Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Friday, December 6, 2013

COPD in Dogs















COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also sometimes called chronic bronchitis.
While some breeds are particularly prone to the disorder -- Westies and Cockers in particular -- this disease can be found in any dog, especially as dogs age.


Jenny when she was healthier


Jenny, a Rough Collie who is between 8 - 10 years old developed COPD this fall. It is known that some dogs will develop the disease due to a genetic predisposition or because they live in a smoky environment, however others like Jenny have no clear reason for developing the disease.










x-ray showing bronchitis in the lung

Signs that a dog may be developing the disease include a hacking cough, sneezing, shortness of breath which might include bluing of the tongue and/or gums, and mucous discharge from the nose. COPD is basically a lung disease but may originally be mistaken for heart disease - both present with a similar hacking cough and either can result in sneezing. It may require a chest x-ray for a vet to see that it is the lungs, not the heart, that are the source of symptoms.




Caring for a dog with COPD is in some respects like caring for any aging and/or ill dog. Nutritious food without too much salt/sugar, constant access to clean water, exercise that is regular but not demanding, and lots of love and attention. It is recommend to walk a dog with COPD on a harness, not a collar, as no added pressure should be placed on the dog's throat. I have found that Jenny seems to sleep best when her head is elevated slightly so that her nasal passages drain a bit more than if she were laying flat - she has pillows and folded blankets to assist her in finding a comfortable position.







It is important that dogs continue to get regular exercise that is not demanding - this helps keep the mucous from building up in the dogs lungs or bronchial tubes. Jenny and I take a daily walk at a casual pace - the idea is to keep her moving without adding to her need to breath harder. We also make sure she gets outside regularly as the fresh air helps her clear her nasal passages, which she needs to do throughout the day.



Humidifier - can help a congested dog in dry weather



There is no cure for COPD and management is necessary; a dog's lifetime may or may not be affected by the disease depending on how sever their individual complications. Jenny's lungs have been compromised by the disease, while some dogs have more limited impacts and may appear fairly 'normal' between flareups. Medication can be very helpful in managing the disease.




I wish I could say Jenny was responding well to medication. At this point we haven't had much luck with finding a med that is helpful; neither have we given up looking. When a dog is chronically ill however, they still are able to enjoy many daily activities and most importantly, they enjoy spending time with their people 'hanging out' and receiving affection. Fortunately, I am able to still keep her comfortable and usually pretty happy. I savor the moments we have together and am building up a bank of memories that I will call on often in years to come.



54 comments:

  1. Excellent info about canine COPD and I'm betting it was very difficult to write. I'm glad to know more about the disease, but my heart sinks to think about you and Jenny. I hope you can find some medication that helps. Living with a beloved pet with a chronic illness takes diligence and courage. Take care of yourself, the stress can be so difficult. Sending hugs.

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    1. Thanks Sue. We've had some bad moments but I'm diligently trying to focus on the here and now,and the little pleasures that are still enjoyed :-) Jenny decided that a short walk in last night's blizzard was worth trying - we had the street to ourselves!

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    2. Thank you for this information, my 11 yr old Yorkie was diagnosed today with COPD and was given a steroid/antibiotic shot and will be on a daily pill twice a day called aminophylline 50mg capsules. I thought he was in congestive heart failure, he wasn't however, his heart is enlarged his liver is enlarged and his belly is hard and very round. There is not alot of fluid in his belly according to the x-rays, but his trachea is very small and inflamed. His lungs are not well at all. Bless his heart, I would just die if something happened to him, I watched my little poodle DaisyMae have two strokes and she passed away, 10 years ago now, and my Yorkie was acting just like she did. It is very difficult to watch him go through COPD and not be able to breathe and catch his breath, watching him cough and then maybe have a little throw up, hardly ever, but sometimes. It is just difficult and I feel helpless. Hopefully this pill will help him, I had to go to a specialty pharmacy to have them compound the pills for him. So we will see. I am so Glad Jenny is doing well, The vet told me today that my Yorkie "Renig" is not in any danger of dying, but to watch him panting so hard and sweating and trying to catch a breath it really makes me second guess him. I really want to give him a valium to calm him down, but I know not to do that. The vet did tell me to take him for a walk each day, so we are going to start a exercise program as soon as we see how the meds are going to help him. Again, thank you for this article, it helps and gave me hope. God Bless!!!!

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    3. Thank you for this information, my 11 yr old Yorkie was diagnosed today with COPD and was given a steroid/antibiotic shot and will be on a daily pill twice a day called aminophylline 50mg capsules. I thought he was in congestive heart failure, he wasn't however, his heart is enlarged his liver is enlarged and his belly is hard and very round. There is not alot of fluid in his belly according to the x-rays, but his trachea is very small and inflamed. His lungs are not well at all. Bless his heart, I would just die if something happened to him, I watched my little poodle DaisyMae have two strokes and she passed away, 10 years ago now, and my Yorkie was acting just like she did. It is very difficult to watch him go through COPD and not be able to breathe and catch his breath, watching him cough and then maybe have a little throw up, hardly ever, but sometimes. It is just difficult and I feel helpless. Hopefully this pill will help him, I had to go to a specialty pharmacy to have them compound the pills for him. So we will see. I am so Glad Jenny is doing well, The vet told me today that my Yorkie "Renig" is not in any danger of dying, but to watch him panting so hard and sweating and trying to catch a breath it really makes me second guess him. I really want to give him a valium to calm him down, but I know not to do that. The vet did tell me to take him for a walk each day, so we are going to start a exercise program as soon as we see how the meds are going to help him. Again, thank you for this article, it helps and gave me hope. God Bless!!!!

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    4. My name is Brenda and my 14 year old shih tzu Champ developed breathing difficulties this summer. He has always had allergies and this could possibly be a result from them. The x rays showed he has a blockage in his air passage and has two places where his trachea has narrowed. The vet put him on Temaril P , terbutaline, and Hydroxyzine. I believe in going the natural way whenever possible so I started doing some research on the internet and found several items that I added to his daily routine. He is now off the Temarial P which with long term use can damage the liver and he already has an enlarged liver. I have three shih tzus and they get a raw diet which is very important to their health. I make sure they get digestive enzymes, Alaskan omega oil and probiotics daily along with goat milk which is very healing. He also takes supplements for his liver which I have found on Vetrxdirect.com. Same ones vet recommended but almost half the price even with shipping. Recently I added an immune support and colostrum as well. I have several pet sites where I get my natural remedies. These are the things I believe have made a big difference in Champ's health. Petwellbeing.com is where I get Spark a whole food supplement and Throat Gold drops. I am going to try the Lung Gold drops next time. They may seem expensive but if you have a small dog it will last a long time. Onlynaturalpet.com is where I found Bronchial Wellness drops and Amaza Pet tablets. Their prices are not as expensive but work well. The Amaza pet tablets act similar to the Terbutaline to help open the air passages and can be given up to five times in 24 hours. I read about the terbutaline and it said it mainly last for three to four hours even though you can only give it every twelve hours so I give this spaced out in between and it helps him with the coughing too. I alternate the Bronchial Wellness drops and the Throat Gold drops about four to five hours apart. I mix the drops with honey and coconut oil and use a dropper to administer it to him. It only takes a very little amount of honey and coconut oil and I also give him just the honey and coconut oil between medicine times just to sooth his throat both are very beneficial. You can also add these drops to food. I purchased an air purifier which has helped all of us. I am also going to get a cool mist humidifier for winter due to indoor air becoming dry form heat. The websites have great information about the products and read reviews to see if they apply to your concerns. Wait one or two hours in between prescriptions and natural remedies. When using natural remedies look at the list of ingredients. The list on the product is in order from strongest to weakest amount of the ingredient. You just don't want to use a product at the same time if there is a repeat of a couple of the first five or so ingredients or if the first couple are the same because they are the strongest. If you are not sure or have other questions call and talk to someone. I have spoke to someone on all these sites and they are very helpful. The service and amount of time to get the products has been great also. Make sure you discuss the natural remedies with your vet and hope they have an open mind. Do your own research because if you are not using a holistic vet you could be missing out on ways to help your pet without harmful side effects. Good Luck and remember natural remedies can take longer to work because they are usually not as strong as drugs so be patient and give it a while.

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    5. Thanks so much for your suggestios. How is your dog doing with this natural treatment? My dog is 10 yrs old and has COPD and would like to know what can I give hiand where tobuy it so he can breath better. My email amory98@yahoo.com.

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    6. Sweet Jenny did well for about five years with a combination of largely natural treatment. Old age combined with her seriously compromised lungs, however, did eventually claim her life. We miss her every day but are grateful for the years we had with her. She was well worth the effort to keep her comfortable for as many years as we were able to.

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    7. so sorry for the loss of Jenny.... we too have a 10 year old lab who out of know where got very sick this january... coughing/gagging, rapid breathing, limping on his front legs on/off, no appetite.... he went through so many tests, x rays, bloodwork, saw two vets and an internist..... first they said it was pneumonia, then chronic bronchitis.... ruled out lepto, lyme, blasto as well... just couldn't figure out what fungus/bacteria caused this sudden illness... said he could have gotten it months prior and just didnt show any signs til it became worse... so now he has been on antibiotics, cough medicine, bronchial dilators and sterioids... he has good days and then goes into regression where he doesn't eat anything for 7-10 days and is lethargic... then we change the meds a bit and he picks back up for a week.. then down again.. this has been going on since january.... there are times he seems perfectly happy, yet still cannot tolerate any exercise except walks around the block.. .and then he looks and acts like he is literally going to die.... at what point do we call it quits and end his suffering... he was in great shape and has no significant arthritis in his bones etc... vets cannot believe he is 10 years old.. i have tried everything... it's so hard to get his meds in him as he doesn't eat and he knows we "hide them in his treats etc.... we have done vitamins including turmeric based ones and cosequin etc.... just can't bear to see him this way.... its heartbreaking...

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    8. End of life decisions are always the hardest; we don't want to give up 'too soon' and we don't want to make a beloved friend suffer. My personal judgement has always been when the bad times are outnumbering the good, then it is time. Dogs live in the present and when too many of their current moments are uncomfortable, it seems they've lost their quality of life. I wish you the very best as you deal with this very trying time.

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  2. Hi!


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  3. Good post! SO important ot know about the many diseases that exist in pups as they do in sapiens.

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  4. Cannabis oil and Pulmocare help humans.

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  5. My pomeranian was just diagnosed with COPD and reading this helped a lot. How is your dog doing now?

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    1. Jenny is holding her own - hope your dog adapts well also!

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  6. Awesome article to read..! it's my passion to search out such above enthusiastic and motivational stories which can be handy for the animals that i have kept.

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  7. Hello! I'm from Finland and my 14 and half years old Tibetan Spaniel was just yesterday diagnosed with COPD and I've been crying my eyes out and trying to find information. There seems to be much more information in English than in Finnish. What kind of medicines your dog have had?? Could you tell more about experiences of Jenny's medications; which one have been good/bad, how those have helped, what kind of side effects Jenny have had? My dog is using now diuretics (to reduce fluid in lungs) and next step is using cortisones/steroids. I don't like the idea of using cortisones/steroids because it has lots of side effects and in a long-term use it makes dog weaker or can even start a diabetes! So I would be very happy to hear about other medicines and treatments! Have you tried inhalators for Jenny and did it help? Did/does Jenny cough a lot? Have she used any coughing medicines and did it help? Have you used an air humidifier and did it help? How often the air humidifier is used; everyday or only when dog is coughing/having breathing difficulties? I would really appreciate your answers to all my questions! You can answer here or send e-mail to me: jt_421@luukku.com
    Thank you and I wish all the best for you and Jenny!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that your Spaniel is ill but I think you'll find that COPD is manageable, as long as you make some small adjustments.

      Jenny only uses a mucous reduction medicine, one that can be bought in any drugstore and is sold to help people. It works as a diuretic. She doesn't use a steroid and I would be interested in hearing what aspect of the disease your vet would be treating with cortisone.

      Yes, there is coughing and sneezing, and I have to wipe her nose regularly. In the winter I have a humidifier running at all times because the air here becomes dry. However, in the summer there tends to be significant humidity in our air and we don't use a humidifier then. In fact, if it gets too humid, I use an air conditioner to cool and dehumidify the air.

      I think the COPD has caused Jenny to age a bit faster, however, otherwise she remains pretty content with life. We take a stroll every night because she has to walk slower than she used to. Her appetite remains healthy, she is comfortable, and she enjoys the same things she always has. Once you adjust to the increase in mucous in your dog, along with the coughing and sneezing, COPD doesn't seem as bad as when you first receive the diagnosis. Good luck!

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    2. Thank you so much for the respond!
      What's the name of the mucous reduction medicine? You said it's sold to help people; can it be used for dogs and has any vet recommended to use it even it's for humans?
      And it's the only medicine which Jenny uses or is there other medicines also?

      My vet wants to use cortisone/steroids (Prednisone) because it helps/stops coughing.

      Now I've been looking for other remedies for coughing like some inhalators/inhalers, natural or homeopathic medicines like red clover... I don't know are those helpful but I will debate with my vet...

      You gave me some hope that this disease maybe isn't as "rapidly fatal" as I think (even my dog is old), Thank you for that!

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    3. We use Mucinex for reducing fluid. And do be hopeful - COPD is very seldom a rapidly fatal disease. It requires some slowing down for the dog, and some extra care, but is actually very manageable. Although the coughing and sneezing are distressing, especially for people to get used to (Jenny I think adjusted more quickly than I did) the fluid in the lungs can typically be kept at a manageable level.

      Of course, you will want to talk to your own vet about the medicine you use but for Jenny, the Mucinex helps when needed.

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    4. My pomeranian cross is only 5.and was diagnosed with copd & lung worm they think she has prob always had bad lungs as was malnurished as puppy before we got her, she was at deaths door , the vet put her on steroids for 6weeks lowering the dose after 2 wks and had worked a treat she is bouncing like a puppy and is no longer coughing or weezing , there is hope as long as you know how to manage further attacks before they progress

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  8. Although the cold and therefore the Kennel cough ar the foremost frequent affections that confirm dogs to cough, there are multiple styles of cough practiced by dogs that are generated by multiple causes. See more http://dogsaholic.com/care/why-is-my-dog-coughing.html

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  9. People are sometimes unaware that heart conditions can occur in dogs too.

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    1. Absolutely! Dogs develop congestive heart failure which can also affect their ability to breath, as fluid begins to build up around their heart/lungs.

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  10. My Rico, a chihuahua, was just diagnosed with COPD. he's on steroid use right now and we will go from there. My concern is he takes a deep breath in and it sounds like he is snoring, he does it alot and I'm wondering , which I will ask my vet also, does it inflame up in the nose also. Went to an animal cardiologist so I know it's not his heart or any other problem.

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    1. I'm sorry that Rico is having problems.
      To the best of my knowledge, COPD affects the lungs, not the nasal passages. Once a dog's immune system is comprimised however, as happens with COPD, other conditions can also be present. I'm glad that you will be following up with your vet.

      Both Jenny the Collie and Chi Chi the Chihuahua who live here, have sometimes experienced what is known as a reverse sneeze, where the air sucks in through the nose rather than blowing out. It can sound like a snore, or a problem breathing. Of course, that is just one possability for what is happening with Rico.

      Good luck!

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  11. This was so helpful. We are waiting for test results to rule out cancer but COPD seems likely in our lovely lurcher, Woody. He is about 12 (rescue) and although this hasn't come out of nowhere for him, he's just not shown some of the symptoms till now, it has been unexpected and traumatic for us. He is on a mucus powder called Bisolvon and Corvental which is a bronchodilator. He sleeps a lot and has lost weight. Now they know its not pneumonia he is off the antibiotics which made him very sick. His appetite is coming back and if you go towards the leads he thinks he is up for every walk! Just noticed that Jenny is a collie - well Woods is a collie lurcher and we know that the day he doesn't corral every tennis ball and guard them is the day he is ready to leave us. We are certainly NOT there!!! Hopeful.

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    1. Jules - I'm sorry that Woody has been through so much lately. In hindsight, I think realizing what we were dealing with (a chronic medical condition, something affecting her every breath, becoming accustomed to the sneezes, mucus, and rattles) were the most difficult stage.

      Jenny and I have now been living with this for two years (I guess I should do a follow up post, so folks know how much hope there is!) Jenny does sometimes have bad days, when there will be a little blood in her mucus and I will wonder if the time is coming. I'm guessing that Woody may also have a longer, slender nose and it is possible that sometimes he will sneeze hard enough that he will rupture a tiny blood vessel causing temporary bloody mucus. Jenny has always (knock on wood) cleared back up to 'regular' mucus. Our walks are slow but she still enjoys them.

      With research I've found that for anyone with COPD a higher protein, higher fiber diet is recommend; those living with COPD burn more calories breathing. The balancing act is keeping good protein going in without adding weight. I'm going to try switching Jen to a puppy kibble that provides a higher protein/fiber mix and see how she does.

      Best wishes to you and Woody - I think you still have many good days ahead of you!

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  12. Thank you so much for this post. My mini Aussie was diagnosed with COPD and we are working hard to keep her comfortable. Unfortunately, the use of corticosteroids has given her pneumonia twice now, so that's not an option. I am glad to hear that Jenny has done so well with management, as it gives me hope.

    I have been so saddened by this, as I have asthma myself and know how anxiety provoking episodes of not being able to breath is. My house is fragrant, smoke and chemical free due to my asthma, so it makes me so sad that my sweet love of a dog has to deal with this.

    I hope we get many years, as you and Jenny have. And I hope Jenny continues to do well!

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    1. Patty - good luck with managing both your own health and your beloved Aussies. I've recently posted an update, Oct. 20, 2015, sharing what living with COPD for two years has taught us. Please don't despair! Life may require some adjustments but can continue with pleasure.

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  13. Hi.I found your article so helpful!! Thanks. I have a cockapoo who has always had throat clearing issues ( since we had her at 10 weeks) first the vet thought Kennel cough, then she got an infection at 4 months and underwent xrays and tracheal lavage. Xrays revealed a small consolidation on the lungs. She was given 6 weeks if antibiotics and bisolvon powder. This helped a bit at first but the throat clearing eventually came back with a vengeance. She got pneumonia 7 weeks ago and had another set of xrays and lavage. she's still coughing after yet another 6 weeks of antibiotics! The vet is baffled and is getting a second opinion as now 5 days into steroids they are also not working. My dog is only 18 months old. She's active and happy apart from this awful cough/ hack. I feel helpless...

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    1. You might also like to check out an update I did on Jenny's health, Oct. 20 2015. I wanted to encourage other people and let them know that they and their dogs can live with COPD, it just takes some adjustments.

      It sounds like you're doing what you need to for your pup. One of the ways that vets narrow down possibilities to arrive at the diagnosis of COPD is that the spots in the lungs do not clear up with treatment. Jenny was given antibiotics etc. but the build up and coughing persisted. Her lungs on an x-ray are very grey, so it sounds like your dog has far more working lung capacity remaining; with ongoing management your dog can still live a long, happy life.

      My suggestions for management include: moderate exercise, high protein/high fiber/moderate carb food, and managing moisture in the air - not humid but not dry.
      Good luck!

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    2. Thank you. Can I ask what meds if any your dog is on?
      I haven't had a COPD diagnosis yet but am going back to vets next week. We had second xrays ( post pneumonia) last week and vet says the consolidation looks much better but lungs are not perfect! At least we could see the trachea on this xray as 7 weeks ago it was covered in phlegm and mucous. I have tried humidifier during the night and it makes Milly cough more. Do you leave yours on all the time? Milly is coughing a lot over last few days and I'm getting really concerned.

      Milly is on a raw fed diet so high protein. She has been gaining weight since I've changed her from her premium high protein kibble! She's still on slim side but no longer skinny!

      I have Emailed vet about COPD.

      Thanks

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    3. My dog is miserable. He can barely breath. I'm thinking it is time to let him go. Dogs don't understand why they can't breathe. He is 11. I don't feel it is ok to let him suffer

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  14. Also the worry is these infections Milly keeps getting. She's had two in last 12 months, the latter turning into bacterial pneumonia :(

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  15. Honey Boy had COPD. We " rescued" him 7 months ago. He was 11. He always had that awful, hacking cough and occasional sneezing, also. We didn't know Honey Boys history but, the Vet said he probably had lived in a smokey environment. On Nov. 23, 2015 I came home and found HB under the coffee table. He was ashen looking and was foaming from the mouth. I hurriedly picked him up and sped to the vets office. We then we're informed that HB's symptoms were so severe that his quality of life had diminished quickly from his disease. We needed to make a decision as his prognosis was EXTREMELY dire. HB had , probably, the most wonderful days of his life with us (my husband and I). I stayed at home with him 90% of the time. He was extremely spoiled. He had "free_reign" of our house. He slept with us in our bed at night. We mixed tenderloin, chicken and lamb in with his organic dog food when ever WE ate it. I kissed, hugged, petted him and spoke sweetly to him numerous times through out the day. He was treated like my "little Honey Bunny!". I have fond memories of our little toy poodle, Honey Boy. He " rescued" me, too! I was facing life_changing episodes of my own. I've accepted Honey Boys passing. I lead a Spiritual life and I had a purpose with HB and now have a purpose without him. The Higher Power in / with me assured HB would be taken care of by Him in Heaven. I now know what I need to do to help ease my grief. From Nov. 23rd forward I have come to terms with HB's passing and am now ready to help people who are suffering with their own grief in hopes they will then "play it forward to other grief stricken people. So, I am setting the momentum of hope to continue, everlasting! I miss HB and think of him all the time. I even shed some tears. If I don't carry through with my new Purpose" I know the tears will be too frequent. Honey enriched before and always will in days to come. I hope this will help all of you who may need encouragement to move forward after their pet or loved one passes. It's working for me. It will work for everyone if you let. Peace of mind is sure to settle in and the Joy of helping others will benefit you, tenfold. est in Peace, Honey Boy...you're life gave and gives me purpose from this day forward!!! Love and Kisses, always !!!��

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  16. Our older rescue dog has developed COPD. The vet. said it could have been caused by her diagnosis of heartworms when we found her 12 yrs ago. The disease and treatment could have weakened her respiratory system.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you have a new diagnosis to deal with. My girl has lived with COPD for almost three years now and while she's slowed down, she keeps going. Good luck!

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  20. I have a 10-year old Beagle/Jack mix. He started the sneezing, blowing snot, coughing and hacking and bringing up mucous three years ago. Numerous tests to the vets and trying different things have brought no relief. I'm thinking now if giving the musinex a try. What type and how much would you recommend? He sounds so awful and I worry he'll drop dead of heart failure one day and I've been able to do nothing to help him. They did not diagnose COPD. I just thought about it and looked it up and found you. I'm hoping this could give him some relief. It's the worst after he's been resting and wakes up and starts moving around. And he never does it at the vets.

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    1. Hi Ron,
      I would suggest that you give the steroids a try. I'm a big believer in holistic treatment but there is a time and place for stronger meds and getting a handle on chronic illness is one of those times. I'm speaking now not just as someone who had treated dogs, but who also lives with a chronic autoimmune disorder. Every once in awhile a bout of steroids helps get the discomfort of the disorder back in control, which allows the whole body to respond more positively to natural practices.

      You mention that your dog has an upset stomach. Have you discussed using an over the counter product like Pepto Bismol or Prilosec with your vet? My friend's dog for example is very prone to stomach upset and now as a matter of course takes one of these products every day. This was necessary to stop her from having incidents like you are describing.

      Good luck with Humphrey! I hope you're able to manage his symptoms so that you're both more comfortable.

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    2. Thanks for your advice, and I'll make an appointment with the vet again to see how she decides to go forward. The vet told me he'd have to be on steroids the rest of his life, and I hate to think he's continuously hungry.
      It's great having pets, but it's scary when they have health problems because we can't ask them what's wrong. :-)

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  23. Hello, my 13 yr old doggie has COPD. Has had it all his life. It's a little worse with his old age. He has been on Prednisone for the past 3 years and it has helped him breathe so much better! He plays in the park and splashes in the pond. It's tough during winters and I try to keep him warm. I am scared that the long-term use of this steroid may cause other complications. Should I keep him on it, or are there other options?

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    1. It sounds like your dog is doing fairly well on his Prednisone - there really is nothing that can replace this drug and what it does. Because of their shorter-than-human lifespans, dogs do not live long enough to have some of the side-effects from medicines that humans would have.

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  24. Ok :) Thank you for your response. It makes me feel better to know that I am doing everything I can for him to have the best quality of life possible. He is my baby and love him so much! He has a great time at the dog park with his "brother" lol. Thanks again :)

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    1. It sounds like you're doing the best you can for your boy. It certainly sounds like he's having a good quality of life!

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  25. Hi. I have a Lakeland Terrier who will be 14 in August. She developed COPD last year. She is on one 200mg capsule of Corvental daily (I purchase mine on-line from a reputable Veterinary supply company which is significantly cheaper but get the prescription from my vet (£15) for 60 day supply). He also recommended using a diuretic to reduce the build up of fluid but Bramble then has trouble controlling her bladder and it is a balancing act between weeing frequently and being allowed to sleep on my bed at night which she loves as her hearing is almost gone so she feels safe snuggled up. I get her regularly checked by my vet and, although I hate to see her having to stop when she needs to cough she is generally happy and content. I see my main responsibility in all of this to ensure I do the very best for her - that doesn't mean necessarily doing the best for me. She has been my constant friend and companion for almost 14 years and, if I feel that she gets the the stage where the bad days outweigh the good then I will take the decision all of us who love our pets dread taking knowing that she has had a wonderful life as a much loved pet. Sincere respect to all of you out there who love and care for your animals

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    1. It sounds like you are giving your girl comforting and loving care. I think the final years with our companions are often when we become closest; we must become so thoughtful about all aspects of their lives.

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  26. Hello, I have a 2.5 year old Pomeranian mix that I rescued almost 2 years ago. From the day I picked him up he has always coughed. At least I thought it was a cough till I took him to the vet two weeks ago. He was diagnosed with COPD. I found out the couch was actually a reverse sneeze. He was giving a anti-inflammatory shot and steroid. That worked for about a day. The vet also put him on antibiotics for two weeks but I dont think that worked at all. After a day of the shots he was back to reverse sneezing. The sneeze isn't as bad as it was before we went to the vet. I was wondering what holistic remedies you can recommend? I'd prefer natural remedies over antibiotics and shots any day. I even have my dog on a raw food diet and he's been eating that way since I got him. Thank you in advance for your help.

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    1. Maryann, unfortunately, there is no homeopathic measure that can provide the relief to a dog that a steroid gives when they are having a serious attack or "flare" of their COPD. Speaking as a human who also occasionally needs a steroid due to immune system problems, natural remedies - essential oils that provide calm, good diet, etc. - help use maintain as best we can. But when there is a flare up, the only real relief comes from a short course of steroids.

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