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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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My giant schnauzer has difficulty swallowing, hacks all the

Customer Question

my giant schnauzer has difficulty swallowing, hacks all the time, some days worse than others. My vet says it could be soft palate issue but xray of throat and scope showed nothing. Any clues?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and would like to be help to you and Shiloh today.Hacking and coughing can be due to a problem anywhere in the respiratory tract including the throat, and it could be due to congestive heart failure. Has Shiloh had a chest x ray done?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
not yet
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
That's definitely what I recommend then as your next diagnostic step.Is Shilo able to eat and drink water? Has she had a heartworm test?
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Also wondering if Shiloh has any nasal discharge.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she eats well and drinks a lot. Always has. heartworm test negative every 2 yrs. She sometime licks her nose excessively. I haven't noticed any discharge
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
I'm glad to hear that she can eat and drink well. Is Shiloh on a monthly heartworm preventative? Does she take it every month the whole year?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1st of the month jun /nov
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I must tell you that my dogs answer to her problem is to go out and stuff large mouthfuls of grass, and the regurgitate
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
I was concerned about that. It is recommended even where there are very cold winters that dogs be on the preventative year round. The preventative medication doesn't prevent mosquito bites, but works by killing the larvae in the blood which occur several weeks after the mosquito bites the dog. Also, if a dog has developed heartworm between November and June, and it isn't tested for HW that year, the preventative can actually be dangerous to give. Did she just have a negative HW test this May or June?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
not this year
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I won't take any more of your time, I will ask my vet for a h/w test and possibly an xray, if he has the equipment. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
I'm here and available for as long as you need.
Grass eating is pretty routine for dogs. . .either they feel ill and their solution is to eat grass and regurgitate, or they just like the grass so they eat it and regurgitate! The only way for us to tell which it is, is if they have shown other signs of nausea, like not eating or vomiting without the grass. I do understand now, however, why you vet went to first looking in her throat.
Best of luck to you and Shiloh,
Dr. Barbara
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Shiloh. How is everything going?
Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well I haven't seen my vet yet, but Shiloh has had a coup[le of rough days. I know most dogs chew on grass if they have upset stomach etc, but shiloh gets frantic, rushes out into the garden a chews up great lumps of the stuff . My vet was more or less convinced it's a soft palate issue, but I have me doubts.
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry to hear that Shiloh has done poorly over the last couple of days! Even if this is all due to a soft palate problem, (which I don't think it is), what has your vet proposed to take care of this?Soft palate problems are congenital malformations or are due to a foreign body getting stuck in there or a cancerous growth. Shiloh is older, so unless she has been coughing her whole life, this isn't a congenital problem. If it is a foreign body or growth, then your vet would have seen it most likely. One place in a dog's throat that can be missed is above the soft palate. With a spay hook, your vet could pull the soft palate forward and use a dental mirror to look at this area. If your vet didn't look at this area, then I would recommend it.However, I do recommend chest x rays and a heart worm test before anesthetizing Shiloh again to look there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you very much. It's always good to get a second opinion. I'll talk to my vet.. I THINK i'VE EXHAUSTED MY 25 BUCKS, SO I won't bother you again
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 1 year ago.
Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of Shiloh's coughing. I'm very interested as to what is found, so when you have time, please let me know!
Warm wishes to you and Shiloh,
Dr. Barbara