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Dr-Bonk, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 237
Experience:  Five years as a veterinarian working with man's best friend. Have worked with pets, hunting and herding dogs, hounds, and breeders.
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Our dog is a staffie/choc lab cross, approx 20 yrs old, the

Customer Question

our dog is a staffie/choc lab cross, approx 20 yrs old, the problem we`re having is that he doesn`t seem to be able to keep weight on, also, he`s got a cough that is only a problem when he`s been sleeping. Am I right in thinking it`s due to his age? Or could there be another issue going on?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr-Bonk replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Dr. Bonk. I'm sorry to hear about Buster's troubles. Weight loss can definitely go along with age. As animals age, they can start to use muscle as a protein source and their ability to store fat decreases.

Another issue I would be concerned with is heart failure. Coughing during or after sleeping or laying down can be due to fluid in the lungs caused by leaky heart values. The reason it is more pronounced with laying down is because the extra pressure put on the chest from laying down decreases the lung space that is already decreased by some amount of fluid. These dogs tend to have exercise intolerance as well.

If bad enough, their tongues and gums can turn a bluish color after exercise due to a decrease in oxygen.

In later stages, their belly can become swollen appearing due to fluid accumulation in the abdomen.

While both the coughing and weight problems can be age related, it would be best to have a vet listen to his heart or x-ray his chest to check for any issues there. There are medications that can make him more comfortable if that is the case.

I hope this helps. Please contact me with any further questions you may have. Thank you and good luck!