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Rebekah Kane
Rebekah Kane, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 284
Experience:  small animal veterinarian
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Had my dog to local vet three times now, hacking. Blood work

Customer Question

Had my dog to local vet three times now, for constant hacking. Blood work twice, urine test, x-rays, no heart mummer, no enlarge heart. Tried steroids, water pills and strong antibonics, nothing help, dog still hacking all the time.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?
Customer: This is the regular vet, teeth are fine, up on all of her shots. The dog has wakes us up at time, with this constant hacking and it is not fair to her.
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Roxie, she is a Pomsky and she is eight or nine years old. Her owner died and I adopted her four years ago.
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:  Rebekah Kane replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I am Dr. Kane, and I will do my best to assist you with your pet today. Please give me a moment to type up a response to your concerns. In the meantime- please take a moment to relay any other pertinent information. Sound good?

Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear about Roxie's cough. It sounds like you have tried a lot to get her better- she's lucky to have you looking out for her.

There are a few things that come to mind with a chronic cough in an older small breed Pomeranian mix. The first would be tracheal collapse. Sometimes we are lucky enough to catch this problem on an x-ray- but most of the time we are not. This is because the trachea is not in a constant state of collapse- it is a dynamic process, and often collapses during the expiration phase of taking a breath- so it is not easy to catch at the right moment. If you are willing to take her to a specialty hospital for further diagnostics, they may be able to do a more advanced imaging test called fluoroscopy- which is like a "live" x-ray. Many cases of tracheal collapse respond well to steroids- which you have already tried. The steroids are the key with managing tracheal collapse, but some cases also require a strong cough suppressant in addition to the steroid (I often use butorphanol as well). These medications are continued life-long, at the lowest effective dose, in order to manage the cough. There are more severe cases, where medications will not control the cough, and a stent can be surgically placed within the trachea to keep it open.

Another possibility is chronic bronchitis (asthma). Usually there are changes seen on the x-rays that may indicate bronchitis. This too, is managed with steroids, and often antibiotics when needed.

The third thing I can think of, that could be a cause of chronic cough is a parasite in the lungs. This is less likely, but with any pet with a chronic cough- I always give a course of dewormer- usually 10 days of fenbendazole- just in case it has a parasitic cause. It can be difficult to diagnose lung parasites- but a test called fecal Baermann may help with diagnosis.

My recommendation at this point would be to consider a few different options- 1. taking to a specialist for more advanced testing 2. taking to another veterinarian for a 2nd opinion, or 3. talking with your current veterinarian about trying another course of steroids, with a cough suppressant such as butorphanol tablets, and possible the course of dewormer as I mentioned.

I hope this has helped, please provide a rating for me.

Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 1 year ago.

And the other thing I would suggest, if you are not doing so already, would be to use a harness only when walking her- if she pulls on a collar this will exacerbate the issue.

Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 1 year ago.

Please provide a rating for me so I can receive credit for helping you out, thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not rate you, because my vet has already done, everything you suggested, except the Butorphanol. He said this is not available until August. Do you have it, or can you get it sooner? I do use a harness on my dog, dog is still hacking, non stop. She goes back to the vets today. I didn't rate you, because the nothing new was said.
Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 1 year ago.

Rating me allows an answer to be accepted and the question closed- and for me to receive credit for the time I took in assisting you.

Expert:  Rebekah Kane replied 1 year ago.

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION at the top of your screen. Thank you!