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Ask Dr. Joey Your Own Question

Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4695
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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hello i truley hope you can help us .. our little dog holly

Customer Question

hello i truley hope you can help us .. our little dog holly a west highland terrier who is aged 11 years .. has just recently got breathing problem , > quite slow and heavy and has developed a cough , the cough is sporadic somtimes an hour or more between each one but only lasts for a few seconds she has a slight whezzyness when she breaths . we have not long returned from the vets who did a an exray and blood test . the exray showed alot of fluid in the chest cavity , you could not see her lungs on the exray due to the fluid . her temerature was ok and her heart seemed normal thank you john
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

This is concerning for Holly. Did your veterinarian remove as much of the fluid as possible (thoracocentesis) and then repeat an xray afterwards to look for underlying causes (like a tumor or heart failure)? And was a sample of the fluid removed submitted to the lab for cytological evaluation and culture?

Dr. Joey :

There is a short list of possible causes of fluid in the chest and removing some for a sample is the first step. If the fluid is blood or chyle then this is fairly obvious and diagnostic testing and treatment can proceed down the route of pursuing that problem. Most commonly the fluid is fairly clear, and then is usually due to either heart failure or a tumor that is around a vessel.


I always counsel my owners that regardless of the cause and given her age, the prognosis is not good and even upon removal (which will help her breathe better and feel better), it will recur unless there is a treatable problem such as heart disease. Unfortunately this is most commonly due to a tumor.

Dr. Joey :

Please let me know what questions you have.

Dr. Joey :

Please let me know you were able to see my replies (sometimes the system can be glitchy) as I have not received any communication yet from you. Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.

You appear to be unavailable for a live chat or we are having a difficult time connecting. I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. We can continue our dialog in this setting.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

Please remember to select REPLY TO EXPERT if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer.

My goal is to provide the best answer possible prior to you leaving a feedback rating.

If you received all the information you needed, then kindly submit a rating.

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
The system has alerted me that you submitted a reply, but I cannot see it. I apologize for the inconvenience, but could you please submit this again. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


following a blood test and exray on our dog holly , from the blood test is it not possible to detect a cancer tumor or other problem like you can do in a human blood test

Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.
It is not possible for us to do marker testing for cancer like it is in people. Now, xrays can be the most sensitive initial test we have to screen for cancer, and I would advocate this.

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