asthma, hiccups or my paranoia?

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Joined:Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:32 pm
asthma, hiccups or my paranoia?

Post by shir » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:29 pm

elley is a 2years and 3months old pedigree corgi. i currently reside in the UK having moved from singapore here last year about this time, similarly so for el. she has had about 10 such incidents since coming here. what happens is that she would go into this excessive and progressive motion of taking in breaths very loudly in one-second intervals as if she was having a very bad case of hiccups or just having much difficulty breathing. what i will do is talk/calm her down while i stroke her chests and head tellng her its okay. it usually works and she calms down in under 5-8minutes tops. what scares me is that there might be underlying problems for this occurrence which i am not aware of and seemingly will not be aware of anytime in the near future.

i am a first time owner of a dog or any pets for that matter and being so my concerns have not been taken as seriously as i would like it to be. what is to be said is that many times, it has been rightly so. i am and have been contemplating bringing her for an xray but i dont know what exactly for and hence have been turned down or talked out of. just for record, i have brought el to many vets but they have all either brushed it off or just attributed it to my paranoia and it is seriously frustrating as it is worrying because i do not feel in my heart of hearts that it is nothing and no one has come close to assuring or convincing me. it would be very comforting if i can be enlightened to certainty that it is either or neither of it. i am willing to do anything so any help/advice/suggestions on what it could be or what i could do would be very much appreciated. much thanks in advance.

also, as i am still very much a green horn around the UK, anyone with recommendations on a good and reliable vet in the county states of sheffield or greater manchester would also take a big chunk of worry of my shoulders. please and thank you again!

el's half-baked but burnt mommy,

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Post by josie1918 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:54 pm

I am taking a guess here, what your dog is experiencing is (common term) reverse sneezing. IF this is what it is, we don't really know exactly what triggers it, many people mistake it for seizures. It is not.
Now what to do for it, you simply pinch their nose closed and scratch their throat. In other words cause them to swallow. If it is true reverse sneezing (you will know if the remedy above works) then do not worry, it does not seem to have any adverse, or harmful effect upon the health or life span of your dog, it is just simply something some of them do.

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Post by shir » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:34 pm

thanks for the reply. ive honestly never heard of such a thing but it does sound like it doesnt it. will definitely do up some reading/research on it though. thank you for the reply and for giving me some sort of direction on what to be thinking and learning about.

but lets say we do go along this line of reverse breathing, is it in any way life-threatening if no human being is around at all when the "seizures" occur to say pinch her nose and scratch her throat so she swallows saliva? in other words, she is alone in the house so to speak?

just to add something else, because my partner and i smoke in the house of which we are i would admit, pretty heavy smokers, so despite us ALWAYS leaving the balcony door slightly ajar so the smoky air circulates out, do you think her symptoms could be in any way triggered by this too?

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Post by Horace's Mum » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:03 pm

I would do what parents with children with suspected seizures do and video it. Keep a camera handy at all times, and get as much and as many episodes on video, then take that to the vet. Then at least they can see what you are talking about.

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Post by Leigha » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:25 pm

Bruiser started reverse sneezing really young and it scared the crap out of me. He really goes through spurts with it. He didn't do it for several months, then just randomly started about a week ago and did it several times for just one night and hasn't done it again.

Here's a link to a video of a reverse sneeze:

Here's a link to a website that says not to worry about it when the dog is on it's own, it usually stops on its own: ... ID=3001528

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Post by Fundog » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:01 am

Yes, smoking could very well-- and probably does-- have something to do with it! Second-hand smoke has been shown to be every bit as harmful to pets as it is to children! (Many pet rescues will not even adopt out to smokers) Leaving the door open is not sufficient. If you can't quit, then you must from this point forward, never smoke in her presence. You go outside and close the door, leaving the dog inside. You will need to thoroughly clean the house, to get rid of as much of the smoke residue from the carpets, draperies, furniture, walls, etc. as you possibly can, since the residue will still continue to cause symptoms, even if you start smoking outside.

In addition, yes, some pets do develop asthma, and living with smokers can absolutely, most definitely contribute to this, even cause it! Smoking/inhaling second-hand smoke can also increase the risk of developing respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

The symptoms you describe in your dog can also be a manifestation of anxiety disorder/panic attack. Undoubtedly, exposure to nicotene could also contribute to that as well.

I'm sorry to have to break it to you like this. I know you must be absolutely horrified and beside yourself with grief to know that you might be causing harm to your dog, and/or making her sick. :( And I believe that you would not purposely/knowingly do such a thing. Please know that even though I have been straight-forward in telling you this, does not in any way mean I think ill of you. Smoking cigarettes becomes a very powerful addiction, and is nearly impossible to stop, once started. However, there are things you can do to help alleviate the health risks to your beloved corgi, so it isn't the end of the world. Thoroughly clean house (be sure and wash the walls too), and from now on always smoke outside, out of her presence, and require your guests to do the same. The good news is, that any ill effects your dog may have suffered can be reversed, the sooner you remedy the situation. :)

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Post by Nettle » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:37 am

As well as the above, there is a common nasal fungal infection that can cause reverse sneezing, or she may have a foreign object up her nose or a sinus infection or any one of a lot of easily-solved problems.

Kennel cough can also manifest like this, but only lasts three weeks or so, and we have no indication of the timescale of this, so probably not in this case.

So you do need to find a vet.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


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Post by Noobs » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:14 am

Thanks for that link! I didn't have the original question but the description sounded like what Murphy does. Now I know that's what he does for sure, but he does it only once in a while, his episodes last under 15 seconds, and he has only done it once or twice in any given day, and probably 10-20 times in the 1.5 years we've had him. So I won't be concerned unless he does it continually.

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Post by mselisabs » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:29 am

I first saw my girl reverse sneeze after coming home from a weekend at camp. She has mild outdoor allergies and so was probably just irritated from extra dust/pollen/whatever. It happened twice and hasn't again - she basically "froze" and looked like she was having trouble breathing! But after a minute or so shook it off and went about her business unphased..

Unfortunantly, if you want to know if the smoke is causing it, you'll have to completely stop smoking in the house and do a thorough cleaning like others have suggested!

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