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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24397
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My puppy cocker spaniel has a snotty nose. We have had antibiotics

Customer Question

My puppy cocker spaniel has a snotty nose. We have had antibiotics for it and it has helped but there is still a bit of snot. Is there anything we should be doing.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
Isobel, there's quite a variety of respiratory infectious agents and because the great majority are viruses which antibiotics don't address, it's not unusual for a rhinitis (inflammation inside the nose) to persist. We're always concerned with the distemper virus in puppies but coronavirus, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, herpesvirus, and influenza virus also deserve consideration. We can test for all of these but because there's no specific therapy for any of them, testing may be for academic purposes only. As long as Archie is well otherwise, keeping his nose clean, instilling over the counter nasal saline drops into his upturned nose a few times daily to help him clear that mucus/pus and giving him a kiss for me should suffice.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Can you tell me when I'm likely to get a response. I had expected it would be before now.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
I responded to you at 7:35AM PST (2:35PM your time) directly above your last post. If you don't see my response please let me know and I'll repost it.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your reply. I am not seeing any response above my post nor did it come through on an email. Would you be able to send it to me now. Many thanks.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi I"ve found your reply - I just did not know where to get it from but now I can see how it all works. Thank you.
We had his nose flushed at the vet just incase anything was stuck - it was not. We are on the third lot of anti biotics and the vet I took him to suggested two X-ray's and a scope. To let you understand we had taken out pet insurance but because he had a runny nose they would not cover his nose. Now they are looking for £475 to do the X-ray. I just need to understand if this is life threatening as I would not see my pup in pain or suffer a long term condition which is why I wanted to ask a further question of another professional without it sounding like I don't want to pay the bill. From what you say we can self manage this and it won't be a life death situation. I just need to put our mind at ease. Regards Isobel
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
I believe that scoping a 17 week old pup's nose is excessive. Even culturing the nose isn't recommended because it rarely identifies a specific pathogen; instead, we find the usual hodgepodge of bacteria found in a nose. I don't have an objection to continuing a broad spectrum antibiotic such as amoxicillin/clavulanate for 3-4 weeks but if such an antibiotic isn't helpful, reaching for more potent antibiotics isn't usually helpful either...as you're seeing...and, in fact, risks the development of resistant bacteria. If you're interested in doing additional testing the most rewarding is likely to be a respiratory disease PCR (DNA-based testing) panel - a rapid, sensitive and specific identification for eight infectious agents all at once. The IDEXX Canine Respiratory Disease (CRD) RealPCR Panel is an example of such testing. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you once again for your advice. The vet told me after the second antibiotic that they needed to take a sample. The result came back as ecoli. The third lot of anti bionics was to try and clear this. When I went into the vet today they did not mention taking another sample to check if the infection had gone. They asked me how he had been and I said in himself fine but he still has the snot morning and a bit congested at night. I also said I could smell a slight smell - nothing like before. That is when they went into x-ray etc. Would it be wrong for me to ask/tell the VET that I want to do a PCR test and then follow the results from there. His current antibiotics finish on Monday and if he needs more of the same it is best to continue rather than have a break so I'd like to move things forward in a reasonable time frame.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for the additional information. The finding of E. coli needs to be a pure culture and not just one of many bacteria cultured from a nose. That said, it's certainly reasonable to prescribe an antibiotic that a bacterial culture and sensitivity identified as one that should be effective against the E. coli and now that antibiotics have been prescribed, it would be prudent to recheck the culture a couple of days after the course of antibiotics is completed to see if the E. coli have been eradicated. Because there's a good chance that E. coli is a secondary invader, PCR testing is still indicated in an attempt to find the primary infection if only to give you a prognosis and timetable for Archie's recovery. Yes, discussing both the recheck culture and PCR testing would be prudent. Alternatively, simply continuing the same antibiotic for another 2-4 weeks can be considered as long as you've seen some positive progress while it has been administered to Archie.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you Dr SalkinWe will go back and discuss with the vet. Regards Isobel
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
You're quite welcome. 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.

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