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Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 882
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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She-zoo, age 20, always a non-productive cough, now frequent

Customer Question

She-zoo, age 20, always a non-productive cough, now frequent periods of wheezing No SOB, up and about; eating, drinking , urinating and pooping ok.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Bandit, a Shi-Tzu.
JA: How old is Shi-Tzu?
Customer: 20 yrs
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Shi-Tzu?
Customer: My goal for him is comfort, and no distress, no heroics if it comes to that.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian. You can call me Dr. H for short. I understand that your pet Bandit is 20 years old and has had a chronic non-productive cough that has progressed to wheezing. I also understand you don't wish to pursue extreme treatment for her. This is understandable considering her age.

I have a few more questions for you so that I can give you the best advice possible.

Has Bandit been on heartworm prevention (i.e. Heartgard, Trifexis) consistently every month?

Is Bandit currently or has ever been on treatment for this cough?

How long has this cough persisted?

- Dr. H

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cough for year. Vet saw him last year and last week for shots. No heartworm meds. Currently undergoing treatment for ear infection with ear drops X 5 days. Received monthly flea treatment 2 wks ago. Takes Cosequin for last 1.5 yrs.
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Oh hello and thanks for your response.

So coughing for that amount of time could be caused by a couple of things, including heartworm disease, bronchitis or even heart disease. You mentioned that you don't want to do extensive treatment; however, you won't really know how to treat Bandit unless you had some testing done. What extent of testing are you willing to do for her?

I would at the very least recommend getting her a heartworm test (simple snap test that can be ran in-house), and radiographs of her chest to look at the heart and lungs for disease. Once you know what you are dealing with then you can determine her prognosis (chances of survival with treatment) and how to best treat her.

- Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Say for instance she ends up having advanced heartworm disease. Then this is something you most likely won't want to move forward with treatment because this can be quite expensive (around $1,000) and also it does not carry a good prognosis.

However if Bandit just has chronic bronchitis with no signs of heart disease, then this can be treated relatively easily and affordably with medication (bronchiodilators, cough medications, antibiotics if needed).

Please let me know if you wish to continue the conversation and I will be more than willing to asisst you further. However if you are satisfied with my response, then proceed to give me a rating by clicking on the "rate my expert" button before you go, as this is how I am credited with answering your questions today about Bandit. Thank you so very much.

- Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

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