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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30418
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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14 year old maltipoo, very lethargic today, about of

Customer Question

14 year old maltipoo, very lethargic today, about of coughing h
JA: 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?
Customer: and breathing heavy
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: Bella
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Bella. While any age dog can cough due to a simple respiratory infection such as infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"), I need to consider more dire causes of coughing in an 14 year such as congestive heart failure, chronic sterile bronchitis, pneumonia, heartworm disease, and neoplasia (cancer) in the chest cavity. I wouldn't hesitate to have Bella's vet carefully auscultate (listen to) and X-ray Bella's chest at your earliest convenience. I find that sending these older coughing dogs home with an antibiotic instead of promptly X-raying them is a mistake too often made by veterinarians. Please note that breathing heavy (dyspnea/difficulty breathing) is a danger sign particularly when associated with coughing. Congestive heart failure should be the most important consideration in a miniature breed such as Bella.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If I can't get in for 3-4 days, do you recommend an emergency vet clinic drive that's 45 mins away?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Absolutely. Her symptoms are potentially life-threatening. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin