Yesterday Wynston nearly gave me a heart attack. Last year he was diagnosed with intrathoracic tracheal collapse, from which he had several coughing and honking attacks everyday. After his official diagnosis, I opted for a holistic treatment instead of western medicine, such as inhalers and steroids. The treatment has worked wonders. Within a month of his diagnosis I saw significant improvement. Now almost a year later, he rarely has episodes. But yesterday was strange. He had a very terrifying episode.
I was about to lay down for a nap when Wynston walked to the side of the bed and started coughing and honking. It seemed like he was struggling to breathe. Typically when this happens, it lasts 10 seconds and then he’s fine. Well, not this time.
The first thing I did was check his tongue and gums to make sure they weren’t turning blue, which would indicate lack of oxygen. Everything looked good so I proceeded to lightly massage his neck around his trachea. Matt was with me as we sat on the floor and frantically thought of options as time passed. After about a minute, Matt suggested the hot steam treatment I typically give him. I agreed, but decided we needed to up the ante because he needed immediate results.
I grabbed my eucalyptus oil and the three of us went into our guest bathroom. I turned the shower on, ran it until the water was hot and closed the drain. I left the fan off and put about 20 drops of eucalyptus oil in the hot running water. It took about 10 seconds for us to smell the oil and about a minute for the bathroom to start steaming. The point of this is to make it easier for Wynston to breathe.
As Matt, Wynston and I sat on the floor, Wynston’s honking and heavy breathing began to subside. Within another two or so minutes, he was laying down on the rug and seemed perfectly fine.
Natural treatment wins again!
I turned off the shower and collected Wynston. We went into my office (where his human bed is) and I turned on his warm vaporizer right next to the bed and turned on his humidifier. Wynston loves the warm steam, so he sleeps right next to the vaporizer on a pillow! Of course this makes me happy because I know the eucalyptus and warm vapor are helping him, and he enjoys it.
I’m keeping a close eye on him now. He’s been playing and sleeping since the incident, but I’m overprotective so I will keep a close watch on his breathing and behavior. If he gets an episode again and it’s a lot worse or his gums and tongue begin to turn blue, we’ll definitely be taking him to the emergency vet. I am confident it won’t happen again but I’m glad I was prepared this time and I will be if there is a next time!