Daisy’s Puffer

Daisy Bates is a mighty little dog. Like a lot of other mini dogs, Daisy has an obstructive breathing disorder that is a lot like asthma. It is a life threatening condition in Daisy’s case and (needless to say) everyone at home was concerned.

Initially the condition proved nicely responsive to a combination of cortisone and bronchodilator therapy. But after a while, the systemic cortisone treatment was having other effects that we did not want and we had to find another way… Hence the puffer and spacer.

It happens that there is a special form of cortisone that works only on lung tissue, provided it is administered directly into the airways. For people who need this asthma medication for the same reason that Daisy does, puffers are used. The puffer is a great idea and it works very well. But, as everyone who uses a puffer will know, you have to breathe out first before breathing in the medication… and dogs just don’t get it. So we needed to use a “spacer” as well.

The “spacer” is a small clear plastic chamber with a one-way inlet valve at one end. Spacers are used for babies that don’t understand the breathing out first trick – same as dogs! When the little soft-fit mask is placed on the face any inhaled air can only come in via the spacer and puffer combination… and there you go, problem solved.

Daisy now has her puffer, her spacer and her own tiny little face mask and it works really well. Big success. Interestingly, she only needs to use the puffer a couple of times a week and though the medication is quite expensive, it lasts for ages.