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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29789
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog has been coughing like he has some been trying to

Customer Question

My dog has been coughing like he has some been trying to clear it the last 5 days....he has been groaning on occasions...this morning he is very shaky on his back legs...can only goes a few meters and collapses...I live out in the Australian bush so not near any vets.Cheers Judy
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, Judy. I need you to do a couple of things for me, please.

1) Check his gums and tongue. They should be nicely pink - not whitish (anemia) or bluish/greyish (cyanosis/lack of oxygen to his tissues).

2) Check his respiratory rate at rest. He should be taking less than 40 breaths/minutes.

Bill's coughing and such profound weakness aren't symptoms pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder but do indicate a critically ill dog with cardiopulmonary disease such as heartworm infection. I understand your logistical constraints. If there were any way you could drive to a vet to have Bill thoroughly examined including X-rays of his chest, I encourage your doing so.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Dr Michael......I took Bill to the vet......they cannot rule out anyone thing at the moment ....but are leaning towards a snake bite...had test for heartworm and not that...he is on a saline drip and today their is a slight improvement....I will let you know in a couple of days how things are going....
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the update, Judy. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Bill. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin