I am hoping to get some help regarding my dog Berkeley’s breathing. Three years ago his in-breaths became noisy and tight and he had to work quite hard to breathe in, when at rest. When he is up and active his breathing is normal.
Over the past three years we have seen five vets who have said that it is different things, from heart failure to lung disease. The latest vet we feel is finally on the right track. He says it is something in Berkeley’s nasal passages like a restriction, inflammation, old scarring, maybe even a polyp. He has been treating him with Rhinocort Aqua (or Beconase) and Cirrus.
To begin with the Cirrus (antihistamine plus decongestant) really helped but unfortunately after 3-4 months it has now stopped working as well as it did. Also the side effects of the decongestant part of the drug are hard to live with. Berkeley gets very anxious and manic on it. So with Cirrus not working very well anymore he is struggling to breathe again and we still have no definite diagnosis and have been given no alternatives things to try.
The vet feels the restriction is likely to be scarring from an old nasal infection and says nothing more can be done. He feels the original infection is probably long gone. I don’t feel comfortable with this theory or with doing nothing. Berkeley’s breathing is often tight and wheezy but can also sometimes sound quite blocked up. I have been trying saline up his nose and on one side it doesn’t seem to go up at all. His eyes have also recently started to water, just a small amount. His lymph nodes have been up in his neck and chest for 4 months now (tested and not lymphoma). I feel this all points to the fact that he is fighting something and surely something can and should be done?
I have tried suggesting an endoscopy so someone can look and maybe take swabs as well but am told that won’t be easy to find a facility to do that (we live in Malta).
So I simply do not know what to do next. I have a feeling his immune system is low so I have started to look at holistic remedies to try to get him back in condition and more able to fight say recurrent infections or improve things if he is having say an inflammatory reaction to something. I have considered buying Thorne Small Animal Antioxidant but I have no idea if it could really help? I don’t want to keep throwing good money after bad or constantly putting Berkeley through ideas and meds that never work, wasting time and energy on blind alleys.
I would really appreciate any help, ideas or thoughts at all about nasal breathing problems in dogs or general immune system support, what we could do next and what might help.
Sorry for the long post.
Thank you for any help at all.
Jenny (and Berkeley)
Richard Allport, alternative vet, advises:
I’m sure you’re correct in thinking Berkeley will benefit from natural supplements to strengthen the immune system. For any dog with these symptoms I’d recommend the following anti oxidants and immune enhancing supplements:
Selenium with Vitamins A, C and E – the best combination of antioxidants, in my view
Royal Jelly – the ideal immune system modulator
Coriolus (a ‘magic’ mushroom) – gives a strong immune boost
DMG (DiMethylGlycine) – an amino acid that helps fight infections
I’d also suggest two homoeopathic medicines – Myristica, which is often known as the homoeopathic disinfectant, and Silicea, a medicine for chronic persistent infections and scarring.
I’d also look at diet, make sure it’s wheat free and give as much fresh food and as little processed food as possible.
There are many other natural medicines and supplements that would be more specific for Berkeley, but more information about precise signs and symptoms would be required, Sadly, I suspect vets with knowledge of holistic medicine are few and far between in Malta