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Dog health Issues
by Dr. Joseph N. Farkas DVM

Q. I have a 15-year-old poodle mix; she has been coughing for 6 months. The Vet she sees has tried furosemide thinking it might be CHF. No results.

Now she's been through 3 antibiotic treatments, prednisone (twice), bronchodialators and cough suppressants all with no results. We've done a geriatric panel and chest x-rays twice, her heart is a little enlarged but in good condition for her age. Her Vet is stumped.

Any thoughts on what the problem could be? I don't know what else to do for her. I neglected to add that her Vet has also done an endoscopy procedure and found her trachea to be very irritated and her tonsils we extremely enlarged so he removed them.

We do not get full nights sleep because she's up coughing every 2 hours. Thank you for any help you may be able to provide.

A. I would suggest having x-rays of the chest read by a radiologist. If it is determined that the heart is normal then pursue tracheal films and possible tracheal wash for caustic organism.

If the heart is enlarged - which is the most probable cause - the left atrium is compressing the main stem of the bronchi. In this case heart medication is in order.

You may want to see a veterinarian internist.

Q. I am in a desperate situation. Our dog is very ill but both my husband and I (I am a disabled RN) are out of work and have 4 children and sadly, can't afford a vet visit.

About a week ago, our 8-month-old Golden Lab mix puppy got loose and got into some fresh deer entrails and appears to have consumed a very large amount.

He vomited violently and had diarrhea all that night and has not recovered. He is still nauseated and absolutely refuses any food.

I've been spoon feeding him weak chicken broth made with rice water for the past three days but he only takes in about a 1/4 cup before completely refusing. He will not voluntarily intake anything but water. Is there anything else I can do for him? I am totally distraught we don't have the money to take him to a local vet and so desperately worried about him.

A. You and your dog are indeed in a desperate situation. I'm sorry to say your puppy needs veterinarian help.

There is nothing I can tell you to do on your own and he is sick enough that chicken soup is just not enough.

Tell your problem to the vet, he may have a big enough heart to be able to work with you on your financial problem. In any event please get help for the puppy.

Q. Hello -My dog's name is Bubba. He is a 7-year-old neutered male Cocker Spaniel. He was in wonderful health until approximately 9 months ago. It started with his belly being extremely bloated.

I took him to the vet thinking it was weight gain (he went from 27 lbs. to 48 lbs.) but this was all water...More tests and still no answers, but she did rule out his liver. Now the vet was focusing o the heart and decided I needed an electrocardiogram. So I was referred to a specialist. He evaluated Bubba and felt it was his heart.

He is still loving, but he is tired. I love him very much and would love to have him back in good health. The vet bills have been hard as my budget is extremely tight, so I've had to do one test at a time.

I know without seeing Bubba yourself this is hard, but maybe you have seen these symptoms before and could point me in the right direction with medication or something. I greatly appreciate your time.

A. You and Bubba really do need help.

I would collect all of the blood work, x-rays, test results and information and consult a Board-certified internist.

A "quick look at his liver and kidneys" bothers me. I would guess from the information you have given that the liver is actually the problem.

Also - you didn't mention stool characteristic, particularly diarrhea. This is a very important diagnostic tool.

You are correct that without seeing this case I can't make a diagnosis, but I think seeing the Board Certified Internist should help pinpoint the problem.

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Joe Farkas DVM

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