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Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 8115
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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My 13 1/2 year old Yorkshire terrier has a constant cough.

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My 13 1/2 year old Yorkshire terrier has a constant cough. It sound like a wheezy cough. Often he chokes when drinking water. Our vet said his heart sounded good and she could hear nothing wrong with his lungs. So she
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long has the Yorkshire Terrier had this choking? Is he breathing okay?
Customer: It’s gradually increased over the last 6 months. Sometimes he has shortness of breath but it’s hardly noticeable. He eats heartily. The vet prescribed Codine Phosphate, 1 1/2 mls twice a day.
JA: What's the Yorkshire Terrier's name?
Customer: Sunny and he’s roughly 6 kilos. He’s a taller version of most Yorkies.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Sunny?
Customer: I’ve noticed in the last few months his normally shiny coat has gone dull and he’s shedding more than normal. We feed him top quality food both wet and dry.

Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet with 10 years of clinical experience.

I'm sorry to hear this and understand your concern for Sunny.

Has the vet run any tests such as a blood test, chest x-ray or heart scan?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
She used a stethoscope to listen to his heart and lungs. We tried the medicine for 2 weeks as advised then called her with a progress report. We told her there wasn’t much improvement so she offered to have a scan of his heart. Yet earlier she claimed his heart sounded fine so we did not approve a scan as it costs a lot of money. So we agreed to continue the Codine.

As Sunny's signs have been ongoing for such a long time and they are worsening, we do need to run some tests now.

Unfortunately while listening to the heart and lungs can detect some issues, it cannot detect everything and a chest x-ray would be the first step here.

We need to check him for e.g. tracheal collapse, heart disease (such as mitral valve disease), fluid on the lungs, a mass in the chest etc.

Until we know why he is coughing, we cannot know which medicine he needs.

His dull coat could be a reflection of the stress hid body is under and coats can become less shiny as a dog ages.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
About 5 years ago I had a Schitzu cross Maltese and he had very similar symptoms and your Vet from Just Ask immediately diagnosed water build up in the lungs. He gave me the name of diuretic needed and we gave him one daily for the next 8 years. He lived healthily u till age 16 and 8 months. What test could detect a water in the lung problem?

Without an x-ray, this would not be something we could diagnose.

It is certainly one of several possibilities.

So, as I say, the next step is a chest x-ray.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** do that. Do you think we should continue with the Codine and what, in your opinion, is the Codine useful for?

Codeine is a cough suppressant.

It reduces the sensation that the dog needs to cough.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Thank you for your advice. Annie

No a problem at all and hopefully we can get some answers soon.

This window will stay open and you are welcome to keep in touch.

Wishing Sunny all the very best,

Linda.

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