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Hi Everyone,


First post on the forums (hello everyone!). I've come here because I was hoping to get some advice...

Our dog Soondol (see my signature) is almost 12 and has gone through a lot of challenges (had surgery 5 years ago for a luxating patella for example) but we are having a very hard time lately. He has CHF/heart murmur, separation anxiety, and a collapsed trachea. About 3 years ago, we were able to help calm him during a rough coughing episode by holding him in a sitting position, snout tucked in a bit, along with Metacam and Hycodin to help relieve his symptoms. This would help calm him and eased the physical weight on his body. Prior to us figuring out what he had, going to the vet, diagnosing the problem, and getting the medication, he'd cough for hours straight and then stop out of exhaustion. Thankfully, it took about a few weeks but he was able to steadily recover. We gave him some Throat Gold as well, which really seemed to help. In due course, he was able to recover.

Soondol is not overweight, no one smokes, we don't use a collar on him, and, when things are normal, eats quite well (his mommy, who is an excellent chef, prepares meals for him as he's picky and needs a good food diet for his health)

Unfortunately, due to some bad timing, humid weather, and luck, he's going through another bout of the collapsed trachea. We have tried what we did in the past without success and almost 3 weeks in, it feels like he is getting worse. Soondol is quite light (about 2.8 kilos) and based on his weight, he's supposed to have 2.5 ml of the Hycodin every 6-8 hours. Given his heart, we tried starting him at 2.0 ml every 6-8 hours when he would have a coughing episode and after the first week, he seemed to get better, but got worse. Now, it seems we give him 1 ml every 3 hours or so and at times, even this is not enough to suppress his cough. We will sit with him to help calm him for hours on end. Sometimes, he can go for 5-6 hours without coughing but it's hard to see any progress and it seems like the medication barely works now. At night, it's been very hard, as for the past few days, he wakes up every 2-3 hours and requires us holding him and letting him fall asleep along the side of a pillow when he's "done" his coughing fit.

We don't expect him to live forever and we will do the right thing when the time comes but at times, it seems like a Jekyll/Hyde situation, where he is completely normal and then starts coughing and it goes downhill. I truly believe he still has life in him (he still loves his chicken snacks, although with the medication he is on, he's not eating his dinner as much as he used to [being picky] ) still wags his tail, still wants to go outside, still shows us his tummy and wants to be near us. I believe the medication he is on is making it harder for him to eat regularly (he seems dizzy c/o the Hycodin at times) but I truly feel he is not done yet...

I expect that it will be worse at night and I know I have to break the coughing cycle so his throat can heal, but we are at a loss of what to do. I'm trying to keep him indoors as much as possible at a comfortable temperature with the A/C on. We also ordered some CBD oil in the hopes that it will help him relax and ease any pain (I can't imagine how any creature would feel coughing for hours on end) and it will arrive soon but I'm just wondering if there is anything else we can try to help him not cough. If I can stop the coughing or minimize it, his throat will heal and he could get better, but we're at our wits end and our vet, as a generalist, seems limited in her ability to help. We give him some organic honey to help soothe his throat.

I wrote a lot but any advice or suggestions would be wonderful and sincerely appreciated.
 

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Hi Everyone,


First post on the forums (hello everyone!). I've come here because I was hoping to get some advice...

Our dog Soondol (see my signature) is almost 12 and has gone through a lot of challenges (had surgery 5 years ago for a luxating patella for example) but we are having a very hard time lately. He has CHF/heart murmur, separation anxiety, and a collapsed trachea. About 3 years ago, we were able to help calm him during a rough coughing episode by holding him in a sitting position, snout tucked in a bit, along with Metacam and Hycodin to help relieve his symptoms. This would help calm him and eased the physical weight on his body. Prior to us figuring out what he had, going to the vet, diagnosing the problem, and getting the medication, he'd cough for hours straight and then stop out of exhaustion. Thankfully, it took about a few weeks but he was able to steadily recover. We gave him some Throat Gold as well, which really seemed to help. In due course, he was able to recover.

Soondol is not overweight, no one smokes, we don't use a collar on him, and, when things are normal, eats quite well (his mommy, who is an excellent chef, prepares meals for him as he's picky and needs a good food diet for his health)

Unfortunately, due to some bad timing, humid weather, and luck, he's going through another bout of the collapsed trachea. We have tried what we did in the past without success and almost 3 weeks in, it feels like he is getting worse. Soondol is quite light (about 2.8 kilos) and based on his weight, he's supposed to have 2.5 ml of the Hycodin every 6-8 hours. Given his heart, we tried starting him at 2.0 ml every 6-8 hours when he would have a coughing episode and after the first week, he seemed to get better, but got worse. Now, it seems we give him 1 ml every 3 hours or so and at times, even this is not enough to suppress his cough. We will sit with him to help calm him for hours on end. Sometimes, he can go for 5-6 hours without coughing but it's hard to see any progress and it seems like the medication barely works now. At night, it's been very hard, as for the past few days, he wakes up every 2-3 hours and requires us holding him and letting him fall asleep along the side of a pillow when he's "done" his coughing fit.

We don't expect him to live forever and we will do the right thing when the time comes but at times, it seems like a Jekyll/Hyde situation, where he is completely normal and then starts coughing and it goes downhill. I truly believe he still has life in him (he still loves his chicken snacks, although with the medication he is on, he's not eating his dinner as much as he used to [being picky] ) still wags his tail, still wants to go outside, still shows us his tummy and wants to be near us. I believe the medication he is on is making it harder for him to eat regularly (he seems dizzy c/o the Hycodin at times) but I truly feel he is not done yet...

I expect that it will be worse at night and I know I have to break the coughing cycle so his throat can heal, but we are at a loss of what to do. I'm trying to keep him indoors as much as possible at a comfortable temperature with the A/C on. We also ordered some CBD oil in the hopes that it will help him relax and ease any pain (I can't imagine how any creature would feel coughing for hours on end) and it will arrive soon but I'm just wondering if there is anything else we can try to help him not cough. If I can stop the coughing or minimize it, his throat will heal and he could get better, but we're at our wits end and our vet, as a generalist, seems limited in her ability to help. We give him some organic honey to help soothe his throat.

I wrote a lot but any advice or suggestions would be wonderful and sincerely appreciated.
Hi Everyone,


First post on the forums (hello everyone!). I've come here because I was hoping to get some advice...

Our dog Soondol (see my signature) is almost 12 and has gone through a lot of challenges (had surgery 5 years ago for a luxating patella for example) but we are having a very hard time lately. He has CHF/heart murmur, separation anxiety, and a collapsed trachea. About 3 years ago, we were able to help calm him during a rough coughing episode by holding him in a sitting position, snout tucked in a bit, along with Metacam and Hycodin to help relieve his symptoms. This would help calm him and eased the physical weight on his body. Prior to us figuring out what he had, going to the vet, diagnosing the problem, and getting the medication, he'd cough for hours straight and then stop out of exhaustion. Thankfully, it took about a few weeks but he was able to steadily recover. We gave him some Throat Gold as well, which really seemed to help. In due course, he was able to recover.

Soondol is not overweight, no one smokes, we don't use a collar on him, and, when things are normal, eats quite well (his mommy, who is an excellent chef, prepares meals for him as he's picky and needs a good food diet for his health)

Unfortunately, due to some bad timing, humid weather, and luck, he's going through another bout of the collapsed trachea. We have tried what we did in the past without success and almost 3 weeks in, it feels like he is getting worse. Soondol is quite light (about 2.8 kilos) and based on his weight, he's supposed to have 2.5 ml of the Hycodin every 6-8 hours. Given his heart, we tried starting him at 2.0 ml every 6-8 hours when he would have a coughing episode and after the first week, he seemed to get better, but got worse. Now, it seems we give him 1 ml every 3 hours or so and at times, even this is not enough to suppress his cough. We will sit with him to help calm him for hours on end. Sometimes, he can go for 5-6 hours without coughing but it's hard to see any progress and it seems like the medication barely works now. At night, it's been very hard, as for the past few days, he wakes up every 2-3 hours and requires us holding him and letting him fall asleep along the side of a pillow when he's "done" his coughing fit.

We don't expect him to live forever and we will do the right thing when the time comes but at times, it seems like a Jekyll/Hyde situation, where he is completely normal and then starts coughing and it goes downhill. I truly believe he still has life in him (he still loves his chicken snacks, although with the medication he is on, he's not eating his dinner as much as he used to [being picky] ) still wags his tail, still wants to go outside, still shows us his tummy and wants to be near us. I believe the medication he is on is making it harder for him to eat regularly (he seems dizzy c/o the Hycodin at times) but I truly feel he is not done yet...

I expect that it will be worse at night and I know I have to break the coughing cycle so his throat can heal, but we are at a loss of what to do. I'm trying to keep him indoors as much as possible at a comfortable temperature with the A/C on. We also ordered some CBD oil in the hopes that it will help him relax and ease any pain (I can't imagine how any creature would feel coughing for hours on end) and it will arrive soon but I'm just wondering if there is anything else we can try to help him not cough. If I can stop the coughing or minimize it, his throat will heal and he could get better, but we're at our wits end and our vet, as a generalist, seems limited in her ability to help. We give him some organic honey to help soothe his throat.

I wrote a lot but any advice or suggestions would be wonderful and sincerely appreciated.
Hi Everyone,


First post on the forums (hello everyone!). I've come here because I was hoping to get some advice...

Our dog Soondol (see my signature) is almost 12 and has gone through a lot of challenges (had surgery 5 years ago for a luxating patella for example) but we are having a very hard time lately. He has CHF/heart murmur, separation anxiety, and a collapsed trachea. About 3 years ago, we were able to help calm him during a rough coughing episode by holding him in a sitting position, snout tucked in a bit, along with Metacam and Hycodin to help relieve his symptoms. This would help calm him and eased the physical weight on his body. Prior to us figuring out what he had, going to the vet, diagnosing the problem, and getting the medication, he'd cough for hours straight and then stop out of exhaustion. Thankfully, it took about a few weeks but he was able to steadily recover. We gave him some Throat Gold as well, which really seemed to help. In due course, he was able to recover.

Soondol is not overweight, no one smokes, we don't use a collar on him, and, when things are normal, eats quite well (his mommy, who is an excellent chef, prepares meals for him as he's picky and needs a good food diet for his health)

Unfortunately, due to some bad timing, humid weather, and luck, he's going through another bout of the collapsed trachea. We have tried what we did in the past without success and almost 3 weeks in, it feels like he is getting worse. Soondol is quite light (about 2.8 kilos) and based on his weight, he's supposed to have 2.5 ml of the Hycodin every 6-8 hours. Given his heart, we tried starting him at 2.0 ml every 6-8 hours when he would have a coughing episode and after the first week, he seemed to get better, but got worse. Now, it seems we give him 1 ml every 3 hours or so and at times, even this is not enough to suppress his cough. We will sit with him to help calm him for hours on end. Sometimes, he can go for 5-6 hours without coughing but it's hard to see any progress and it seems like the medication barely works now. At night, it's been very hard, as for the past few days, he wakes up every 2-3 hours and requires us holding him and letting him fall asleep along the side of a pillow when he's "done" his coughing fit.

We don't expect him to live forever and we will do the right thing when the time comes but at times, it seems like a Jekyll/Hyde situation, where he is completely normal and then starts coughing and it goes downhill. I truly believe he still has life in him (he still loves his chicken snacks, although with the medication he is on, he's not eating his dinner as much as he used to [being picky] ) still wags his tail, still wants to go outside, still shows us his tummy and wants to be near us. I believe the medication he is on is making it harder for him to eat regularly (he seems dizzy c/o the Hycodin at times) but I truly feel he is not done yet...

I expect that it will be worse at night and I know I have to break the coughing cycle so his throat can heal, but we are at a loss of what to do. I'm trying to keep him indoors as much as possible at a comfortable temperature with the A/C on. We also ordered some CBD oil in the hopes that it will help him relax and ease any pain (I can't imagine how any creature would feel coughing for hours on end) and it will arrive soon but I'm just wondering if there is anything else we can try to help him not cough. If I can stop the coughing or minimize it, his throat will heal and he could get better, but we're at our wits end and our vet, as a generalist, seems limited in her ability to help. We give him some organic honey to help soothe his throat.

I wrote a lot but any advice or suggestions would be wonderful and sincerely appreciated.
Hi,
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Mark. My name is Marie.

My Snowball had a very serious heart attack (ruptured chordae tendineae) on March 3, 2016. Several days ago, and on another thread (Congestive Heart Failure by TwoCrows) ... I shared a more lengthy history of Snowball’s background In regard to his heart attack and,his collapsed trachea.

Do you have a cardiologist for Soondol? The reason I think that is important ... is so that you can make sure the cough is specifically related to the trachea and not Soondol’s heart. It took me a while, and with the guidance of Snowball’s cardiologist and regular vet (who practices both traditional and holistic medicine) to be comfortable in knowing if the cough was coming from the heart or trachea issues.

Snowball takes Pimobendan,, Enalapril, and Lasix for his heart. And, Hydrocodone that helps with coughing. He also has monthly laser/ acupuncture treatments that has helped tremendously in helping with his trachea and everything else health related. Snowball tends to cough if he is excited or feels stressed ... but, the meds and treatments have really helped him.

I absolutely think you are doing the right thing by keeping Soondol inside as much as possible ... and with air conditioning when it is hot and humid outside. The day before yesterday our air conditioning system broke down and Snowball started panting and coughing until I got him into a cooler environment and then he was okay again. The heat and humidity will make a dog with health issues sicker ... but, you sound as though you already know that.

My heart goes out to you and your precious Soondol. Please make sure you work closely with your vet and cardiologist when it comes to Soondol’s dosage of medications and supplements. The correct dosages of the right medications are so important ... and, only you and a good vet know your precious baby the best.
 

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Hi Marie,


Thank you for your reply. I'm so sorry to hear of all the stresses you have gone through with Snowball. Soondol also had a luxating patella? sp? and had surgery for this 5 years ago. As a result of the anesthetic, it irritated his throat. I would like to read more about your story and will try to find your post later. He's super handsome and cute! Thank you for sharing your pictures of him. :)

The vet we work with does know of a cardiologist, so I think this is something I should look into. I guess I've lost a bit of faith in her (last time there was little she could do, not counting the medication but given his heart I will discuss with my wife today to book an appointment asap). Like most dogs, Soondol gets nervous at the vet and his heart rate goes way up. Still, a cardiologist couldn't hurt.

In the past, we took him to another vet who did some acupuncture on him. He was out like a light after the first session. I may try this again if the CBD oil is delayed.

I appreciate the advice you shared and time you took to write it. Thank you. Last evening was a bit better than usual (he went about 6 hours without needing meds) but his coughing fits were pretty rough last night. I'll post more if I can about what is going on later. If it helps anyone, it's worth it!
 

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Hi Mark, Welcome to SM. Soondool is adorable. I only wish we were meeting you under better circumstances. I'm so sorry he has to go through all these health challenges - Reading your post breaks my heart. You sound like you are doing all you can to stay on top of this and are an excellent daddy to Soondool. I'm praying you find answers...Soon! Please do stay in contact and keep us updated. You will find lots of encouragement here. I love your quote "Enjoy the small things because time waits for no one" - So very true!
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Thank you for the kind welcome, Abella. It's so frustrating that he has to go through all these things and that we're essentially powerless to help him in many ways. I did call the vet and spoke with the secretary to see if we can book an appointment with a visiting cardiologist, who, if I recall correctly, is supposed to be in the area next Friday for another appointment. That feels like such a long time away. Honestly, my better half (aka Soondol's mommy aka mama bear) has done a lot of research as well. At this point, a good night's sleep would be a miracle! I don't think I've slept more than 3 hours straight in the past week or so but I guess it's training for when I become a father someday.

It's hard because I know he wants to go outside and sniff but I'm trying to keep him indoors as much as I can. We are living in a perpetual construction area (new subdivision) and although the humidity is down compared to lately, it's still windy and hot enough. I know he could handle it being outside and probably wouldn't cough, but I feel like that could impact him later on.

Thank you for the kind compliments about my quote. It was the first thing that came to mind when I was registering yesterday and in thinking about Soondol.

Still waiting on the CBD oil. Hopefully, that will make a difference in the short term. I sometimes think if he was more calm, he wouldn't get so excited, breathe so fast, cough as much, and heal.

Will post more as more info comes...
 

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Hi, I am so sorry to hear sad news about Soondol, I feel so bad the baby has to endure that My heart goes out to you. I have heard of a inhaler for dogs for throat that have collapsed tracheas it opens up the air in their throat. It something you can bring home and use it when the bouts happen. Check with your vet. Also check with your vet before giving the CBC oil to your baby , you don’t want any other medication he’s on Currently interfering with those medicine. I agree definitely make a appointment with a cardiologist too. I really hope your baby feels better so scary when this happens. Keep up the beautiful care and love your giving. Prayers for your Adorable Baby Soondol.
 

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Thank you, Coaster. I have heard and seen a few pictures of those inhalers too. Funny thing, as a child, I had chronic Asthma but with diet and environmental changes, it got a lot better. It's one of those things...we are strict on his weight (because of this condition, his heart, and leg) none of smoke, we used to take a daily walk, let him explore and sniff our yard outside, good food, lots of love and care, etc...but still. If I saw someone smoking with a dog, I think I'd lose my mind at the moment! :|

Thankfully, I managed to squeeze in an exam with our vet for tomorrow morning. I'm sure he'll have a blast @@ but through examining him and some x-rays, we can hopefully determine if this is just related to his trachea or elsewhere. If it is the latter, we can then schedule an appointment at a nearby University Animal Hospital for a detailed look.

I was also wondering about combinations with respect to the CBD oil and his medication, but he's just on the Hycodin at the moment and we tried some Metacam for a few days but it didn't really seem to have any affect. We were also given some sedatives a few months back for when we took him to the vet [think he pulled a muscle at the time] ) which have helped him sleep a bit better/longer at night. It looks like it won't even arrive until tomorrow, if then, anyhow so no worries about the combination of stuff for the time being.

I hope that someday, perhaps with genetic therapy/screening, this condition won't exist any more for any dog or owners to go through. Isn't it incredible the things we would do for our loved pet?

Mr. Gisa
 
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. At one point I heard of people using Cerenia to help with collapsed trachea. It's the med that helps when dogs are nauseous but seemed that it helped some Maltese with collapsed trachea. It's fairly benign, given when when dogs come out of surgery or are throwing up. I think I would head to a good Veterinary University with Soondol.
 

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Thank you for your consolation. I'm so touched, in fact, with everyone posting well wishes.

A few corrections I need to state (a lack of proper sleep does have an impact on our cognitive abilities). Soondol is actually almost 13 and does not have CHF yet (just a heart murmur). We brought him to the vet today and after an x-ray, they concluded it's just his collapsed trachea (no fluid build up in the lungs - phew). They gave him a more powerful sedative/hycodin mix which has worn off and are looking into procuring an elixir from the nearby University vet hospital (which we used last time) that has the benefits of metacam/hycodin/sedative all in one.

The vet (a different one than our regular one) does not suggest CBD oil due to the risk of THC being in it, but we are confident in the product we bought and are going to try it in small amounts anyway. Hopefully, between this and the elixir, he'll stop coughing enough/start healing and get back to normal.

I'll post again if anything changes. Thank you all for being so sweet! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Mr. Gisa
 

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Hi Mark. I agree with Sue (Snowbody) that a good University school might help. As for Cerenia, Snowball’s vet recommends it for nausea and upset stomach.

However, for any of Snowball’s vet and cardiology visits ... he is prescribed and takes Gabapentin to help keep him calmer and less stressed.

As for CBD oil ... it does sound as though you have done your homework in regard to that. Dr. Krisi said with a legit CBD oil is fine for Snowball. However, I haven’t ordered it yet ... but, think I will do so.

As for any heart murmur ... my personal opinion is that this should be followed closely. One thing that gives me peace of mind with Snowball having a cardiologist ... is that I get to be there with Snowball at the examining table as his echocardiogram is being done by the doctor. I am able to talk and pet Snowball and that usually helps keep our fluff babies calmer and feeling more secure. In addition, Dr. Tyrrell guides me through the full echocardiogram ... verbally telling me how everything looks ... while also pointing out on the screen the areas he is examining. The echo will show you if there is any enlargement of the heart, too. Yes, it is a more expensive exam ... however, worth if it can help save chances of ending up in the ER with a multi-thousand dollar visit.

I might not have mentioned that after Snowball’s heart attack ... he had dental surgery for some tooth extractions. He was in surgery for well over an hour and came out with flying colors. Then after that he had surgery for oxalate stone surgery ... and, again, did extremely well! And, then one more dental cleaning and tooth extraction the following year! So, with all of this ... and, how well Snowball did after such a serious heart attack ... I hope it gives hopes to others like you.

I hope you know I am just sharing thoughts and information on things that have helped me with Snowball’s health issues. I look forward to updates on Soondol. He looks so adorable.

I am going to try and attach pictures of Snowball with his cardiologist. And, one with Snowball with our beloved Dr. Krisi.
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Welcome, Mark and Soondol :) Oh goodness what a cutie pie! I'm so sorry to hear of your baby's declining health. I second what's been said--you are an excellent dad to him. I hope and pray you can keep him as comfortable as possible.
 

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Thank you again for your reply, Marie. I have to say that Snowball is a trooper to go through all that. :) Dogs are tough, aren't they? Given all that Soondol has gone through, I am still amazed at his strength (he's earned the nickname of Ha Yeon Saja (White Lion) in Korean.

We are looking into a cardiologist but it's more complicated. I will explain more below. If he can recover fully, for sure, we'll look into a cardiologist in the near future. I'm fairly confident this is related to his trachea only, as if it were related to his heart, I don't think he'd be here.

Soondol loves (insert sarcasm) the vet and will usually shake like a leaf. The University hospital is no better. What amazes me is that he can recognize the route to both the University Hospital and vet very quickly.

His teeth are also starting to go bad (we tried brushing but it is what it is). I think I mentioned in my original post that he had surgery for a luxating patella and the anesthetic they use requires a tube to be put in the throat, which upset his throat and aggravated his CT (this was about 4-5 years ago). We were actually considering a visit to the cardiologist to see if dental work could be done (we worried about infections and pain) but unfortunately, that is a problem on the back burner.

I do think that the medications have an affect on his stomach, but I would also say he has an appetite and can be picky. Thankfully, he mowed down his dinner tonight and without coughing too.

I appreciate you taking the time to share the information you did. When I was looking on Google for advice, I was surprised to see how little I could find, but I think Soondol is going through an advanced stage of this horrible disease.

As for how he is doing...well, unfortunately, he had a really really rough night last night. Like coughing about every hour and taking longer and longer to calm down. My wife was in tears at about 8 AM. I took him outside to do his business (which he did, while coughing, poor thing) and kept him downstairs with me to give my wife a break. His morning was a little better but not much, so we called the vet again, who thankfully agreed to a) give him a sedative to calm him down for at least 5-6 hours and b) to stop the Hycodin, since it doesn't really have much affect now and replace it with codeine. I sat with him while he slept all day and held him while he coughed in trying to calm him down. To my surprise, when I took him outside during a bout, he actually stopped, did his business, came in, ate all his dinner, drank some water, and still isn't coughing. But then he started coughing again about 15 minutes later and our next dose isn't for another 2 and half hours...

My wife and I are having the conversation we don't want to have but have to have. It's almost been a month, the medicines we are giving him aren't helping, and he doesn't seem to be getting better. We haven't slept more than 3-4 hours in a row for the past 2 weeks and we dare not leave him alone at him for fear of what that could do to him/being alone and dying by himself. We've agreed to try the codeine/cbd oil/elixir but if those don't work, we might have to put him down. We are struggling to come to grips with this, but the sad reality is that his quality of life is seemingly non-existent now and it's killing us to see him suffer this way. We are fully committed to ensuring he does not suffer but at this point, we don't know what to do to get him to stop coughing, heal, and come back. If he were a human, we could put him in the hospital, hook him up to an IV, give him oxygen when it's hard to breathe...but it's obviously more complicated than that.

I hope no one else has to go through this but if someone is, hopefully what you are sharing/what I'm writing might help.

Thanks for the kind compliment Zooey'smom. All we can do is our best...

Here's a few pics of Soondol. First one was soon after his luxating patella surgery (you can see the scar there on his back leg if look closely) and of one of him in our car.

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Those pictures are so precious. My heart is with you, your wife, and your darling Soondol right now.
 

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Thank you Zooeysmom. That means a lot.

It...is with a very heavy heart that I write that we put Soondol down today. Last night was very rough and after a month of a steady decline, something had to be done. I'm quite the optimist and wanted to give it more time but even I couldn't deny that he was getting steadily worse. Last night, he spent 2 hours straight coughing and woke up every 1-2 hours, even with the codeine/CBD oil. My wife had shown me a post somewhere about it not being selfish to consider euthanasia when it affects your sleep (I drive and I don't think I could ever forgive myself, even when fully rested, if I ever hurt someone because of my actions in a car). At near 13 and a month into this...

I took him downstairs with me this morning to give my wife some space and held him but he was becoming more...defiant? in terms of not wanting to be held. He seemed to want more space than usual, even if he was coughing. His tail was half way up and I dare say that the codeine was worse for him than the hycodin. I know we did our best but I will always wonder if I could have prevented some things, changing the end result.

We agreed, after realizing he couldn't eat, drink, sleep, walk, or do literally anything without coughing that it was time. It just wasn't life for him or us and he was becoming more and more in pain and more unlike himself. I took him for a quick carried walk on our yard and let him sniff a bit but even then he was coughing.

As a child, when we put our family dog Tigger down, we took her to the park before we went and I still recall her running happily through the grass. I wanted to do the same at a nearby. Unfortunately, he was still coughing at the time, but we did get him an Iced Capp (cold coffee like drink that he loves) and he drank quite a bit (being thirsty no doubt!). He had a brief break but then began again.

The nurse mentioned her dog had the same issue. In the end, it didn't seem painful for him (he was sedated) and very quick (5 seconds or so). We stayed with him for quite some time after and left some of our clothes, some snacks, etc...in a box that is like a temporary coffin for him. We decided to cremate him and should get his ashes back in about 3 weeks.

I just wanted to thank you all for reading, posting, and your support. I know that these are just words/electrons over the Internet, but they helped during an excruciating time. I would wish this upon no one and I truly hope that someone going through this can get some answers here.

I also ask you to give your precious pets and loved ones a kiss and to treasure them because life is too short.

My wife and I have agreed not to get a dog for a very long time, if ever. It's almost bedtime and it's frightening for us, as he used to sleep with us at night, esp. lately with him being sick. On the one hand, we wont wake up to his coughing but on other other, when we wake up in the morning, there will be no Soondol. I feel like the world has been stripped of so many colours. It feels so empty...but perhaps in time, we can heal.

For those who have a dog with this accursed disease, I would strongly advise the following:

1) if you think your dog has it, get it looked into by a vet ASAP so you can start managing it and prolonging your dog's quality of life. You'll know by their breathing patterns, the goose honk/reverse cough.
1) strongly avoid walking/going out on hot/humid days. It's just not worth it to aggravate their throat. If you smoke and have a pet, quit. Get a humidifier if necessary and an air purifier for where you sleep (it's good for your own health too).
2) consider some suppliments that are beneficial for their throat (Throat Gold really helped us when he went through this several years ago).
3) Avoid leashed collars - go with a harness instead (less pressure on throat).
4) Keep their weight down too - this will help!
5) vets are tricky - it isn't their pet, so do some research and consider scenarios/alternate opinions where possible. Why the vet gave us codeine pills for a dog with a collapsed trachea is still leaving me scratching my head. But unfortunately, it seems like there is little you can do with this particular problem.
6) that said, please consider purchasing a dog from a breeder with good references - no one needs to go through this and as it seems genetic in many ways, it is in that sense, preventable.
7) breaking the cycle of coughing immediately is crucial when this happens. If surgery/stents/rings is necessary, also consider doing dental work at the same time, since anesthetics could aggravate a sensitive throat and your dog needs clean teeth too!
8) in the end, I feel that it has to be about your dog and their quality of life. If they are not really living, it's not fair to them and it's more for you.

I know every case is different, but if anyone needs advice, post here or send a message and I'll try to share/help.

Thank you again everyone. I wish you all nothing but the best. Here's a couple more I found of Soondol that made me smile.

274823


274824


274825


RIP little buddy. We miss you more than words can ever say...

Sincerely,
Mark
 
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I'm so sorry, Mark. Crying while reading your beautiful post and seeing those adorable pictures. Soondol was one very loved dog. It is so sweet of you to share your experience and knowledge with others. You will definitely help many more Maltese. Sending love to you and your wife. Take care.
 

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Thank you zooeysmom for your sweet words. I actually burst into tears reading them. I'm sorry I made you cry as well. I can be logical when I write, of course, I'm not cold-hearted or made of stone. When I sniffed his cushion when we came home (and I dreaded this like nothing else) I cried too. I don't think I've cried this much in my entire life. It's...so harsh that dogs don't get to live very long. I would gladly give 10 years of my life for even 2 or 3 of his. Thank you for being so sweet...

This is so hard for us but I know deep down that is was the right thing to do. No more pain or suffering and not prolonged for our benefit. I know he is in a better place now with his Grandpa (who he loved) and is eating, playing, and running happily as can be.

I also forgot to add this video which was really well done IMHO:

Take care of yourselves everyone and treasure what you have. It's all we can do.


Mark
 
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Mark, I am so sorry. I too, am crying along with you and your wife. Your tribute to your precious angel Soondol is so touching and beautiful.

Your words show what a kind, wise, and sensitive man you are ... Soondol was so blessed to have you and your wife as his loving and devoted parents.

I am keenly aware how precious each moment is with our sweet babies. Just last night, I felt so sad looking into Snowball’s eyes and seeing how the cataracts have changed things for him In the past several months. It is a stark reminder of his age and how precious every moment counts. There have been many tears lately, and in the middle of the night ... because I dread thinking about losing him. But, like you and your wife ... I would never want him to suffer when things become too much for him.

Thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures of Soondol. He was adorable.

Mark, I pray you and your wife will be blessed to feel Soondol’s angelic spirit touch and surround you with all the love, comfort, and peace ... that both of you so unselfishly gave to your darling Soondol.

Love to you and your wife,

Marie
 

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Thank you for your reply Marie. I'm sorry I made others cry, but I understand it. Truthfully, a few years ago, when I would think about the end, I would tear up. I always knew this day would come but somehow, I thought we had more time. It's been so many tears, weeping, crying, laughing for us both...processing is hard of course but step by step. We have so many good memories, so I'm grateful for them and am trying to hold onto them. At other times, I try to look at all the meds and stuff that he was on. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I would want everyone to go out and make some good memories and treasure all the big things little and small. You can't make those afterwards.

It's hard...I ask myself why dogs can't live longer but then the thought of what it would be like having to him go later. Maybe if they could live as long as us? But such is the way things are...

Thank you kindly for your compliments. I'm just me and we owed it to him to do our best. As you all have lovely Malteses' you understand how precious and incredible they are. In so many ways, dogs are so much better than people but I can also understand why someone who never raised one might think I'm crazy.

Soondol's hearing was starting to go too, but we took it as a blessing because of his anxiety. Seeing his pink ears turn more blackish? was hard. Getting older is a strange thing. I know it's part of the cycle of life but it's a tough thing we all have to comprehend and go through. Sorry, I'm just rambling here as I try to make more sense of all of this. I'm so glad that you treasure the time you have with Snowball. Know that he is loved and that you have been doing your best for him. Dogs truly deserve that. I'm so grateful that I've been in the position to do what I can without worrying (too) much about money. I'm not rich but have finally settled down so to speak after returning home after living abroad. It took about 5-6 years to do that and money was tight. We moved a lot and it was hard. Harder on him too probably, but I also know that him being with us was his home. Sigh...I can't imagine how anyone goes through something like this with money troubles. Sometimes, I hate the way things are in this world for that reason. Sick children, sick spouses, sick pets...but that said, even money can only go so far. At least we were able to do what had to be done when it had to be done.

The vet called to give us consolations and I'm glad she did. The next step might have been a stent in his throat but with Covid, I don't know if they could have slotted him in for surgery in time. The cost and risks involved were substantial and although I feel his life was too short, I know he had lived a good one in many ways too. For him to be in our arms was I think, more important than in an Operating Room. At least he got to pass being held by his mom, with his dad nearby. I sang a song to him that I find peaceful when I'm trying to accept the serenity of things. Perhaps it might help others for when they are having a hard time? It's MLK by U2. It's a soft hymn so to speak but very beautiful and peaceful.

I want to clarify as a layperson (I'm not a vet) that the medicine, while not ideal in the typical pill form, goes down his throat and into his tummy - not his trachea. I'm sure it might have irritated it and didn't help but as a pill form, it's okay. The more we reflect, the more we realize that this was inevitable. Lately, at night, for the past few months or so? while he was sleeping, he would start to have heavy breathing and would wake up, almost like sleep apnea. I think that this was, in fact, the progression of the collapsing trachea. This is something that, if your dog suffers from it, might be something to keep an eye on. We couldn't live in a bubble forever, but knowing this now, I think we would have tried harder to minimize the risks of outdoors. It hasn't helped that we've had a very humid/hot summer either but Mother Nature does her thing and 400 + years of burning things has had an effect on things...

I tell myself he will always be here in spirit and that he is in Heaven now, with his grandpa, eating a bone and wagging his tail. It's so strange how such a small creature can have such an influence on us but as short as it was, I am still grateful for the time I had with him.

Here's a few more. No one else needs to reply, unless you really want to:

274826


Dogs are a little weird sometimes, aren't they?
274827


274828
274829
274830
 
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These pictures just melt my heart so much :) You don't have to be sorry for making us cry--we all love and support each other and share in the grieving process. It is good to cry.

I definitely believe our dogs go to Heaven--love that visual you have of Soondol with his grandpa <3 I know it will be very hard to imagine living life here on Earth without him, but you will be reunited one day.

Also, I definitely think you made the right decision on Soondol's healthcare. I would never put Zooey through a surgery at this age. I think that would just be cruel to make their last days, weeks, months miserable. You made the compassionate decision for him.

(((Hugs))))
 

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Thank you Zooeysmom. That means a lot.

It...is with a very heavy heart that I write that we put Soondol down today. Last night was very rough and after a month of a steady decline, something had to be done. I'm quite the optimist and wanted to give it more time but even I couldn't deny that he was getting steadily worse. Last night, he spent 2 hours straight coughing and woke up every 1-2 hours, even with the codeine/CBD oil. My wife had shown me a post somewhere about it not being selfish to consider euthanasia when it affects your sleep (I drive and I don't think I could ever forgive myself, even when fully rested, if I ever hurt someone because of my actions in a car). At near 13 and a month into this...

I took him downstairs with me this morning to give my wife some space and held him but he was becoming more...defiant? in terms of not wanting to be held. He seemed to want more space than usual, even if he was coughing. His tail was half way up and I dare say that the codeine was worse for him than the hycodin. I know we did our best but I will always wonder if I could have prevented some things, changing the end result.

We agreed, after realizing he couldn't eat, drink, sleep, walk, or do literally anything without coughing that it was time. It just wasn't life for him or us and he was becoming more and more in pain and more unlike himself. I took him for a quick carried walk on our yard and let him sniff a bit but even then he was coughing.

As a child, when we put our family dog Tigger down, we took her to the park before we went and I still recall her running happily through the grass. I wanted to do the same at a nearby. Unfortunately, he was still coughing at the time, but we did get him an Iced Capp (cold coffee like drink that he loves) and he drank quite a bit (being thirsty no doubt!). He had a brief break but then began again.

The nurse mentioned her dog had the same issue. In the end, it didn't seem painful for him (he was sedated) and very quick (5 seconds or so). We stayed with him for quite some time after and left some of our clothes, some snacks, etc...in a box that is like a temporary coffin for him. We decided to cremate him and should get his ashes back in about 3 weeks.

I just wanted to thank you all for reading, posting, and your support. I know that these are just words/electrons over the Internet, but they helped during an excruciating time. I would wish this upon no one and I truly hope that someone going through this can get some answers here.

I also ask you to give your precious pets and loved ones a kiss and to treasure them because life is too short.

My wife and I have agreed not to get a dog for a very long time, if ever. It's almost bedtime and it's frightening for us, as he used to sleep with us at night, esp. lately with him being sick. On the one hand, we wont wake up to his coughing but on other other, when we wake up in the morning, there will be no Soondol. I feel like the world has been stripped of so many colours. It feels so empty...but perhaps in time, we can heal.

For those who have a dog with this accursed disease, I would strongly advise the following:

1) if you think your dog has it, get it looked into by a vet ASAP so you can start managing it and prolonging your dog's quality of life. You'll know by their breathing patterns, the goose honk/reverse cough.
1) strongly avoid walking/going out on hot/humid days. It's just not worth it to aggravate their throat. If you smoke and have a pet, quit. Get a humidifier if necessary and an air purifier for where you sleep (it's good for your own health too).
2) consider some suppliments that are beneficial for their throat (Throat Gold really helped us when he went through this several years ago).
3) Avoid leashed collars - go with a harness instead (less pressure on throat).
4) Keep their weight down too - this will help!
5) vets are tricky - it isn't their pet, so do some research and consider scenarios/alternate opinions where possible. Why the vet gave us codeine pills for a dog with a collapsed trachea is still leaving me scratching my head. But unfortunately, it seems like there is little you can do with this particular problem.
6) that said, please consider purchasing a dog from a breeder with good references - no one needs to go through this and as it seems genetic in many ways, it is in that sense, preventable.
7) breaking the cycle of coughing immediately is crucial when this happens. If surgery/stents/rings is necessary, also consider doing dental work at the same time, since anesthetics could aggravate a sensitive throat and your dog needs clean teeth too!
8) in the end, I feel that it has to be about your dog and their quality of life. If they are not really living, it's not fair to them and it's more for you.

I know every case is different, but if anyone needs advice, post here or send a message and I'll try to share/help.

Thank you again everyone. I wish you all nothing but the best. Here's a couple more I found of Soondol that made me smile.

View attachment 274823

View attachment 274824

View attachment 274825

RIP little buddy. We miss you more than words can ever say...

Sincerely,
Mark
 
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