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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5542
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog is a shih tzu. 10 yrs old. Recently became ill with

Customer Question

My dog is a shih tzu. 10 yrs old. Recently became ill with congestion in eyes n nose (green mucus). He was on Zyrtec for 10 days, congestion became clear, however he became very nasal sounding. Next he started gasping for air during deep rest/sleep. Got my vet to ck him. initially said small heart murmur. Had been on antibiotic n decongestant plus Zyrtec, in addition gave him steroid shot to speed up healing. Wk later, did X-ray to find enlarged heart, with indications it was pushing against esophagus. Another steroid shot, added benazipril Hal 2.5 mg daily cut Zyrtec & decongestant dose in half. FYI my dog has seizures, takes phenobarbital n potassium bromide, which keep him seizure free currently.
My q: what is to be expected outcome from enlarged heart pressing on esophagus? I realize not a good situation, but this congestion, rattling , n gasping are concerning me. No pneumonia or fluid buildup in abdomen. Has started loosing appetite since starting .benazipril.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I will help you.

Benazipril can cause loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea in some patients. So that might explain Scooter's loss of appetite. Talk to your vet about reducing the dose.

What I would really recommend is an ultrasound to show what is happening in his heart, esophagus and lungs. It is usually more accurate than an xray and it shows what is happening as the heart contracts, lungs move and esophagus changes shape if the heart is pressing on it.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

A more accurate prognosis can be made with better information. And that is what you want to know for Scooter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate your recommendation, however that was not my question.
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

By having an ultrasound , it will show if there really is a problem with the heart pressing on the esophagus. I don't think that the congestion and rattling

can be 100% attributed to the problems. I haven't seen the xrays so I'm shooting blind. But i know that a good ultrasound is a better diagnostic tool.

Once again, I'm saying that an accurate diagnosis is needed for an accurate prognosis.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

I would think that your vet would welcome an ultrasound because it would help him with Scooter's treatment.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

The rattling, and congestion may be due to congestive heart failure only. That is what the Benazipril is for. But there are other drugs available.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

We all want is best for Scooter. We want him to have the best health possible for years to come.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr Marta and I am back to see how Scooter is doing.

Please let me know