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Avatar universal

Reverse sneezing, sneezing and wheezing in dog..

Hi.  We have a 2-3 year old female Poodle or Poodle/Bichon mix, who is about 13.5 pounds.  We've had her for two years.  Back when we adopted her, we were told that she had had kennel cough and was treated successfully.  After we got her home, I had her tested for parasites and she came back positive for Giardia.  She was given two rounds of medicine and then tested clear.  Since we've had her she has had a lot of allergy problems that seem to be getting worse.  We live in So. Calif.  She will sometimes sneeze multiple times in a row sitting still.  If she goes outside, before doing anything else she immediately starts sneezing.  Now the last few months she has suddenly developed reverse sneezing.  The reverse sneezing seems to be getting worse as well. She RS if she gets excited, runs around, plays, or even just doing nothing.   We have her on Hydroxyzine two times a day (I think 10mg.), but it doesn't seem to be doing too much.  We have tried her on Benadryl (dose recommended by vet), but that did nothing.  I have suspected candida, from all the meds she has taken in her young life.  We are now giving her 1/4 teasp. virgin coconut oil, 2x a day, which she loves and her nose, which was always warm and bone dry before, is now cool and wet, as it should be, so the coconut oil is helping in some way.  She snores quite loudly and sometimes I hear wheezing. We are at our wits end and hate seeing her so miserable.  I had her retested for the Giardia last year and it was negative.  I don't want to put her on steroids, but the vet said that would be the next step.  She is on a high quality grain-free diet, which includes Brothers Turkey and egg allergy formula kibble, cooked chicken and green beans, mixed together with a little organic chicken broth.  She also gets 1 teasp. a day of organic canned pumpkin, as she gets either constipated or diarrhea if she doesn't have it.  She has @2 BM's a day.  We also had an allergy panel run on her.  Any other suggestions on what we should be looking for, or have her tested for?   Thanks.
15 Responses
462827 tn?1333168952
Awww--My Favorite breed!!! Welcome to the forum...

For starters--What did the Allergy Panel say? Do you have a copy?
She's had these breathing problems since you've had her, right?
Have you had her tested for Heartworm Disease? (Ist suspicion & needs to be ruled out!)
Have they xrayed for a "Collapsed Trachea"? (2nd suspicion & common in the breed).
Any possibility that she has something stuck in her nasal cavity?
How long has she eaten this food? (Good choice by-the-way!)
Do you have/use ANY SCENTED products in your home? Candles, wall plugs, perfume on you, fabric softener on bedding (Very important)? Look around & think about it!
Have you tried a humidifier or is your climate humid?
ANything else you can add?  Thanks, Karla

Avatar universal
Hi, thanks for the response.  She had allergies early on when we got her, mainly environmental, but I have read that that is common with her breed.  Her current food she has been on for several months, so it's not the food.  Allergy panel had things like certains kinds of grasses and trees (both those are a little hard to avoid since they are everywhere), rice, venison, and some other ones that right now I can't remember off the top of my head.  I definitely feel it's more environmental with her, as she is not eating Nything she is allergic to.  I have allergies too and my husband has them off and on.  She does not have heartworm.  She gets tested every year and is on a monthly preventatinve.  She also gets Advantage every month for flea and tick prevention.  She has not been xrayed for the collapsed trachea, but I have wanted to do an xray on her throat to make sure there were no tumors or anything.  I don't think she has anything in her nasal cavity, but I will ask the doctor to look next time we go in.  She's laying next to me right now And her breathing sounds congested, as if her nose was stuffed up.  Very few if any scented products in my home.  I have a lot of my own health problems and am very sensitive to odors, so we rarely use them.  I only use unscented laundry products, i.e. Free and Clear ones.  I don't know if it matters but she loves to lick things for hours on end.  Her favorite thing to lick is us.  I think it's an anxiety issue, for this particular thing.
Avatar universal
Ok, I just noticed something.  When she is laying down, the congestion sound is much worse and noticable.  Now she is sitting up looking out the window and I don't hear the conjestion breathing noise.
462827 tn?1333168952
What's the name of her HW Preventative?  Thanks
Avatar universal
I believe it's Heartguard.
462827 tn?1333168952
I Did a check on your HW meds. & Advantage to see if either causes Respiratory Distress. Although I did run across Breathing problems as a side effect of Heartgard, I didn't find many specific complaints. FYI- Please space these two meds. two weeks apart....They're too dangerous to be given together on a regular basis...Even better would be to give her system a break from these toxins during NON Mosquito & flea tick season.... If she starts breathing better, you'll know these meds are playing a part!

Also, Here's what I'd do if possible:
Xray for Collapsing Trachea (Rule this out), Check lungs for fluid or cloudiness such as Pneumonia & check for enlarged Heart. This can ALL be achieved w/2 xrays....

Collapsing Trachea AND respiratory disease like bronchitis are treated with the same medications.....

If the bronchitis is Allergy related (Which is normal), I'd ask your Vet for Temaril-P....It's a combo med with an antihistamine & TINY dose of steroids as apposed to only oral steroids which can create more problems now & down the road.

Bronchodilators such as inhalers or liquids work beautifully.....However, although I have used both, I use a Holistic Veterinarian & he has prescribed a Chinese Herb Combo that is my go to treatment.....2 of my dogs (Poodle mixes) suffer from flare-ups of bronchitis. We have NOT used any of the prescription drugs (I have them ALL, just in case) to treat, for years! Only the herbs......

Think about dust mites causing the problems.....It can be something simple like your dog eating by the refrigerator where the air is blowing dust from underneath, down to Dust Mites harboring in the dry food (This is common)!

I personally would cut out ALL dry food, too.....Buy the canned of the same formula your feeding & try that for a few months......It's possible the dry food is the culprit, aggravating the respiratory system...Wouldn't hurt to try!

Run a humidifier if your air is dry.......

Let me know what you think and keep me updated if you can......Karla

Avatar universal
Thanks Karla.  I wish I knew of a good holistic vet here.  You'd think in So. Cal. there would be a lot.  Only a few I've found with mediocre reviews.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  I am taking her in tomorrow and will ask him for the xrays.  Yesterday I found a holistic allergy product created by a vet called Doggy Goo.  I ordered some.  It is so supposed to be great at getting the dog over common environmental allergies, i.e. dust mites, grasses, trees, etc.  I have so much dust in the house and I can never seem to keep on it.  It's very frustrating.  We change the filters in the heater regularly, etc.  thanks so much again.
462827 tn?1333168952
To find a Holistic Vet in your area:

Go to AHVMA  (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) homepage....There's a link to search for a Holistic Vet by State (Top left corner). Then scroll through the listings to find one close to you...Also, will be listed the Modalities that each one specializes in....If you don't understand what they mean, get back with me and I'll help you....

One of the greatest FINDS of my life was my Holistic Vet!!  I drive 60 miles (One way) to see him...It's that important to me for my dogs!

Good luck & let me know what you find out......Karla
462827 tn?1333168952
Opps, I forgot to provide the link...Here it is:

Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Went to the vent today.  He Xrayed essentially 2/3 of her body.  Everything was fine, including lung and trachea.  Lungs were clear.  He said he heard mild congestion in her nose.  He have her a Benadryl shot with a small amount of cortisone to calm things down a bit.  Hopefully the Doggy Goo will help.  Thanks again for all your help.  I really appreciate it.
462827 tn?1333168952
Good news.....At least now you know and have ruled out two very important things......

Let me know if the shot helps and we'll go from there with some other suggestions of medication...Also, I'm interested in how the Doggy Goo works out......Let me know & thanks for having her to get checked out......Karla
Avatar universal
This set of comments is almost 10 months old, but I really wanted to say something here.  I posted ages ago about our dog, and at the time I thought giving him some milk and honey for three days along with one pill of prednisone was making him well.  You see, our vet, who is quite good, been with him 30 years, said Smokey's throat area was irritated, so everyday things made the dog wretch, like cigarette smoke (we both smoke), dust, etc.  Well, thing is, this is the first dog we ever had with this problem, and we had him for about two years before he developed that strange and sad hacking and wretching.  Husband thinks it's one thing, I think it's another.  We are in the process of switching him back to the original dog food he was on, in hopes that will resolve the problem.  I had also thought some really awful stickers had gotten stuck in his throat area somewhere, but the vet said no.  Husband thinks it's because since I have neuropathy in my hands and feet and thus drop my drinks and such on the floor, that the dog licking the carpet is the cause, which obviously I can do absolutely nothing about, short of putting a rubber mat on the floor all around where I sit.  I was VERY interested in the vet saying he could hear congestion in his nose... which goes with reverse sneezing.  I was also interested in the report that the dog licks a lot.  Well, our dog is blowing his coat at an unexpected time because we had balmy weather when normal is very cold this time of year.  He licks his coat, of course, all the time, and we do our best to keep up with the big white clumps of fur coming off him.  And where I sometimes spill a drink, I clean it carefully in the mornings, it's probably the cleanest area in the whole house!  Ha!  Anyhow, COULD be somehow he got a bunch of his fur stuck in his nose.  So, since people clean our their noses, I'm wondering if we washed him in the tub (he's a 60-pound Aussie Shep mix), the water dribbling around his nose just might help clear out his nose, if my theory is correct.  And I also really want to hear how the Doggie Goo works out... our town has a couple excellent dog product places with unusual things, it's where we got this great shampoo for dogs.  I also have a humidifier I bough to help both husband and dog, so I need to set it up.  And I really MUST at least clean up the living room a little better (I was going to do it in early spring).  So, with that, I'll stop, and await any possible return of you to this site.  I come irregularly, but I'm going to stay on top of this now ('ve been quite sick, too, for about five years, so I'm behind on lots of chores).  Gail
675347 tn?1365460645
Poor boy! Hacking and retching does sound like he has something or feels he has something -seriously stuck in his throat.
I am not too sure about the idea of letting water into his nose. I would hold on that one if I were you. It is not impossible or a dog who isn't too well to start with, to develop aspiration pneumonia, if some of that water goes down the wrong way or is breathed in.

The humidifier is a great idea though, and could maybe help him. If he licks his fur and he's moulting (shedding) then that is a very likely cause of this coughing. Usually it is cats who develop fur/hair balls. But I suppose dogs could also get them?

The cigarette smoke in the room will definitely not help him. I understand it may be hard for both of you to smoke outside -especially in cold weather -and if you are unwell. But if you can expose him to less smoke inhalation it might help him.
I completely understand, as I smoke too. Not a lot, but I do. When my dog was with me, I used to hang out of an open window to have a roll-up! Or go in the garden. And I am fortunate to have a chimney so used to smoke up that, and all the smoke went straight up! My dog may have caught the odd whiff on me I am sure, but never breathed clouds of smoke in the room.

My mother used to give her cat a little lick of butter when the cat was hacking from a fur ball. To help it pass through easier.
I am not suggesting you give him butter, as dogs (and cats actually!)  are lactose intolerant. But a little light oil like olive oil with honey might help. Be careful and don't give him too much. Too much fatty or oily stuff CAN cause some dogs to get pancreatitis.
You could mention it to your vet and see what he says?
Avatar universal
Hello there Ginger!
You have helped us so much, dear one.  I especially liked what you said about avoiding getting water in his nose because it might cause aspiration pneumonia.

I still give the dog milk & honey (a small amount) whenever he gets to really coughing loudly.  And we finally switched him to his old food just this morning.  Right now, after a few rounds of coughing, a couple laps of milk/honey, and he is now fast asleep and quiet.  Of course, prayer had something to do with it.

We have both agreed (husband and I) we'll not wait until Smokey's usual vet visit for February, and call Monday or Tues to make an appointment for Smokey in January, that his cough is back and much worse.  I know the vet will go at this thing a little differently and likely take care of our dog again to where he stays cough-less (or whatever the correct term is!)... oh, cough-free is the words!

I took into consideration all your ideas and will re-read your post from time to time, depending on how Smokey does.  And I WILL come back here and give you an update sometime late in the week.  Thank you so much for offering your ideas to us!
Always, Gail
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