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Coughing dog

(20 Posts)
Avago Tue 05-Feb-13 13:38:08

My almost 11yo cocker spaniel has developed a cough which happens when she gets up after a sleep/period of rest. She doesn't cough when she is sleeping, when she's pottering about or running about on her walks. She has been vaccinated against kennel cough.

She went to the vet last week who seemed puzzled that it only happened sometimes, though she was able to het her to cough by pressing slightly on her windpipe. She's been given antibiotics and loxicom for inflammation and is a bit better but still coughing. Vet was keen X ray her but she HATES the vet after 3 big ops and I really don't want to have her sedated. An X ray 3 years ago showed thickening in her lungs that was "age related" and vet said if it had been anything else more sinister she wouldn't be with us now (she was X rayed because vet thought mammary lumps were cancerous and was checking for spread - no lumps were actually found to be cancerous)

Does the cough sound familiar to anybody? - should I ask for more ABs before X ray? she's on oxycare 100mg x 3 per day

Thank you for any help!

digerd Tue 05-Feb-13 14:01:50

The only way to examine her lungs is to X-ray. There is a bronchial endosciopy that humans have which show more areas than the X-ray. Vet will know , but these are more invasive than an X-ray.
But as cancer has already been ruled out and at her age, if she doesn't seem to be distressed by this occasional coughing, I wouldn't worry too much.

spudballoo Tue 05-Feb-13 19:50:21

Just throwing this in as a 11mth old doodle had various symptoms back in September, including a cough. He had an e-coli infection that had gone right through him by the time it was diagnosed. That was picked up from a blood test. It was a complicated case though as he had many and varied symptoms.

But even a blood test involved him being sedated. And he was completely anaesthetised for them to inspect his windpipe (slightly inflamed).

Is the vet able to look down her throat to check for foreign objects at all?

Sorry, not very helpful but just some ideas.

Avago Tue 05-Feb-13 22:00:47

Thank you digerd and spudbaloo!

She isn't too distressed by the cough at the moment though I took her to the vet's because that morning she was at little worse than "normal". If I knew it would remain at a few coughs when getting up I really wouldn't care.

She's absolutely fine going into the vet's, she even pulls on the lead and wags her tail but the minute somebody in uniform goes near she panics. The "examination" such as it is is carried out with her struggling in my arms and trying to leap off over my shoulder. How they can listen to her heart/ chest properly beats me! She's rigid with fear and there's no way to look in her mouth let alone down her throat.

Poor thing never used to be like this - I dread taking her! She's such a happy wee thing in every other way.

1MitchellMum Wed 06-Feb-13 05:49:04

Poor girlie. Don't want to worry you but coughing can be a sign of heart disease - particularly in older dogs. We had a dog who started coughing suddenly. Vet prescribed ABs. Poor dog was clearly very unwell so we kept going back. After five days changed vets - new one saw that it was heart disease so we took him to cardiologist. Sadly he didn't live for much longer, but there are drugs which can be given to prolong life. I think it's worth asking your vet to check her heart. Good luck. Horrid seeing your lovely dog not right.

Avago Wed 06-Feb-13 21:39:19

Thanks 1MitchellMum, I'm so sorry about your dog, sounds like you did your very best for him.
Can I ask when he coughed? I've googled heart failure a little and the cough should be worse when resting which her's isn't. It's only when she gets up from resting. Also she seems generally very well though she is slowing up a bit but then she's almost 11 so I think that's allowed - show her a squirrel and she'll give a pup a run for it's money smile

poachedeggs Wed 06-Feb-13 23:36:44

Agree check heart as a priority, age and breed make this very likely. Xray best idea to get diagnosis, but vet may agree to trial of treatment. Don't ignore coughing in older dogs.

1MitchellMum Thu 07-Feb-13 12:22:10

Thanks Avago. It was eleven years ago this week, but I still remember the hacking cough. I can't now remember exactly whether it was at rest or not, but he was very unwell with it, which doesn't sound like yours is. Sometimes xrays can be dodgy if there's a heart problem (sedation etc.) but maybe vet could listen to heart? My other dog who had heart disease had it diagnosed by a cardiologist who didn't need to sedate her to see what the problem was (in fact she was diagnosed with the pre-clinical signs). Sadly she died too (suddenly). We do have two other dogs still smile

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 07-Feb-13 13:00:09

She is an 11 year cocker spaniel she is in the risk group for DCM for which often the only sign is intermittent cough. If I was her vet I would ultrasound first for which no sedation should be needed.

Avago Tue 26-Feb-13 15:53:24

Apologies for not posting sooner.
She almost needs sedated to get on the vet's table Lonecat . She's had an ultrasound before without sedation but there's been too many procedures since then and she terrified of anything and everything once we're in the vet's room.

That said, we went back to a more senior vet who must of exuded calm or authority or something because he was able to get a much better listen to her heart. He heard (an?) arrhythmia at the beginning when she was doing her normal freak out and again when she decided the exam was over and tried to leap over my shoulder but in between the heart sounded very good. He prescribed stronger AB and stronger and anti inflammatories since she was still coughing when her throat was touched.

That was 12 days ago with little difference since. Yesterday we returned and she got an injection of antibiotics with more oral AI and today there seems to be a definite improvement ! I'm crossing everything that this is a break through - next step if not is being admitted for a battery of tests under sedation.

Thank you for all your replies flowers

Avago Wed 20-Mar-13 19:34:04

Well there was no lasting improvement Avago Dog had her tests today. It's lung cancer. Thanks again for the help, just a matter of time now - inoperable and vet advised against chemo. sad sad

landrover Wed 20-Mar-13 19:41:34

xxx hugs

DesperatelyChasingBloodyDog Wed 20-Mar-13 19:45:36

So sorry Avago.

SpicyPear Wed 20-Mar-13 19:57:56

So sorry it turned out to be cancer sad

Enjoy the time you have left together.

digerd Wed 20-Mar-13 20:30:52

Oh no. I am so sorry to hear that. I hope she will still have an active life for many months and chase squirrels to her heart's delight.

1MitchellMum Wed 20-Mar-13 20:31:53

Very sorry to hear the sad news. Yes, enjoy your time together (and take lots of photos of her too). x

Owllady Wed 20-Mar-13 20:32:49

oh i am sorry my love sad

So sorry Avago sad

BMW6 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:40:15

I am so sorry to hear this. I can imagine how you feel. x

gymmummy64 Wed 20-Mar-13 21:42:35

Oh I'm so sorry Avago, what horrid news sad I hope you can enjoy the time you have left

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