Friday, November 27, 2009

Puppy Pulmonology

It was evident that there were issues within the first few hours of bringing Kirby home from the shelter, some sort of bronchial spasm I’m guessing.

I went directly from the shelter to Petco to outfit him with a new leash and a bowl and as we wandered the aisles, he started wheezing with a noise I can only equate to a constipated elephant trying to, how shall I put this delicately, clear the chute?

The leash from the shelter was basically the cheapest form of clothes line and I can’t begin to tell you the self esteem boost I got when I was walking around Petco with my wheezing dog on a white trash clothes line.

“Hey lady, I think you need a better leash,” was the verbatim sentence I got from three different customers.

I fought the urge to say “No shit Sherlock, I’ll bet you work for CSI Duluth.” I explained that we were fresh from the shelter and I was at Petco precisely for that purpose.

The thing is, he wasn’t really straining against the leash. He just started making the horrible constipated elephant sound as we were walking around. He didn’t stop in his tracks, he didn’t act distressed, he just kept on going. He was the elderly male neighbor that comes out onto his porch every morning with that hacking smokers cough that you desperately wish would JUST WEAR A SASH ON THAT HOUSECOAT! Either that, or realize that a ratty old housecoat over your naked withered body that is allowed to flap in the breeze is what is known as BEING A FLASHER.


In other words, he was seemingly oblivious.

I mentioned the elephantine condition to the vet when I took him in for his post-shelter visit and she looked him over and said that yes, perhaps he has some sort of respiratory spasms but since he looked healthy and sounded good, it probably wasn’t anything to worry about.

Since then, he has only had a couple incidences of the wheezing, both times when straining on his leash.

Until about 3 a.m this morning that is.

That’s when I was awoken by the elephantine ruckus directly in my right ear.

He usually sleeps next to me and I’m assuming that’s where he was all night but for some reason, he became discombobulated during the night. Perhaps he was sleeping with his head in an unusual position but after he calmed down and stopped wheezing, he started again when we went on our morning walk.

It didn’t last for more than a minute but I’m finding it troubling. Even if I could afford a vet visit, if he isn’t actively wheezing, what are they going to do? X-rays? Bronchoscope? Nebulizer treatment with a big cone shaped mask?

So far I’m just going with the good old treatment of calmly rubbing his throat and snuggling with him when it happens. I suppose I can run a hot steamy shower if it gets too prolonged and have him rest in the closed off bathroom.

I’m hoping that it’s just a passing thing but any other “natural” treatment ideas would be appreciated.

*Added Later: I just found out what it is! Thanks be to the interweb! It is called "reverse sneezing" but really is just a laryngospasm. It's more common in Corgis and Beagles and rubbing the throat is one of the cures!

I'll be jiggered.


Bad Cat! said...

It could be puppy asthma. My cat has asthma and sounds like she's having some horrible lung spasm.

superiorfan said...

Wonder if this is what my mom's dog Lucy (she is a Shih Tzu) has? Its like she is trying to get air and kind of wheezes and snorts. Seems ok after half a min at most.