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vet and I stumped

May 25th, 2001, 01:32 PM
Back in January of this year, my wife and I noticed that our 6 1/2 year old Leonberger was having difficulty breathing. He was taking rapid, shallow breaths which really distends his stomach. He was coughing and it sounded like he was trying to cough something up. He had lost his appetite as well. We immediately took him to the vet and she did a physical exam, as well as an X-ray and she dicovered that his lungs had masses in them. She at first thought it might be parasites, so they tested for heartworm and that test was negative, so then she administered a parasite killer orally over a week, to make sure any other parasites that he could have contracted would be eliminated. This did not clear up his condition.
From there, she suggested a tracheal wash and we went ahead with that procedure. The test came back that he might have "pulmonary infiltrate with eosiniphils" or "PIE". She immediately put him on Prednisone along with Aziathioprine. He was on this medication for about 2 weeks and we went back for another X-ray. His lungs showed some improvement, but his condition remained the same. She took him off the Aziathioprine and kept him on the Prednisone for another 3 weeks.
After this time, we felt he was getting worse, so she decided to administer another parasite eliminator by injection, just incase the oral dose did not work. She kept him on the prednisone and also prescribed the parasite eliminator in liquid form, which we administered over a period of seven days. This did not do anything to improve his condition.
We went back again and she took another x-ray and said his lungs were not as bad but now he had inflammation around his trachea. She put him back on the Aziathioprine as well as the Prednisone (100mg)and we took him back home.
Fianlly on May 21, we noticed that our dog was having a really hard time breathing and he had this scared look in his eyes, so we rushed him back to the vet. She said that he sounded worse and she then prescribed on top of the Prednisone and Aziathioprine, Theo-Dur and Furosemide. He is to be on this for a week and we are to take him back for a re-check. If this does not help, she wants to do another tracheal wash to see if they may have missed something.
He has been on the medication for a day and a half and we have not seen any improvement. We are at wits end. After this we have run out of options with the exception of driving to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, SK, Canada or the other option (which we really don't even want to think about) euthanasia. We just lost his mother at 11 years of age at Easter.

If anyone can help us, it would be greatly appreciated.

His symptoms: difficulty breathing, hacky cough, congestion, lack of energy, wheezing, increase in mucus

We love our "big pup" Jericho and we miss our loved walks together. Please reply if you have any insight to our situation!
You can email me directly at
thank-you in advance

May 28th, 2001, 08:26 AM
hi there, just to let you know, i am not a vet. i only read your message and what bothers me is that you did not mention the use of an antibiotic, before i would put him down i would opt for a tracheal scope or a laproscopy with perhaps a biopsy or sounds like he's having a hard time with his breathing and all. i hope you can find something to help your baby. good luck in your investigation..............mary

May 28th, 2001, 10:09 AM
Thank -you mary for your e-mail Mary , But unfornately Jericho passed away on Saturday, He had been on antibolics the last week he was with us and no improvement, we had made plans for us to bring him to the vet. university in Saskatoon but we found him late sat. afternoon.

May 28th, 2001, 08:51 PM
dearest bellino, i am soooo sorry to hear that jerico has passed. my heart goes out to you. this is a sad time for you i am sure, but in this i also want to say, remember the bond you had with him, remember the time you had with each other, all the moments you took pleasure from each other, those memories are what will help you in these times. sending my deepest sympathy .......mary