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About two years ago, our then 11 yo male started coughing some during the summer. It was a dry hacking cough. At the time our vet said probably allergies. We gave his some cough meds and did a round of pred and some antibiotics for a week or so. He seemed some better, but most of the summer we did cough meds on and off. Winter came and we expected it to get better but it didn't. It was the same cycle all winter. We did the anitibiotics and pred a time or two with some short term relief. I started doing some research, and suspected larpar, but the vet ruled that out. In March we did some further testing, and xrays showed cloudiness in his lungs. Our vet sent us to another vet to get some better pictures of his lungs. The news was not good at that time. Both vets said that he had lots of cloudiness, that it was most likely cancer and he probably only had a couple of months left. I was an absolute wreck. We put him on some codene (sp?) for the cough. The cough stayed under control and he acted like he felt good. Everything stayed the same through the summer and winter. We were on pins and needles expecting the worst at any time. The codene made him sleep really sound (plus he's practically deaf) so some mornings I was scared to death when he wouldn't respond to his name and I would have to shake him to wake him up. About a month ago, I didn't make it to the pharmacy to fill his prescription before it ran out. So that night he didn't get his meds for the first time in a year. NO COUGHING. The next day I got the meds filled. Contemplated, only gave him half the dose. NO COUGHING. Next day, no meds. NO COUGHING. Called the vet. Scratching of heads. Decided to leave him off the meds as long as he wasn't coughing. A couple of days ago he started the coughing again. We had cut grass for the first time and have had windows open becuase the weather here has been beautiful. So we took him to the vet this week for his checkup. Doc was very excited when we got there. He had been to a conference about a week and a half ago and had learned about something that he thinks is Toby's issue. Basically, his bronchial tubes are tightening. Most infection in the bronchial tubes settle higher and can be found there, but Toby's infection settled at the base of his tubes. That makes it harder to expel the mucus because it is so deep. His tubes are also tightening, and becuase of his age just don't work as well. So the mucus and infection had started to settle at the base of his tubes and into the top of his lungs. How he avoided pnemonia I don't know. Treatment plan is long dose of anitbiotics, something that will cause his bronchial tubes to relax and dialate, and the codene. Watch him carefully, re-xray to check for the cloudiness.

I'm repeating all this to the best of my memory, so if something doesn't make sense, I'm sure it's becuase I am just leaving something out inadvertantly. I'm sharing my story in case someone else out there is going through something similar. We know we are on borrowed time with our Toby - he'll be 14 in August. This time last year I would not have guessed he would still be with us now. I love that dog dearly and am thankful for every good day we have with him.
 
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I had a dog with the same synptoms her lungs looked horrible they put her an Preds for two weeks took another xray they looked great my vet said it was allergic bronchitis. Twice a year she would have flare ups and certain things such as household cleaners & dust made it worse. If she retrieved a bird the feathers would set her off My current dog also has a cough certain times of the year the vet just treats him for allergies.

Good luck with your big guy
 

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Interesting Tracy... thanks for sharing. Hope your old guy continues to do well...
 
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