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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33307
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 12 year old Flatcoat is taking previcox, vivitonin and

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My 12 year old Flatcoat is taking previcox, vivitonin and Atopica. She has progressively lost her energy over the past 6 months, and now after any excitement or walking for say 20 yards she has to lay down and gasps for air as though she has a throat constriction. Things then subside and she breathes normally again. The throat constriction is not obviously physical and she eats and drinks ok. Do you think a diuretic might help for her heart? Is the problem likely to be congestion? We do not want scans anymore as she has had many ops for knees, eye and a sarcoma. Is an iauscultation worthwhile and likely to give an indication.if so we will take her to our local vet but do not wish to put her under unecessary stress. Thanks for your advice
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
Yes, Sadie needs her heart and lungs auscultated and it would be prudent to have X-rays taken as well. The primary differential diagnoses in such a patient as she are advanced heart disease, sterile bronchitis/bronchiectasis, and lung cancer. Sadie's vet won't know how to treat Sadie without visualizing her heart and lungs. For example, her lungs may sound "wet" and a diuretic may be of value but her vet won't know if the "wetness" is due to congestive heart failure or cancer. Most important, heart disease is treated very differently than respiratory disease and so Sadie's vet will need baseline data achieved by auscultating and X-rays.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** all that you have said. However we are reluctant to have an X-ray because of the need yet again for anaesthetic and she is now very old.
If cancer then we would not have follow up treatment, anyway so we just thought to try diuretics on the chance that this might help.
Would there be a downside of using diuretics even if they do not resolve the problem
Roger binney
I understand, Roger, but unless Sadie is fractious, there's no reason to anesthetize her to take a couple of X-rays. To answer you directly, the prudent use of a diuretic shouldn't be harmful and just may be the ticket. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Many thanks , I appreciate your advice
You're quite welcome.

I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks 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.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'll speak to you soon.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Our vet visited and has concluded that the problem is aesophogeal paralysis and recommends that surgery would be worthwhile. We are going to go with the advice despite the dogs age as the prognosis otherwise would not be good.
So thank you for your advice
Thank you for the update. I believe you meant laryngeal paralysis which can cause a characteristic gagging, coughing, and honking in our dogs. We rarely operate on the esophagus.

You're quite welcome. Please correct me if I'm wrong.