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Thread: cough of a different sort....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Juli H's Avatar
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    Default cough of a different sort....

    Dayzee (2 yr old) has been fighting a cough she's had for about 2 months now...At first I thought it was kennel cough and was told by good friends that I should just let her get over it and use her own immune system (a thought process I am not against).... After about a week of coughing I made an appt for her .....by the time I got her to the vet it escalated to 'pneumonia' like cough/symptoms.

    Chest x-rays showed fluid in her lungs and she had a fever - Vet put her on two very strong antibiotics for 2 weeks - baytril and doxycycline - and neither of those helped - She was very very sick for two weeks after taking her to the vet and the meds did not help at all - she got better with lots of care from me and her own immune system, as far as I am concerned (she got worse for about 3 days after being on the antibiotics - literally was giving her fluid with a syringe)...

    I nursed her for those two weeks and she appeared to be getting better. Eating, drinking, attitude continued to improve daily - less mucous when she coughed..I let the cough go for about 3 weeks before making an appt for her at a closer vet again (it's a 2 hr drive one way to the nearest vet). During these 3 weeks I took her grouse hunting and training and she was always fine except for the 'hack'. By all accounts I felt that maybe she just was getting rid of extra gunk, as I know I have had colds like that (cough for about 3 weeks after having fever etc) ..

    The vet took x-rays, listened to her heart/lungs, etc...Chest x-rays did not show much if any fluid in her lungs - but rather way down low in her throat/upper chest area...And her heart appeared to maybe have some fluid around it as well - though I don't really think the xrays were that great...Also the vet felt her heart was a little bigger than it should be... it was on the high end of the 'acceptable' range...When I looked at the film, it looked big to me..esp the one taken when she was placed on her back....Overall, the vet could not really pin point the cause of her continued coughing, but he did not feel she had pneumonia or kennel cough (neither of my other dogs ever got sick)

    So now she is on furosemide which is not doing much of anything except to make her pee a lot...She still has a very spunky and happy attitude (if you saw her, you'd not think there was a problem if you did not hear her cough). She is eating like a horse (as always) and other bodily functions are fine..except for this dang cough/hack - It seems to be worse in the morning or after she has been resting for a long time.....

    Since we live in AK, have pretty much ruled out a fungal infection....Vet did look down into her throat and nasal passage for foxtail or other foreign body and did not see anything....

    Wondered if anyone might have an idea as to what might be causing her continued cough...


    Juli
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  2. #2
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    Could she have congestive heart failure since the vet thought her heart was slightly enlarged and had some fluid around it??
    Darlene
    Goldust Labs

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    Senior Member Fowl Play WA's Avatar
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    One vet told me that my Springer had a heart murmur and that if I noticed her coughing a lot, that was why. She doesn't cough much, and her current vet said he doesn't hear a murmur at all. Maybe that is something to consider.
    Joni
    I don't wear black because it makes me look slim, I wear black because it hides the dog hair.

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    Senior Member Juli H's Avatar
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    thanks guys...the vet checked for a heart murmur and didn't detect one...I guess that isn't to say she doesn't have one though....
    God answers prayers all the time. Even the ones we don't know we asked. God is Good (always)

    "There are only two ways to live your life.
    One is as though nothing is a miracle.
    The other is as though everything is a miracle."

    - Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member FOM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_view View Post
    thanks guys...the vet checked for a heart murmur and didn't detect one...I guess that isn't to say she doesn't have one though....
    you bringing the dog with you on your trip to KS?

    FOM
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    Senior Member twall's Avatar
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    Juli,

    Furosemide is a diuretic. It is also called Lasix. It will cause her to pee a lot to help reduce the fluid load on her. Did your vet think it was CHF, congestive heart failure? The heart looked large on the one view because it was farther away from the film and was magnified. Think of when you make shadow puppets. The further your hand is away from the wall the bigger the shadow. When your dog is on its back their heart is further away from the film. The cough could be from the enlarged heart and the combination of exercise. The lasix should get the excess fluid off and reduce the heart size therefore reducing the cough, possibly.

    I am just a lowly radiographer so take all medical guesses with a grain of salt. Your vet will be able to better explain what is going on.

    Tom
    Tom Wall

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    Senior Member Susie Royer's Avatar
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    Juli, did they test for heartworm? Have friends who had a CBR that started hacking and she was heartworm positive
    Last edited by Susie Royer; 10-13-2008 at 03:19 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Juli H's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the tips..

    Since we don't have heartworm in Alaska, can't imagine how she would get it...

    Lainee - As of now, don't know if I am even going to be able to come down...we have 3 teenage boys and trying to find suitable 'sitters' for them is not easy - not looking very optimistic right now... HMPH ..but would not bring Dayzee down...either Hitch or Harley..probably Harley...

    Twall - thanks for the low down on radiographs..LOL...I will keep that in mind...She is a 58 lb dog and her heart was about as big as my hand in a fist - I do recall seeing a 'shadow' of sorts on the film.....I have a large hand for a woman (wear mens medium gloves)...Unfortunately right now the lasix does not really seem to be helping...A little bit, I would say, but not much....she is on a pretty low dose too, so maybe just needs to be bumped up...

    Juli
    God answers prayers all the time. Even the ones we don't know we asked. God is Good (always)

    "There are only two ways to live your life.
    One is as though nothing is a miracle.
    The other is as though everything is a miracle."

    - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Senior Member Susie Royer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_view View Post
    Since we don't have heartworm in Alaska, can't imagine how she would get it...Juli
    We supposedly didn't have heartworm or Lyme disease here in Colorado either but, guess what

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