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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My daughter just adopted a 7-8 yr old shih tzu that it now

Customer Question

My daughter just adopted a 7-8 yr old shih tzu that it now very congested. He is on antibiotics but his little nose is so stuffed he cannot breath and is exhausted. When he tries to sleep, after about 30 secs he sits up gasping for air only to repeat the cycle again. How can she help him sleep
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Corky. I'm so sorry he isn't doing well, but glad you're looking for the information you need.
You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY. That way we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.
The best tip I have for you is to try taking him into a hot and steamy bathroom. The heat and humidity can help break up the congestion and make it a little easier for him to breathe.
Similarly, you can run a moist air humidifier in his room. Eucalyptus oils can maximize the benefit.
You can also use a bulb syringe to try to suck mucus out of his nostrils.
If he is in serious distress, please take him back to the ER. Unfortunately, if he is getting worse, he needs the care and might be ill enough to actually sleep in the O2 cage.
You may also want to be sure your vet has considered the possibility of this being part of the canine influenza outbreak, depending on your geography and travel history.
Again, I'm really sorry he is this sick. I know what it's like to be so worried and feel so helpless.
Please rest assured I am here to help.
You may still reply when you return online. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.
Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.
You may return to this page at any time to review the information and/or post more. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.
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If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am on my way to her house, although I am still about 6 hrs away. I would like to evaluate him for myself and then get back to you. I am so worried that he may suffocate or just die from exhaustion. We are hoping that he is not contagious as there will be an additional two dogs into the household
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.
Yes, the risk of contagious disease is a serious concern. I'm so glad your daughter has you to help look after this little adoptee.
Since you are so far away yourself, in a case where there's respiratory distress, I would advise having your daughter return to the ER with him so he can receive treatment while waiting for your arrival - especially if there's a chance he may not survive in the meantime.
Please keep me posted. I'll be thinking about everything you're going through.
Please also rest assured that you can return to this thread at any time and continue to post more, even after you have accepted my answer and rated my response.
Thank you. I'll look forward to hearing more soon.