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Coughing Mystery
09-25-2012, 06:20 PM,
Coughing Mystery
Hi all. I am new here, not sure how active this thread is but wanted to give it a shot, as I am desperate. My 9 yr old chihuahua has been coughing for a while now. I have had every heart test possible done since he has a murmur, wanted to be safe. After blood work, my vet diagnosed it as a generic "respiratory problem" and put him on cough medicine. He takes it, he is still coughing. I am scared this could be something serious, wanted to see if I could find any answers or some advice. Thanks.
09-25-2012, 06:38 PM,
RE: Coughing Mystery
I am assuming since you state he has had every test done that it included tests to rule out a heart valve defect. If all the tests came inconclusive, there are chances that by exclusion your vet came up with a diagnosis of "respiratory problem" which is quite vague and am sure frustrating as you don't know what you are fighting against.

Does the cough follow a certain pattern? Upon exercising, when the dog is relaxing, on leash? or is it pretty much constant regardless of what he is doing? I know this is quite obvious, but does anybody in your household smoke, do you use products in carpets, or are there any irritants you may be aware of using? Being small, I would assume a Chihuahua would be more exposed to products, dust, etc on the floor or used in yards compared to say a Lab. Just throwing some ideas.. hopefully somebody with more ideas may chime in.
09-28-2012, 03:48 PM,
RE: Coughing Mystery
What level of hear murmur was your dog diagnosed with? Some dogs require medications for it especially if it causes coughing. One of my friend's dog is 12 has a heart murmur with coughing and has been improving with generic Enacard medication. Of course, this is her case. Heart problems with coughing can result from the enlargement of the heart which presses on the the trachea and the build-up of fluid within the lungs due to poorly functioning heart. If your vet did ALL tests to exclude this, then ignore this comment.

Perhaps get another vet's opinion? If your vet has not done this yet,a cardiac ultrasound exam is the best way to assess the heart. While it is true that many murmurs never cause a problem during a dog's lifetime, it is also definitely true that some do.

Former AAHA animal hospital employee, dog trainer and dog behavior consultant. Published dog author on several print and web publications.

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