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Litttle Shonet

Coughing Cavalier

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Litttle Shonet

Charlie is now nine and has been diagnosed with a heart murmur, but seems fine in himself. Recently though he started coughing. It's as though he has something stuck in his throat, but nothing comes up. My daughter has taken him to the vets three times and three times he has been diagnosed with three different things. The last time he was put on 'Vetmedin'. The vet says he will be on them for life. He only seems to cough when excited, and when he's finished goes back to whatever he was doing before, so it's not bothering him. Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers

LS

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Apache

Well - it would be rare to see a 9 year old cavalier without a heart murmur. The cough could be from a number of things; and enlarged heart irritates the trachea and gives a cough or heart failure leading to fluid in the lungs. There are a number of causes of coughing that are unrelated to the heart and just because of the breed and murmur doesn't rule other causes out.

The vet who examined the dog will have a lot more information at their disposal than I do. Sometimes you can hear crackles in the lungs from fluid. If there was a temperature some infection superimposed would be possible (common occurrence if there's fluid accumulation).

Vetmedin contains a drug called pimobendan that has been proven to keep dogs with heart disease alive longer! Helps the heart contract more strongly and reduces the work it has to do. An excellent drug to start with. frequently these heart problems get worse and more drugs need to be added in to the mix. I would expect the dog to noticeably improve in exercise tolerance and for the coughing to reduce, but maybe not go away altogether.

Frequently when people think they are 'normal' once we get a problem treated you realise they were slowing down, only it was happening gradually. If the pimobendan makes no difference other causes of the cough need investigation. What are the three diagnoses you have been given?

(If I was a gambling man the chances are well in favour of your vet being spot on!)

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