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Linda Simmon
Linda Simmon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 8535
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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Since last night my 14 year old female chihuahua has been

Customer Question

Since last night my 14 year old female chihuahua has been coughing like she has something stuck in her throat. She also keeps scratching her left side and because of the itch is walking sideways causing her to be disorientated. Please could you give me some advice.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Has the Chihuahua been licking or rubbing the itchiness?
Customer: No just constantly scratching the area
JA: What's the Chihuahua's name?
Customer: Misty
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Misty?
Customer: She is elderly as said, but apart from the intermittent coughing and scratching she is eating and drinking normally.
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Hello, you are through to Dr Linda, a UK based vet with 10 years of clinical experience working out of West London. It will be my pleasure to help you today.

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

Do her ears seem red, waxy or smelly?

Is she scratching at her flank and does the skin appear inflamed or scabby?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
No her ears are not smelly. Her flank has a small patch of inflammation but not scabby.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Thank you, understood.

Would a photo of her flank be possible please?

Has she ever had a cough prior to yesterday?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
No coughing prior to yesterday
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Thank you, ok.

How often is she coughing?

How many times is she breathing in one minute?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Not all the time, when excited, and at that time, she is panting, but breathing normally the majority of the time, when not coughing. I am sending a picture of the area that she is scratching.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** let you know when it comes through.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
File attached (77T237V)
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Sorry wrong one??
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
File attached (2S72VZP)
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Thank you.

While there is too much fur to see much, I can see that the skin is pink and there looks to be some discharge.

Has she been running where there are grass awns or e.g. barley?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
No
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Sure thing.

Is she up to date with her kennel cough vaccine and lung worm prevention?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
My garden has a concrete patio and some lawn at the rear of the patio but she has only used the concrete recently. Unfortunately, she is not up to date with these vaccines at the moment.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Thank you, ok.

Before typing my reply, is there anything else I should know?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I think I have covered everything, except she is a teacup and weighs only 2kg and has a long coat.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

I'm sorry Misty has developed these signs and know you will be concerned.

At her age, a cough is always a worry and there are several possible causes including:

  • A viral or bacterial respiratory tract infection
  • Lungworm
  • Collapsing trachea
  • Bronchitis
  • Fluid on the lungs
  • Heart disease
  • Etc.

It sounds like her flank is causing her a lot of discomfort and there does appear to be an infection in that photo, which could be a 'hot spot' or an area of 'acute moist dermatitis'.

Given her age, ideally she would be seen today.

I'd want to check her oxygen levels and listen to her heart and lungs.

Once we know what is causing her cough, we can start treatment which may include anti inflammatories and antibiotics.

I'd also want to clip the fur over the flank and flush the area. so we can get a better look at things. We need to check for any lesions or foreign bodies and provide medicine, which may be systemic antibiotics or a medicated wash.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Recently gave her flea and worming treatment.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Sure thing, understood.

Unless this was a specific product (like Advocate or Milbemax) it likely did not cover for lungworm.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
it's Advocate
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Ok, good.

This makes lungworm much less likely.

Hopefully you can see my full answer sent at 17:05pm.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Read all messages and through Google search have ruled out a few things due to lack of symptoms. Where, may I ask, am I able to take her and could I have some idea of finances as I am at present on benefits?
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Is she currently registered with a vet?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
the Vets at Pets at Home, Feltham
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

If you have any further questions, please just let me know.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you for your help. So as a professional, you can advise that whatever condition is not life threatening at the moment and she will be taken to the surgery tomorrow and that is satisfactory action.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 13 days ago.

Unfortunately there is no way I can say this for sure as I have not examined her.

However, if her breathing is calm and settled, her gums are pink in colour and wet to the touch, she is eating and can settle and sleep, it sounds unlikely that whatever is going on would be immediately life threatening.

Of course, we do need to keep a close eye, to ensure she does not develop further symptoms and her breathing does not become affected.

Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 12 days ago.

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Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I have to ask about being charged for a call back I didn't receive??
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 12 days ago.
I am sorry for the inconvenience.As I declined the call, any deposit paid should be automatically refunded.If you have any issues with these, please let customer services know.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
far no refund, could you inform me how to claim.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
No sorry, I will call customer services, thank you.
Expert:  Linda Simmon replied 12 days ago.
Of course and take care.