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Discussion Starter #1
First of all I will let you know I am going to be addressing all these concerns with the vet on Thursday. But I am hoping maybe some other poodle owners may have some info or advice, maybe some of you have been in a similar situation with your poodle.

Thanks

I have a 2 year old minature poodle (Well 2 years and 4 months old) and he has always had some issues with his breathing and he coughs a bit but as of late he has gotten worse. The vet he was at before said the breathing issues, wearing out real easily, the coughing, and constant panting was from allergies (seasonal). But he does it all the time. The new vet (who we really trust and he treated my childhood poodle) said the racing heart and constant panting was from anxiety and he was just an anxious dog by nature.

He is a very hyper dog and always has been. I will tell you he did come from a hobby breeder (aka Backyard breeder) and boy have we learned our lesson about that. Anyway we have had him since he was 9 weeks old and we have been working on his separation anxiety ever since but it just keeps getting worse. So his current vet has him on a sedative as needed. The vet feels that the anxiety is what triggered all his gastro problems as a young pup. Which are now pretty much under control.

Some things about my dog. When at play He can't seem to keep up with the other dogs. He wears out in the first 10 minutes of play. My dog is constantly panting even when not at play. We are talking that my dog pants most of the day active or inactive. Especially when he gets excited. He chokes and coughs a lot when running and sometimes even more so when resting. Lately (and this is where my concern comes in) in the middle of the night he will wake up having severe coughing fits and I give him his allergy medicine (which is also as needed) and it does nothing for him. We thought originally he coughing and hacking was 2 years of pulling while walking on a leash (we never could find a harness that fit him right) We finally have him a good harness and he doesn't pull anymore, but still when being active he gets coughing.

I guess my question is: Why would a dog this young have so many problems running and playing, especially when the weather isn't hot. Why would this dog constantly pant? Why would this dog wake up coughing at all hours of the night and start coughing really hard when he is at play? And when you pick him up his heart always feels like it is trying to beat right out of his chest.


It just seems like something else might be going on other than allergies and anxiety. But I can't put my finger on it. Someone suggested that we have a heartworm test run and sure enough we looked at his records and he has never had a heartworm test done in his life. how do you go two years and not have a heartworm test done, he is on heartguard and has been on it since we got him. But how does a vet miss that he needs a heartworm test and as many times as we have been into all these vets (he has had like 6 different vets, now all were at 3 different practices. The first 2 vets offices we went to you never saw the same vet twice, now we are at a vet where he sees the same vet all the time)

But he is having a heartworm test ran on Thursday. But if something is wrong I have no idea how we are going to treat him. I'm sure we will find a way but financially its going to be difficult and with the new baby on the way. I know we will find a way but its going to be hard. Especially after the thousands we have already put into getting him well in the past.

I'm hoping his problems are simply allergies and anxiety but I fear something more is going on.

What are your thoughts?
 

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I'm no vet, but I do have asthma and it sounds like your dog's symptoms are very similar to mine. I also, ironically, have a generalized anxiety disorder, so it could be that these two things are related. It's easy to panic when you think you can't breathe.

Something else that also struck me was when you said that he pulled on the leash while wearing a neck collar. I know that tiny dogs can easily damage their trachea this way, could it be that maybe your dog has too?

I wish you all the best with your little guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The vet never seemed to concerned about a trechea problem. He asked me once if he pulled like that often and I said yes. But he didn't check him for it, he just suggested a harness
 

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I first thought of heartworm (or something with his heart?) but the trachea, anxiety and asthma ideas are valid, too. Do you live in a part of the world where heartworm is prevalent? I'm in North Dakota and our hearworm problems have never been too bad (might be the frigid winters that kill off a lot of the mosquitoes every year!)

Sometimes my daughter's year old standard poodle will just start panting while at rest in the house - my guess is that its because she's HOT!!! Two of my other dogs are short coated breeds and Katy keeps Meau in a modified continental so her chest, shoulders and head are covered in her thick, curly coat (*I'd* be hot, too!!) If we open a window or turn the heat down, she seems to quit and it's never constant or excessive...

Good luck at the vet and let us know what they say!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We live down south in the TN/NC area and yes heartworms are a major problem here but its unlikely a dog on preventative would get it. And he has been on preventative his whole life but he is getting the test anyway.

I have a Terrier as well and we haven't had a single health problem out of her but our poodle its one health problem after another it seems. But I know he isn't hot, I'm pregnant and I keep it frigid in here even though its cold outside right now.

I'll update after his appointment for sure though.
 

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I wish I has some reassurance for you...... What a tough situtation for the dog and your family.

It seems like this would be lungs or heart. Not being checked for heart worm is surprising to me. My best suggestion might be a vet forum and see if they can offer suggestions. I tend to do my homework with the dogs or my family! That way I can throw out some options I have read. Especially if it is something I cannot pin-point.
 

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Can an enlarged heart cause that type of coughing? I'll do some googling for you to see what I can find.
 

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Yeap : ((, I would insist on all tests done regarding heart and lung problems - blood tests, x-rays !!!!!

It is obviously something wrong with oxygen levels in his body - whatever is causing them and it is most likely either lung problem or hart problem :(.

Now - there could be lung infections too !!! That is why I would ask for x-ray of the lungs and heart too - to check for water accumulation, inflammation, or even some congenital heart defect !!!!!
 

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I'm no vet, but my first thought was heart as well. Could be lung, but the symptoms sound similar to those you would see for heart problems.

Good luck with the vet!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
We've been going to this vet for a year now so we trust him. All these things you mention sound like the tests will be very expensive, am I right? The problem is my husband was laid off 4 months ago when the company shut down and I am currently not working due to this pregnancy. So money is very very tight. I am hoping its nothing and ofcourse all he is going in for is his grooming and they are going to run a heartworm test to rule that out. I was hoping if that came back negative than the vet is right. But all this tests you would think the vet would have ran them when he was in last when his heart was pounding so hard and he was panting, but thats when the vet started treatment for anxiety. I'm just hoping the heartworm test comes back negative because I know how expensive treatment for that is. I don't want to sound terrible but finances aren't good right now and part of that is all the treatments we've done on him for his other issues. So that is a little scary. I love him and I'm sure we will find away to afford whatever is wrong but right at this moment we don't have the money for a big vet bill and I hate that but we don't. When we got him 2 years ago we were just about to be married and just starting out. We never expected to have all these health issues from him. I'm scared if something is wrong we might not be able to treat him. My husband would spend every last penny we have trying to get him well, but I'm not so sure at this point that I would be able to go that far. Not with a family to support.

Is there anyway they can figure out whats going on without running a bunch of expensive tests because right now we just don't have it. 4 months ago we could have but right now we just can't. This is just the worst possible time for him to be sick again. Especially after we thought he was all better.

My husband is the one taking him Thursday so chances are he will tell the vet to do whatever he feels necissary but if the dog is going to keep getting sick or always be sick, should we really keep going like this?

I want him to get better but my biggest fear is that he turns out to have a problem and we aren't able to help him
 

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I am sorry you are having so many health problems with your poodle. When I red your original post, the first thing that came to mind is heart problems. I understand that he is on heart worm preventative, but the vets should have run the heart worm test before putting him on it. Has that never been done? Also, it can be a heart disease, not heart worm.

Good luck at the vets on Thursday.
 

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Here you go. I'm absolutely no professional but I read a LOT on the web and books and the enlarged heart is the first thing I thought of when I read his symptoms. I think they would determine that with an x-ray or ultrasound. It sounds like you can prolong his life with some medications. Good luck with everything!
http://www.dog-health-guide.org/dogenlargedheart.html
 

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Sounds like heart to me. Our old silver boy has a heart murmur that has been made worse by very bad teeth (a catch 22- they will not knock him out to clean his teeth, but if they would, cleaner teeth would help rectify the heart trouble). He coughs quite a bit. Best of luck. Please be sure to update us...
 

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I agree with checking out the heart first. Depending on what they find it could get very expensive. It could be anything from heartworms (good thing he is getting tested, but it makes me upset that your vets-all of them- never tested him yet) to a shunt (that came to mind with the exercise intollerence). I would start out with a physical exam and some chest x-rays (which for his size shouldnt run you more then 100$ for them).

Good luck with everything, and i would love it if you could keep us up to date on it!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah it upsets me too that he never was tested. My current vets office when we went to refill the prescription were looking and they said he hadn't had one. And I checked his records too and sure enough he hadn't. They said it could be because the first vet put him on heartguard that first visit and the fact that he was in and out of the vet so sick so much that it might just have gotten overlooked. But still that was no excuse. So they said they would run the test while he was being groomed. I am hoping its just his allergies and anxiety that are doing a trip on him like this. There are days he has no problems at all and then there are 4 or 5 days at a time he just seems to have all those symptoms or just a few it just depends. But my current vet is confident in his diagnosis, but their office says if I still have concerns the vet will check him out. I said well lets get this test done and see how it comes out first. He had acute pancreatitis when he was 11 months old. He was diagnosed with that. I kept taking him to the first vets office and they kept saying "Oh its just a tummy virus" and gave him antibiotics. 3 times we went in. Then we moved and got a new vet.

At this point my Minature Poodle was down to 5lbs. (His healthy weight is around 12lbs) So then at 11 months old one morning he woke me up gagging. And the next thing I know he is throwing up blood. So I rush him to the vet. They run a bunch of tests they say there is an issue with his liver enzymes which points to pancreatitis. So they give him fluids and 2 different types of pills to take. He got better, started gaining weight. That was July. Then in January he did it again and went back in, that time I was sure we were going to lose him. That time they didn't run any tests they just treated him for it. That vets office wasnt' happy when I refused to feed him the Hills Diet they prescribed. What they kept over looking was He is allergic to corn or intolerant. His body can't handle any products with corn in it. He was on their diet for awhile and he refused to eat it. he is a smart dog, if something has corn in it he usually just stays away from it.

So its been a year almost and No gastro problems at all. I have him on a good diet, California Naturals Herring and Sweet Potato and he actually eats. (He wouldn't eat anything else).

Our current vet feels his anxiety played a big part in his gastrointestinal issues and he feels if we can get his anxiety under control and keep it that way, he shouldn't have anymore problems with that. He said there was really not enough evidence pointing to pancreatitis and more testing should have been done.

So this vet treated my childhood poodle (well the poodle I had as a teen) so we are hoping he can figure this out and get our poodle better but at the same time he knows we are stretched at the moment, but I guess that helps.

Anyways his appointment is tomorrow afternoon, I'm guessing they will know what the test says that day? Anyways I will update you then.

Sorry to give his life long history

(The worst thing for me is he has really missed out from being sick all the time on socialization with other dogs and people, he is good with people but any dog he didn't grow up around he isn't good with at all, and I feel that has to do with the fact that for so long we couldn't really work with him)
 

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I can understand all the anxiaty and food issues. That previous episode sounds like pancreatitis also. These really have not alot to do with the heart though. It almost sounds like your vet has blinded himself to your dog with his previous diagnosis. You need a fresh pair of eyes on this.
 

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No heartworms and everything seems to check out fine. His heart and lungs sound fine. They said no wonder he is out of breath so much as hyper and bouncy as he is. They said he seems to have more energy than most puppies. They said we just have an extremely hyper/nervous poodle and not to worry too much. And that unless anything changes they will see him in February for his health check and shots.
 

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No heartworms and everything seems to check out fine. His heart and lungs sound fine. They said no wonder he is out of breath so much as hyper and bouncy as he is. They said he seems to have more energy than most puppies. They said we just have an extremely hyper/nervous poodle and not to worry too much. And that unless anything changes they will see him in February for his health check and shots.
Thats great if there is nothing serious going on. I am glad to hear it.

I would still want to if possible try to figure out why he was having some of those issues. Maybe food or some other allergy. Either way, if it can be managed where he is not losing weight then all should be ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
His allergies have gotten worse so he may have to be switched to a new antihistime soon but other than that. He actually has gained 2 lbs since his last visit. He is up to 10lbs
 
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