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Lily is supposed to go back in tomorrow to get a sample of the fluid in her lungs tested. We have been having some issues with her getting really winded during exercising, panting abnormally, and coughing during/after exercise. First they checked her heart, which thankfully looked good. But the x-rays showed inflammation in the lungs. The vet wanted to try a wormer first so we did 5 days of Panacur starting this past Tuesday. On Saturday we went swimming at the pool and she was still coughing (not from swallowing water, but the same cough as she has had). We had a recheck scheduled for today. Fecal was clear, but due to her still coughing as of the weekend, now the vet wants to check the lungs a bit more.

He said we could do some light exercising since we ruled out heart problems. So when I got back from the vet today I took Lily out for a bit - nothing hardcore but got her out there running and stretching her legs with some ball chasing, running, and playing in the hose. Guess what - no coughing.


So now what?!


Anyone else had this problem before? The cough that Lily makes reminds me of when dogs pull on their collars/leashes really hard and the cough/choke. She is eating, pooping, and acting fine. Occassionally she does seem too tired to really want to play and she does have episodes where she seems to pant really hard for no explainable reason (not hot, not recently exercising, etc.).

I'm at a loss of what to do with her and how much testing is really necessary.
 

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So sorry you're having so many problems with Lily's cough. Has your vet checked her esophagus? Yukon had adult-onset megaesophagus. He had an unusual cough that's hard to describe but sounds similar to what you may be trying to describe. The biggest difference is that he also coughed without any stress of exercising.

The only other suggestion I can make is to ask your vet to have an ultrasound done of her heart and lungs. Sometimes problems that don't get caught with an x-ray are picked up with the ultrasound.
 

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In my opinion...I would now bypass a regular vet and see a cardiologist. In order to determine cardiac function you need to do an echocardiogram. A regular single view chest film will not be able to see anything within the heart as to blood flow, valves or vessel function. This sounds like it could be congestive heart failure with the dyspnea on exertion and the cough. Once these things are ruled out...I would have her tested for lung worms or chronic lung disease.

I wish you well,
Connie
 

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Re: What else is new...Lily back at the vet for lu

Definitely agree with seeing a cardiologist. I am always amazed at the work they do. Poor little sweetie. Thank you for persisting.

Wait-realized I hadn't asked if bloodwork for infection, x-rays, barium x-rays, ultrasounds had been done and can't remember if they have been!

I just want you to be able to get to the bottom of this and I always think specialists seem to be the way to go on weird stuff.
 

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Re: What else is new...Lily back at the vet for lu

Last week Lily had 2 x-rays taken of the heart and lungs, a echo-cardiac ultrasound, an echocardiogram, and a complete blood count taken. The vet said from the tests the heart appeared to be functioning properly. However, he saw inflammation in/around the lungs. He wanted to try a dewormer first (Panacur for 5 days) and an antibiotic injection based on his idea that parasites traveling through the body can sometimes cause a bronchial infection. All meds were finished but Lily continued to cough with exercise so we went back in yesterday and had a Transtracheal wash done with a C&S and fluid cytology sent out to a lab. While we are waiting for the results, the vet put her on an antibiotic (Doxycycline) to treat bronchial infections.

After my post above, we took Lily to a friend's house to play with the dogs and watch a movie. We kept the dogs inside to keep play to a minimum but they were still mildly wrestling. At one point during the night Lily started coughing again and then she did it twice yesterday too. The cough does not last long (just a few coughs) and then she acts fine.

If you all think it if important to see a cardiologist I will definitely start looking for one in my area. I don't know what is happening with her - but I do know something is not right. She gets a cough almost like she is having her air cut off and she pants excessively for no reason. I am trying to keep her quiet (not easy with an 8 month old pup!) and am waiting anxiously for the test results.

Any advice is GREATLY GREATLY appreciated because I am treading on completely new territory with this and REALLY want to do the best for Lily. She's such a doll and deserves all the best.

Thank you!
 

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Re: What else is new...Lily back at the vet for lu

The way I see it, you've had the heart stuff done, and you *did* find a very reasonable cause for the cough -- the inflammation in the lungs.

I might wait 5-7 days and see if there is any response on the doxy in terms of the coughing. When will the lab results be back?

She's young, but the thyroid may be worth checking out. I'm not exactly sure where it is on a dog, but if it is swollen, it can cause that kind of coughing, and also make it hard to swallow. You can test for that by just applying pressure to the throat area where the thyroid is and seeing if it produces gagging or a cough. I had this experience myself before my thyroid was treated.

My dog had an odd experience when she was first on panacur -- she had that weird cough/reverse sneeze, and almost collapsed on day 2. Never happened again.
 

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Re: What else is new...Lily back at the vet for lu

Thank you checking up on my Lily, Jean!


Unfortunately though - my update is no update at all. The lung fluid cytology didn't show anything abnormal. The vet put her on antibiotics with an antiflammatory for two weeks. I kept her as quiet as I could for most of the time except for walks and light play. She continued to cough with exercise -but the cough did not seem as violent. So at her first recheck the vet decided to keep her on the meds for an additional week thinking that the meds may possibly be working but needed more time. Then he wanted me to stop the meds and see if it got worse again once off. She finished the meds and then went a week without. At first it seemed the same with just a light cough with harder exercise - but then today it seemed worse when we went out for a brisk walk and then some fetch. The vet said to put her back on her normal exercise/play routine and see how she handled it. It's still just comes with exercise and almost seems like she just hacks real hard once or twice and then goes on about her business.


So now I feel like we are back at square one - with still no real answers. I don't know how far to take this - but we have another recheck scheduled. I am fairly certain from talking with my vet - that he is chalking this up to an environmental allergy. So we'll see. I still don't know what else to do as I felt like the tests would have showed SOMETHING - but all the vet saw was inflammation in/around the lungs and nothing since then.


Thank you so much for checking up on my girl. She's been a real trooper through all of the vet visits, meds, and such.
 

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Re: What else is new...Lily back at the vet for lu

Do you have any more information about what nutrients will help - or where I can find that information.

My vet said we can discuss allergy medication/injections - but I would like to pursue some other avenues if possible first.

Thank You!
 

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Re: What else is new...Lily back at the vet for lu

I second Arycrest.

Get a barium done on the Esophagus. Start with that and work your way through the rest of the system. Esophagus, heart, lungs, allergies, ect.
 

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Re: What else is new...Lily back at the vet for lu

Awww, poor Lili, yes, you definitely want to try to find out what is going on. That sounds like a good system.

I think once you start hitting specialties, someone is going to look at her, at her records and go, "OH, obviously she has blahblahblah!"
 
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