August 13th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Two weeks ago on a Friday, at dinner, after a long heat wave, I gave our dog a baby back rib bone, and shortly afterward, our normally spunky 7 yr old Shih tzu developed difficulty breathing. It seemed likely that a piece of bone caught in his trachea, in terms of the sequence of events, and my dr. has unsuccessfully tried to assure me that there's no bone there. The dog has had tracheal noises before--when pulling on the leash, or after yelling at the other dog in the house, and these were called tracheal spasms --but suddenly he couldn't stop the events for longer and longer periods of time over the course of that weekend, during which his body gets stiff and he has to concentrate. Overnight, literally, although he will still go out and walk, he has no interest in the long long walks that had interested him so. He won't follow me around or get up off his bed without coaxing. He soon developed the symptoms of a cold. Sounds like he's gagging on phlegm; post nasal drip. Our vet x-rayed his trachea and chest about a week and a half after this started, and said the dog does not have a collapsed trachea but a malformed one, which veers off to the right in the jaw instead of going straight, but saw a white something or other he couldn't define, which to me looked like a blockage, but the vet said was not a bone and not life-threatening, and not actually in the trachea. What makes no sense to me is that all of a sudden these conditions are causing our dog to go from 100% normal activity to 10%. He didn't even greet me at the door yesterday with his usual signature shih tzu stuffed animal in the mouth and wagging tail and desire to play. The vet put the dog on prednisone and I asked for antibiotics because of the nasal discharge and sneezing and wheezing. It's been four days and the dog isn't different. He's not bouncy. He's lethargic. Doesn't take his typical deep breath and expiration prior to sleep. I had to put the older dog down three days ago--16 yr old blind, deaf and chronically ill Lhasa. I don't want to lose this one. DJs changed so dramatically. I can't afford many more vet bills! My vet, who's been helpful while my cat had congestive heart failure and my Lhasa pemphigus, says he doesn't know what this is. I want my DJ back! Any suggestions?