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Old 02-16-2004, 09:46 PM   #1
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Default bad bad cough

My Yorkie puppie has had a bad cough since I received him (via airplane on Jan. 6th). He is now just over 4 months old. When I initially took him to the vet, he was given pills to take (Temaril; I'm not sure exactly what they are for, other than generic coughing). I gave Biggie the pills and it simply did not help the cough. I took him back to the vet 2 more times for this; the vet told me he had a "collaped trachea", and that it was common in small Yorkies. He told me he could do a trachea xray, but that it wouldn't provide us info. other than Biggie's trachea was somewhat collapsed!! I looked on the web and found info. that corroborated the vet's diagnosis. This was all close to 1 month ago.

Biggie still has the cough, and it is worse than ever. It is mostly in the night, and does not seem to relate to a high level of activity. He sometimes wakes up at night and coughs for an hour w/out being able to stop for any substantial period of time.

I just looked up a brief "kennel cough" description, and it seemed relatively the same as the "tracheal collapse" descriptions on the web.... Biggie has had one vaccination for kennel cough about 2 weeks ago; he is due for the booster in about 1 week.

Any input, suggestions, or remedies would be dearly appreciated....I can't stand the thought of him simply living with this cough forever!!!
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:52 AM   #2
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I am very sorry to hear about Biggie's condition. Here's what I was able to find (I know surgeries can definitely end up being expensive for our lil pups):

Tracheal collapse should always be considered when a dog, especially a toy breed, starts to show signs of a chronic cough. The current method of diagnosis is usually a tracheal xray or an endoscopy or radiographic fluroscopy of the tracheal area while the dog is anesthetized. The dog should also be tested for Valley Fever and Heartworm, both of which are conditions that can cause a chronic cough. Also, congestive heart failure can sometimes be the cause of a cough.

The most common treatment for tracheal collapse is to medically manage the symptoms through weight reduction and maintenance, stress and exercise restriction, and drug therapy. A harness should also be used instead of a collar in order to avoid further pressure on the trachea area. Although none of these are a cure, most dogs can be managed quite effectively.

Common drug therapy used in treating tracheal collapse consists of antitussives, anti-inflammatories, bronchodialators, sedatives, and antibiotics. The most popular antitussives for this condition are hydrocodone or butorphanol tartrate (torbutrol). Anti-inflammatories can be helpful in minimizing airway inflammation caused by the trauma of the chronic coughing. Bronchodialators, usually theophylline based, are used to dilate the pulmonary airways which helps to decrease intrathoracic pressure during exhalation thereby hopefully decreasing the degree of tracheal collapse. Sedatives can be used in extreme cases where antitussives do not control coughing spasms and antibiotics can be used when the possibility of tracheal infection, known as bacterial tracheitis exists. Owners of dogs who suspect or know that their pet has a collapsed trachea should be working closely with a veterinarian that is familiar with the condition in order to diagnose it and determine the best course of action.

If it becomes impossible to maintain the condition medically, there are several surgeries that are available. The only one that has resulted in long-term, repeatable success is the application of an extraluminal prosthesis. The two most commonly used prostheses are the spiral prosthesis and the total ring prosthesis. Both prostheses are fabricated from a 3-ml syringe case or barrel. Which is used, the case or the barrel, depends on the size of the dog. During the surgery, the prosthesis is applied to the outside of the trachea in order to help it hold its normal cylindrical shape. The spiral prosthesis is probably the more useful of the two as it can span a much greater length of the trachea. The ring prosthesis is more like a cuff, spanning about a one centimeter area. The initial spiral prosthesis surgical procedure has been modified to maintain blood supply to the trachea during surgery in order to reduce the likelihood of the tracheal tissue dying due to interruption of blood flow. This surgery has a moderately high success rate, although it would likely be higher if the surgery option was not so often delayed until the patient was a high surgical risk.

Here's some links:

http://azlink.com/~mkk/trachea.html

http://www.inno-vet.com/journals/walfocus/11/0201.html

http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/tracheal_collapse.htm

http://www.barkbytes.com/bremed/yorkie.htm
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Old 02-17-2004, 02:58 PM   #3
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FastEddie: That was a ton of information; thank you so much for taking the time to give it to me. What do you think of my kennel cough concerns? Do you think that is a possibility as well? I will print out your previous response and take it to the vet when I go for the kennel cough boost in one week. Also, if you have any further insight, perhaps on kennel cough(?), I will take that as well. Again, thank you. Your input is very much appreciated
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Old 02-17-2004, 03:34 PM   #4
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Well, I'm by no means a medical expert, but perhaps if Biggie's cough doesn't go away after another 2-3 weeks, it would seem like he has a tracheal collapse. If however, the vet prescribes some antibiotics and his cough does go away, then I would think that he doesn't have any problem with his trachea. Hopefully that is the case, as a tracheal collapse is definitely a bigger problem. No problem, I'm glad to help, I just did a quick search and was able to find some good info on both problems.
---
Kennel Cough Info:

If your dog is diagnosed with kennel cough, your veterinarian will likely prescribe an antibiotic to help prevent any secondary bacterial infection and a cough suppressant. We have found in those persistent cases of kennel cough, the use of a relatively new antibiotic, azithromycin, to be effective. This medication is very effective in the treatment of the mycoplasmal forms of tracheobronchitis. Again, before any treatment regimen administered, is it is imperative that a proper veterinary examination and appropriate diagnostics be performed.

Links:

http://www.cah.com/library/kennekcough.html

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_kennel_cough.html
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Old 02-27-2004, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blondy_5_0
My Yorkie puppie has had a bad cough since I received him (via airplane on Jan. 6th). He is now just over 4 months old. When I initially took him to the vet, he was given pills to take (Temaril; I'm not sure exactly what they are for, other than generic coughing). I gave Biggie the pills and it simply did not help the cough. I took him back to the vet 2 more times for this; the vet told me he had a "collaped trachea", and that it was common in small Yorkies. He told me he could do a trachea xray, but that it wouldn't provide us info. other than Biggie's trachea was somewhat collapsed!! I looked on the web and found info. that corroborated the vet's diagnosis. This was all close to 1 month ago.

Biggie still has the cough, and it is worse than ever. It is mostly in the night, and does not seem to relate to a high level of activity. He sometimes wakes up at night and coughs for an hour w/out being able to stop for any substantial period of time.

I just looked up a brief "kennel cough" description, and it seemed relatively the same as the "tracheal collapse" descriptions on the web.... Biggie has had one vaccination for kennel cough about 2 weeks ago; he is due for the booster in about 1 week.

Any input, suggestions, or remedies would be dearly appreciated....I can't stand the thought of him simply living with this cough forever!!!
Most breeders KNOW when there is a genetic defect in their line of dogs...I was sold my first yorkie in 1995 and he had a genetic liver disease, i watched him suffer for years and grew to love him so that i had to see a counselor when he died...I would call the breeder and ask for vet records and demand a partial or full refund and basically raise hell with them...I know it wont help the condition but it wil let breeders know that they are selling relationships too...and that we get very attached to our little friends...It enrages me that this happens ...this trachea thing is hereditary and they should offer compensation..let them pay for the little dogs surgery...My alex suffered 5 years before he finally died...i know you hate to see biggie suffer...In the mean time try this...make the room that he sleeps in ultra clean and dust free, also use a humidifier and an air cleaner (available at walmart) keep him clean and free of dander and dont let him get too excited...surgery is probably required...good luck...Rob
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Old 02-27-2004, 03:23 PM   #6
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wow, rob, that must have been tough to see for 5 years. Did Alex ever get surgery?
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Old 02-27-2004, 05:29 PM   #7
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wow, rob, that must have been tough to see for 5 years. Did Alex ever get surgery?
Unfortunatly i didnt know the extent of the disease, nor the diagnosis (until he died) He would get "sick" about every 3 months and i would have to take him and he would get fluids and antibiotics...He would have diahreha and vomit for days...Id never heard of liver shunts...Well i kept him going for 5 years and he kept me going...Thats where my passion for yorkies began...He was a gift to a girlfriend, we broke up and she threw him away so i took him and fell in love...He to this day is the most intelligent yorkie i have ever seen and he loved to go offshore fishing and was an unbelievable swimmer...In the ocean...he loved to ride the waves in...he was a trooper...He was my life..id had moved here alone and was bymyself..when he passed i went into deep depression, i had bought a female to breed with him as i knew he wouldnt be around much longer...she was a pup and he hated her bothering him so nothing ever happened...When he died..she used to walk around the house looking for him and barking when i closed a door in the house...(thinking i was keeping her from him) now she is my life with her pup JJ, bred from a sire across the street who is very cute. I still have his tomb stone in the back yard...It goes where ever i do...Heres a pic of Alex..."Allie"
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Old 02-27-2004, 05:32 PM   #8
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Lex still wears his collar and tags...and gets very distressed if you take them off of her...
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:32 PM   #9
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Rob, Thanks for the input. The breeder sent me a puppy that not only has tracheal collapse, but got hypoglycemia and almost died twice in the first handful of days I had him!! I of course had no idea what this was, but learned very quickly. Now, Biggie is worth a lot ( ), but after paying for a sick dog, and the shipping, it hurt to pay huge vet bills immediately.

I took Biggie to the vet today; he again gave me Temaril, which apparently is just a cough suppresant. I just need a paycheck or two, then I am going to get xrays for Biggie. The vet said they could then give us "narcotic-type" medicine....I sure hate the thought of him having to take meds forever....for both our sakes!!!

As for getting on the breeder...maybe I didn't look hard enough. I looked for about 4 months via the internet for a puppy before actually purchasing. I was looking for a small, older puppy, specifically so I would have a better chance of getting a healthy pup I thought!! I just feel like it is really useless to even ask the breeder for $$ back. I sure as heck will not be sending my puppy back

p.s. does anyone have an educated guess on what age it is that Yorkie's stop growing?
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:36 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear blondy, hope Biggie can heal up! I hear that Yorkies usually are fully grown by the time they are 18 months. My Yoda (currently 22 months) has been the same size for about the past 6-7 months. He's just under 7 lbs.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddie
Sorry to hear blondy, hope Biggie can heal up! I hear that Yorkies usually are fully grown by the time they are 18 months. My Yoda (currently 22 months) has been the same size for about the past 6-7 months. He's just under 7 lbs.
What do you think about the theory of them doubling their 12wk. old weight?
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:47 PM   #12
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Yes, I have heard that theory blondy. I believe Yoda was only about 2 or 2.5 lbs at 3 months tho, and he's like 7 now. But at one point we totally spoiled him with a bit of human food now and then and he ate a ton. So that might have made him a bit heavier. We were told by the breeder that he would be 4.5 to 5 lbs. We love our lil' Tubby just the same tho.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:50 PM   #13
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There is no doubt I love Biggie...Period. However, it would make me feel even more thoroughly ripped off by the breeder. Right now, the only thing that seems to be as the breeder told me is his small size. I love him being tiny and fitting right in the nook of my arm I do leave his food out constantly and he can eat whenever he wants.....I wouldn't know how much to feed him on a schedule, and I would be so scared of "starving" him to death
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:34 PM   #14
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Blondie..you still need to address the problem with the breeder...money back or not let them know that they sold you a sick pup...thats what over breeding does...thats natures way of saying ENOUGH!!! good luck with biggie or should i say "The Notorious B.I.G"? Hey the REAL BIGGIE woulda handled his bizzness wit da breeder...lol (shells flying everywhere) lol
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Old 02-27-2004, 10:20 PM   #15
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Im not so sure about the weight thing..it depends on diet , exercise, and climate i suppose...I think mostly its hereditary ..i look at my pups dad...he is smaller and more compact...his mom is a whopper!...6.5 pounds...look at both parents and you will have a pretty good idea...(even though "tea cups" pop up now and then from normal parents) Jack SR is right under 5 pounds...JJ (jack Jr is 3.5 pounds now) Lex (the mom ) is 6.5 (needs to lose the baby pounds..lol)
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