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Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian. You can call me Dr. H for short. I understand that your pet Bandit is 20 years old and has had a chronic non-productive cough that has progressed to wheezing. I also understand you don't wish to pursue extreme treatment for her. This is understandable considering her age.
I have a few more questions for you so that I can give you the best advice possible.
Has Bandit been on heartworm prevention (i.e. Heartgard, Trifexis) consistently every month?
Is Bandit currently or has ever been on treatment for this cough?
How long has this cough persisted?
- Dr. H
Oh hello and thanks for your response.
So coughing for that amount of time could be caused by a couple of things, including heartworm disease, bronchitis or even heart disease. You mentioned that you don't want to do extensive treatment; however, you won't really know how to treat Bandit unless you had some testing done. What extent of testing are you willing to do for her?
I would at the very least recommend getting her a heartworm test (simple snap test that can be ran in-house), and radiographs of her chest to look at the heart and lungs for disease. Once you know what you are dealing with then you can determine her prognosis (chances of survival with treatment) and how to best treat her.
Say for instance she ends up having advanced heartworm disease. Then this is something you most likely won't want to move forward with treatment because this can be quite expensive (around $1,000) and also it does not carry a good prognosis.
However if Bandit just has chronic bronchitis with no signs of heart disease, then this can be treated relatively easily and affordably with medication (bronchiodilators, cough medications, antibiotics if needed).
Please let me know if you wish to continue the conversation and I will be more than willing to asisst you further. However if you are satisfied with my response, then proceed to give me a rating by clicking on the "rate my expert" button before you go, as this is how I am credited with answering your questions today about Bandit. Thank you so very much.