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I have a standard poodle who who is almost 14 years old, 65#

Customer Question
Hi! I have a...

Hi! I have a standard poodle who who is almost 14 years old, 65# ***** has increasing episodes of hacking-like a cat with a fur ball. He is clearly uncomfortable and he pants a great deal in heat and humidity. Vets have taken xrays-all clear there. They decided to give him antibiotics (2x/day), but he is a finicky eater so it's hard to give him pills like that on empty stomach. His rear quarters are increasingly weak-esp. left side. Has trouble getting up after lying down. Takes Truprofen for arthritis-not sure it helps. He has hot spots he licks a lot as well. Whew-quite a list, right??

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 the dog. What is the dog's name?

ZuZu. So not really lethargy I'm concerned about. It's the hacking cough and how to help him. Could it be Laryngeal Paralysis? How to know without yet more ultra expensive tests? (xrays were $600!!)

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about ZuZu?

That's pretty much it

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
11/22/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Kelly Hill, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 744
Experience: full time veterinarian at Tender Touch Veterinary Hospital
Verified

Hello. This is Dr. Hill. The X-rays were the right first test, despite being expensive, because of Zuzu's age. The X-rays basically ruled out major lower respiratory tract disease, so leaves the upper respiratory tract. From what you describing, it sounds like he is trying to clear his throat. I would be concerned about something in his oropharynx (very back of the throat in front of his trachea). Dogs can have inflammation, masses, foreign material in that area. The way to evaluate the oropharynx is with a sedated oral exam. Has Zuzu been able to eat normally? Have you noted any changes in how she swallows or drinks?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hard to tell re eating habits. he has always been very finicky-and increasingly so as he gets older. he does drink a lot of water, but I'm not sure he drinks as much as he used to. of course, it's winter now so perhaps that's because he's not as hot or getting thirsty from the heat?
Dog Veterinarian: Kelly Hill, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago

If he were having difficulty swallowing, you would have noticed. You ask about laryngeal paralysis. Laryngeal paralysis does not cause coughing. When a dog has laryngeal paralysis, they will typically have a noisier respiration and cannot tolerate heat as well. This does not fit with what you are describing. However, if you have your veterinarian evaluate his upper airway, they will assess the arytenoid cartilages to make sure that they are moving normally. I also wanted to mention, that omega fatty acids and glucosamine are very effective for canine arthritis. Starting those supplements may make him less reliant on the the anti inflammatory medication.

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Dog Veterinarian: Kelly Hill, Dog Veterinarian replied 7 months ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Kelly Hill
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Sorry I wasn't able to check in earlier-I have been traveling.
You mention heat: He does not tolerate heat well at all-esp. humidity and pants a great deal.
We will look into the possibilities you mentioned and hopefully find an answer that will make him more comfortable.
Thanks.
Sandra
Dog Veterinarian: Kelly Hill, Dog Veterinarian replied 6 months ago

Your welcome. I hope you enjoy the holidays.

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