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Pom with bad cough

Jim Button
October 11th, 2003, 11:51 AM
Little Bear is a 6 YO male Pomeranian. He has had a sharp rasping cough which has developed over the last 12 months. It seems to involve only the upper airway and lung sounds remain clear and equal. Temp remains normal. Cough is worse at night. The cough is sharp and it seems as though he is trying to "clear his throat. It may be productive but nothing is ever coughed out of his mouth. He has been seen by his vet for this several times. Currently he is recieving he dog equivilent of Cipro and guiaphenison, but no improvement has been noted after several days.

The cough is exacerbated by barking or growling, and is calmed by a small amount of soft cheese.

What do I ask the Vet to do next? If he were a human Pt I wouls be expeting a bronchiscope exam, or steroids (if it is a chronic irritation or lesion or If its an allergy .. . HELP

Jim B

Lucky Rescue
October 11th, 2003, 04:10 PM
Has he been x-rayed? Sometimes small dogs seem to have trouble with their tracheas narrowing or collapsing.

Jim Button
October 11th, 2003, 04:40 PM
I think that is a logical next step, however The cough is on expiration and not inspiration. Tracheal collapse should show a marked upper airway noise on the In- cycle and release on the way out I would assume... same thing can happen with human neonates/preemies sometimes requiring positive pressure ventilation. But I think an x-ray is a good idea anyhow. less traumatic than anethetizing and looking thith a scope!

October 11th, 2003, 07:00 PM
Some random thoughts:

Hairballs? Poms can actually get hairballs, like LH cats.
Heart problems - or heartworms causing heart problems? Heartworms will cause tiredness during exercise, poor coat, coughingt, and possible weight loss. The blood test is simple & cheap, if you haven't already done this. Coughing is very often a sign of compromised heart function.
There are other parasites that can actually lodge in the lungs. I cannot remember details.
Also, something may have lodged in the airway someplace. I personally know someone whose Maltese ate some cooked chicken bones, and a sliver lodged in the dog's trachea. Initial xrays didn't show it, because it looked (on the film) like part of the neck. A second set of xrays revealed it, once it was removed the inflammation went down.

I'd suggest (bear in mind I am NOT a veterinary professional) a blood test for parasites of various kinds, and a thorough check of heart & lung functioning. I'd be leery of steroids unless indicated, especially in a small dog.

I'm also a big believer in second opinions. If somethingt has your vet stumped, s/he will not be hurt if you get your records & go for a second opinion. You might even ask if your vet knows anyone else who could take a look at your Pom.

Good luck!

Jim Button
October 11th, 2003, 10:13 PM
Clean of parisites, heart is regular to ausculation and he is peppy as usuall... But Back to the vet and maybe to the state ve school for more tests.

Jim Button
October 13th, 2003, 09:55 PM
Xrays to be done onthursday, results to be sent to University of MO vet med center clinic. A pulmonologist for very small cute dogs will review and be handling any obstuction leasion or object.
Still unsolved but progress!

In the mean time very cold milk and cheese with olive oil sooths his throat!

Good thing I dont spoil him!

will let you know what if anything we find. Thanks for the suppoet

Jim and Little Bear

Jim Button
October 18th, 2003, 01:55 PM
Thanks to everyone who contributed. Little Bear has an enlarged heart and some fluid in his pleural space. This is sort of unusual in a dog this young (7 years), but he is essentially in CHF. He is now taking Lasix (a "water" pill), and is doing much better. His x-rays went to the university of Missouri at Columbia for further analysis.

Sooo.. Now I have the problem of dossage and to wonder about potential electrolyte problems with the little guy. We started with about 4 mg given at mid day, anfd we are now at about 6 mg: 3 mg given in the AM and ad 3 mg in the late afternoon. He is doing much better now but has to go out a lot more often!


October 20th, 2003, 10:32 PM
How is Little Bear, and what's his prognosis?

I've been considering adding a little bitty dog to the household (I have three Rottweilers now; all do just fine with small dogs and with our cat.) A Pom is a breed I've really considered - there's tons on Petfinder. Despite the warnings of them being yappy dogs, the only two I've gotten to know have not been yappy at all - one I know lives with two giant Malamutes and has his CDX title.

I really want a tiny dog with black & tan markings like my Rotties. It might be silly to look for dogs of a particular colour, but I just think that would be so cute. :)

October 21st, 2003, 04:59 PM

He's on Lasix but is he on an ACE inhibitor (Fotocor)? My wolfhound had to be put down because of CHF. They need something to bring down the blood pressure to releive the heart from doing all the work it's doing. You can get rid of all the fuid but it will just keep coming back without the ACE inhibitor.

My thougths are with you, I know how hard it is to live with an friend with CHF. Just to add - ask the Vet to show you where his liver lies in his body. And every so offten when you are grooming him, just palpatite it a little (like when the doctor touches your stomach to check it). Watch for any hardening on the liver - his is what made my finnal decisions for Mary. Her liver was hard and uncomfortable for her - she could still walk, but she stopped eathing. Just something to keep and eye on.

Jim Button
October 22nd, 2003, 12:50 PM
Thanks again for the replys and the concern from you all..

Little Bear is doing very well. The condition CHF is most often the result of ventricular weakness on one or both sides of the heart. Thus it is a common problem with patients following a heart attack. The second major cause is myopathy or enlargement of the upper portion of the heart most commonly found in Pts with Hypertension (hi Blood Pressure). Blood pressure problems have a wide variety of causes and cures. ACE inhibitors are useful in some forms but both dangerous and useless in others. Due to Little Bears age (6 1/2) the most common causes are less likely to be the origen of his problem. We are looking at liver function to attempt to rule that out, then proceding to try some vasodialators to see if they can help with a differential diagnosis. Since the fluid is in his lungs we are looking at pulmonary hypertension OR a reaction to an antigen or even cholesterol plaque which could be increasing vascular resistance. It is a long process just as in people.

As to Poms and personality, They are pretty happy go lucky little guys. They yap at any stranger but are very friendly in gerneral. Little Bear will charge off to challange any intruder (he is convinced that he was a pit pull in a former life) but mostly he is just insisting that a human pet him and pay attention to him. It provides us no end of amusement to watch him drive off a much larger dog that has wandered into the yard and having done so , come trotting back just bristleing with indignation.

Sorry this was all sort of long-winded

Jim Button
October 22nd, 2003, 12:57 PM
Oh! while I am thinking of it! Check with your local animal rescue bunch even before checking the pound. There are a number of Pom rescue groups in the country, and YES CArina! Poms DO come in Rot-like colors too! note pic below.


October 22nd, 2003, 06:34 PM
Jim, give Little Bear a hug from me, poor wee guy!

And that Pom photo is ADORABLE. One of the techs at my vet has a black & tan Pom, I keep trying to steal her. :) And yes - I check Petfinders on occasion - there's no Pom rescue in this state, but there's a couple of toy breed rescues. I keep my eye on their available dogs... :)