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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 29793
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a 7 yr old male seberian husky who has a persistent

Customer Question

I have a 7 yr old male seberian husky who has a persistent cough (since November last year). He is well in himself no other symptoms, the cough tends to be worse at night but he does cough through the day sometimes. I'm on my second vet now who seems to be at a loss. They have tried 3 different antibiotics, he's had x-rays, a CT scan, a broncoscopy and a sample sent to pathology all of which have given no definate answer to the cough.
I was just hoping for any ideas on what it could be!
Thanking you in advance Linsey
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner, Linsey. I don't imagine that I can be any more informative than what such an extensive diagnostic work-up has found so far but I will add that the lungworm Angiostrongylus vasorum is endemic in the UK now and should be considered in a patient such as Ajay and although heartworm disease isn't present where you live, if Ajay has traveled to areas in which heartworm disease is endemic, it, too, needs to be considered. If neither of the above have been considered and found to be lacking, it appears to be time to see how presumptive therapy affects Ajay. In other words, a trial of a corticosteroid such as prednisone might be initiated to see if an allergic/asthmatic steroid-responsive inflammation/bronchospasm is present. Unless a bronchial wash has identified an infectious agent, I don't see the value of prescribing additional antibiotics to Ajay.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Morning Michael,

Thank you for your response, Ajay has been treated for lungworm too and hasn't travelled anywhere to have caught the heartworm diesease. I saw my vet last night and he has booked Ajay in for more X-rays and a bronchoscopy to take a sample to see if there are any eosinophils present that would indicate an allegic response (I cant remember the full name of the condition) and then perscribe some steriods accordingly.

Thank you for advice

Linsey

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. The additional testing looks for indications of an allergic bronchitis/asthmatic-like condition which would be treated with a corticosteroid as I mentioned above. I expected his previous bronchoscopy to have included this type of testing. Is this to be a recheck or is something new going to be done?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The original bronchoscopy was done to check for a foreign body as this was one of the possible causes of Ajay's cough. The sample taken at the time did show a certain type of bacteria to be present that is more commonly associated with the presence of a foreign - I can't remeber the name of the bacteria though sorry, but my vet said last night the sample didn't show the presence of eosinophils. So they then went on do perform a CT scan hoping to find a foreign body present that Ajay might have inhaled but not such luck. The next step was to put Ajay on a longer course of antibiotics and see how he was, the cough lessened but didn't completely go, I suggested trying a different type of antibiotics like in humans to see if this would help. Ajay had a two week course of these which seemed to be helping and the cough had almost gone but then 3/4 days before the course finished the cough came abck and got worse. When I went last night my vet suggested the above procedures with the reasoning that the antibiotics could have cleared the infection but there could be an underlying allergic reaction that is the reason behind the cough hence Ajay is still coughing, so if we do this next lot of procedures (which is happening tomorrow) and these eosinphils are present Ajay can then be put on the steriods and hopefully this will solve the problem. My concern is that we have been down this road before and others and got no definative answers what happens if we don't get answer from this? My vets didn't want to put Ajay on the steriods first as he said this would be treating him blind! I understand this but if the results come back with no really answer he will still probably try the steriod route.

Its a bit of a puzzel really and quite an expensive one! Smile

Regards Linsey

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I can imagine! There's an adage in veterinary medicine that states to never forget to see if steroids work for a condition that henceforth has been refractory to either diagnosis or treatment. It's silly, of course, but it appears that there are many immune-related disorders that we haven't fully elucidated as of yet that are steroid-responsive.
I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thank you I'll keep you posted on what happens with Ajay

Many thanks

Linsey

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I appreciate it! Thank you for your kind accept.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Morning Michael

just a quick up date on Ajay he had all his procedures done yesterday and is home and well Smile

My vet went through the x-rays last night and showed me the difference between these and the last set and his lungs do look clearer which is good, the bronchoscope pictures also showed not as much puss present they have sent a sample off which should be back Monday. However my vet seems to think it might not show much and that Ajay is on the mend as there is not evidence of an allergic reaction, so he is on a 3 week course of antibiotics and we have to go back in 4 weeks to see how he's doing, hopefully for the last time.

Linsey

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the good update. Please let me know what the latest sample reveals.