Please help

Nicole G

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Hi all! It's been A WHILE since I posted on here, so I hope you're all doing well.

As you may remember, I have a (now) 8 year old Frenchie girl, Ella. She is my everything, through and through, and when she was a baby we used to share a lot on here but life has just gotten crazy the last few years. For those of you on IG, I'm sure you've probably seen us go by as I think I followed any of you from the IG thread years ago, so hi if you're reading this!

I'm posting today asking for help because she is suddenly, out of nowhere, having breathing problems and I am legit terrified of what this could be. I want to start out by saying that of course the first thing I did was take her to the vet, and when it didn't get any better, for a second opinion at another vet. Both of them were...not as concerned as I feel like they should be, as they blamed it on "Frenchie noises" and let us go. So here's the whole story: E has always been a bit of a weird breather when she sleeps. Her ribcage moves a lot, and she tends to snore, and would occasionally make a "whooping" kind of snore, but other than me shifting her to get her into a better position sometimes, it would always resolve itself in a few minutes. It would also come and go and get worse sometimes with allergies or reflux (she tends to get reflux), but always subside and she'd go back to breathing fairly quietly. Until...the last week. Since then, the noisy breathing, the ribcage movement, and the noise I can only explain as stridor, squeaking and a sound like her airway is closing have magnified times a thousand. The minute she relaxes into sleep, she starts to literally squeak like a whistle, and I hear this noise that sounds like air being sucked through a straw. It's a raspy roaring sound with the squeak of her trying to inhale and her ribcage pulls very hard with each inhalation. The only time it stops in her sleep is if I can get her into a position where she's actively snoring - then her ribcage is normal and she doesn't seem to struggle to inhale. However, when she's awake, her breathing is perfect like it's always been - she walks at least 2 miles with me every single day and doesn't make a sound, plays ball very hard at the park (so heavy cardio) and doesn't even pant. She makes no clicking, choking or breathing sounds when she's awake, no signs of respiratory distress, nothing at all - it's just when she's sleeping. The only thing she does to when awake, which again she's always done, but is still strange, is sigh a lot. She's also had chest xrays, ultrasounds, bloodwork in the last couple of months (right before this all got bad) - all totally clear. But If she lays out on her side, the noises are even worse. I've attached two videos of her doing this, with a small mic near her nose so you can really hear it. Watch her ribcage and listen to the noises - this is what I've showed both vets.

It is terrifying to me as I feel, honestly, like she's suffocating in her sleep. I've rushed her to vets twice this week and shown them video of her sleeping, spent countless hours awake shifting her to better positions and crying because I feel like her breathing is just going to stop, talked on the phone with an ER vet all night trying to explain what she was doing, and thrown out everything that could be an allergen for her. The only thing that I could possibly think of is an allergen - she has had a new bag of food with flaxseed in it the last week or so, and she had a few pieces of it each day. Maybe it's that? But I've monitored her respiratory rate, given her the anti-inflammatory the first vet gave us (half a tablet of temaril P twice a day), and checked her tongue every few hours to make sure it's still pink and not blue...and can not figure this out.

Please help me here. My family thinks I'm crazy and the vets don't think there's any problem, and keep telling me that it's just BOAS. Trust me, my friend is a preservation breeder, and these dogs (particularly this dog) are my life. I'm well aware of their issues, and I've had my baby for her entire life - she's never showed any outright signs of BOAS. This is not that. This is new, or something is making the minor weird breathing that she's always done a million times worse. Have any of you got any advice, or have you seen this before? Is she in any danger? And what can I do to stop it? I'm terrified I'm going to lose my best friend.
 

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2bullymama

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Wow! She sounds congested, like her Nate’s are blocked. Have they checked her Nate’s.. inside nasal cavity? My guy has sleep apnea and sometimes does this as well as stops breathing… he has had BOAS surgery a few times even his saccules removed and still has some noises but nothing like this
 

Nicole G

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@2bullymama Hi Christine! Thank you for your reply. You were always so helpful to me on here and I appreciate it. I know - she does sound so congested and I can't tell - is it coming from her nose or her throat? I'm scared it could be laryngeal paralysis or a tumor, etc. And no - I've taken her to two vets and they haven't checked her nares or done xrays, even looked down her throat. All they do is listen and tell me "well, it's frenchie noises".
 

Nicole G

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Just a little update to: I called every vet I could think of and no one will see us til Tuesday. And obviously I can't afford to keep taking her to emergency unless it becomes an absolute one, so I'm kinda screwed. I hate this. I wish someone would take me seriously and not leave us hanging all weekend.
 

2bullymama

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Just a little update to: I called every vet I could think of and no one will see us til Tuesday. And obviously I can't afford to keep taking her to emergency unless it becomes an absolute one, so I'm kinda screwed. I hate this. I wish someone would take me seriously and not leave us hanging all weekend.
Have you tied using a vaporizer near her at night or when sleeping to see if it helps at all, it might lessen any inflammation that is building up. Even steam showers... just see if it helps in anyway, it won't hurt.
 

Nicole G

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@2bullymama I do, and it maybe helps a little! I managed to get her a telemed w/ a vet over the weekend, and when I showed him what she's been doing, he too thought it's just a weird form of snoring. They got us antibiotics to be on the safe side and I started her on them, but honestly she's really no better. Still breathing with a lot of raspy sounds and pulling her ribacge a lot, and very squeaky high pitched stridor. She's also wanting to sleep in my lap more than usual which while I love it is also scaring me, because I feel like she doesn't feel good. It could also be because in my panic to get rid of anything bothering her, I threw out her bed and she doesn't really like the one I replaced it with, tbh. But also, If I put my hand under her chin with some light pressure while she's sleeping the noise changes to snoring. What am I doing that changes it? Pressing on her tongue?

I am just such a wreck over this. I'm going to try to get her in for her usual check up with her regular trusted vet ASAP. I'm scared it could be a tumor in her nasal passage or throat, or that her palette has grown too long, etc - every time she goes to sleep I hear the noises and I'm afraid she won't wake up.

She has always made the noises to an extent though - I found some videos of her sleeping from earlier this year and she was doing the same thing - just not as bad. I'm so confused.
 

2bullymama

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@Nicole G - try ot to be too upset, she an pik up on that and add stress to her as well. I KNOW it is HARD not to worry but try not to as much as you can.

It is very possible it is her palate or nares, they are soft tissue so an ause an issue at any time since they can continue to grow.

please keep us posted
 

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