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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28581
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 15 year old dog has been coughing and sneezing weeks

Resolved Question:

My 15 year old dog has been coughing and sneezing for 3 weeks been to vet taken antihistamine and metacam is a bit better but not happy vet said have an ultrasound but feel unhappy
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I can understand X-raying the upper respiratory tract because sneezing and coughing suggests oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal disorders but what is it that Maceey's vet wants to have ultrasounded? If conservative care in the form of antihistamines, antiinflammatory drugs, and antibiotics aren't helpful I'll scope and biopsy the upper respiratory tract of these patients. I understand, however, that that would entail a general anesthetic in a 15 year old which does present a concern. I'm looking for inflammatory polyps and tumor, mainly, at her age. Infection due to infectious tracheobronchitis, parainfluenza, and influenza need to be considered as well and in those cases X-rays are important but in this case the lower respiratory tract is the focus because pneumonia becomes a more important differential diagnosis at Maceey's age.Please respond with additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi that all sounds pretty involved, because she has a heart murmur they want to do ultrasound on her heart and then maybe need medication
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Coughing is certainly a symptom of heart disease but so is a sterile bronchitis and neoplasia (cancer) in the chest cavity. Sneezing isn't consistent with heart disease, however. Pragmatically speaking, I'm going to X-ray Maceey's chest looking for something that absolutely needs to be treated - whether that's heart or lung disease. A cardiac ultrasound should be reserved for clarifying changes seen in the heart in X-rays. Most murmurs are due to myxomatous valve disease ("leaky valves") and don't require ultrasound imaging. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would you recommend me to do right now
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Have Maceey's chest X-rayed. You'll learn quite a lot doing so even if it's that you don't have to do anything at all at this time. After all, coughing and sneezing aren't usually life-threatening.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think she is to old for X-ray but would have it done if vetnagrees
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
She doesn't need to be sedated for X-rays. It's not considered a stressful diagnostic for any age dog. 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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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.