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Deb Jankura
Deb Jankura, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 583
Experience:  20+ years experience in progressive small animal practice
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my dog is breathing very rapidly while resting. He is an

Customer Question

my dog is breathing very rapidly while resting.   He is an 8 year old cocker spaniel. Three vets in my town can't find anything wrong with him. Any ideas?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 8 years ago.
Hello there,

What tests have been done so far?

Is the dog arthritic?

Any other symptoms?

Any serious problems in the past?

Dr. Scott
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He has had an abdominal ultrasound, x-rays, cushings test, heart worm test, bloodwork, blood gas analysis, tested for pancreatitis.......everything has come back normal except for his ALKP on some of the first test. But, we believed that this was due to the temeril-P that he had been taking for itching. The ALKP went from 810 back down to 325 after the medication was stopped. I have had him examined by three different vets where I live and none of them seem to find anything wrong with him.

I do not believe that he has arthritic pain. The vets that have thouroughly checked him have never mentioned anything like that to me.

This all seem to start back in May when he started all of this itching out of the blue. We thought it may be fleas, so we gave him capstar and treated with Advantix, but the itching continued. So one of the vets gave him temeril-P for about 10-14 days. It helped as long as he was taking the meds but I did not want him to be on steroids for too long. We also tried Benedryl and hydroxyzine which only helped temporarily. He is now on Atopica, 100 mg once a day and that seems to be helping the itching situation.

HOWEVER, he still continues to have the spells of rapid breathing. They are short , rapid breaths, ranging anywhere from 36-84 breaths per minute even whe he is sound asleep. His mouth is not open whe he is doing this. He does tire very easily and pant with little activity.

I am at a loss of what to do now. He has been a healthy dog up until this point. The month prior to all of this, he had three lipomas removed, one which was a rather large sized lipoma on his chest. Other than that, he has not had anything major happen. But this has been going on for over three months now. HELP!!!
Expert:  Dr. Scott replied 8 years ago.
Good Lord that's a big work up. Everything I would have tested for has been checked. My first guess would have been a low thyroid but I'm sure they ruled that out in the begining. I'm going to open the question back up to everyone because I don't have any to recommend to you.
Expert:  Deb Jankura replied 8 years ago.
since this matter has been reopened I'd like to ask a question or so-

Has an echocardiogram or chest ultrasound been done?
Has an EKG been done?
Did the heart look at all big or in any way abnormal on chest x=ray? was one done?
If you sit with him next to you, and he is calm, can you lift up his nose and observe his neck under his jaw and down to his chest? You may have to moisten it with rubbing alcohol or water to see the surface through the hair. I am wondering if you see any pulsing in a blood vessel in his neck.

just wondering, let me know
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He has not had and ECHO or EKG done.

The internal med vet stated that everything on the abdominal ultrasound was normal as well as the chest x-rays.

I do not necessarily see a pulsing in a blood vessel but you can clearly see the chest movement as he breathes very rapidly.
Expert:  Deb Jankura replied 8 years ago.
This is a mystery but I would want to rule out any heart disease with an echo/ekg. It may not seem likely but so much else has been rules out, Do you know what tests were run for cushings ans how long ago that was? when the abdominal ultrasound was done were the adrenal glands seen and were they absolutely normal?

I know this is frustrating and not cheap.

There is a test called a Baerman which is run on feces looking for lungworm. It is not invasive or very expensive. lungworm usually causes coughing not just rapid breathing but it is worth a look.

There is also some thing called a tracheal aspirate which collects dells from deeper in the respiratory tract through a tiny tube. This may reveal something.

there are many causes of rapid breathing- fear, pain, metabolic imbalance, ingestion of toxins, lung or heart disease, brain disease, the list can go on and all must be considered.

whenever all the obvious solutions have been ruled out, whatever is left, no matter how unlikely, must be the answer (paraphrased) Sherlock Holmes