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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1924
Experience:  Private Practice Veterinarian
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My 1 year old black lab has had a cough a month.

Customer Question

My 1 year old black lab has had a cough for nearly a month. The vet put him on medication but the cough still persists. It is more of a wet gagging cough like he is trying to vomit. It usually occurs when he suddenly gets up or i excited. He still has a good appetite and his energy for the most part. With the length of time the cough has been going on it seems fairly evident that Kennel Cough can be ruled out. We are scheduled for a return trip to the vet tomorrow night. Do you have any ideas what he may be suffering from? What type of treatment will be recommended or a prognosis?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a licensed veterinarian and I will try and help you as best as I can. I am sorry to hear your dog is having this problem. What medications have been tried so far? Have any x-rays of the chest or neck been checked yet?Any history of a heart murmur or heart disease?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has been on temaril-P, Doxycilyn and Baytril I believe. He had an exya but I believe it was mainly to check for a blockage or obstruction. The vet said he will do another one tomorrow night to have another look as he did not see anything that stuck out nearly a week and a half ago when he did the first x-ray.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 2 years ago.
I see. Temaril will help with any inflammation related to allergies, so I would have expected an improvement if that was the case. The doxycycline and baytril are to treat suspected kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis). X-rays of the chest and neck would be to look for any obvious masses, heart disease, or tracheal collapse. Is your dog on heart worm prevention every month? If not, that is another potential cause of the signs you are seeing and a heart worm test should be done. Has bloodwork (blood chemistry/complete blood count) been checked yet? that would look for signs of inflammation or infection causing the problem. If x-rays appear normal, bloodwork is normal, and the heart worm test is negative, then the next things are going to be a sedated oral exam looking for laryngeal paralysis or a foreign object and a transtracheal wash looking for any infectious or immune mediated cause. After that, you are looking at endoscopy with a specialist. These will be the next steps in diagnosing what is going on. Does all of that make sense? Please let me know if I can help you any further. I will await your response.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it does make sense. I am concerned and our vet seemed concerned that it may be a fungal infection. We lost our last Lab last November due to a blockage. I am hoping whatever he has is curable and does not break the bank.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 2 years ago.
It could indeed be a fungal infection as well. A transtracheal wash should be able to pick up any fungal cells in the chest. X-rays typically can pick up these lesions as well. Unfortunately, I think you still need quite a bit more information here. Hopefully you can get an answer with further diagnostics. Treating fungal infections can be difficult sometimes if you do not have a proper diagnosis, so a wash is definitely a good idea if you live in an area with common fungal infections such as blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, and coccidiomycosis. Laryngeal paralysis is treatable with surgery and a change in lifestyle (less active), but surgery does have complications (mainly secondary aspiration pneumonia). Hopefully you will have a diagnosis soon. I wish you both the best. Please let me know if you need any further information. Have a great night!