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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27904
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog is coughing and having trouble breathing. It's not

Customer Question

My dog is coughing and having trouble breathing. It's not all the time but his breathing is labored most of the time. He is a 15 year old dachshund
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Jasper
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Jasper?
Customer: No
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 days ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 days ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Jasper. While any age dog can cough due to a simple respiratory infection such as infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"), I need to consider more dire causes of coughing in a 15 year such as congestive heart failure (important in an elderly doxi!), chronic sterile bronchitis, pneumonia, heartworm disease, and neoplasia (cancer) in the chest cavity. I wouldn't hesitate to have Jasper's vet carefully auscultate (listen to) and X-ray Jasper's chest at your earliest convenience. I find that sending these older coughing dogs home with an antibiotic instead of promptly X-raying them is a mistake too often made by veterinarians.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
The last time I took him in they just wanted to give me antibiotics and they seemed to work. But he had the issue again and I used an inhaler on him and that worked very well for him
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 days ago.

That's good to hear but this time around I recommend that you have X-rays taken of Jasper's chest so you know what you're dealing with. There's a good chance that his dyspnea (labored breathing) now represents a life-threatening disorder. Please continue our conversation if you wish.