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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32783
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my dog is over 15 yrs...... she had tests done a few weeks

Customer Question

my dog is over 15 yrs...... she had tests done a few weeks ago for a persistant and gagging cough. they coulf find nothing wrong but said to avoid a bronchoscopy because of her age. she has been on steroids. the cough is much worse and there is a now at times a foul smell from her mouth. she isw also becoming incontinent, please excuse typing, ive broken my wrist.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely fashion. I can understand treating such an elderly dog conservatively but Jess's worsening cough and halitosis suggests a necrotic (dying tissue) tumor in her respiratory tract, rotting food that can't pass an obstruction in her oropharynx (back of her throat), or perhaps you're smelling a uremic odor indicating renal failure in a dog who is now becoming incontinent due to an increased water intake and overfilling of her bladder and/or urinary tract infection.

I'm afraid that you have a difficult decision to make at this time. You can decide to scope Jess with the understanding that she presents a considerable anesthetic risk and we'd be looking for a rather dire disorder or you'll need to consider having the final kindness peformed. I'm sorry to sound so discouraging but I'm quite concerned for Jess at this time.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.