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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30387
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My small dog is very old. She has a dry hacking cough a year

Resolved Question:

My small dog is very old. She has a dry hacking cough for about a year now. She is drinking more and peeing more with a very healthy appetite etie could you please explain what she might have. Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Christine, there's rarely just one thing wrong at Gypsey's advanced age. Drinking more than usual (polydipsia) and urinating a higher volume of urine (polyuria) are danger signs for quite a few disorders. These include both hepatic and renal insufficiencies, urinary tract infection involving the kidneys, diabetes mellitus and Cushing's disease (both will also cause increased hunger (polyphagia), pyometra (infected uterus if she's unspayed), hypercalcemia (increased serum calcium level), electrolyte (sodium, potassium, chloride) imbalances, and the rarer Addison's disease, diabetes insipidus, and brain tumor involving the hypothalamus. Gypsey's vet will need to perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests in order to clarify what those symptoms are signifying.Her long-standing cough begs for thoracic X-rays. These dogs will be found to suffer from advanced cardiopulmonary diseases such as congestive heart failure, sterile bronchitis (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/COPD), and neoplasia in the chest cavity. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if I just leave her and not go to the vet she is very happy in herself eating playing and in general has a good life. I am scared the vet starts giving her tests and she is a scared dog I don't want her to have that fear.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
At her age her life expectancy may be the same whether or not I clarify why her symptoms exist and treat her appropriately. Every day is a gift when Gypsey is approaching 17 years of age. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if she is showing no sign of any pain or discomfort she eats well no sign of blood in her urine or when she coughs no blood just spit so if we watch her carefully at home and she shows no pain can I leave her tell we have to take her to the vet.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
that's reasonable. Anorexia of more than 3 consecutive days and a respiratory rate of over 30 breaths/minute while asleep or at rest are symptoms requiring her vet's attention.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much. I think you have answered all my concerns, we just want her end of life safe and secure in her own home around people she knows and loves but any problems I will have here down to my vets immediately so thank you again.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.