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My dog has been having a cough, well, more like she is

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My dog has been...

My dog has been having a cough, well, more like she is trying to clear her throat off and on for awhile now, I thought maybe it was allergies. she is eating, drinking, no weight loss or gain, she is 13yrs old, has diabetes and is a Maltese mix, papers say Maltese/Shih Tzu but we think she is more Maltese/Cocker. She isn't short of breath, sleeps calmly, just now and then sounds like she is trying to clear throat with a little hack at the end...I've been reading about heart failure and now have myself so scared about that, but she doesn't really exhibit all of those symptoms. She is happy, pretty chipper, good appetite, etc. after she drinks she does this little cough as well...doesn't pant, doesn't breath heavily...I'm so scared to take her to her vet, for fear of the worst.....her gums and tongue are pink her tummy skin is pink, etc.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help your dog. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your dog?

She isn't lethargic! I didn't say anything about her being lethargic!

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
She is not lethargic not short of breath
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Isn't a honking sound. Also, have heard thst coconut oil is so good for respiratory problems in dogs, true?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ANSWER? I SENT A QUESTION ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF AGO
Answered in 1 hour by:
9/22/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. Christie
Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,547
Experience: Over 7 years of practice
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Hi there my name is*****! I'd like to help you with your dog!

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Occasional coughing can be a sign of a couple of different things including bronchitis (which is inflammation in the lungs), heart disease (as the heart enlarges it pushes on the windpipe or trachea), metabolic disease, hypertension, possible lung masses (cancerous, fungal etc), or possibly trachea related.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Well, can you give me a response to my questions then??
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Coconut oil is not helpful for respiratory disease and in fact can be bad for pets due to the high saturated fats they have which can cause GI distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

To differentiate between these diseases, a good physical exam by your veterinarian and chest x-rays would be recommended. They may consider bloodwork as well, but ultimately chest x-rays will help differentiate between trachea, lung, and heart disease.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
It isn't really an actual cough, more of a throat clearing huff followed by a little gag
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Early heart disease you can see occasional coughing as the heart is enlarged and pushing on the trachea or windpipe. This makes them feel like they have something in their throat. As heart disease progresses symptoms can worsen quickly.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Unfortunately bronchitis can present very similarly. Inflammation and mucous in the lungs can cause them to huff or cough or gag.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

If in worst case scenario your vet does see an enlarged heart which may suggest early heart disease, they may recommend a follow up echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart, but more importantly may start her on life saving heart medications that can help to stabilize her heart disease. If caught early, pets can live for some time!

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

As scary as it may be, you can certainly save her life and potentially extend her life! So I definitely recommend getting her in for a check up as soon as you can in the next week!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok. If it was her heart, would this coughing/throat huffing clearing be constant? She only does it occasionally, no wheezing or rattling in her chest, etc. I'm so afraid it might be something bad. But she is so happy and chipper
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Not always, in early heart disease it may not be consistent but may with time. That's where the x-ray can be helpful. Bronchitis or tracheitis would be more fitting with what you are describing, but again heart disease can look similar.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I'm glad she is happy and chipper! :)

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok, so if it is heart, medication can be given? That does make me feel a little better.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

It can, just like in humans! Heart disease is manageable, it's just catching it before the pet would decompensate or go into acute heart failure.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I know it's scary to think there could be something bad, however, there are medications that can help, and like I said can help maintain her heart should it be heart disease.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
She is the best dog i have ever had and will do anything for her, she is spoiled, I make homemade food for her, she has had cataract surgery, I am just always thinking the worst thing possible with this little cough
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Aw, you've done so much for her! Well definitely time to get her in for a check-up! Our older patients are certainly more prone to more disease, just like us as we get older, however, it is important for bi-annual checkups as this helps us catch these diseases earlier making for a more favorable outcome

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you for your help. Could this be due to an allergy as well? Sorry for all the questions
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Not a problem at all! That's why I am here!

Yes, bronchitis can develop secondary to an allergy.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you so much!
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

You are most welcome! Do you have any other questions?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

If you have no further questions, please remember to rate my answer! Best wishes to a speedy recovery for your baby! Best wishes, Dr. Christie

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

Aw she is adorable! Best wishes for her!! I hope she feels better soon!

Please remember to accept and rate my answer so that I can be compensated for my time!

Don't hesitate to contact me with further questions!

Dr. Christie

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Christie, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Christie
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