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Allergic to greenies?

Species: Dog
Breed: Brussels griffin pug
Age: 11-15 years
My 11.5 year old pug/griffin mix dog has been having nasal/breathing issues for the better part of two months now. He was put on clavamox then Zithromax with hardly any alleviation of symptoms. His lungs are clear, no fever, no nasal discharge. He breathes out of his month and if you listen closely he makes a whistling type sound when his mouth is open. He has been a bit lethargic and we've had to add "human" food to his dog food to make sure he eats it. Most recently our vet put him on an asthmatic medication this past Tuesday and he's been doing fantastic since - all his breathing issues went away and he was back to his normal self without any of that junky congestion sound. I gave him a greenie tonight (he's eaten these all his life but hasn't had any for the past week or so) and shortly after he ate it all his congestion issues seem to have returned... He's breathing with his mouth again and it sounds like he's attempting to clear his throat. I'm wondering if he could be allergic to the greenie? I'm amazed at how quickly all his symptoms returned when he was doing so great the past few days. Our vet did suggest the possibility of a collapsing trachea or nasal blockage causing these issues but that wouldn't explain how he's been symptom free the last few days with the asthmatic meds only to have a sudden onset of symptoms return tonight. Any help is appreciated.. We are so stressed over this.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm....this is a tough question to answer. It does seem pretty coincidental that Choopy's breathing issues returned after having a greenie. But, my guess is that this is not an allergy issue but rather, something else.

I think in order to figure this out, you may need to do some experimenting. We definitely don't want to cause Choopy discomfort, but we do need to figure out what is going on.

Here's what I would do if this were my dog. I would wait a few days and give no Greenies at all and watch for any symptoms. If he has been symptom free for a few days then I would give him a Greenie again and see if it happens. If it doesn't, then it may have just been coincidence. If it does, then I would again, wait a few days with no Greenies. Then, when he has been symptom free for a few days I would crush up a greenie into tiny pieces that he doesn't have to chew and see what happens. If he still gets congested after eating that, then there very well may be an allergy. But, if he seems ok, then it may actually be the act of chewing something hard that is bringing on the symptoms.

You can test this by giving him some other type of chewie treat. If a hard chew makes his symptoms come back then you may want to ask your vet about the possibility of a dental infection.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you - just one question - if it was a dental infection would the asthmatic meds have made him better? He's much better again today and he seemed fine a few hours after he ate the greenie last night. I would just think if it wasn't asthma that the meds wouldn't help much.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There is a small chance that a dental problem could improve with asthmatic medication if the medication had steroid in it. But, from what you have described, it sounds like the problem getting worse after a greenie was just a coincidence.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.