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Thread: Breathing Problems in a Shih Tzu

  1. #1
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    Breathing Problems in a Shih Tzu

    I have a 7 month old Shih Tzu pup, named Maddie. SHe has always had the I call it this honking noise, though some ppl have called it "inverted sneezing?" In the past she has had those episodes very infrequently, mostly when I took her home to my parents' house with me for the weekend. The last couple of days she has had 6 episodes a day. No reason behind it that i can see. She hasn't been running and being super active, though she has had an episode after going up the flight of stairs; however, since she has been having the episodes, i have been carrying her up the stairs so I know that is not the sole reason for them. Does anyone have any idea if I should be worried about this? Does anyone have experience with this problem? I am calling my vet tomorrow morning to ask her about this. In the past anytime I have mentioned it to a vet they blow it off saying some dogs do this and some will grow out of it. :\

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    Member OTHG Senior Dog Member+ Dauxside's Avatar
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    I'm sure you're aware but there are hereditary breathing problems in the breed:

    Stenotic Nares - Stenotic Nares is a condition where the narrow resticted nostril puts a strain on the dog's system and can lead to an enlargement of the heart. When the surgery is performed the veterinarian removes a portion of the nasal cartilage to enlarge the nasal openings. In this disorder, the openings to the nostrils are too small and the puppy has a really hard time breathing through the nose. Stenotic nares is an inherited defect. An early surgical intervention can provide adequate airway flow that helps prevent the development of secondary problems like tracheal collapse and chronic bronchitis.

    General Respiratory Problems - Shih Tzu have a lot of respiratory problems related to the shape of their face and head (the brachycephalic syndrome) which affects mostly dogs with a short nose (brachycephalic breeds). Due to an obstruction in the upper airways, the dog is forced to labored breathing. Not every brachycephalic dog will develop respiratory problems but most will to some degree or the other. Severe problems may require surgery.

    Talk to a knowledgable veterinarian to see if the continued sneezing may symptomatic with an inherent problem. If not, it may be allergies, also something to test for.
    CJ ~ and the Dauxside of the Moon Gang
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  3. #3
    meany patrol deputy Senior Dog Member+
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    when the soft palate is too long and short faced breeds are known for this, it cause this problem. when my dogs occassionally do this, I rub their nose to get them to swallow. that usually fixes it. But...
    my tzu had a cold and she was doing this all day. when I got her to the vet the next day she said her palate was swollen either from irritation from an allergy or a virus. It was easily treated.
    Life is short. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that makes you smile."

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    Thanks! I took her to the vet this morning and basically got no solid diagnosis. He gave me steroids, an antihistamine, and a prescription (in case she has a sinus problem). He thought it could be allergy induced. If she doesn't improve over the weekend I am going to call my vet back home and see what he has to say.

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    Senior Dog Member+ alimel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleUp158 View Post
    Thanks! I took her to the vet this morning and basically got no solid diagnosis. He gave me steroids, an antihistamine, and a prescription (in case she has a sinus problem). He thought it could be allergy induced. If she doesn't improve over the weekend I am going to call my vet back home and see what he has to say.
    I hope you baby is better. Kind of frustrating isn't it? It is possible it is due to an allergy.
    Life is short, play with your dog!

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