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rapid breathing spells - min pin

May 25th, 2005, 09:37 AM
Puck is a 3 year old healthy female minpin. Over the past 3 months she has had several "spells" of rapid, shallow, nasal breathing, greater than 200/minute, not panting. Her rate seemed to be about the same. When I took her to the vet, the ride there stopped the rapid breathing. We left her for testing as warrented. Her EKG was normal, a chest xray revealed a slight enlargement. She was put on Enapril 2mg qday. In the following weeks she had two more occurances of tachypnea, but our vet office was closed. I am an emergency RN, and recalled how the rapid rate stopped when I drove up to vet office. I was thinking that Puck had SVT. I researched canine SVT to see what might stop it. I applied occular pressure with no response. Then, as with an human infant, I applied Ice water to her face. It worked. I called my vet the following day to report my findings. He agreed that we might have a case of SVT, would also explain the slightly enlarged heart. I was given diltiazem, at my request, in case she had another occurance. We discussed trying to capture the event on EKG if it happened again. Well it happened again last night, and of course the vet was closed. I took Puck to the nearest EMS station, where I know the paramedics. We put on the heart monitor. To all of us she appeared to breating well over 250/min and out stethascopes seemed to ausculate a heart rate also over 250. lead placement was: white-R front elbow, black-L front elbow, red-left rear knee.
The monitor showed sinus rythm at rates of 119-179 over the hour. Which would be normal for a 14lb dog. Yet, the respirations continued to be tachy, and to each of our ears we thought the heart was faster. I hesitated to give her the dose of diltiazem because her heart rate on the monitor (lead II) was clearly within normal limits for a small dog. After 4 hours of rapid breathing, I decided to give her the 7.5mg dose, in 20 minutes her respiratory rate began to slow down, her heart rate leveled to around 110 NSR with very infrequent aberrant beats over the following two hours. During that two hour period she had twitches occasionally as well. The T-waves appeared to very high, which maybe normal for a canine, but when a human has high T's we investigate potasium levels. Also when a human is on enapapril they have a tendancy to have higher K levels as well. I saved the monitor strips, and we went to our vet this morning, of course Puck is completely normal, energetic and asymptomatic. It has us in a quaundry as to what might cause these spells of tachypnea. I was obviosly incorrect about SVT, evidenced by nearly 6 hours of continuous cardiac monitoring during which she was rapidly breathing for nearly 4 hours. Auscultation revealed no wet lung sounds, no wheezes, no crackles, and excellent air exchange. Heart sounds were bounding & strong & without murmur. She rested quietly following the episode, uneventful except for occasional twitches. Any ideas or directions that we might investigate to figure out the underlying cause would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

May 25th, 2005, 11:42 AM
sorry your baby is not well.. :(

It's tough because all you really have as symptoms are the tachypnea and possibly high potassium levels(the other tests were normal, correct?).....hmmmm. Tachypnea is a symptom of soo many things...

I would rule out heartworm, first of all, and then asthma.

What did the vet say?