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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11037
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog is having labored breathing when she lies down. She

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My dog is having labored breathing when she lies down. She will lay down her head for a little over a minute, then lift up her head, stretch out her neck, and breath deeply for about 20 seconds. She then lays her head back down and the process repeats. She is a golden retriever/chow mix and is 14 (15 in July).

I've taken her to my vet 2 times for this. First they gave her benedryl and vetprofen, then when that didn't change anything, prednisone and theophylline (a bronchodialator). None of this has changed her breathing issues. Any advice you can provide would be greatly apprieciated.
Hello. Thanks for writing in. Sorry to hear that Ginger has been having these problems.

Has your vet ran any bloodwork or taken any x-rays of the chest yet?

When she is breathing, does her chest and abdomen move together or does one expand while the other is contracting?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, sorry I forgot to add that part. They did chest x-rays which were normal, and hip x-rays to see if it might be related to anxiety. She has had a luxated patella for years. She is very furry, but it looks like her chest expands while her abdomen is contracting. They also did bloodwork which all came back in the normal range, they were surprised how good it looked considering her age. The vet does think it is an upper respiratory issue of some kind.

Thanks for the information. I am sorry about the wait. I was having some computer problems. I will be right with you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

As I'm looking at her, I think her chest and abdomen might be moving together. She has trouble when she tries to eat and drink water, she makes pig like noises.

It is very possible that it could be upper respiratory in origin, but I would expect more coughing. The breathing with the neck extended is usually caused by some type of upper airway blockage. It could be in the nose, throat or trachea. It may even arise from the middle ear cavity. She may have a tumor anywhere in these areas. Sometimes it can even be a nasopharygneal polyp. It is possible it could be laryngeal paralysis as well. A chest x-ray may not show much. I would try to get films of the trachea and nasal cavity as well. It may help for your vet to give a little sedation to check the larynx to evaluate for laryngeal paralysis. It would be a good explanation why none of the medications are working. They may be able to flush the nasal passages as well to see what kind of cells are present. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Again, sorry about the wait. Hope this helps.
Dr. John and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you VERY much for your input!!!!!

You are very welcome. I hope everything is going well. Keep me updated if you don't mind!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, does this link back to the same vet every time?

Yes. This particular message thread will alert me when you respond.