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Canine Chronic Bronchitis

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by ghggp, May 25, 2017.

  1. ghggp

    ghggp Premium Member

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    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    Poor Logan, we have been dealing with chronic Bronchitis for over 9 months now!
    He is 12 this year!


    When we first went to the vet she prescribed 3 different antibiotics for him and nothing worked. She sent me to a specialist who diagnosed Canine Chronic Bronchitis!

    He is currently on Butorphanol 5 mg 2 pills a day - morning and evening and Prednisolone 5mg 1-1/2 pills daily. He has been on these meds for over 6 months now. Every time we back off the meds he gets worse. Tried to contact the specialist about it and he was too busy to see Logan and asked me to go to my local vet, which I did! We took and X-ray and he has fluid in his lungs. The local vet put him on Lasix. Seemed to help him breath better after a few days. She said we could also try a cough medicine. Will call today about that. When they pulled his bloodwork, it was determined he needed Thyroid meds too!

    I am shocked that when the specialist viewed the recent X-Ray, he said it looks the same as the one he took six months ago. He also commented that he did not understand why the local vet prescribed Lasix. I said it was due to the fluid on the lungs! If his lungs looked that bad when he did the X-Rays six months ago why didn't he prescribe Lasix to help get rid of the fluid to help him breath better?

    Then he wanted me to come back for an echocardiogram and blood pressure check. Mind you I have already spent $800 for the first visit and $600 for the second. Not to mention the cost of the local vet who tried for 3 months to fix the issue! Now they want another $550 and potentially more? His rationale is to determine the right cocktail of drugs to give Logan. Logan's meds are over $200 per month now! I am VERY reluctant to go back to him as I feel this specialist is just trying to get more money for his practice!

    If you read below on information about this disease... it is chronic... no cure... VERY DISHEARTENING!

    Gezz, I just can't catch a break with my boys. Laddie is hanging on but getting weaker and losing weight due to the cancer. One the plus side, he has passed the 9-month mark which my hospice vet said is very unusual.

    Info on Canine Chronic Bronchitis:


    Chronic bronchitis is a disease in dogs affecting the smaller airways that branch out from the trachea (windpipe). These branches, called bronchi and bronchioles, allow the transport of air into and out of the alveoli, the sites of oxygen exchange. Typically, inflammation within the airways results in excessive secretions that plug the airways. The end result is an impaired ability to bring oxygen into the alveoli for delivery to the rest of the body.

    Although the term “asthma” is occasionally used to describe this form of airway disease in dogs, this term is very misleading. Asthma in humans specifically refers to the reversible constriction of muscle within the walls of the bronchi. Chronic bronchitis (long duration, usually more than two to three months) is associated with inflammation and swelling of the walls of the bronchi resulting in narrowing of the airways and obstruction or blockage of airways by plugs of mucus or other secretions. The inflammation present in chronic bronchitis is not reversible.

    As mentioned, bronchitis can be chronic or acute (short duration). Unlike chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis is associated with reversible changes in the structure of the airways. Bronchitis may be caused by bacterial infections, hypersensitivity disorders (allergies), parasites (i.e., lung worms, heartworm) or chronic inhalation of airway irritants (second-hand smoke, dusts, exhaust fumes, etc.). In chronic bronchitis the underlying cause cannot be identified.

    Symptoms
    The most common signs of chronic bronchitis include daily coughing, difficulty breathing or wheezing for two to three months or longer. Coughing is often more pronounced initially upon awakening and then reduces in frequency while awake and active. Episodes of coughing can mimic vomiting; you may think that your dog is vomiting when in fact your dog is having a coughing fit followed by retching. Some severely affected dogs may have extreme exercise intolerance. These signs are not specific for bronchitis and can also be seen with many other diseases including heart failure, pneumonia, allergic lung disease and lung cancer.

    Diagnosis
    To diagnose canine bronchitis, usually the first test is a chest radiograph (X-ray). The presence of radiographic changes to the airways combined with a clinical history of a middle- to older-aged dog with a cough for at least two to three months may be sufficient to establish a tentative clinical diagnosis of chronic bronchitis. However, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) may be recommended to exclude other airway diseases (lung parasites, allergic bronchitis). This procedure allows collection of fluid and cells from your dog’s lungs. These samples are sent to a laboratory to determine what types of cellular changes are occurring in the lungs. If a bacterial or parasitic infection is present, the results will help assist in determining what therapy might be most effective. Bronchoalveolar lavage does require anesthesia, so if the patient’s condition is critical, it may not be possible to do this procedure because of increased risk of death.

    Treatment
    Any underlying disease (i.e., bacterial or parasitic infection) must be diagnosed and treated. Changes may be needed in the dog’s environment. Dogs with chronic bronchitis often have sensitive airways, and the inhalation of irritating particles from certain environments may worsen their condition. It is strongly recommended that their exposure to smoke (cigarette or fireplace), dusts (carpet fresheners, flea powder), and sprays (insecticides, hair spray, perfumes, and cleaning products) be eliminated or minimized.

    Two classes of medications are commonly prescribed: bronchodilators (theophylline, aminophylline, pentoxifylline, and terbutaline) and corticosteroids (prednisolone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone). Bronchodilators (in theory) help to dilate or open the airways by relaxing the muscles around the airway walls. The overall effectiveness of these drugs alone is minimal in most dogs. Common side effects of bronchodilators in dogs can include vomiting, nausea, restlessness and lethargy. Pentoxifylline is unique in that it has anti-inflammatory effects and may be effective in some dogs with mild disease. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that decrease the inflammation and swelling of the airway walls. These medications are most effective for treatment of chronic bronchitis. Side effects of corticosteroids may include increased appetite, increased urination, increased thirst and anxiety (pacing, restlessness). Corticosteroid inhaler therapy is highly effective; however, patients are not always cooperative.

    Prognosis
    Prognosis is variable with this disease. In most dogs, permanent damage to the airways has occurred and the disease cannot be cured. With proper medical management, clinical signs can usually be controlled and further damage to the bronchi can be stopped or slowed. Periodic relapses of coughing are not unusual and require treatment. The cough is often not entirely eliminated, but reduced in patients with chronic bronchitis.

    Some dogs with chronic bronchitis develop severe irreversible changes to the airways termed bronchiectasis. These dogs are highly susceptible to recurrent pneumonia. A sudden increase in cough in patients with bronchiectasis requires prompt evaluation and chest radiographs to determine whether pneumonia is present.
     
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    I'm so sorry, I don't know why I didn't see this earlier. How is Logan going?
     
  3. ghggp

    ghggp Premium Member

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    Grosse Pointe, Michigan
    FullSizeRender.jpg
    My two sick boys... Laddie and Logan!

    Caro, thanks for your concern! We appreciate your reaching out to us!

    Logan is still back on the full medications listed before! The cough medicine that the second vet prescribed worked for a little bit but he hated it! He would spit it out as soon as I got it in his mouth! Tired to put it in a pill pocket and he got wise to that in a hurry! She told me I could put it in his food! He would not eat it!

    I found this natural product online and he has been on it for a couple of weeks now and seems to be doing much better!
    Lung Gold - For Lung Infections & Easy Breathing - PetWellBeing.com

    Can't be sure if it is this product that made him cough less or the fact that he has all meds on board or both! All I care about is that he is not suffering with those deep lung coughs which is painful to watch!

    Fingers crossed that he stays in this condition with the suppression of the cough! He coughs a bit in the morning still. Don't like him being on steroids but the vet said the alternative is more coughing!
     
  4. labgirl

    labgirl Premium Member

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    So sorry to hear about Logan. Merlin has just been placed on steroids because his lungs, larynx and pharynx are chronically inflamed. We are still early days but the vet has said that if he doesn't improve we may be looking at something like Chronic Bronchitis. It feels so awful to watch them suffer and struggle. I hope Logan continues to do ok. Like you I read up about Chronic Bronchitis and saw that it was manageable but not curable, which really worries me with a young dog like Merlin.
     
    ghggp likes this.
  5. ghggp

    ghggp Premium Member

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    I can't imagine how difficult it is for you both! Logan is not an agility dog so he is just resting most of the day!
    You are right to be concerned... being able to manage but not cure concerns me too! Merlin being so young it is sad he has to go through this!
     
  6. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Giving meds is such a bugger. Deska is on 4 tablets a day for his arthritis. One I crush and mix in milk, one he'll eat just hidden and food, but the other two are a little more difficult. So I keep a stock of boiled eggs and he gets half an egg in the morning and evening with a pill hidden - seems the yolk masks the tablets. But if I don't make sure it's hidden well he'll spit the darn thing on the floor. I'm no good at forcing tablets.

    I really feel for you having 2 dogs struggling with ill health.
     
    ghggp likes this.
  7. ghggp

    ghggp Premium Member

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    We feel like a doggie pharmacy don't we?

    I know what you mean about forcing pills! Tried to this week when Jasmine would not take her antibiotic! She became fearful of me! I stopped immediately!

    Good thing Laddie will take pills from pill pockets or bread! Since he has pancreas I know the yolk of an egg would give him an immediate attack!

    Hope Deska feels better!
    Arthritis is very debilitating!
     
  8. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    Well, I feel for both of you for sure. I actually have bronchiectasis due to a chronic infection of Mycobacterium Avium Complex, found in soil and water... most people can inhale it and be immune but a few lucky souls like myself are susceptible to the infection (related to TB!) I go through periods of hacking my brains out. I'm on treatment now which helps but does not cure.

    I sure hope both Logan and Merlin's lung issues can be managed. Big hugs to both of you and your pups, too.
     
  9. ghggp

    ghggp Premium Member

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    Sharon, so sorry to hear that you are dealing with this too! Can't imagine how awful it must be for you!
    Hopefully you will see relief with your med therapy too!
     

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