His breathing is not normal –but there's nothing wrong?

(9 Posts)
ladybee28 Tue 21-Jul-20 22:05:04

I adopted a 10 year old dog (thread here) at the end of June, and it turns out he's something of a medical mystery....

On his first night I noticed his breathing was incredibly rapid, and thought it was a stress thing.

Over the weeks since he's been here I've been increasingly worried. He pants all day long, and even at night when it's cool and calm. His breathing even at rest is very rapid (up to 97 breaths/minute) and a little bit husky-sounding. He often falls asleep upright, as lying on his side makes breathing a little difficult.

He's in a good mood and is always up for a walk, his appetite is good, but his breathing is really worrying me.

We've been to the vets 4 times in the last 2 weeks.

They've tested for heartworm - it's negative.

They've done all his bloods and he's in the normal range for every single item on the list.

They've done a thorax X-Ray and there's very slight inflammation of the bronchi, but nothing that indicates fluid on the lungs.

They gave him fairly strong painkillers for a couple of days to see if it eased his breathing, in case he was panting in pain. No change.

They've basically said to me they have no idea what it might be, and to wait a few weeks and come back.... but it's not normal, and I'm worried. I don't want to wait another few weeks when I could be doing something to help.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any ideas on what my next steps should be? I'm tempted to go get a second opinion, but all these tests haven't been cheap and it would be really frustrating to get the same response from a second veterinarian.

Any ideas what we might be dealing with here? Would really appreciate your help!

OP’s posts: |
FatherBrownsBicycle Tue 21-Jul-20 22:16:37

My dog did this around a similar age (Labrador) and it turned out to be cushing’s disease, if you’ve had blood tests presumably they would have tested for this? She was put on medication for life.
A few years later her sudden panting restarted and it was because a (known) tutor had grown and was pressing and restricting her breathing.

As you’ve had bloods & xray I don’t know what to suggest. Is he overweight?

ladybee28 Tue 21-Jul-20 23:05:29

Thanks @FatherBrownsBicycle, I've been wondering about Cushing's – but I'd have thought something would have shown up in his bloods. His liver and white blood cell counts were all normal.

Maybe I should go back and ask.... I've just had a quick Google and it looks like early indicators come from a combination of bloodwork and urine samples, and they haven't taken any urine samples yet.

He's not overweight at all.

He's lying by the couch now at 11pm in the cool and breathing really heavily... it looks so uncomfortable sad

OP’s posts: |
SylviasMotherSaid Tue 21-Jul-20 23:11:56

What breed of dog is it OP ? Some dog breeds especially small terriers can get a fibrosis of the lungs. First symptom of it in our dog was crackly breathing and panting even on cool days .

ladybee28 Tue 21-Jul-20 23:18:52

@SylviasMotherSaid he's a mix. Big boy, probably some shepherd in him, but also potentially some terrier.

Photo attached...

They had a good look at his lungs on the X Ray and said there was some sign of slight calcification but nothing to be concerned about, especially given his age.

Am sitting going through the bloodwork results and all the usual signs of Cushings are normal. The only thing that was ever so slightly high was urea, and amylase ever so slightly low. Everything else pretty much bang in the middle of the healthy range...

It's so confusing.

OP’s posts: |
SqueakyChicken Tue 21-Jul-20 23:20:13

I’m assuming they’ve listened to his heart and everything? Laboured breathing can be indicative of heart failure (can be medicated).

SkiingIsHeaven Tue 21-Jul-20 23:46:44

Oh he is gorgeous. Sorry I cannot help but I thought I was just say how lovely he looks.

I hope someone can help.

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ladybee28 Wed 22-Jul-20 08:33:39

Hi @SqueakyChicken, yes they have. And looking at his heart on the xrays they said everything seems normal... they didn't do an ultrasound, though - not sure what else that might reveal.

And thanks, @skiingisheaven - he is just as lovely as he looks. Good natured and companionable and hilarious... smile

OP’s posts: |
Floralnomad Wed 22-Jul-20 08:47:52

Our 10yr old dog has always been a noisy breather and we’ve always put it down to him having had very severe Kennel cough as a pup . He’s very fit and will run around for hours but often sounds on the verge of expiring to people who don’t know him . The vets have never found anything else wrong with him . Your dog looks gorgeous .

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