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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28439
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a 14 year old dog almost 15 ,s name is champ and he

Customer Question

hi Anna ,
I have a 14 year old dog almost 15 ,his name is ***** ***** he is a poodle Bichon mix .He has an elevated bun level of 53 and an elevated bun creatininwe ratio 58.9 .His creatinine level is normal.His potassium level is high .His sodium potassium ratio is low .his amylase level is high .
and his SDMA level is high . his t4 is low normal.
he is eating a diet of ground beef white rice ,string beans .I give him apples blueberries and pumpkin dog treats. occasionally fish and broccoli and white rice . he scratches at his ears a bit bites of his Paws a little bit . My question really is about his cough and then gag when he has been whining sometimes ,at night laying down sometimes ,and sometimes when he gets up from sleeping. he still enjoys eating ,going for a short walk and being around people . his hips or back legs seem to bother him some and he drinks water often. I've also been putting water in his food. The vet last saw him a week ago and tested him for Addisons which
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

My initial thought is that X-rays of Chance's chest should be added to the diagnostics already performed. While simple respiratory infection can occur in any age dog, serious cardiopulmonary disorders causing his coughing and terminal gag are more likely in a 14 year old than a much younger dog. Can you upload a copy of all of his test results to our conversation? I understand that you might not have a copy of the results at home but his vet should be able to give you one which you could scan into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see such an icon) or by using an external app such as or A urinalysis is essential to better understand the state of his kidneys. From what I see at this time, he's in early kidney failure and his elevated BUN might be lowered with a protein restricted diet. His creatinine is the more sensitive test for evaluating his kidneys and is nicely normal at 1.1 (58.9/53 = 1.11).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Everything in the urinalysis was normal..spec gravity 1.024. Protein2+. My vet did listen to his heart and heard no murmur and did an X-ray at my request and said it was normal. He hasn't been boarded or to a groomer...he was few feet away from a coughing dog a few months ago.
He also has a lot of bowel sounds when he is lying down at night. My vet ordered doxycycline
for kennel cough....50 mg every 12 hours for 10 days? He weighs 17lbs. I'm hesitant to give it to him....not sure why. Don't want to do any damage if it's not kennel cough...and yet i don't want him compromised with an upper respiratory infection.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

A 2+ protein in a 1.024 specific gravity suggests excessive proteinuria. This can be quantified by having a urine protein:creatinine ratio performed. If excessive proteinuria is confirmed, an ACE inhibitor such as enalapril is usually prescribed and which can lower the protein loss through Chance's kidneys. After 43+ years of practice I've learned not to diagnose kennel cough in a 14 year old dog. Sure, it can occur but I'm far more likely to find something else in X-rays that will cause that cough. I'm pleased to hear that the films looked good but I'd be more comfortable having those films reviewed by our radiologist whom most of us have on retainer to give us a second opinion. Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice for kennel cough dosed at 2.3 mg/lb twice daily for 7-14 days or 38.6 mg (50 mg is OK) twice daily for 7-14 days for Chance. His bowel sounds are called borborygymus and reflect a hypermotile bowel passing gas and fluid. It's not necessarily indicative of a problem. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How would I go about having them sent to you? I believe they are digital. I can go to the office tomorrow...hoping I don't offend anyone. I think we are all entitled to a second opinion.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the cost for the review?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I regret that I'm not allowed to communicate with customers by phone. Please stay in this conversation. No, there's no additional charge for you to return to our conversation with the test results. Please reread my initial reply to you for the methods of getting those results to me. If you still need help,***@******.*** can help you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I will try to send them to you tomorrow.
I suppose I keep this window open. Can't say that I'm all that tech savvy.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome.

I appreciate it! You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Talk to you soon. No need to reply at this time.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Chance. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin