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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23742
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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She is hacking and coughing, but nothing is coming up. She

Customer Question

She is hacking and coughing, but nothing is coming up. She did vomit some food last night, but for the most part, it has been a dry cough. She will throw up a little spittle, also. She's an 11 year old Cocker Spaniel.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the cocker spaniel eat anything unusual?
Customer: No, she didn't.
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the cocker spaniel's name?
Customer: Alix
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Alix?
Customer: We had a horrible time with fleas this past year. Maybe heartworms?
JA: Our top Veterinarian is ready to take your case. Just pay the $5 fully refundable deposit and I'll fill the Veterinarian in on everything we've discussed. You can go back and forth with the Veterinarian until you're 100% satisfied. We guarantee it.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

While any age dog can suffer from a simple respiratory infection such as infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"), coughing 11 year olds are more likely to be experiencing cardiopulmonary disorders such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, sterile chronic bronchitis), and neoplasia (cancer) in the chest cavity. Heartworm disease would be a consideration if Alix lives in a heartworm endemic area and hasn't been administered a heartworm preventative.

It's important that these patients have their heart and lungs carefully auscultated (listened to) by their vet. X-rays of their chest are essential. After almost 44 years of practice I've learned not to assume that kennel cough is the problem and send these dogs home. Insist upon X-rays! Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.