How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Rebecca Your Own Question

Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9012
Experience:  29 years of companion animal practice.
11877925
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Rebecca is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

heavy breathing, purple tongue, foam at the mouth, asthma

Customer Question

I took my dog to the dog park. He gets excited and started to gasp for air. His tongue turned purple he fell over and for a moment could not breathe. I stroked his neck and he came to. I put him in the car with a lot of a/c venting into his face it became a little better. can I give my dog theophyllin? I want to give him 100mg. He weighs 11.3 lbs. This problem often occurs when he goes outside and is happy or excited about playing with other dogs. He's not over weight. for his length and has not gained weight in 3 years. I would like to order these medicines (prednisone, hydrocodone, and antibiotics) ??to give him as well but I don't know what doses to give and how long to give it to him. Is there an inhaler I can give to my dog when he has an episode like this?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.

Rebeccavet :

Hi JACustomer,

Rebeccavet :

I am sorry to hear about Tank.

Customer :

thank you

Rebeccavet :

Before deciding what drugs are best for these attacks, we need to find out what is wrong.

Customer :

I believe he has a collapsed trachea issue

Rebeccavet :

Tank could have a heart problem. He could have a collapsing trachea. He could be hypothryroid. He could have allergic bronchitis, but true asthma is very rare in dogs.

Customer :

the problem is that i can not afford the 500 + dollars my vet is asking to charge for oxygen, xrays, blood work

Customer :

This problem only occurs when he is out of the home

Customer :

becomes excited

Customer :

and wants to play with other dogs and gets overheated

Rebeccavet :

You could start with just a chest Xray. That will tell you if there is a collapsing trachea. If he has a collapsing trachea, it would not be unusual for the episodes to occur when he is excited.

Customer :

he was in the sun today... I feel so bad keeping him at home

Customer :

I am pretty sure it is his trachea

Rebeccavet :

If it is a collapsing trachea, the number one thing that would help him is to get him to an ideal weight. 11 pounds sounds high to me for a Yorkie; is he a big Yorkie, or overweight at all?

Customer :

he's abig yorkie

Customer :

he's not fat at all

Customer :

infact you can feel his ribs

Rebeccavet :

If it is his trachea, and if he is at all overweight, losing weight will help more than any drug. Steroids like prednisone can be helpful. Does he cough at all? Cough suppressants can be very helpful with collapsing tracheas.

Customer :

no he doesn't

Customer :

he has this raspy breathe

Customer :

everytime he goes out to play and gets excited

Customer :

then he lays down to catch his breathe and he watches my other dogs play with each other

Customer :

:(

Rebeccavet :

It can be dangerous just to prescribe drugs, until you are sure what you are treating. If he has a heart problem, the steroids that could help a collapsing trachea would be bad for him.

Customer :

oh...

Rebeccavet :

Typically dogs with collapsing tracheas are coughing. It would be very unusual for him to just gasp and turn purple without coughing at all with a collapsing trachea.

Customer :

what about the theophylline

Customer :

well he behaves like you would if you were getting an asthma attack and were gasping for air

Customer :

each breathe is heavy

Customer :

wheezing

Customer :

until the wheezing gets worse and worse

Rebeccavet :

Theophylline does not help a collapsing trachea. It can be helpful with bronchitis, and with some other types of lung and heart disease. It is not used that much anymore; there are better more modern drugs.

Customer :

he breathes faster and faster

Customer :

but because he does that his air way constricts

Customer :

and then he starts vomiting the foam because he thinks it helps him breathe

Rebeccavet :

I am very worried by your description of his problems. If it is asthma, inhalers with prescription drugs can be helpful. There is a website that describes these inhalers made for dogs and cats, but you need a prescription for the drugs you put in them.

Customer :

the only way to make it stop if for him to relax and flip over

Rebeccavet :

Here is the website for the AeroDawg inhaler: http://www.trudellmed.com/animal-health/aerodawg

Customer :

can you give me the name of the types of medicines that can help his open his airways enough to breathe and then I can get care credit for him to see a doctor later?

Customer :

the vet also wanted me to see a specialist to get my dog surgery for stenths?

Rebeccavet :

I really think you need to get a diagnosis. It could be heart disease, asthma, or a collapsing trachea. If it is heart disease, he might need drugs like pimobendan or furosemide or benazapril. If it is asthma, it would be steroids like prednisone, or inhaler drugs like Flovent. If it is a collapsing trachea, again steroids, possibly antibiotics, possibly theophylline.

Rebeccavet :

Without being able to listen to his chest with a stethoscope, or see a chest Xray, I can't tell you what is wrong.

Customer :

but he sent me home when I said I couldn't afford the xrays and blood work yet.. in the mean time tank was still trying to catch his breath

Rebeccavet :

Stents are used for collapsing tracheas. I would be trying medication before going to surgery. Did the vet that recommended stents look at a chest Xray?

Customer :

he said for me to call the specialist in our area because most likely it is the problem based on what he could see with my dog

Rebeccavet :

The medications you mentioned in your first question might be helpful, but they are all prescription drugs, which your veterinarian would have to prescribe. Only a vet that has examined your dog can prescribe medication.

Rebeccavet :

He really needs a chest Xray before anyone can tell what the problem is.

Customer :

so the minimum would be the xray

Customer :

he's normal now but I am afraid ...

Customer :

does benadryl work int his case ?

Rebeccavet :

I always work with my clients, and limit the testing to what they can afford. A physical exam, listening to his chest, and feeling his pulses is where I would start. A single chest Xray would be next. I would not jump to my next step (drugs, surgery, inhalers, etc.) until I saw the Xray.

Rebeccavet :

Benedryl would likely not help to do anything but make him drowsy.

Customer :

oh...

Rebeccavet :

His tongue turning purple is scary to me, as I am sure it is for you. That is a sign he is not getting enough oxygen. He really needs to get a diagnosis.

Customer :

when I took him home we opened the car door and he went running out like nothing happened

Customer :

he even chased the neighbors dog around the yard...

Customer :

could this also be anxiety?

Rebeccavet :

This just sounds less and less like a collapsing trachea.

Customer :

:(

Rebeccavet :

Anxiety should not make his tongue turn purple.

Customer :

yea I think that was hyper ventalation

Customer :

:(

Customer :

I'm really confused

Customer :

i also had a collar around his neck and he was tugging on the way out of the park

Customer :

:(

Rebeccavet :

If he is not getting oxygen, and turning purple, it is either a heart/circulation problem, or a lung/airway problem.

Rebeccavet :

If pulling on his collar started the episode, it still could be a circulation problem (pinching off the blood vessels in the neck) or an airway (trachea runs through the neck) problem. I would get a harness for him.

Rebeccavet :

Drugs might help, but you need to know what you are treating.

Customer :

yes and I"m not sure at all

Customer :

before that he was weezing

Customer :

:(

Customer :

so he could have a heart condition too?

Rebeccavet :

Wheezing would be more asthma or allergic lung disease than a collapsing trachea.

Rebeccavet :

Yes, a heart condition definitely could cause symptoms like this. He is young, but it is still a possibility.

Customer :

raspy inhallations

Customer :

followed by quicker panting

Customer :

foaming at the mouth

Customer :

and then quicker and quicker breathes

Customer :

more raspiness

Customer :

and then the tongue turns purple

Customer :

as long as he's home and not playing outside or over excited he seems to be fine..

Customer :

:(

Rebeccavet :

As I said, his symptoms worry me, but I can't tell you what his problem is without being able to examine him, use a stethoscope on him, feel his pulses, and look at the size of his heart and trachea on an Xray. I just can't tell you what is wrong, or what drugs will help him without being able to do more than read about his symptoms.

Rebeccavet :

Diagnosing a dog is like solving a puzzle or a mystery. Clues like his symptoms help me to narrow it down, but I have to be able to examine him for the rest of the clues, and the answer to the puzzle.

Customer :

ok

Customer :

I will contact the dr. to make an appointment

Rebeccavet :

I wish I could give you a definite answer, and tell you exactly what is wrong and what medication he needs, but even if I could, I still could not prescribe the drugs.

Rebeccavet :

That sounds great. Tell him about not wanting to spend $500, and could you just start with a single chest Xray.

Rebeccavet :

Is there anything else I can answer for you?

Customer :

no thank you

Rebeccavet :

You are welcome. If I have been of any help, please consider accepting my answer. That is the only way the website pays me for my answer and my time. Good luck with Tank, Rebecca

Customer :

can i give him ventolin or xopenex?

Rebeccavet :

Sorry, I didn't hear from you after 20 minutes and turned off my computer; sorry I didn't see your follow up. I mentioned this drug previously (albuterol), but it has to be administerd via the dog specific inhaler I gave you a website for earlier; you cannot administer it with a human inhaler. Again, without knowing what the problem is, I can't recommend or prescribe any drugs. He needs a physical, and a chest Xray.

Rebeccavet :

Again, sorry I didn't see your followup until today. Rebecca

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Dog Veterinarian
Rebecca
Rebecca
Veterinarian
3829 Satisfied Customers
29 years of companion animal practice.