Several years ago I wrote about my experience with my Pomeranian Precious and congestive heart failure. I never realized how many dog owners would share their stories with me. After putting her down after her long struggle with CHF, I eventually decided I needed to get another Pomeranian.
I wanted a dog closer in age to my other Pomeranians so I rescued a 6 year old Pomeranian who was supposedly a stray. Since she was a stray she didn’t have a name so I couldn’t help but name her Precious also. This can be annoying to some people because when I talk about my last dog I have to say Precious#1 as to not confuse her with my current Precious.
So when my new Precious developed a cough it really scared me. I thought please I don’t want to go through that so soon again. I can’t believe how grateful I was when my vet told me her heart was fine she just has the beginning symptoms of collapsing trachea.
Actually when I went home I realized this condition is not going to be any picnic either. As a pet sitter for the last 12 years I cared for a few dogs who had collapsing trachea. There was one Yorkies who I really loved whom I had the honor of pet sitting for several years who eventually just got so bad not even the surgery helped him recover.
The first year I had Precious her collapsing trachea wasn’t much of a problem but then she developed an upper respiratory infection with a runny nose and nasal congestion. This was an experience that could fill another post. When she finally recovered from this she wouldn’t stop coughing. Before she would only cough when she got excited now she coughed day and night. In the beginning the only thing to do is address the cough with cough supresants like hydrocodone. My vet gave her that and finally we both got some sleep.
I started to do some researching about collapsing trachea online and discovered some interesting facts. The sites mentioned that before the diagnosis of a “collapsed trachea” in most instances there will have been chronic coughing for years prior to the diagnosis. Because of this constant assault on the trachea these tissues are weakened resulting in the severe collapsing trachea. The trachea never has a chance to become stronger. I wondered could barking extensively also cause this problem. Precious would also go crazy barking in the morning and every time I asked her if she wanted to go out. I suddenly felt like this was something I could no longer let her do. Easier said than done but I decided to try. Could that be why mostly small breeds like Yorkies, Pomeranians, Poodles develop collapsing trachea because they are such good yappers? Have I made her prognosis worse because I have failed to correct this behavior?
I’ve tried to eliminate her constant barking and have noticed her coughing does get worse when she gets that excited. For now she is on hydrocodone twice a day and we are dealing with it. I have noticed sometime when she starts coughing in the middle of the night I will gently rub her tummy and she will eventually stop. I guess I’ll have more to say as this condition progresses. I can only pray it won’t be as bad as congestive heart failure with Precious #1 was.
Any comments on how any dog lovers coped with it or things you may of done to help your dog’s collapsing trachea will be greatly appreciated.
We hear a lot about autism and children but dogs and autism is most likely more rare. Because of this lack of awareness on this subject I wanted to write this post.
A friend of mine has a dog whom we believe has autism. This wasn’t a diagnose that any vet gave this dog but one that we both determined after much time and research. She took her dog to trainers and vets complaining of her dog’s dysfunctional habits and all the vet suggested was to take her to an animal behaviorist.
This dog was a completely normal dog when they adopted her. I can attest to this fact because as her pet sitter I have many videos of her playing to prove this fact. Her only real issue then was she didn’t want to walk on a leash.
Then it seemed overnight she changed. When she came over she would want to go directly to the furthest point in my house and lay down and stay there all day. She would seek seclusion where ever she was. I tried to put up a gate to force her with other dogs and me. She would try to climb behind the tv and wanted no part of socializing.
She would always be looking up at the ceiling as if something was there.
When she went outside she would do the same thing that she did inside. She would find the furthest point in my yard from back door and stay there. It could be 10 degrees and she would not come back in the house. She apparently would rather freeze than be around any dogs or people. I would always have to go outside find her pick her up and carry her back into my house.
It’s not like there was anyone bothering her my dogs are low-keyed all in their own little world. After a lot of research and her owner mentioning that she noticed her changes after some vaccinations we both thought maybe she has autism. There is a lot of data that says children are diagnosed with autism after many vaccinations so why isn’t it possible for the same to be true of dogs.
Symptoms of Dogs With Autism
Dogs with autism may not display any symptoms or the symptoms are very subtle and may not be recognized.
However, some dogs with autism may show some symptoms. The main symptoms of dog autism include:
- Dysfunctional interaction with other dogs or owner
- Restricted behavior, as autistic dogs may only limit themselves to performing only a few moves avoiding new moves and games
- Repetitive actions. Dogs with autism tend to have a routine they like to stick to.
- Apathy and inability to communicate joy, fear or other feelings
- Lack of activity, even if the breed is a high energy dog
Luckily my dogs have not had many eye infections that I can remember. The only time I recall was when my Pomeranian Precious developed one because of the extreme case of demodectic mange that she had. It seems dogs with severe mange loose their hair around their eyes. It guess the mites are drawn to that area. It’s common for secondary infections to occur with mange.
While there are many other causes of eye infections in dogs a common reason with dogs who do not shed is the hair is continually growing and when not kept trimmed can irritate the dog’s eye which can then lead to infection.
As a pet sitter I’ve cared for many of these breeds and know their hair grows out quickly. Living in Ohio with cold winter you don’t really want to cut their hair when it’s 15 degrees outside. The important thing is that you keep the hair around the eyes trimmed so it won’t irritate them otherwise it could be the cause of any eye infections they develop.
Recently I had the pleasure of pet sitting for a really cute dog. Her favorite game was for me to throw her toy and she would chase it. I was throwing her toy and she would run after it but end up looking around like she was having trouble seeing it.
Since she was a Schnitzu who was obviously overdue for a haircut, my first thought was help her see and proceeded to find my scissors to give her a little trim. It was then I noticed an extreme amount of grey discharge. I know that some breeds of dogs like Maltese, Pekingese, Pug and Schnitzu are all prone to eye infections because their hair sometimes acts like an irritant to the eyes.
I proceeded to trim he hair around her eyes with a small set of scissors…….no skill required unless you have a wiggly dog then its best to have someone help you. I then cleaned out her eyes with a warm wet cotton ball and her owners seemed pleased when they came to get her.
I mentioned they might want to check with their vet to see if she needs some medication for her eye discharge and they told me they had eye medication at home so it must have been a problem the dog had experienced before.
So if you notice a heavy discharge in your dog’s eyes it’s always best to see your veterinarian right away because if it is not treated promptly and correctly, a dog’s eye infection could cause permanent eye damage.
Isn’t she cute!