8/10/07

Pneumonia - Round 2

Our English Bulldog Stella was on antibiotics and steam treatments for the next 3 weeks, and then just the pills. We got really good at giving her pills. The best system was to use cottage cheese - and bury the pills in so she couldn't see or smell them. Even then, she managed to spit out about half and require more rounds of cottage cheese. Smart dog. She loves cottage cheese.

Once her pills ran out - we went back into the vet for a follow up, and he felt that her lungs looked good - so we went home happy and optimistic. About 2 weeks later, Stella woke up about 5 a.m. with labored breathing, eyelids half closed, and looking like she wanted to die. We immediately took her back to Falls Road Animal Hospital - and they immediately admitted her. It was pneumonia again - round two - Pneumonia vs. English Bulldog.

The vet called us the next day and let us know her lungs looked worse than they had the last time she was sick, and they wanted to do a trans-tracheal wash to see if there were any bugs in her lungs causing the problems. That procedure yielded no information of use, the fluid in her lungs was bug-free. I wasn't sure if I should be happy about this, but figured I might as well be. So - without a reason to switch medicines, they sent us off with another dose of pills, and prescriptions for steam treatments, and this time they wanted us to bring her in every day so she could get nebulization treatments at the vet. So - that's what we did for the next few weeks. She gradually improved, and if we had saved all the phlegm she spit up it probably would have filled a few milk containers.

15 comments:

  1. Well I am glad to see she is ok. We just put our 12 week old puppy in the hospital for the same reason. Reading this has given me a bit of hope

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  2. I'm not sure how long ago your girl had the pnemonia but here I am up at 1:00 a.m. sick to my stomache and crying my eyes out. My 9 month old english bulldog has pnemonia from aspiration. He is so sick. He had an x-ray done about 3 weeks ago and his lungs are completley full. He hasbeen to the E.R., 2 vets and the University. We have spent thousands of dollars on him and we are tapped out. Our resources have become extremely limited. He is vomitting constantly, multiple times a day and for the last week stopped drinking water. I am so frusterated. He has been on medications, had I.V.s and injections. I really do not want to put him down but the worse he is getting the better it is sounding. I am wondering if Stella is better and if so what kindof antibiotics did she use?? What types of things were done to help her?? I am in desperate need to save his life, I am frusterated ,sad and coming to my wits end. Please e-mail me. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Tinae@q.com

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  3. Hi Tina,


    I am so sorry to hear about your dog. IT can be a trying time when they get sick, especially with pneumonia, and very costly as well. When Stella got really sick, they kept her at the ER vet, were giving her IV antibiotics, breathing treatments and lots of rest. That finally helped clear up her pneumonia, but it took a few times to really knock it out. Since she recovered, she hasn't gotten that bad since. They did a test to see if she had an infection vs. pneumonia, and determined there were no "bugs" growing down there, and then they aggressively pursued the coarse of action that helped her get better.

    She was given Baytril as an antibiotic, and my earliest blog posts have the most to do with her pneumonia issues - here is a direct link to one post from 2007.
    http://bulldogkisses.blogspot.com/2007/08/pneumonia-round-2.html

    We have found that keeping her calm and not letting her get too out of breath, eating slowly, etc. has helped keep her lungs and airways in good shape. Since she suffers from the small trachea, we really have to be careful. Not sure if you have to worry about that as much if this is just from aspiration - but there are other conditions which might cause aspiration problems - hopefully your vet is knowledgeable about bulldogs - as they have very special and particular medical issues and needs.

    Good luck with your dog, maybe you vets can donate some of the services if your wallet is getting empty - and have patience, sometimes it can take a few months for the lungs to really mend, especially with a younger dog. I really hope things work out for you - and my heart goes out to you and your family and your bulldog.

    Best of luck and wishes,

    Tracey

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  4. Diesel Forever4/27/09, 11:01 AM

    The same thing happened to my bulldog... im so sad he passed away tho just recently (April 20th 2009) I just with I couldve been there in his time of need and done something to help him get better with surgery or whatever.

    >='(

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  5. I am so sad to hear about your bulldog. They are special creatures but prone to lots of health challenges, many of which cut their lives short, even with surgery. Our thoughts are with you and your pup - and I hope you are able to bring a new bulldog into your life and that he or she is healthy and able to share lots of time with you before its time to move on.

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  6. It is nice to hear that some of you have had luck with this. I brought my puppy home 3 weeks ago and 2 days after we got home noticed a green discharge coming from his nose. Our vet assumed it was a mild case of kennel cough and prescribed some antibiotics(clavaseptin)and a few days after that Bugsy vomited then began to develop a cough. The vet then put him on prednasone as well and things started to look good so we discontinued the antibiotics. About 3 days after that he began to cough and sound very wet when he breathed so we took him in again and got an xray and seen he had a very small trachea and pneumonia. Now he is in the emergency vet hospiotal on IV and they are administering him a inhaler as well nebulizer treatment. He is only 13 weeks old and i cant believe the luck i am having let alone poor Bugsy. I will say he seems to be marginally better since he has been on IV and been given the inhaler. I hope he makes it through this and by the sounds of it some of you have been lucky as well. I new geting into this(purchasing a bulldog) their would be certain things that may arise but this was so soon after buying him it is exhausting me financially,i can only hope he gets better soon as insurance will not cover me now since he was sick before the policy kicked in. If their are any other treatments out there i should be made aware of please let me know as i want my little Bugsy to come home soon and be with me for years to come.Thanks.

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  7. Hi,
    I have been having a difficult time with the english bulldog we recently bought and named Cannoli. We purchased him almost 2 weeks ago. We brought him in for his limes and rabies shots a few days after we got him and a couple of hours later he sounded like he had bronchitis, with fluid in his chest and wheezing. I rushed him back to the Vet and they said it was a possible allergic reaction and took xrays that showed a small trachea. They put him on steriods and antihistamines as well as antibiotics and sent me on my way. When I got him home he was all drugged up and puking every 5 minutes. They said he will be fine. About 5 days passed and he had been taking his meds and acting fine. About 3am I woke up to the same noises of his heavy breathing and wheezing. I rushed him to the ER. They took more xrays and diagnosed him with an pneumonia. The ER DR. said he might not make it so our only choice was to keep him there for 3k a night or bring him back to where we purchased him so they could provide free care. I brought him back which wasn't what I would have liked to do. It was the most heartbreaking thing because I had gotten so attached and he was so helpless. They said they would take good care of him and that they have a very high success rate for an pneumonia. It has been a week now and I so sad. I call and check on him and they say that he is doing good but that they won't know until the end of the week when the vet comes to see him. I will find out tomorrow what they say. We have an agreement with the kennel to re purchase him back if they say he is healthy enough. My boyfriend misses him too but also feels that if we buy him back and this happens again or he gets worse there wouldn't be much we could do and he thinks we shouldn't buy him back. I totally disagree. I want him back now, and I want to care for him no matter what. Any suggestions? This has been really hard to deal with and I have seen other comments on how peoples bulldogs have had an pneumonia as well and its tough. I just would like to know the success rate, and know I am not getting myself in too deep.

    Thank you
    Ang

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  8. Ang,
    I'm so sorry to hear your story. There's no guarantees with any puppy, and there's no right decision. Do what's best for the dog, and if you take him back be prepared for a long road of vet bills and care taking. But they can bounce back and grow into healthy dogs, it's just so sad because not all can make it through the illness and birth defects. It comes with the territory with bulldogs and buying any dog that is bred by breeders for such strange physical characteristics. Our other dog is a mix from the pound, and he's much healthier! Good luck, and just do what feels right, and weigh the info you get from your vet and breeder.

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  9. Thank you thalvor:)
    I appreciate you input...we are supposed to hear more today about how Cannoli is doing so we can get a better idea.

    Ang

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  10. Just wanted to share that my English bulldog is 9 years old and she has had Pneumonia so many times I cannot count. Even though she has recovered each time, it has been stressful, heart wrenching, and very expensive...i figure about $10,000 a year. Whenever she throws up, she aspirates and it becomes pneumonia. She has been to countless doctors, emergency rooms, specialists, and no one knows what causes it. Her trachea is fine...

    Regardless, what I do now, is the second she throws up the phlegm...I take her to the vet. I no longer wait till it becomes full blown pneumonia. This is still difficult and expensive, but has saved me the overnight vet stays.

    She is already 9 and is great in every other way. She is such an amazing dog....but this has taken years off my life after 9 years of worrying for her. I wish the doctors would figure out why it is happening but, at this point i am no longer hopeful!

    Good luck to the rest of you!! They are such great dogs, but it is so hard to watch them suffer!

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  11. My pup died 12months ago she didnt get to 4 months old and my heart is still broken. Izzy rests now I kno but I so still miss her. Any advice on mending me.x

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  12. My Frenchie is on Metoclopramide 3 times a day to help prevent her from regurgitating-she is prone to aspirating .... Hope that help a little

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  13. We lost our beautiful bulldog pup Spike two weeks ago at the age of 9 and a half months. After several previous episodes of vomit aspiration (some accompanied by fainting) followed by the usual aftercare (antibiotics etc) we brought forward a planned operation to have his soft palate shortened as this was deemed to be a contributory factor. At the same time the surgeon removed his tonsils and other excess tissue and widened his nostrils, all aimed at improving his airway. t's a common procedure and the operation was successful but just a few weeks later he had another violent bout of vomitting (no food, just yellow bile) followed by rasping breathing. He was in distress and the vet X-rayed him and found that his lungs were completely full of fluid. They gave us no option; they said he was unlikely to recover and would certainly continue to have recurrent bouts of the same, with progressive deterioration. We had an independent veterinary nurse friend with us who knew and loved him, and even she endorsed the decision. We had to put him out of his suffering and 2 weeks later we are still utterly destroyed, he really was the life and soul of our home and we would have done anything for him. It's way too early for another dog but we couldn't imagine having another breed so when the time comes I am terrified at the prospect of going through this again. Anyone know how visible are genetic respiratory problems like elongated soft palate? I think next time we will only go to a KC recommended breeder and will insist on seeing the medical records of both parents as well as the pup. We will also insist on taking the pup to a specialist bulldog vet for a thorough check before committing ourselves. Our only comfort is the knowledge that we did everything right for poor Spikey, we gave him as happy and loving a home as he could have had in his short life, and in the end we just lost a fight against biological odds.

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  14. Neil, I'm so very sorry and sad for your loss - just heartbreaking. I do encourage you to reach out to others and find some good breeders who breed for health - but do know the breed is prone to issues no matter how good the breeder - although typically issues that aren't so terminal. Again - I'm so sorry - at least your pup knew love during his time here, and I do like to believe we will see them again one day.

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  15. Wow reading this thread is so scary! My beautiful bulldog Tonka is almost 4 months, had these coughing fits twice a day but clear breath for the rest of the day. He had full power energy and ate everything. I brought him to the vet and based on pretty clear lower lung cavity ruled out Kennel Cough. No meds and said if it didn't clear up in two weeks we'd get some xrays done. but thought it wise he get his third set of shots to rule out any possibilities. The next night he was labouring breath, weaving and at 2am i rushed him to 24 hour vet. They said after some xrays that he was full of poop! and that the trachea was too small and due to coughing was inflamed reducing oxygen. the next day another vet called me and said there was no impinging on the diaphram and there was spotting on the lungs. So number 2 vet didn't see that. I went back a third time for meds, anti inflammitory M-Eloxy in liquid for three days and a cycle of 500mg Clavaseptin. Number 2 vet also gave some cough syrup and cisapride to help him pass the stool faster as he did look quite filled to the brim of poop. I also run a steam bath for him as well whenever the coughing occurs. He trots to the bathroom with me, i guess he knows he feels better. This is only day four of the meds and i do see a slight change but honestly i'm afraid to leave him alone. I need to return to work so i can continue to pay for those vet bills! They all mention the small trachea which to me looked quite tube shaped and straight. I spoke to the breeder who sent me xrays of healthy bulldog tracheas and unhealthy and i have a feeling that many vets don't understand bulldogs and i have to say i have zero confidence in the vets i've seen so far even though i could tell they cared. After the meds are done i'll take him for another round of xrays but i realize that no one took blood samples to confirm what type of bacteria they're dealing with. Wish me luck guys!

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