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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My dog is diabetic she has picked up a cough with a occasional

Customer Question

My dog is diabetic she has picked up a cough with a occasional wheeze This cough has been with her now for 4 weeks plus. My vet has given 2 rounds of antibiotic as well as a round of theopyllin she tends to do most of her coughing at night with bouts long and loud enough to wake me. She has had lab work and chest X-rays and a X-ray of trachea all seems fine I'm looking for a second opinion please
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm so sorry to hear that Kelei has been coughing for the last 4+ weeks. I'll do my best to help. I know that it can be challenging and frustrating when your vet is not making any headway in improving a problem that your pet is having. We try, but sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find the answer to the problem. With a chronic cough in an older dog, this is especially true. To truly diagnose this type of cough, Kelei would need some diagnostics that your vet may have to refer you to a specialty hospital to have done. A transtracheal wash or a bronchoalveolar lavage are used to assess the lower airways and diagnose a cough. An echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) can also help determine if the cough is heart related or respiratory in nature. However, some pets aren't good candidates for the sedation and handling that the procedure requires, and these procedures can be quite costly. In cases where we cannot do further airway testing, it's common for veterinarians to do some therapeutic trials with different medications to see what medicines the pet will respond to. This is sort of getting your diagnosis from response to treatment. Chronic sterils bronchitis is a common cause of coughing that doesn't typically get better with antibiotics. Unfortunately, chronic bronchitis is usually treated with steroids, which is not going to be an option for Kelei since she is diabetic. Steroids like prednisone can easily cause her blood sugar to become unregulated. In that case, your vet may consider doing some trials of other medications like cough suppressants and/or the theophylline you mentioned. In some cases we would also consider inhaled steroids or bronchidilators, as these would be less likely to interfere with her glucose regulation and response to insulin. Heart disease is also a cause for a cough and it can be very difficult to tell the difference between a heart related cough and a cough caused by respiratory disease. Usually (but not always) there will be a heart murmur heard with the stethoscope on the physical exam if there's heart disease. If a vet thinks that heart disease may be causing or contributing to the cough and an echocardiogram is out of the question, then they may consider doing a trial of heart medications. It sounds like there are still a handful of options at your disposal in terms of deciding on whether you'd like more diagnostics or moving forward with some other therapeutic trials since what's been done so far hasn't been helpful.Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Kelei. How is everything going?

Doc Sara