. From the sounds of it, Schwanson's has come on gradually probably due to age and/or weight.
For any dog with CT it is VITALLY important to keep them on the thin side of ideal. Excess weight is a huge factor in chronic and debilitating problems with CT. They should also live in a smoke free home. Avoid room sprays, air fresheners, perfumes and spray cleaners. Avoid using bleach and other harsh chems in the room they are in. While not a problem with Schwanson...pregnancy can cause a CT dog to have a bad episode and die. You want him on as healthy a diet as possible. I suggest a high protein fish raw if you can afford it. Fish is high in good Omegas that fight inflammation and that is good for his throat as well as his joints. Give him a good fish oil supplement too.
Now for treating...if he came to me as he is now. I would put him on Prednisone, 5-10 mg. twice a day depending on how severe his problem was (his is on the milder end from the video), this would be tapered down gradually to the minimum amount that keeps him breathing well, usually 1-5 mg. per day.. Yes, this will make him pee like crazy.....either give him a way to get outside easily or give him some pee pads while he's on it. Don't punish him for peeing inside, he can't help it. I would also give him Theophylline or Aminophylline which are bronchiodialators to ease his breathing. Hycodin to suppress the cough.....but only when he is actively coughing. Guaifenesin (1/2 human tablet) twice daily as well. If the vet thought their might be a bit of CHF exacerbating the problem, I would give lasix and a bit of Vetmedin and/or benazapril.
If he suffers a crisis where he is really having trouble breathing, give 10 mg. pred right away, a benadryl and some cough supressant, turn your shower on HOT and open the shower door, go in the bathroom with him and hold him in your arms where he can inhale the steam. Don't just put him on the floor, because the steam rises, you want him to be up where he can breathe it well. You can also get a moist heat vaporizer, put him in a small kennel point the vaporizer at the kennel and cover it all with a couple sheets to give him his own little sauna. Stay with him and pet him and talk soothingly to him during the crisis, fear or panic will make it worse, so you want to keep him as calm as possible without resorting to sedating him which would depress his breathing. the pred should kick in within an hour and you should see a difference.
You learn to gauge their condition and balance the meds after a while and soon you will be able to handle anything.
Oh, some dogs breathe easier on their backs. If he is comfortable being carried or lieing on his back (some dogs panic), try it to see if his breathing improves during a bad episode.
Feel free to PM me or call me anytime 951-218-1600.
Thanks so much for the information, Lisa. It really helps. I took down all of the medication options you mentioned and have complied some information on each. I definitely want to be informed when I discuss with the vet what treatment to use for Schwanson.
I called numerous pharmacies and compounding pharmacies in the area and no one could provide me with Torbutrol 5mg tablets. The vet has now prescribed hycodan. I did not think the Torbutrol was helping anyway. Schwanson seemed to be coughing a ton this morning and today.
Unfortunately, his blood work came back and it appears that he has diabetes. I am completely shocked by this. I know he has gained 10 lbs (from 25 to 35) since I got him in 2009 as a foster pug, but he is just a BIG tall pug. I'm sure this has something to do with it though. I have a lot of research to do, and I'm meeting with the vet on Wednesday to discuss the treatment plan and how to administer insulin. I'm hoping that if he loses weight he will eventually not be diabetic. I am not sure if that is the case though.