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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My 10 year old Brittany has been ill past three weeks. He

Customer Question

My 10 year old Brittany has been ill for the past three weeks. He presents with fever,throat swelling, inflammation, hoarseness, raspy breathing, and vomiting. Initially, he would choke, gag, and vomit with a swallow of water. He has had two courses of antibiotics via injection, over the past two weeks. He does not show any sign of improving.
What should we do next?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

I sure hope we can come up with something for you and Chance. I have a few questions that will help me to understand the situation.

1)When you say throat swelling, was he having lymph node enlargement, and if so are they back to normal? If they were enlarged were they aspirated and submitted for a cytology sample?

2) Has he had any lab work (CBC, chemistry profile, urinalysis +/- screening for fungal diseases or tick-borne diseases?)

Thanks for providing a bit more information.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing was said by the Vet that he saw, regarding the lymph nodes. There was no samples taken or submitted. The throat appeared inflamed, so they diagnosed it as tonsilitus. They did draw blood, but no results were discussed with me.Chance, being a Brittany, is very hyper in stressful situations, and can be intimidating to some. He would need to be sedated to complete a very thorough exam.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

I assume to see the tonsils he was sedated and the back of his throat was examined; otherwise we can have a suspicion of tonsillitis (which is actually quite rare in dogs) but to diagnose requires visualizing which cannot be done without sedation in 99% of dogs.

I assume, then his lab work was normal. However, it may be worth asking if your vet suspects this could be canine influenza which is a newer disease, and if he is febrile (running a fever) then submitting a test to Cornell for screening would be a very good thing. If positive, then it means with good supportive care he should improve but may take 3-4 weeks to get over this. And, he must be considered highly contagious to other dogs during recovery.

However, since he is not improved it is time to reevaluate the situation. I think perhaps the sedation is a good idea to get a good physical exam and view the back of his throat, if his veterinarian is convinced this cough is due to the throat, and not from his lungs. If nothing is seen in his throat then I might recommend chest X-rays be taken to confirm his lungs look good (and he does not have pneumonia; or developed such during the course of therapy since he is not improving) and given the vomiting that there is no foreign object in his digestive tract.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Chance. How is everything going?
Dr. Joey
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see how everything has been going. Please let me know if you have any further questions.