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Old 01-23-2014, 11:13 AM
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parje1 parje1 is offline
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Default Huffing and Coughing

My 10 year old Lab was just diagnosed. She weighs 63lbs. She's been a very healthy dog. She's been on a grain free or low carb diet her whole life. Her dog companions have required other diets for allergies, etc and she always did fine on their diets. I currently feed her Nutri Source Grain Free with Stella and Chewy's freeze dried raw patties crumbled over the top.

I've owned or fostered many, many dogs with different ailments but I'm a complete newbie with diabetes. About a month ago, she started huffing and coughing like she was trying to clear her throat. I took her to the vet twice and testing found nothing. We have terrible air pollution here in the winter and we wondered if it could be that. The huffing continued but the coughing went away. Last weekend, she would go down stairs but wouldn't come back up without lots of coaxing and she seemed to be having trouble with her back legs. I took her back to the vet and they found her glucose levels at 400. This has hit really fast and it's hard to watch. She was super active and healthy one day and now she struggles to walk. Glad to find this forum and find out she should get better. Does anyone else have a dog that huffs and puffs?

Last edited by parje1; 01-26-2014 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

Hi and welcome - I only have a second so sorry if this is short. I never experienced the symptoms you asked about but many others have noticed the back leg weakness, which seems quite common in the bigger breeds. The huffing you describe - is that like heavy panting? Many people report excessive panting especially after an insulin shot. The body is still adjusting to having insulin again and will take a while to return to a "normal" state. Both of these problems usually subside after they have been on insulin for a while. Hopefully, someone else will relate any experience they have with those symptoms.

What type of insulin is your dog taking and how many units?

Also, rest assured, this does get better. The regulation process can seem very slow and people tend to get impatient for results so be prepared that slow and steady wins this race.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

Thank you. The huffing and heavy panting...like she can't catch her breath is constant anytime she moves. I'm asthmatic and it reminds me of when I'm having an attack. It's a little different than heavy panting. She started 7ml of Humulin N this past Monday. I am noticing subtle improvements. It's nice to see her tail wagging again.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:00 PM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

Only have a quick moment - so welcome and hello.

Has your vet ever considered laryngeal paralysis - I do believe labs are an over represented breed with that condition. It may even be expanded to be more of a disease which eventually includes weakness in the rear legs.

Here is a link to explain more:
http://cvm.msu.edu/hospital/clinical...pp-study-group

Some diabetic dogs do seem to be prone to having rear leg weakness at the onset or shortly after starting insulin. Most have been labs or lab mixes. If you search for Eddie - that is a thread of a lab mix who was able to over come the rear leg neuropathy. His owner may be along soon to give you some direct input as to her experience with Eddie.

Holli
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

Hello and welcome

yes - as Holli says, Eddie did indeed have a major problem with his back legs just after he was first diagnosed. He also did a lot of panting - like ordinary panting and I wouldn't really describe it as "huffing" or coughing. He only did that in the evenings after his food and insulin. It stopped after the first few weeks.

I don't know if your dog's leg problem is the same as his but with him it was almost as if his whole back end had become numb. He couldn't stand up without our help and could barely walk even with us supporting him He spent most of a couple of months sleeping. On trips to the vet we had to carry him to and from the car. The vets were convinced that there was something else going on. We had numerous scans and x-rays and eventually they told us that they thought he had a tumour near his spine and had 3 weeks to live. That was 14 months ago....

We sort of ignored the dire prognosis (encouraged by the wonderful people on here) and just carried on with insulin and also gave him B12 Methyl pills in lavish amounts. There is a study suggesting that that form of B12 helps with neuropathy.

After about three months he was again standing and walking normally. Now he can run around and even stand on his back legs (we like it when he does this at the vet's reception desk with his front paws on their desk).

It was a very gradual recovery with improvements that only we noticed because we were constantly monitoring him. But gradually there were specific changes that were clear improvements. Whether it was due just to the insulin or whether the B12 helped I have no idea. (Our vet had not come across the B12 supplement for this purpose so we made up the dose as we went along and we were quite desperate so we gave him a lot.).

So we will always be grateful to people on this forum who convinced us that Eddie could get better at a time when no-one else thought it was possible - and he did look awful, having lost a lot of weight as well as not being able to stand.

It's early days for you so you probably just need to settle down into the routine of insulin and watch for signs of improvement. Try the B12 methyl (not cobalamin which is ok but different) if you feel like it. Remember that it will all take time and you may find that your dog wants to sleep a lot of the time.

If you want to eliminate some other possible causes of the leg problem you could ask your vet for a painkiller so that you can see if that makes any difference. It made no difference at all to Eddie as he was in no pain from it but it did just confirm that it was not something like arthritis.

Antonia
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2014, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

Did the vet check out the breathing concern?

It's not something that's typical of diabetes.

Natalie
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

I too wonder about Laryngeal Paralysis. When I walk into a room I swear I can tell within seconds just by the sound if a dog has LP. It is a deeper raspier sound then usual.

Usually when I ask the caregiver they say the vet has never mentioned it. Whenever a person has presued it turnsout to be the case and the dog has gotten a lot of relief after what I believe is a relatively simple procedure.

I don't know why more vets either don't pick up on it or discuss it with clients. Possibly because it is an older dog problem and they think people won't persue surgery?

There may be some you tube videos where you can hear the distinct sound of an LP dog.

Tara
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

Hi there,
Bazz and I wanted to give you a warm welcome to the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parje1 View Post
We have terrible air pollution here in the winter and we wondered if it could be that. The huffing continued but the coughing went away.
You don't happen to live in Utah do you? We get horrible pollution with our winter inversions. Luckily for us we live in a small valley surrounded by mountains and in the upper elevations we don't have too many problems. The only time I've had a problem with Bazzle breathing is when we had a wild fire near by and Bazz ended up with a mild case of smoke inhalation. I'd definitely ask your vet about the Laryngeal Paralysis.

Has anyone suggested that you start home testing? Bazz and I have found knowing what his blood sugar is doing as an invaluable tool in keeping his numbers down.

Feel free to ask as many questions as you have, we are all here to help. Hope things will get better soon,

Audrey & Bazzle
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Last edited by Auddog; 01-23-2014 at 09:07 PM. Reason: spelling corrections
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

Dogs also can have an inflammatory but non-infection-related condition in the lungs known, "affectionately", as "old dog lungs...

Our diabetic had a fair severe case of this and he did some coughing an hacking as a senior. I'm sure air pollution would have exacerbated it. We tried a few things to help with it. Fortunately it didn't cause him a lot of problems.

Are you near a specialty vet hospital?

A consult with a really good Internal Medicine Specialist could be very helpful in sorting out all of these questions. They are the kind of things not often seen or addressed by more rural veterinarians.

It also wouldn't hurt to run a quick electro-cardio-gram to make sure the heart is functioning properly. Someone recently found, unexpectedly, that their dog had a pretty severe heart condition.

Obviously, I hope it's none of those things and just a little extra sensitivity to pollution, but a good night's sleep can come from checking it out thoroughly.

Natalie
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2014, 06:49 PM
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parje1 parje1 is offline
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Default Re: Huffing and Coughing

I do live in Utah. In Salt Lake City. Hate the inversion but love living here. We actually take our dogs hiking in Park City often, just to get out of it.

The vet did check her lungs, throat, vitals, etc. We did a full blood panel, xrays of nearly her entire body, and checked urine. The huffing is getting less and less so, I'm hoping it goes away. I do have a good vet, thankfully.

I know this is early in the game. I'm still in shock. My dog had no issues, not even old age issues or at least symptoms until recently. I have another Lab Mix we adopted a year ago and we are at the vet every two weeks for him. It's hard to lose both your walking buddies but glad they are still with me.

We go back on Monday to check her levels. They will teach me to do it at home. Right, now I'm just trying to get her to eat. Each day it gets harder and harder to get her to eat. She is perkier but visibly losing weight. Thanks everyone for the advice and warm welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auddog View Post
Hi there,
Bazz and I wanted to give you a warm welcome to the forum.



You don't happen to live in Utah do you? We get horrible pollution with our winter inversions. Luckily for us we live in a small valley surrounded by mountains and in the upper elevations we don't have too many problems. The only time I've had a problem with Bazzle breathing is when we had a wild fire near by and Bazz ended up with a mild case of smoke inhalation. I'd definitely ask your vet about the Laryngeal Paralysis.

Has anyone suggested that you start home testing? Bazz and I have found knowing what his blood sugar is doing as an invaluable tool in keeping his numbers down.

Feel free to ask as many questions as you have, we are all here to help. Hope things will get better soon,

Audrey & Bazzle
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