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My 15 year old cotton de tulear has been biting his foot…

My 15 year old...

My 15 year old cotton de tulear has been biting his foot today he's had 2 small bought s of coughing. Could he have irritated his throat from the fur?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the dog's name?

Duke

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

He has arthritis and takes metacam

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/6/2018
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,523
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Duke has been biting his foot lately, and also has a recent history of coughing. I am sorry to hear about what is happening. Is Duke biting any foot in particular or does it appear to be one particular foot?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Well unfortunately his arthritis is starting on his back feet. He seems to do this like when it’s flaring. In other words it bothering him and that’s what it does once in a great while. Just a couple of times He does it in bed at night twice now and then later had this little cough that sounds like a itchy throat for a better way of describing it I guess
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No sorry I just had dinner company get here

No problem. I can answer your question with text chat only. I am typing my response now. Please bear with me a moment.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Did u have any ideas of what could b happening

The cough and the chewing of the feet are unlikely to be related. Coughing does not usually occur in dogs from swallowing hair. Even in animals who are known for swallowing hair (i.e. cats, rabbits), coughing is not the usual observation. It is usually intestinal pain or vomiting. So the coughing should be investigated further for the underlying cause. This could be related to the heart or lungs. There are some safe over-the-counter medications that can be given for coughing such as Robitussin, or your veterinarian can prescribe a medication.

Regarding the feet, excessive biting of the feet may be related to arthritis, but is also a common sign of allergies to the environment. Metacam should help improve the biting if it is associated from pain to arthritis. However, usually dogs are limping from pain in this area and not biting their feet. Therefore, I suspect it is more likely related to an itch.

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Does that help to answer your question?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I’m not sure to b honest. Duke has never had any allergy’s so I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. I guess if it were to happen again I should take him in

The broad categories for intense chewing will be either pain, itching, or behavioral (i.e. anxiety). If there is no history of itching or feet licking in the past then an allergy would be unlikely, although a flea or insect bite is still possible. Looking for redness on the skin such as between the toes can be helpful to identify if the skin is irritated. Pain from arthritis was discussed so that is a possibility. If it continues then additional pain management may be necessary. A behavioral component can occur most often when there is an underlying anxiety component. If there is no history of anxiety then this would not be expected. It is a process of elimination that can largely be based on the history. If the possibility of an anxiety or itch does not seem to fit then adjusting the pain medication would be recommended.

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Does that help clarify it a bit more?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
it does I think ur right I may have to rethink his meds because of his arthritis he has significant issues with the front for a # of years now. Unfortunatly it’s just starting (mildly) on the back feet When he started on the meds he improved hugely it was remarkable Dukes a sr guy and doesn’t go all over the yard much and we r in wi it’s been frozen for months I do always worry about heart issues but that’s not intermittent is it? My experience with my cat was once he started coughing it just progressed rapidly. Idk I’ll have to c how he does

The coughing should definitely be explored, but there are a number of benign causes of coughing in dogs that do not occur in cats such as a narrowed trachea or allergic bronchitis. These can be treated with Robitussin or a prescription medication for coughing. Also, there are other medications useful for arthritis other than Metacam such as Adequan injections, tramadol, gabapentin, etc.

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,523
Experience: DVM
Verified
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You are most welcome. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I'm here to help. You have no the questions, I would appreciate a positive review when you get time. Leaving a review does not close out your question and you can come back to any time to ask additional questions. You can leave a five star review at the top of the screen. Thank you.

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