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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28934
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 12 yo ***** ***** was stuck down a rabbit hole 18 mo ago.

Customer Question

My 12 yo ***** ***** was stuck down a rabbit hole 18 mo ago. Had his ears cleaned out due to build up several months later. He came out of the op mostly blind and partially deaf on one side.
Now he has a bad cough which is dry, hacking and hoarse. Brings up nothing much but when he does its clear ... Vet checked heart and lungs and says all sounds clear. What sort of infection (pst antibiotics) could this be? Potentially a throat issue as he began sneezing at one point. Now the cough seems worse when he rolls onto his back or moves suddenly.
We don't walk him as much also at the moment due to other life commitments for which I am trying to rearrange. He is about 10kilos heavy. And probably could do with some weight loss. Diet consists of boiled chicken breasts and thighs, with raw processed carrots, celery, spinach, egg, oats, all mushed in together and I add EFA's, paws digestive blend and sashas joint support. Some times LGG and L Plantarum probiotics. I am a naturopath and have done live blood screening in which a saw Excessive mycoplasma structures.. Many cholymicrons. Not much in way of wcc. Any advice would be awesome.. I use sanum homeopathics on him since the screening. Awaiting results of vets FBC. Warm and kind regards, Michelle
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It's important to note that infection isn't necessarily underlying his coughing. Cardiovascular disease and lower respiratory diseases such as chronic sterile bronchitis and neoplastic disease in or around his lungfields still need to be considered. Auscultating the chest is just one diagnostic when assessing the etiology of coughing. X-rays are essential in a 12 year old coughing as he's doing. To answer you directly, bacterial, fungal, and viral infections are seen in pneumonias and pleuritis in dogs. If bacterial infection is suspected as an extension of earlier upper respiratory infection - the most common scenario - a broad spectrum antibiotic may be presumptively prescribed or chosen after culture and sensitivity of exudate obtained through a bronchial wash. If X-rays suggest fungal infection, instead, blood titer testing can be performed and the appropriate antifungal drug chosen predicated upon that testing. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thankyou for your response. Would X-ray show up neoplasia? What is sterile bronchial stasis? Bearing in mind he has probably inhaled a lot of dust, microbes and other particles in this rabbit warren (& it was a very intense time as we couldn't find him but managed to dig him out after 24 hours) how can we find out if he has any fungal infections? Is he too old for going under anaesthesia again seeing he came out blind last time when his ears were cleaned out? Our vet is oldie but goodie, I just have concerns for Tumbles age and the anaesthesia. Again, thank again for your response,Michelle.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
It should, yes, although it can be difficult differentiating neoplasia from fungal infection in some cases. Both can cause a "nodular" pattern in the lungfields. X-ray his chest first. If fungal infection is suggested, he can be tested for the systemic fungi endemic where you live. This is done by performing titer or PCR (a DNA-based) testing or directly visualizing the fungi in a bronchial wash. Yes, he could have inhaled a saprophyte or other uncommonly found in dogs soil fungus in that rabbit hole which might be difficult to test for. Sterile bronchitis defines inflammation of the airways unrelated to an infectious organism such as might be seen with allergy. You're quite welcome, Michelle. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have been giving him Sanum Homeopathics as much as I can
And although he had a few days flare up, I haven't noticed major coughing today.. I am noticing it's worse when he rolls and if
We pick
Him up under
The ribs.. Or he rolls on his back. Could he have a trachea collapse? Or allergy/ intolerance? How simple is it to test these things in dogs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I also just saw you reply to my reply the first time. I will make a time at the vet again if he is no better by end of the week. I run PCR stool testing on my naturopathic clients so good to know beta do similar! Many thanks! Michelle
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Vets not beta .. Sorry for the typos
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
No worries. Thank you for the additional information. Jostling an inflamed respiratory tract can induce coughing. We can use that idea (percussion) to help clear exudate from airways. Yes, tracheal collapse is a consideration but not commonly found in his breed. Allergies and irritants are considered as well. We can look for inflammatory cells - particularly increased numbers of eosinophils - which would indicate allergy - in a bronchial wash.
Keep me posted, please.