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I have a 13-month old miniature australian shepherd/poodle…

I have a 13-month old...
I have a 13-month old miniature australian shepherd/poodle mix puppy. He coughs and gags after drinking water and I'm starting to get concerned. Here is a video of him coughing: https://youtu.be/VOBo2tLMH1EHere is some background:At 10 weeks old, he was diagnosed with giardia and coccidia, and was successfully treated with two rounds of meds.At 16 weeks old, he started vomiting undigested food, often once per day. Usually in the mornings 5-10 minutes after eating. We had some limited success with pepcid and bland diets, but nothing worked for long. He had xrays and an ultrasound that were negative or inconclusive. Eventually an endoscope which revealed stomach inflammation.The vomiting lasted with intermittent frequency until about 8 months old. During this time, he occasionally regurgitated (not vomited) small bits of food, may 1x per month. After an extensive food trial, we finally found a single protein food that seemed to settle things down. He still vomits on occasion, maybe 1x every two weeks. Often it involves a congealed hairball (my hair).Also from a young age, he would occasionally cough after drinking water. This seemed to clear up after he got Kennel Cough at 6 months and was treated with an antibiotic.This cough returned about 2 months ago. In the past 2-3 weeks, it's started happening more and more frequently, almost every time he drinks. It is basically a "huff" "huff" "huff" then finished with a gag, that usually brings up nothing. Sometimes a small amount of mucus or food will come up (the size of a silver dollar). The other day a visitor showed up right after he drank water, and as he was jumping around he gagged up a small amount of food (not vomited). The jumping was clearly a bad thing.I called our vet and showed her the video. She suggested we try another round of Doxycycline. We are 4 days in, but it doesn't seem to be improving.He does seem slightly more tired these days, but I had attributed that to him growing out of the puppy phase. He will still play ball and go for walks, though after playing ball he does seem to pant a lot. That said, it is warm in our "ball room" and he does have a lot of fur right now.Do you have any suggestions on what this cough might be and ways we can make it better, or what steps we should take next to figure out what is going on? We are in a small town and the local vets are great, but they are generalists. If necessary, I can take him to a team of specialists and internists a couple of hours away, if you think it would be worth it.
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
3/19/2018
Heath Wilkerson
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 583
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
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Hi, Dr. W here. Having been part of a regional referral/specialty center for nearly 10 years I think it will be worth your time (and you'll be money ahead in the long run) to go ahead and make an appointment with the specialists now. Probably an endoscopy with small tissue biopsies will give you the most and best answers at this point in time. Then if it's fungal, inflammatory, parasitic you can go ahead and get on top of it because you will know for sure what you are treating.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
you would lean more toward some kind of infection/parasite vs an esophagus or tracheal issue (like tracheal collapse or laryngeal paralysis)? Any possibility of damage from the long-term vomiting, or an injury during the last endoscope?I understand it's hard to tell without an exam :), I'm just trying to get a sense of what might be going on.

Based on what you're describing it does not sound like tracheal collapse, and laryngeal paralysis or megaesophagus would be very rare in a 13 month old. Of these cases that I have seen in young dogs they have typically been infectious/parasitic/inflammatory in nature. No I wouldn't be concerned about damage from endoscopy. Longterm vomiting can certainly cause esophageal irritation and even in some cases scarring, but that will be identified if present at the endoscopy and can be treated.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you very much, I appreciate the information. Have a good night.

You're very welcome! Please remember to accept my answer, AND RATE OUR CONVERSATION (or I will not receive any credit for helping you). Bonuses are always welcome (I am not compensated in any other way). If you have more questions or if I can help further, please do not hesitate to ask! I will be online for another hours or so. Thanks!

Heath Wilkerson
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 583
Experience: Associate Veterinarian at Woodland West Animal Hospital
Verified
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