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Old 03-23-2011, 04:14 AM
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Default noisy breathing/struggling for air?

Hi everyone, I haven't posted here in a long time, but have now gotten a new computer that seems to function fine (have gone through 3 crashes ) and hope to join in again.

For now I have to jump right in with a question. I have an almost 3 year old female Chi named Lola. The past 6 months to a year her breathing has gotten noiser, more reverse sneeze occurances, two respiratory infections, holding her tongue in between her teeth on the right side to facilitate easier breathing, snoring, not playing as hard as she used to without going into a noisy reverse sneezing/dragging for air episode. I took her to the vet we've been seeing for several years and got tired of hearing him telling me what it could be i.e. collapsing trachea, elongated soft palate and not going any further with finding out what may be wrong; so I took her to the new vet that had been recommended for my other Chi today.

He says that the bottom line here is that she needs to lose weight. I agree with that, she definitely does and we have been working on it. So far she's lost one pound and needs to lose 3 more. He seemed to brush off the notion of an elongated soft palate as she is not a bracycephalic dog and seemed to feel unconcerned that she may have a collapsed trachea (even though he did say based on her physical exam that she very well may have this!) He says first weight loss then further investigation if necessary. He said that he's seen many Chihuahuas that are noisy breathers because they have short (not smooshed) noses. Well, ok, but my other Chi is not noisy? He mentioned steroids and cough suppresants, but did not want to start any until she's lost weight, but I worry about her now.

I feel frustrated because I don't want her to struggle but am starting to get the sense that I may not have many options here other than her weight loss goal.

Does anyone have any advice, anyone with similar experiences? Thanks for taking the time to read.
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2011, 04:38 AM
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hi oh im sorry for little lolas health being put at risk because of her weight i have no answer but related to how lola must feel see im very overweight and yes its so hard to move and feel good im happy she lost a pound and keep up the good work so she loses 3 more if that is what her goal is ill be reading this post to see if you update us with good news that she lost the weight and doesnt have any breathing problems at all good luck!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:52 AM
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Hi Beth I am so sorry about Lola. I really don't have advice for you but I think if she lost the weight it will be better for her breating.
I am sorry, I know you are frustrated. Please keep us posted.
I think of Bruce and Lola often.
Maybe someone will jump in with more answers.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:33 PM
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First I have to say it's so good to see you here again!!!! How is Bruce? I think about him alot. What a trooper.

So Lola has gained some weight, huh?! I would just work on getting the weight off slowly. Many have used the green bean diet (adding it to the kibble for fiber and to aid in feeling full with very few calories) and have had great success with it. You could probably find threads with a search, there's been lots of talk on it.

As for the elongated soft palate and/or collapsing trachea - that's hard. I'd just try and slowly get her back to a normal weight and then re-assess her breathing. Difficulty breathing makes me think of COPD (emphysema) in people and/or heart failure with fluid accumulation. I don't think that applies to dogs though. It sounds like the vets weren't really going in that direction - but more in just the de-conditioned route.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:58 PM
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So sorry to hear about Lola and the anguish your going through, unfortunately all I can offer is my best wishes and losts of (((HUGS)))

You have already done the most important part and that was seeking a vet and a second recommendation. Have you mentioned your concerns to the vet about what more you can do?

I hope by the time you read this things have improved with Lola and we hear all things positive.

Deme x
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:50 PM
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I agree with everyone, help her lose weight and hopefully everything will be better. I am going to add that maybe see even another vet? Third times a charm JMO.

Welcome back!
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:01 PM
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Fingers crossed that it's the weight, my Gretel was very overweight for a while - her ideal weight is 6lb, think more like 9 - she was a porker. Anyway, she would get tired and wheeze right away after any kind of play - the weight came off, and she was brand new.

I suggest definitely getting the weight off of her, then you may not have to worry about any of the other :]


** edited to add, I don't think you're going to get any real serious vet inquiries because if she's as overweight as you made it sound they're going to have to rule that out before they go exploratory trying to figure out a mystery cause when it may be staring them in the face with her weight.

Last edited by Amandarose531; 03-23-2011 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:50 AM
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Thank you all so much for your responses. I agree, the weight has to come off, poor girl. I did find how the vet put it in perspective interesting though: he said a pound to a Chihuahua is like him losing fifty, so it's pretty significant. I guess just because they are so small to begin with, it's not as easy to see the "overweight" factor as with a larger dog.

Quote:
First I have to say it's so good to see you here again!!!! How is Bruce? I think about him alot. What a trooper.

So Lola has gained some weight, huh?! I would just work on getting the weight off slowly. Many have used the green bean diet (adding it to the kibble for fiber and to aid in feeling full with very few calories) and have had great success with it. You could probably find threads with a search, there's been lots of talk on it.
Good to see you too and so many other friends old and new and all lovers of Chi!

Yeah, my Lola girl has become overweight, and really I think I'm pretty sure I know how it happened and it actually correlates with Bruce! In my attempts to provide nourishment in a myriad of ways to Bruce, Lola has been coming along for the ride...finishing his food, taking advantage of the free fed kibble, getting in on extra treats. Shame on me for not balancing that better. In my quest to get one to gain weight, I overindulged the other! BUT, the new weight loss plan is in effect, and although she seemed to put up a pout over the kibble not being a 24 hour amenity, she's adjusting. And, I actually have already started "filling" her wet food portions with green beans and that seems to satisfy her. Luckily the girl will eat anything (including veggies) so we have that on our side! She is also a great walker, so motivated and well behaved (total opposite of spasmodic Bruce!) so she and I will get fit together!

For a quick Brucie update...He's still hanging in there like the trooper he is, he still has bad days but more good than bad and very recent blood work came back excellent! He turned 3 in December and when I met up with the vet he saw as a pup he remarked how great Bruce was doing and how he hadn't expected him to make it past age 1! These days the biggest challenge is finding/cooking healthy food for him that he'll actually eat for longer than a week or two! Next up for Bruce is a colonoscopy that will reveal his poo problems hopefully, but other than that he's still my lovin' boy who is attached permanently to my hip...and I love every minute of it!!!

Thanks again all, you are so great, and I'll keep posted about miss lola!
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