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nekovet
nekovet, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21198
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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13 year old spaniel coughs when anxious and at least once

Resolved Question:

13 year old spaniel coughs when anxious and at least once during the night
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  nekovet replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she had this cough?

Is the cough harsh or soft?

Did the vet note any heart murmurs? Any noise in the lungs?

Was any testing besides the offered heart scan done?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2 months
soft cough sometimes with retching. yes had heart murmour for years. offered x-ray
Expert:  nekovet replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now I have to say that while its good that she ruled out infectious agents, a chronic soft cough in an elderly cocker with a heart murmur rings major alarm bells for heart disease. Its possible the cough with anxiety is related to a degree of tracheal collapse when she tenses her neck muscles; but I suspect she has an enlarged heart that is pushing up on trachea. When it does this we often have soft coughs develop. And that wouldn't respond to any of the treatment tried.

Therefore, I must say that a heart scan isn't unreasonable itself, but you probably could get away with just having an xray done. Furthermore, if the costs they estimated were too much, you can ring other local practices to get a free estimate for this. That way you can choose a practice that can fit more with your budget. Otherwise, you could also consider having her seen at an RSCPA hospital (HERE) since these are subsidized to allow costs to be reduced. Or if you are on benefits, then PDSA (HERE) may be able to help you for free or for a much reduced cost. But again the vet's suspicions are not misplaced but perhaps we need a more budget friendly practice to carry out these tests.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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