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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2-year-old spayed female, Amy, started coughing about 10 weeks ago. Being a novice owner, I figured it was grass she was choking up -- and in fact, once she did choke up a bit of seaweed. She had great energy and appetite and it often only happened once a night, so I unfortunately ignored it. After about 8 weeks of this (I know, I know, I shouldn't have waited!), her coughing was becoming more frequent at night, and occasionally happened during the day.

She doesn't cough anything up, but she sounds like she will. She usually has several forceful coughs, then sort of gags. It sounds as if she's trying to get a hairball out of her throat.

When I went to the vet he found a bit of tonsillitis (he wasn't sure if this was a cause or effect of coughing). The x-rays, sent away to be looked at by specialists, were all clear. She has had 2 weeks of antibiotics and enforced rest (luckily she's a very quiet dog so this hasn't been too difficult, though a bit boring for both of us; we are accustomed to 2 1-hour off leash walks a day). The cough has decreased somewhat in response to the rest, but it's still there, especially at night, and now I am noticing that it seems to occur after exercise (we did go for one walk, and she was coughing quite a bit that evening and night)-- but not right after; usually an hour or 2 after. Once in a while, there is a click at the end of the cough, which I thought was her teeth trying to chew something, but I read may be a trachea or bronchial tube doing something.

I requested a Blastomycosis urine antigen test, which came back negative.

She was with her friends several times during her coughing time last June, and saw some of them occasionally during the summer (we were mainly at the cottage), but none of her friends had a cough at any time.

I will be going to an internal medicine specialist in 5 days. Any ideas as to what I might do to help diagnose? (I am recording her resting respiration rate. Also recording times she coughs.) Any questions I should have for the vet?

I am quite worried -- Amy was an extremely fit girl, the fastest runner of her 6 friends, so this is a real change. Her breeders are excellent -- she has all the clearances for several generations. But they are as mystified as the vet.
 

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My old lab has a chronic cough. In his case it is chronic bronchitis which was diagnosed with chest x-rays. He does take a daily antihistamine thinking allergies might add to his problem and that did help keep his coughing to a minimum.
The other diagnosis they were looking at (once kennel cough was ruled out) was laryngeal paralysis.
Maybe ask your vet about taking antihistamines (my guy is on claratin, but the other option was Benadryl) and about looking into laryngeal paralysis. That is more common in labs and usually older animals but it is one more thing to check off of the list.
 
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Amy

My 2-year-old spayed female, Amy, started coughing about 10 weeks ago. Being a novice owner, I figured it was grass she was choking up -- and in fact, once she did choke up a bit of seaweed. She had great energy and appetite and it often only happened once a night, so I unfortunately ignored it. After about 8 weeks of this (I know, I know, I shouldn't have waited!), her coughing was becoming more frequent at night, and occasionally happened during the day.

She doesn't cough anything up, but she sounds like she will. She usually has several forceful coughs, then sort of gags. It sounds as if she's trying to get a hairball out of her throat.

When I went to the vet he found a bit of tonsillitis (he wasn't sure if this was a cause or effect of coughing). The x-rays, sent away to be looked at by specialists, were all clear. She has had 2 weeks of antibiotics and enforced rest (luckily she's a very quiet dog so this hasn't been too difficult, though a bit boring for both of us; we are accustomed to 2 1-hour off leash walks a day). The cough has decreased somewhat in response to the rest, but it's still there, especially at night, and now I am noticing that it seems to occur after exercise (we did go for one walk, and she was coughing quite a bit that evening and night)-- but not right after; usually an hour or 2 after. Once in a while, there is a click at the end of the cough, which I thought was her teeth trying to chew something, but I read may be a trachea or bronchial tube doing something.

I requested a Blastomycosis urine antigen test, which came back negative.

She was with her friends several times during her coughing time last June, and saw some of them occasionally during the summer (we were mainly at the cottage), but none of her friends had a cough at any time.

I will be going to an internal medicine specialist in 5 days. Any ideas as to what I might do to help diagnose? (I am recording her resting respiration rate. Also recording times she coughs.) Any questions I should have for the vet?

I am quite worried -- Amy was an extremely fit girl, the fastest runner of her 6 friends, so this is a real change. Her breeders are excellent -- she has all the clearances for several generations. But they are as mystified as the vet.
I will pray for Amy and you. Was kennel cough ruled out? Was she boarded lately, or go to the groomer? I think dogs can carry kennel cough, but not have it themselves, so maybe she got it form her friends last summer?
Glad you are going to see the internal medicine doc, please keep us posted.
A had a senior Samoyed who began coughing when she layed down at night and we took her to a cardiologist and they diagnosed a heart problem. Munchkin had to take latex, which really helped immensely!
 

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Amy

Just checking in on Amy and you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the ideas -- I will definitely ask about paralysis of the pharynx -- not something I came across on any of the websites on coughing. She played too much this weekend with her best doggie friend, and ended up coughing badly several times last night. So it's quiet again today.
 

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Amy's Mum

Thanks for the ideas -- I will definitely ask about paralysis of the pharynx -- not something I came across on any of the websites on coughing. She played too much this weekend with her best doggie friend, and ended up coughing badly several times last night. So it's quiet again today.
Praying for Amy. Hope she gets some rest and you, too!
 

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Amy

Praying and hoping Amy is doing o.k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
bronchoscopy uncovers lungworm

Today Amy, our young girl with the persistent gagging cough went under anaesthetic so the vets could look at her throat and lungs. The throat was fine, but the vets could see a layer of 'guck' (not their words) on her lungs. The did a lavage for cultures. Before they sent it off to the lab they looked at it and there were a whole bunch of worms! So it will be confirmed in a few days, but the vet is pretty sure it's lungworm. So she's getting the usual dewormer, Panacur, plus prednisone for a few days because her lungs will be irritated due to all the dead worms in there.

What a relief -- she should have a complete recovery.

This was north of Toronto, Ontario. Apparently dogs get this when they eat snails or slugs or drink the water that has their larvae in it. It don't think it's very common up here -- the vet sounded quite surprised.

Kathleen and Amy
 

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I'm glad you have a diagnosis and a treatment! How very odd and, pardon me, disgusting! I hope she is back to 100% in short order.
 

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Kathleen

Today Amy, our young girl with the persistent gagging cough went under anaesthetic so the vets could look at her throat and lungs. The throat was fine, but the vets could see a layer of 'guck' (not their words) on her lungs. The did a lavage for cultures. Before they sent it off to the lab they looked at it and there were a whole bunch of worms! So it will be confirmed in a few days, but the vet is pretty sure it's lungworm. So she's getting the usual dewormer, Panacur, plus prednisone for a few days because her lungs will be irritated due to all the dead worms in there.

What a relief -- she should have a complete recovery.

This was north of Toronto, Ontario. Apparently dogs get this when they eat snails or slugs or drink the water that has their larvae in it. It don't think it's very common up here -- the vet sounded quite surprised.

Kathleen and Amy
Thank God they found out what was wrong with Amy. I've heard of heartworms, but not lungworm. Praying for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The lungworm that Amy has/had is Filaroides osleri, sometimes called Oslerus osleri. (Probably named after the Canadian doctor, William Oser, founder of John Hopkins Medical School, don't know for sure.)The vet at the Toronto emergency clinic says they see about 6 cases of F. osleri per year, but in Atlantic Canada (closer to you NE Americans), they used to see about 5 per month. It is NOT spread through slugs and snails, but from dog to dog via feces and possibly saliva. So I will be picking up for the next while until she's had some fecal tests come back clear. She seems almost normal, but apparently the nodules that this worm forms on the lungs will remain. Recovery will seem complete, though.
Kathleen
 

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Wow, that is something unique!
I would let people know if their dogs and Amy were playing, especially if there is a chance it can spread through saliva.
 
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Kathleen

The lungworm that Amy has/had is Filaroides osleri, sometimes called Oslerus osleri. (Probably named after the Canadian doctor, William Oser, founder of John Hopkins Medical School, don't know for sure.)The vet at the Toronto emergency clinic says they see about 6 cases of F. osleri per year, but in Atlantic Canada (closer to you NE Americans), they used to see about 5 per month. It is NOT spread through slugs and snails, but from dog to dog via feces and possibly saliva. So I will be picking up for the next while until she's had some fecal tests come back clear. She seems almost normal, but apparently the nodules that this worm forms on the lungs will remain. Recovery will seem complete, though.
Kathleen
Kathleen

Please keep us posted on Amy!
 
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