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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30054
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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My weimaraner has a respiratory rate of 40 and distressed.

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My weimaraner has a respiratory rate of 40 and distressed. His cxr is normal. Radiologist can't rule out upper airway disease, and opther wise it is a normal xray. He has a normal labs. Lower abdominal xray shows displaced colon. An US has not been done yet.
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Orion.
The displaced colon is of significant concern. I have to assume there is some type of space occupying mass/tumor within the abdomen to cause it.

So, the abdominal ultrasound is critical for determining if there is true displacement, and if so, what organ is involved. Typically, we see a lot of tumors of the spleen, although primary tumors of the intestine do occur.

If currently on steroids, they absolutely can cause an increase in the respiratory rate. However, if the breaths seem labored or short, and/or Orion is unable to rest, he should be observed in a veterinary hospital.

Even with normal labs, there is still very much a cancer concern, although I hate to say it.

If the heart is okay, you could ask the vet about using a sedative or even some pain medication to see if the accelerated respiratory rate can settle a bit. Very sorry to hear about this concern for Orion.
Please let me know if there is anything I did not cover for you. I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Please, hold off providing your feedback rating until you have asked all your questions. Otherwise, I greatly appreciate your rating to close the question. My goal is to try and provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would cancer cause an increase in respiratory rate? The radiologist stated there was no metastatic disease. The thing that is confusing is this happened very quickly; he was perfectly fine Saturday when he went to bed. Could a black widow spider bite cause this? Posion?

Hi Catherine,
A lot of things can elevate the rate. Nausea, pain, cancer, hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone), Cushing's disease (an endocrine condition), to name a few.

Radiologist only reviews x-rays. No "obvious" metastatic disease. Thta does not mean that there isn't infiltrative disease in another organ. Remember, x-rays are not very detailed. Gray, white, black. Not as detailed as an ultrasound.

spider bite? Can't say no. But, that would have nothing to do with whatever is going on in the belly.

Poison? Well, most toxicities should cause some type of change on a blood test.

Hope that additional information helps. Definitely, reply to me if there is any other way I may assist you. I hope my responses have been satisfactory?
Dr. Andy
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would you do bronchoscopy to see if there is anything in the upper airway?

Without my own examination and listening to the breathing, impossible to answer. As a best guess, no.

I would be more focused on the abdomen because the radiologist is saying that there is displacement of the colon. This can sometimes be normal, but we don't know at this point.

Also, generally, I would not jump to anesthesia and bronchoscopy just for accelerated respiratory rate. If there was a history of choking, difficulty breathing, hacking/coughing fits, that would be different situation.

Dr. Andy
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