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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5222
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 10+ Westie, Winston, has had three episodes of short quick breaths and nervousness in t

Customer Question

My 10+ Westie, Winston, has had three episodes of short quick breaths and nervousness in the last 6 months. Last time this happened I left him with the vet. By the time she got to him, she saw none of these symptoms, but checked his lungs and shot a chest xray. She said there was nothing wrong. Last night he began the same problems, trying to climb up on me and get comfortable on the bed. He also had a hacking, like he was trying to get something up. This morning (Sunday, when the office is closed), he is still breathing rapidly, but there is very little hacking. He is taking 2 Benadryl a day and a 5.4 mg Apoquel. My last Westie died of congestive heart failure, but my vet never tied it to lung disease. We live in a very moist climate, and I'm wondering if Winston is showing signs of early Westie Lung, as some people call it. Can I give him a 40 mg Furosemide to see if that relieves some of the stress until I can get him to the vet? Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Camille and I’m a moderator for this topic. We have been working with the Experts to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit. I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from one of our Experts? Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question. Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Pet to Legal. Thank you, Camille~Moderator
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I still would like an answer please. My dog is still hacking and sometimes I can hear his breathing. It seems to get worse at night. Sometimes it sounds like it's a flim cough and sometimes it's a dry, down deep hacking. I have allergies also, and that usually means he's having problems too. He's chewing on his feet alot also, so I know it's partly allergies. I'm just worred about his lungs and heart.
Expert:  Dr. Elaine replied 2 years ago.
HI there, this is Dr. Elaine
May I ask a few questions to better help you?
How much does Winston weigh?
When you say "2 benedryl" do you mean 50mg? How often?
When did he last have his heart listened to?
What is the weather like where you are? Cold, dry, hot, humid, etc?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Winston weighs about 27 lbs. He has 2 OTC Benadryl- 25 mg each- one with his "breakfast" and one with "supper" .He saw the vet about at the end of May. She listened to his heart and his lungs because he had another episode. He also had a chest xray. It is very hot (98 degrees) and humid in Arkansas. No rain for about a week.
My last Westie had to be put on meds for congestive heart and went downhill fast.
Expert:  Dr. Elaine replied 2 years ago.
OK thanks, ***** ***** for the delay. Congestive heart failure (CHF) can develop quickly, and although a heart murmur is often detected, this is not always the case. Therefore, many times it is important to have a special ultrasound of the heart performed to check things like size, thickness, valve function, and blood flow. This helps to determine what, if any, heart disease exists, how severe it may be, and consequently, the best way to medicate him. Lasix (furosemide) is a diuretic drug often used to treat dogs in congestive failure, as it helps the kidneys move more fluid out of the body and "dry" up the lungs. When dogs are entering CHF, blood is pooling (backing up) in the lungs because the heart is not pumping normally. When this happens, the "fluid" that accumulates in the lungs is actually serum from the blood leaking out of the blood vessels. Doses of lasix vary depending on the severity of edema (and whether it is even there). It usually helps quickly if it is going to.2-5mg/kg body weight every 8-12 hours works out to between 15-40 mg every 8-12 hours. I would start low. Have him seen as soon as you can, as he may need other medications, and if in fact he is in CHF, it is better to treat him sooner rather than later. Try to keep the room as cool as you can where he spends most of his time--even a fan blowing over ice water can help. See the following for more info on medication and CHF: Let me know if I may answer anything further. Kindly, Dr. Elaine