Cough and lethargy

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Cough and lethargy

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Old 02-09-2017, 12:34 PM
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Cough and lethargy

Hello, my name is Tom, I am new to the forum.
For a male Australian Shepherd mix breed approximately 10 11 years old - summary of symptoms: 1) Cough, sometimes a dry hacking followed with a gag like sound and sometimes just a puffing sound. The coughing, however has been of varying degrees of frequency and intensity and sometimes long periods of no coughing at all. 2) Periods of appetite loss and lethargy (moving around much more slowly, unable to jump up in back seat of car or onto his bed, looking almost inebriated) lasting one to two days followed by 5 -10 days of back to normal behavior. The symptoms have been somewhat cyclical for the past month and a half.
I am posting for insight as to the cause of the symptoms along with the inconsistencies I am observing in them and for comments of others who may have had similar experiences with their dogs. Any thoughts or directions to threads of similar concerns would be appreciated.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:58 PM
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That is classic kennel cough.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:04 PM
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With an older dog who is coughing, and also exhibiting lethargy/episodes of weakness upon exertion, it would be a good idea to have his heart checked. Both of my dogs with heart problems had episodes of syncope (varying from just getting wobbly to passing flat out), as well as a dry, gagging cough. The lack of eating could be any number of things, but a vet check is definitely in order. Hopefully it's something easily fixed, and he'll be feeling better soon
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:24 PM
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Thank you for insight. Dodger had coughed before, I just didn't realize it was a cough until I researched. When he had his first bout of lethargy and loss of appetite, I brought him to the emergency vet. We went through the whole discussion of x-rays and bloodwork and cost. I opted to stay optimistic and went with antibiotics, a naxcel injection and a round of clavamox. Later that week he became his normal self but was still intermittently experiencing coughing. Then I made an appointment with the vet referred to me at the emergency clinic. I brought Dodger there about 10 days after the initial emergency vet visit. Since his behaviors were back to normal, we just looked to tackle the cough with Hydrocodone. I proceeded to get Dodger his yearly vaccinations. But then about 20 days after his first bout of lethargy and loss of appetite, he had another but it only lasted for a day and the coughing continued from time to time. Please keep in mind, when I say loss of appetite I refer to his dental treat and dry food. Even when he has these bouts, he'll eat beef I cook up for him. Long story short among the two vet visits, I was hoping that the issue was on the minor side. It looks as though I will have to take him for x-rays and blood work. What gets me is that one minute he is his normal self but I awake from a nap and he is out of it for a while and then returns to normal after about a day.
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Old 02-10-2017, 02:20 PM
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Seems that something is going on with him, and it likely take nothing short of a complete medical workup to diagnose. You need more information to able to treat and help him.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:53 PM
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Has the Vet checked for a collapsed trachea..the coughing sounds familiar to what is going on with our Nemo..he's a Pomeranian and has had the cough for about 6 years(His heart and lungs are perfect but he has his good days and bad days as far as the cough goes) he usually coughs when he gets excited and at night he takes Torbatol to help him so he doesnt start coughing in the middle of the night..its very common in small breeds so not sure about your breed of pup
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:49 AM
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Update 2/11: Have made appointments for blood work and x-rays. Dog seems to be doing well except for coughing. Eating and energy looks ok for his age. One additional thing that I notice is that one of his ears seems to be limp. He has floppy ears but as he alerts to something they both normally retract and rise a bit. Just today I am noticing that only his right ear is doing that while the other is not, it is staying floppy. Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.
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