Aminophylline (Theophylline, Theo-Dur, etc.)

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Fri Jan 04, 2002 11:43 pm

My almost 7 year old sow is a suspected asthmatic. I know Pinta is working with terbutaline (and I offered to try to get my vet to consult with yours, Pinta).

Right now, we´re trying steroids and an antibiotic (prophalactically).

The vet will consent to using aminophylline (a popular bronchodilator) if I can find some literature SOMEWHERE on its usage in CAVIES. She has dosages for typical companion animals and rabbits, but I will try to do the legwork here. I want to find the info so badly now! It has really been an uphill struggle. I understand the hesitancy, though.

If anyone has any information on this, please post it here or email me at Thanks!


Post   » Fri Jan 04, 2002 11:58 pm

Zag is currently on Terbutaline while being eased off dex(twice a week for 10 days and then once a week).

My vet is willing to try that kind of stuff - if we can get it up here. If you have any info I can pass to her - she might take the plunge with Zag who is still crackling on Terbutaline. The rabbit dose would be good info and is that a brand name or the actual drug?

By the by - Zag has dry eye and just started on Optimune which we used before with success on Peony.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:11 am

Alas I didn´t get the rabbit dose. Aminophylline is the drug name, the others are some of the brands.

So Zag is still cackling? Did the terbutaline help at all? From what I´ve found, the terbutaline is newer and possibly "better," but every animal reacts differently. Is she still on the 1/2 mg daily?

KCS now? Wow. Does the vet know what precipitated it? I know she´s also a heart patient, right?
Last edited by Josephine on Sat Jan 05, 2002 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 3:19 am

She´s on 0.5 mg terbutaline twice a day (1mg altogether). I think it helped. She does do the best after an injection of Dex, but we can´t keep that up. Her asthma seems very weather related. When Zag´s asthma is bad the vet says her dog and cat asthmatic patients are bad too. She came down with a URI that was going thru the herd, which brought back the crackles.

Yup, she´s a heart patient so she gets Lasix and Fortekor.

No idea what precipitated the dry eye. I thought it might be related to her TMJ which she has on the same side of the jaw as the affected eye, but the vet doesn´t think so. I get a gold star for that diagnosis. I suggested Dry Eye as a cause of her eye troubles and the vet did a Sherman(?) test and sure enough - she only got a 6. Normal should be around 15 if I remember it right.

Through it all she´s bright and chipper and actually tries to flee from me - sick to death of getting eye drops. She has a badly crippled front paw from a break that was never treated(before we got her) so it takes a lot of effort for her to flee anything.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 9:14 pm

Schirmer, actually. You´re right about the numbers, though.

Do you have Connie Orcutt´s email address? I thought I had it and possibly got it from you? Unfortunately, I´m having a hard time finding it.

Hillyer and Quesenbery (exotics vets) list the Ferret dosage for Aminophylline as 4 mg BID. Still looking for cavy sources, but I´m sure they´re similar. We fixed Antoine´s Enacard dosage from a ferret one.


Post   » Sat Jan 05, 2002 9:25 pm

Yup - I´ll send it to you


After one day without eye drops Zag´s eye is worse. So it´s back to eye drops along with the tear gel and Optimune.
Last edited by pinta on Sat Jan 05, 2002 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 1:43 am

Zag´s eye is much improved. I think we stopped the eye drops too soon - there was still some abrasion. She´s still getting them but only every 2 or 3 hours. Seems the Optimune is doing the trick.

Josephine - I asked my vet about aminophylline and she said Terbutaline actually works better. We took Zag in for a shot of Dex today to try and clear out her lungs. After the URI and with the bad heart she´s having trouble expelling the gunk. She´s bright, cheerful and active, just sounds very crackly.

We´re going to try a steam humidifier at nights.

Since we´re extrapolating the dose of Terbutaline from another species, I´m thinking of seeing if we can up it. Currently 0.5cc twice a day(1mg/ml). She´s also on the 0.5mg dex tabs - 1/2 tab twice a week, indefinitely.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sun Jan 13, 2002 2:26 pm

Yeah, my vet said the same thing. She also said that aminophylline has some cardiac effects as well. She is the one who brought it up, but only because that is what she thought she had a dosage for in cavies (she didn´t). She said the terbutaline was much better, but scared at the dosage you´re giving since it´s even high for a cat but admitted she isn´t very experienced with its usage period.

Connie Orcutt emailed me today and gave me some info on an NSAID. She also suggested a trans-tracheal wash (to check for bacteria/fungi) and CT scans/MRI. I suppose I would like to try the NSAID first, meloxicam, but I didn´t get a dosage. I´m definitely going to look into it more. Hopefully, I´ll hear back from Connie in the next day or so and I´ll have a bit of time to do some more research.

Glad to hear Zag is improving and maintaining.


Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 7:49 am

My vet said trans-tracheal washes were a real pain to do and very stressful for the pig. (I think were talking about the same thing).

We accidentally did a higher dose on the Terbutaline. My other half neglected to thoroughly read the dosage on the bottle. But since there were no ill effects and she seemed to be doing better and there was no literature on pig doses, we figured "what the heck".


Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 4:51 pm

The vet did a stain on Zag´s eye just to make sure it was cleared up and found a superficial abrasion - a new one we think. So she stays on the cipro drops for 48 hours.

The vet thinks the eye is chronic because of the dex treatments for the asthma. Steroids inhibit new cell migration which is necessary for healing so she can´t have any dex for 48 hours, till her eye is healed.

The dex did help. Her breathing was much improved and the vet wants to give her another shot but we have to wait till her eye is healed.

She´s also supposed to have a steam humidifier on at night to help break up the mucous in her lungs.

One of those icky choices of what to treat first - asthma or eye. The eye will take less time to heal, so we´re going for that first.

Zag is in the centre.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 11:17 pm

I personally wouldn´t do a trans-tracheal wash on any pig. It´s even stressful and somewhat involved in cats and dogs. I´m sure we´re talking about the same thing.

I also thought about adding some moisture to Nellie´s environment. I got the dosage on the meloxicam. I will have to get it compounded, though. Connie says Canada can get it in a suspension. Lucky you!

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Mon Jan 14, 2002 11:58 pm

Ugh! Meloxicam is contraindicated with asthma. Hmmm. I guess I will have to do some more looking. It´s a human osteoarthritis drug.


Post   » Tue Jan 15, 2002 12:55 am

The asthmatic has arthritis too? Our arthritics are on Rimadyl. Zag´s managed to avoid arthritis thus far.

Is Meloxicam better than Rimadyl?

We get our stuff compounded at Summit Compounding Pharmacy in Toronto. Several drugs. It´s cheaper than our local compunding pharmacy even with the air express figured in. I don´t know if they ship over the border.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Wed Jan 16, 2002 12:28 am

No, actually I was just providing a bit of background on the drug. I immediately thought about carprofen since the meloxicam was shot down. I have yet to thouroughly investigate.
It sounds as if meloxicam is newer than carprofen, but I have yet to see any comparison studies. Carprofen is not a human drug and meloxicam is originally from human medicine.

In any case, Connie said that perhaps an NSAID and bronchodilator could be used concurrently depending on the drugs chosen and contraindications. I ordered an exotics formulary (since I am embarrasingly without one) which should be here by Friday. All bronchodilators are not created equally, and I know NSAIDS certainly are no exception. Supposedly it has some of the newer drugs in it, but I´m sure we´re using others not mentioned. It will at least give me a bit more knowledge on the subject. I still don´t understand enough about pharmacology to recite everything off the top of my head. I wish I were omnipotent, I suppose.

We have a great compounding pharmacy for veterinary means here as well. It usually takes a week or so by mail to get the drugs, depending on what is ordered. Pretty reasonable, anyway, it´s just not as convenient as picking it off of the shelf!


Post   » Wed Jan 16, 2002 12:35 am

We get our drugs overnight or in 2 bus. days.

I´ll ask my vet about meloxicam. One of our arthritics is not responding well to the Rimadyl mostly because she refuses to move. She´s stubborn. It hurt once to move so she isn´t making that mistake again. But movement is the best medicine.


Post   » Wed Jan 16, 2002 4:36 pm

Checked with one of our vets and in Canada meloxicam is licensed for use in dogs and the vet hadn´t been aware that it was a human drug. 1 drop per kg daily and the container gives precise doses.

We´re taking Tira off the Rimadyl til Friday and then we´ll decide if we´ll try her on the meloxicam. (I asked about asthma with it and the vet couldn´t find anything that contraindicated it.??????)

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:13 pm

Hmmm... I wonder what this arthritis literature I found is about, then. I am definitely going to talk it over with my vet tomorrow. I think she´s in, anyway. She works only a few days a week.

I would like to do the terbutaline and meloxicam concurrently if allowable, since the pred seems to be "wearing off" quicker and quicker. I need to get her maintained soon!

The dose for the meloxicam Connie sent is 0.2 mg/kg/BID, but she said it could potentially go up to 0.5mg/kg/BID if needed. Once she sees improvement, she reduces to SID.

meloxicam is sold by Boehringer Ingelheim Labs as Mobic. It was FDA approved April of 2000. It is also an enolic acid NSAID (whatever that means).

This is a quick summary of the drug, but I found other sources also confirming the information:
Last edited by Josephine on Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:24 pm

He said the meloxicam was the same kind of med as the Rimadyl - NSAID.

Zag´s eye was healed so she got another dex injection. She sounds much better. Hopefully she´ll stay that way.


Post   » Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:26 pm

I saw Mobic listed as a new drug advance in the National Enquirer - for people.


The vet was looking under the contraindications for dogs and couldn´t find any. He did mention that asthma wasn´t all that common with dogs(I think - I was whacked out on Tylenol 3´s)which was why it might have been left off.

It´s been licensed for dogs for over a year up here - maybe 2. So bizarre it isn´t in the book as being for people. Definitely a veterinary med rather than a human one up here.

So does that mean Rimadyl can´t be used with asthma patients?

And where is the arthritis localized?
Last edited by pinta on Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:34 pm

Yeah, I just have to look up the enolic acid part. I´m sure that there are different types of NSAIDS, which is why that part was included in the description. I would like to figure out a bit more about the physiologic differences.

National Enquirer, humph. Treasured literature, I´m sure.

Not as far as I know with the carprofen. Then again, it is a canine drug and as you say--dogs rarely get asthma.

I don´t know about the arthritis. Osteoarthritis it says. Pretty general.
Last edited by Josephine on Wed Jan 16, 2002 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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