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hyperexpanded lungs and traheobronchitis

weathermoon
December 28th, 2003, 04:09 PM
katelin is a 9-10 yr old corgi mix, excellent weight who has asthma and allergies since adoption 7 years ago.
Had a very severe bout of coughing in March(hambone did too), and figured out had to be a viral transfer from young groundhog both had cornered.
Has never really gotten better. On pred periodically, antihistamines,(hydroxyzine?), and now aminophylline and hydroxyzine.
Took her to her vet for full bloodwork and full xrays from abdomen to throat. her lungs are hyperexpanded nearing the abdomen and almost touching the ribcage wall.
He keeps saying tracheobronchitis and all i can find of that is kennel cough, but he has called this tracheobronchitis for years and both dogs are vaccinated against bordatella.
anyway, i wondered if anyone could tell me how to make Katie comfortable.
Bloodwork shows excellent health. I am concerned about severe nighttime coughing so wondered if codeine syrup at nighttime would help with that. But, mostly, how to keep her comfortable and happy without prolonging a miserable life.
She eats well. I tease her to drink by adding a little milk with water so she stays well hydrated. I let her lay on the bed as much as she wants, but insist that she go outside with Hambone
for a couple hours a day to keep moving and not build up more fluid in lungs. I try to keep her from running (running a quartermile set up this setback), and try not to pick her up because that seems to cause coughing and pain.
Any other suggestions?
(am going to take her to vet tomorrow for nails trimming and will discuss more with him, but he is quite busy right now, and don't know if i will have time to discuss fully).
Sincerely,

jo and katelin...queen corgi

Luba
December 28th, 2003, 05:41 PM
Well If the blood work came back okay then there is nothing really going on at this time right, it is just residual effects perhaps.

Here is a really different spin on things
Please read what you can from this site:
http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/83/4/1068


It is possible that the muscles surrounding your dogs diaphragm are 'shortened' and need to be stimulated to be released so the dog can breath better.

With hyperexpanded lungs the dogs feel as if they cannot take a deep breath.

There are some muscle relaxants or antidepressants that act as muscle relaxants that humans use so WHY NOT DOGS??

Okay no laughing matter here! I tell ya why, I injured myself last winter lifting something really heavy!
I had terrible difficulty breathing for MONTHS, many trips to emerg and many doctors respirologists all of them STUPID!! I told them that I thought I strained muscles but they were all too ignorant to understand that the muscles that were in spasm and injured were all located aound and below the diaphragm thus preventing me from taking a deep breath or being able to exhale properly.

MY chiropractic neurologist picked up on in INSTANTLY and though some very simple stretches and muscle relaxants (ativan) my muscles are healing and I can breath better.
I was told I had emphazema and bronchitis, asthma and panic attacks. WELL hell ya I panic when I can't breath DUH!!


SOOOOOOOOooooooooooo If this is something that can help your doggie , take a look for
CHIROPRACTIC NEUROLOGISTS in your area, some of them WILL treat animals!! Your dog may just need some physiotherapy :)
now wouldnt that be great!!

I could be right off the wall on this one but it's worth a shot!

Good luck and if u think I'm crazy I probably am a little but I CAN BREATH now :)

By the way it made me cough a LOT too!!

Give your doggie something really warm to lay on like a heating pad wrapped in a blanket/towl on low for the tummy area to help relax those muscles. It really can't hurt can it? I found that heat helps a lot but not too much and not for too long!

Let me know if u need any more information
Look fwd to hearing back from u

weathermoon
December 29th, 2003, 10:15 AM
Luba...bingo on the tight stomach muscles. I have noticed that Kate's stomach is rock hard when she coughs a lot! And have brought it to the vet's attention. (Don't think he picked up on it though). I have stretched her out and gently stroked her stomach to relax the muscles and she does cough not less, but not as hard I should think. Will continue to try that and look into the Chiropractors...by the way, I think the world of them. Having had a thoracic strain myself, I know exactly the pain from trying to inhale and exhale much less move around.
Thank you for an alternative idea.
Sincerely,
Jo aka weathermoon

Luba
December 29th, 2003, 02:11 PM
YIPPIE

That is great stuff :)

(Thoracic prob here too )

So maybe there is a strain there then.

I would recommend some methods of stretch to you but maybe see the chiro about it first and the vet..if they dont' know then I'll give u some ideas


I dont' wanna make it worse

ALSO ask about the muscle/antidepressant relaxant


and let me know

Luba

weathermoon
January 3rd, 2004, 06:07 PM
Katelin is better...at least as far as the coughing goes.
She is breathing better. She is no longer just a "potato" on the bed. LOL
I have gotten a humidifier..cold air..and it really has helped. Room purifiers in both rooms that she normally sleeps in, changed her food to just lamb and rice and vitamins and minerals. (Puppy food, but its all i could find that didn't have alfalfa, grasses, etc) Too much calcium, but for now, who cares.
She is on 1000mg of MSM pure no additives and last but not least, her tummy muscles are no longer rock hard. I have stretched her out, massaged her hips, chest, etc to relax her and she finally has extension of her hindlegs. She can stretch again (and she does it soooo well), move with freedom and again, does not cough so much or for so long.
Is she out of the woods? No. Still on bronchiodialating pills and antihistamines but off the codeine cough syrup.
I now have hope.
If you could, you could send some exercises. Her vet likes to treat with pills but not muscle relaxants or antidepressants with the aminophylline...and no chiropractors around here now that treat pets.
Hope you are feeling fine, Luba and thanks for the info on the muscles. I didn't realize what a big difference it would make for her to be able to stretch, move freely and would help with her breathing.
(She actually "beat up" the big boy!
Sincerely,
Weathermoon

Luba
January 3rd, 2004, 06:52 PM
I am SOOOOOOOOo happy to hear that YIPPIE DO !

Does the vet think this is bronchitis related now?

Well looks like you have been doing great with her, and the rewards are paying off big time :D

Too bad you can't get any Chiropractor to work on her, it would do a world of good. You can try massage therapists as well.


You want to stimulate the breathing and the lungs, and the best way to do this is through exercising them. Now I don't want you to take her out running, nope. Not what I'm gonna tell ya to do.

First of all, if you are on a carpeted floor with her while rubbing and stretching her stomach muscles you can outstretch the hind legs and the front legs while on her side.

I'd get someone to help you with this though.
I wish I could draw you a diagram but basically she's on her side and you are kneeling facing her abdomen. Almost like a slow sweeping motion you will take your left hand on her legs just above the armpit. Your right hand on her back legs so as just to hold them gently.

Now slowly you will stretch her just a little bit and I emphasize LITTLE bit!! It's almost like you are mimicking what she would do if she were standing and going into a stretch herself. In yoga we call it downward and upward dog stretching. :D

Once she gets used to you just being there, rub her tummy in between stretches. Hold the stretch for no more then 4 to 5 seconds. Do it for about 5 times then leave her alone, rub her tummy and thats it.

Try that three times a day. As you proceed you can stretch her further and further. Rotate the sides you lay her on when you do this.


If she doesn't cough or sneeze and will let you lay her on her back you can do the same thing by stretching her legs out gently and rubbing her tummy.

Make sure you are on a firm but soft surface...carpeted floor is perfect.

Let me know how it all works out

and yes

I am doing just fine thanks for asking.

weathermoon
January 3rd, 2004, 08:04 PM
as far as he can tell, he thinks its mold...and, given i have a creek, woods, alfalfa fields, etc surrounding me...good guess. LOL
I dunno. I know it has to be a least an air borne irritant but I think allergies to food stuff too. Hence, finding a food without alfalfa grass,wheat (known allergy), etc.
I am going to ask him if there is a test for a "spore" related disease or even if there is such a thing..however, in Indiana, i don't think we have too many occurences.
Tried the stretch...she was a little hesitant at first, but she does trust me. Only did it for less than a minute, then gave her a combing...her reward for good behavior. (Both dogs come running for grooming, so thought it would be nicer for her to get a special treat).
She did well. Alittle hack but not much. Won't turn her on back for a few weeks until the cough is completely tamed for at least 8 hours.
Thanks again!
Weathermoon and Katelin

Luba
January 3rd, 2004, 09:09 PM
You know what you should do, have an environmental company test the air quality in your home.

What type of furnace do you have? Did this start all of a sudden too? Maybe u need to check for toxic mold in your home. Or change the furnace filter. Do you use wood stoves or fireplaces?

Yes if there is still a lot of coughing don't put her on her back :D you're a smart mommie!

Be careful with the humidifier, you don't want the air damp if there is mold growing somewhere.

weathermoon
January 8th, 2004, 07:09 PM
All good questions.

Don't use wood stove anymore. Furnace serviced and cleaned in fall. Don't believe any mold growing in the house or daughter's allergies and asthma (and my allergies) would be in full swing.
The humidifier seems to help Kate the most. As long as the house is adequately "humidified", she doesn't cough as violently and relentlessly. However, she still coughs and I don't see any chance of that stopping. BUT! As long as her meds are given at 8 hr intervals, she is better.
I think her lungs are just permanently damaged and all we can do is minimize any chances of infection (kinda worried about live kennel cough vaccine she is supposed to receive), keep the house comfortable, air purified and keep her inside as much as possible unless it has rained and washed the dust and pollen out of the air.
Thanks for the suggestions! OH! and a really nifty way to do the stretch...She loves to put her front paws on my knees while I am standing and s-t-r-e-t-c-h arching her back down, pushes her hind legs out and really getting a good body stretch. She coughs less and less when she does her "stretch". LOL
Thanks again!
Jo (weathermoon)

Luba
January 8th, 2004, 07:17 PM
Thats an amazing stretch.

I didnt' want to recommend something that in depth to start but sounds like she's coming along nicely and that stretching will do wonders to open up her rib cage and spine to support her muscles and diapragm. Good job mom!!!

Keep it up :D