Megaesophagus; Persistent Coughing/Honking Noise – Toy Poodle NM – 6 years old

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    My Toy Poodle (neutered male; 6 years old) was diagnosed with Megaesophagus July of last year.  He has since aspirated twice; the last time being about 6 weeks ago.  We took another chest x-ray last week (June 6th, [b]and THANK GOD[/b], his lungs are clear.  They had him on 8 weeks of Baytril and wanted me to continue through the 8 weeks.  I see an holistic vet (Dr. Andrew Flint)here in Oxford, CT who is doing acupuncture treatments on my dog since last year for his megaesophagus.  We started with B12 acupuncture, then dry needles and we are now doing electro acupuncture.  He also adjusts him with chiropractic manipulation from time to time.  My concern this time is that since his last aspiration pneumonia episode six to seven weeks ago, he has developed a cough/honking noise that seems to get worse at night.  The cough/honking is now persistent even through the day as of last Friday.  I bought this to his (the vets) attention, and the x-ray shows no fluid in the lungs, around the heart, etc.  Do you know what this cough/honking could be?  The vet said it sounded like his larynx flap when he breathes out that makes this sound.  He stated it could be a soft palate and larynx issue but nothing to worry about.  It is really bothering me, and I just want to make sure it is nothing serious or will develop into anything serious.  He sounds terrible.  P.S.  The x-ray also shows his trachea, and it is not a collapsed trachea. The vet even pointed out his esophagus which no longer reveals the big balloon pouch, but I think we have to do a barium drink radiograph to see if and how much the esophagus is getting back to normal. I truly pray that it is. Should I continue the 8 weeks of Baytril since his x-ray showed his lungs clear? I really hate giving him all these drugs, but if he has to have them, I will and then try to undo the bad that this drug is doing to his liver. After his antibiotics, I would like to give him one weeks worth of Milk Thistle to detoxify him from the antibiotics. Do you advice more than one week of the Milk Thistle? I already have been giving him Probiotics at night after he gets the Baytril in the morning to put back the good bacteria the Baytril is taking away. Do you suggest anything else for detoxifying besides the Milk Thistle? Thanking you kindly for whatever advice you can offer on the coughing/honking and in general. Do you have any other suggestions on the Megaesophagus? His is idiopathic. They tested him for underlying diseases, but everything came back negative. As mentioned, we are doing the electro acupuncture, and he is taking some Chinese herbs that Dr. Flint got for him. Please, let us know if there is anything else we can do to help him get his esophagus back to normal. It would be really GREAT news if it looks as good as the last set of x-ray revealed; it does not have the big balloon pouch as the first set of x-rays showed. It looked straight. I pray that Dr. Flint was seeing it right. But Dr. Jeff, this honking is what is bothering me now. Dr. Flint does not call it coughing. It seems like he is trying to clear something from his system and the noise sounds like it is coming from his chest and throat. He sounds congested and like he has a lot of mucus. Could this be Post Nasal Drip coupled with allergies? Dr. Flint suggested giving him a half of Benedryl 3 times a day. I have started him on it, but hate all these drugs. I want to try Nettles instead, but have not as yet. Can you suggest anything else, or if you agree with Nettles, how much dosage would I use for him? he is 16 pounds. I prefer to go with natual herbs rather than drugs. Please advise on what steps I can have Dr. Flint do to make sure this coughing/honking/ches congestion is nothing serious or something that can turn into something serious. Thanking you so kindly and God Bless!! I anxiously await your response. My dog (PRINCE) goes for his next acupuncture treatment this Thursday at 10:00 AM. P.S. – I have attached a picture of Prince.
    Michelle Bauer

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    I’m so sorry for my slow reply Michelle. That’s great news about Prince’s most recent chest x-rays.

    Yes, a tracheal sensation, e.g. a tickle such as from post-nasal drip, is a good possibility.

    I can’t really comment on his acupuncture, herbal treatments, etc. to date, but if they are working, great! Keep them up.

    If not, consider consulting a trained and experienced vet homeopath. We can be found at wwww.theavh.org

    Good luck with Prince.

    Dr. Jeff


    Good Morning Dr. Jeff. It is with a heavy heart to tell you that my BELOVED Prince passed away on Thursday morning, June 20th at about 1:45 AM. I had to rush him to Newtown Veterinary Specialists Emergency on late Wednesday evening because of his breathing and when we put him down to urinate he fell over. He wrenched so hard several times to try to vomit, but very little came up. When we got him there, they put him on oxygen right away. They administered IV fluids and took a chest x-ray. His lungs showed bacterial pneumonia behind the lungs, not aspiration pneumonia which he was being treated for. The Baytril was not the correct medication that he should have been given. He should have been given a different antibiotic drug. I am so angry to know that this could have been prevented had he had the right antibiotics. My regular vet should have also taken different views of the lungs, not just the frontal view. His BP was 42, very low. They got it up to 80 which was a good sign, but it fell so low that they could not get a reading and his IV popped out. They tried to get it back in, even trying his jugular, but his veins were collapsed. They then tried to put it in his bone. They did get it in, but the fluids were not flowing properly. They intubated him and he still had a strong heart beat, but when the doctor came back to talk with me, she said his little heart stopped. They tried everything to save him. They tried CPR and drugs, but his little heart would not start. My Mom and I are at a loss and feel so empty. His brother Champy (a Malteepoo who will turn 8 on August 23rd), just stares into space. I am worried about him now. The doctor gave me some clippings of Prince’s fur so Champy can smell him. Champy is so sad. It is hard on all of us. We see him everywhere. They sent him out to Rhode Isalnd to a private crematorium to be cremated, and we will pick up his ashes this Tuesday. tomorrow. God rest his little soul. He was the most BEAUTIFUL little buddy you can ever have; he was very SPECIAL!! He brought us such JOY in his short life. MY Mom said she dreamt with him and he told her that he is happy and no longer in pain. Dr. Jeff – it hurts so much!! He did not deserve this. Thank you for responding and God Bless you and yours!!

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Oh no! I’m so very sorry to hear about Prince. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

    Maybe this [url=https://www.homevet.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=243:coping-with-the-loss-of-a-pet]page[/url] will provide some consolation.

    Dr. Jeff


    Thank you so much Dr. Jeff. The page you sent does helps. It is going to take time. I just have to be strong for my Mom and little Champy. Mom is not well, she is going through dialysis and was recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis. So I have to keep her happy and for Champy, we have to some how keep his mind occupied. I know he has to mourn as well. I will take the suggestion on the page to speak with Prince’s vet to explain our feelings, and let him know that he was a good vet to Prince. I have to see past what has happened and try to understand that God wanted Prince and his time was up. It was very hard since he was so young. Again – THANK YOU for the page link you sent. It is very helpful in the mourning process. I read it aloud to Mom and Champy moments ago. Of course I cried through some of it (which is not good for them to see me cry so often). I am sure it will get better as time goes on. Prince will always be with us. God Bless you Dr. Jeff and THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Your response has comforted me.

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