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My dog is a maltese/mix, 13 yrs old, diabetic, receives

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insulin shots twice a day...
My dog is a maltese/mix, 13 yrs old, diabetic, receives insulin shots twice a day. Lately, she has been having a cough like symptom, more like a soft clearing of her throat. Eating normally, no weight loss or gain, but the more I research the.more I am worried it may be heart failure, how common is that in a Dog?
Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
9/5/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,830
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Tootsie. To answer you directly, "very common, particularly in minature breeds such as Tootsie".

While any age dog can cough due to a simple respiratory infection such as infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"), I need to consider more dire causes of coughing in an 13 year such as congestive heart failure, chronic sterile bronchitis, pneumonia (particularly in a diabetic who is prone to infections), heartworm disease, and neoplasia (cancer) in the chest cavity. I wouldn't hesitate to have Tootsie's vet carefully auscultate (listen to) and X-ray Tootsie's chest at your earliest convenience. I find that sending these older coughing dogs home with an antibiotic instead of promptly X-raying them is a mistake too often made by veterinarians.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thanks, ***** *****'s pretty much what I've been reading. So afraid to take her in, I'm afraid of what they will tell me.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
She seems happy, healthy, for the most part, eats, drinks, etc. Can heart failure be treated? She doesn't wheeze or isn't short of breath and sleeps calmly
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

It can be, yes, predicated upon the type of heart disease present. Most of the miniature breeds suffer from myxomatous valve disease ("leaky valves") which can be addressed with a triumverate of drugs - a diuretic, ACE inhibitor, and heart drug (pimobendan). Watch her respiratory rate at rest or while asleep. If it exceeds 30 breaths per minute, she's in trouble and needs the help of her vet at your earliest convenience. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Her breathing rate while sleeping is very calm, not rapid at all. Her throat clearing isn't constant, sometimes after she drinks and sometimes after she lies down, she also rubs her face on furniture , could allergies cause the "coughing"
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

Certainly, or perhaps a mild upper respiratory infection if this behavior is only recent.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin
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