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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 8 month old pup Lily has recently started coughing during and after strenuous exercise (running, ball chasing, etc.). The cough is almost like a hack and occassionaly clear liquid (what looks like saliva to me) come up. It is not bile or the yellow foamy vomit that is usually caused by an empty stomach. No problems with eating and stools are normal. She is UTD on all shots.

The time of the exercise doesn't seem to make a difference. She doesn't do it everytime, but I would say about 1/2 of the time. We usually go for a run/walk about 6:30 in the morning before she eats, but she'll also do the coughing if I feed her first and then wait several (3-4) hours before exercising.

Any thoughts?

We have an appointment tomorrow at 3:30 EST with the vet, but I like to go in with some knowledge and ideas of what to ask before any appointments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She gets Heartguard every month and has since she came home to me at 8 weeks.

I'll definitely talk to the vet about the heart then.

Thanks for the suggestions and compliments on Lily!
 

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Well is she really out of breath when you are playing? How long are you playing before it happens and how long does she do it after you stop playing with her? Also how long has it been going on as in did it start in the last day or so or is it a on going thing.
 

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I would have her tested for HW.

Just as an FYI from the Heartgard package insert:

Quote:This is a chewable tablet that can be either broken up in to food, or given by hand. This product must be chewed and not swallowed whole.
More: http://www.allivet.com/Heartgard-Plus-Chewables-6pk-p/15050.htm

So if the dog is a gulper, the HW pill is not effective. If you give HG you need to break it up in tiny pieces if they swallow things whole. I never knew that until Melinda told me.


I hope it is something very simple! Like the heat!
 

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First thing I would have blood workup, poop sample to bring in and please do not exercise, only walk until for get to the vets.

Could be worms, heart problem, allergies or heat --- poor baby.


Please update after visit, and hope everything is OK>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For exercise, it is usually about 15-20 after exercising and she'll cough a few times (1-3x's) after immediately stopping exercise or while actually running. It happens more when she is exercising harder (running, etc.) than just going for a simple stroll around the neighborhood.

Thishas been an ongoing thing. After first I thought it was the heat but it has been happening for the last few weeks despite me altering the time of day of exercising, exercising before/after feeding, and trying to cool her off after play by hosing her off on her chest/belly with cool water. We only go for more strenuous exercise earlier in the morning (about 6:30 AM) before the heat of the day or late in the evening. During the day she is inside or she'll play in the pool where she can get exercise but stay cool. FL's heat can be unbearable so I am really cautious to make sure she isn't overheating or overexerting herself during the hot times of the day.

She does chew the Heartguard, but I'll talk to the et about HW to be sure. One concern the vet (and I) have is that he heard what he thought was an arrythmia when she was younger. We ran a complete blood profile and had x-rays and an ultrasound done. We also went in for several days in a row to have him listen to her heart during different times. All the tests came back normal and the vet never heard the arrythmia again so he thought it might have been the stress/excitement of the appointment that had her heart racing or something that day.

I will definitely update when we get back from the vet tomorrow. I really appreciate the advice and suggestions. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Cough/Vomit during and after exercise *UPDATED

We are back from the vet and I am really looking for some honest advice from the members here...

I described Lily's cough to the vet and he felt that it sounded more like an indicator of allergies than heart problems. He asked if Lily seemed to have any 'exercise intolerance.' I told him that because of my lack of experience with dogs (Lily is my first pup ever, let alone a GSD), that I don't know what she SHOULD be doing. But I described our exercise routine and told him that a lot of the times she doesn't seem to have the stamina that I THINK she should have (we will run/walk for a mile and she'll come in the house and pass out on the ground like she just climb Mt. Everest).

Based on that, the vet wants to run some more tests. He wants to take 2 x-rays of the heart, do an electrocardiogram, and an echo-cardiac ultrasound.

I don't have any issue runnning the tests - but it is a but daunting to run the tests not based on what I initially took her in for. He didn't seem overly concerned with the cough I described, but more interested in her exercising. But I told him that maybe I am expecting more stamina from a GSD than they normally have. She may be completely normal in that area but because I have never had a GSD before, I don't know. So it's hard to base the tests (and $540) on my complete lack of experience than the cough that I KNOW isn't normal.

What are your thoughts? I'd REALLY REALLY appreciate some honest advice. I made the appointment to have the tests run tomorrow but I want to make sure I am doing the right and the smart thing for Lily.

 

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Re: Cough/Vomit during and after exercise *UPDATED

Originally Posted By: Krispifsu ....maybe I am expecting more stamina from a GSD than they normally have. She may be completely normal in that area but because I have never had a GSD before, I don't know.

I would say she is lacking in stamina. Siren is only 14 weeks old and she can/will already go farther than Lily does and she(Siren) STILL isn't tired.

What you need to base the tests on is if you TRUST your vet. If you trust him 100% and believe he is only wanting to do the tests because he has Lilys best interest at heart, then by all means do it. If, on the otherhand, you have ANY doubts as to wether his motivation for the tests is for the dogs benefit OR his trying to pad his bank account, they I would get a second opinion from not only another vet, but one that is at a different clinic.
 

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Re: Cough/Vomit during and after exercise *UPDATED

Will he be having a cardiologist look at the tests?

If he is thinking heart (allergies? asthma? but doing heart tests) then I'd just want the cardiologist to do the testing because they may have to re-do it.

Unless he is a cardiologist, in which case without a doubt let him do the test.


And of course, I also look forward to hearing other people's thoughts on this.
 

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Re: Cough/Vomit during and after exercise *UPDATED

It sounds to me like he IS concerned about the cough as a product of excersize. The cough with excersize + lack of stamina sounds like a cardiac problem. I think your vet's headed the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Cough/Vomit during and after exercise *UPDATED

He is not a cardiologist, but when I drop Lily off this morning I will talk to him about that.

He isn't a vet that I feel would waste my money. He's a friend of our family and has always been conservative in asking for testing/etc. he didn't feel was necessary and always gives me a good discount from their clinic's prices. So that really is not a concern of mine.

When the vet first heard the arrythmia several months ago, he suggested we run these same tests if he heard the arrythmia again or other symptoms showed. After several checks of not hearing the arrythmia he suggested we hold off with the testing. Now with the cough and such, he felt it warranted more investigation, escpecially since he is positive he heard extra beats the one time.

I also did some internet surfing last night and read about cardiac problems in dogs. Some of the common signs listed were cough, exercise intolerance, fatigue, and shortness of breath. I do notice that Lily, when sleeping or just laying down, will lay there panting like she's hot (but we run our A/C at 75-78 degress) or just been exercising.

I'll be dropping Lily off at 9 AM today so hopefully I will have some more answers this afternoon. Thanks for the responses as I have never dealt with this before and want to make sure I am doing the right thing by Lily.

Please wish Lily luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Cough/Vomit during and after exercise *UPDATED

After a long day, we are back from the vet. He looked at her heart through X-ray, EKG, and ultrasound and felt the heart function looked good. However, the tests did show some problems with her lungs and the lining of the lungs were inflamed. He is still looking into the root of the problem as he said it could be anything from allergies to an URI to worms to many other possibilities. He put her on an antibiotic and worming meds to rules those problems out, took some blood he sent off to the lab, and wants to see her in one week.

Lily came home a little wobbly, shaved on her chest, and tired -- but thrilled to be back home. It was hard leaving her as she started crying when I left which just broke my heart. But she's home and happily chewing a new toy I bought her today while passing the time she was at the vet's.
 
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