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My dog has had a hacking cough for 3 weeks. First time I…

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My dog has had...

My dog has had a hacking cough for 3 weeks. First time I took her to the vet he did a complete physical on her, with a CBC and chemical blood tests. He found nothing unusual. He did an ultrasound and X-ray of her liver since her enzymes were slightly elevated, and found bladder stones. As for the cough, he sent us on our way with advice to try benedryl. Benedryl did nothing, so I took her back yesterday. He did another physical, and this time he did the chest X-ray. There were no signs of masses or tumors, but he did notice her heart was slightly enlarged which may be pushing on her trachea. He gave us a script of hydrocodone for the cough. She started it last night, and her cough is still there. I’m getting so fed up with this and I can’t understand why the vet is having such troubles diagnosing it, or why cough suppressants aren’t even working. It’s this hacking goose like cough, but he said her Trachea is fine according to the X-ray, and it’s also not kennel cough. Any idea on what this could be? She’s still eating fine, drinking fine, attempting to play, no blood, etc. when she sleeps here breathing is perfectly normal. I’m getting so discouraged and upset by this point. Any help or guidance would really be appreciated!

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your dog?

Thank you. Well she’s 12 so she is an older dog.. but I’ve given all other information

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 2 hours by:
5/30/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,544
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with your dog. My initial thought is to have her chest films reviewed by a specialist veterinary radiologist whom most of us have on retainer. The additional cost to you is usually minimal but the value of doing so is immeasurable. It's important to recognize, too, that tracheal collapse can be missed if I don't position my patient in a variety of ways; in other words, I might have to flex or extend the neck and I might have to take X-rays in both inspiration and expiration. Which breed is she, please? There are breeds overrepresented with tracheal collapse. Finally, if the radiologist concludes that cardiomegaly (increased heart size) is indeed present a more thorough heart workup might be considered. This might involve an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) and EKG. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
She is a Scottish terrier. I did bring up Trachel Collapse to the vet since I’ve been reading her cough is a symptom, but he showed me the Trachea on the X-ray and told me it looks strong and it’s positioned currently so he has no reason to suspect that. He also listened to her heart and said he does not hear any murmur which is why he’s not recommending heart treatment yet. Is it possible that it is kennel cough that he’s missing? She’s not exposed to dogs but she does go out in the yard, and our neighbors have dogs so I guess it can be possible.. I’m just concerned about the hydrocodone not working right away since it is supposed to be a cough suppressant.. I’ve also tried honey and humidifiers. Nothing works.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Thank you for the additional information. Diagnosing kennel cough in a 12 year old is usually a mistake. Advanced cardiopulmonary disorders are far more common at that age. Any age dog can contract kennel cough but it's expected to go into remission unaided within 1-3 weeks of the onset of clinical signs. Hydrocodone is usually effective when dosed properly. 0.1 - 0.25 mg per pound of body weight every 6-12 hours is usually recommended but dosages up to 0.5 mg per pound of body weight every 6 hours have been noted. Perhaps she's simply being underdosed. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin
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