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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32833
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 13 year old Labrador has been coughing and wheezing for

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My 13 year old Labrador has been coughing and wheezing for some time. He has now started to poo regulary in the house with a gritty, dry poo which he does quite often.

Does he need a general worm tablet or do I need to take a sample to the vet for diagnosis?
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you. Serious gastrointestinal parasitism is rarely found in a 13 year old Lab who doesn't have diarrhea and so worming Alfie with a broad spectrum over the counter product containing either pyrantel pamoate or fenbendazole should suffice.

I don't believe Alfie's inappropriate defecation is related to his coughing and wheezing unless he's become anxious about those symptoms. It would be prudent to see why he's been coughing and wheezing so in the offchance that those symptoms do represent serious illness which could result in misbehavior. Chronic sterile bronchitis, advanced cardiovascular disease, and lung cancer should be important considerations at his age. A thorough physical exam including X-rays of his thorax (chest) are indicated.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Michael. His cough does seem to be getting better in time and today he is not coughing.


His stools are quite hard and gritty and he is pooing as soon as he can on a walk and has some difficulty in doing the job and it comes out in small pieces - sorry to be so graphic!


He has been off his food quite a bit and he has lost some weight.


We will worm him to see if it helps.


Any further comments would be helpful.

Thank you for the additional information, Keith. I'm pleased to hear that his coughing is abating which should rule our serious etiologies of cough. I would see what feeding wet food exclusively does for his stool. Constipation is the most common cause of dry, gritty stool and so adding canned pumpkin (an ounce to each meal) can be helpful as a bulk laxative and an over the counter stool softener/laxative such as docusate sodium at 50-100mg daily should be helpful. If these simple measures aren't helpful, we need to consider geriatric maladies which would necessitate a thorough physical exam and diagnostics in the form of blood/urine tests.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a week for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.