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We have an 11 year old Shepweiler dog who recently started coughing over the last few months. The cough seems to come and go, but is usually worse in the morning or evening. He is still happy, eating well and walking well. We took him to our vet who detected a grade 3 heart murmur when listening with her stethoscope. She referred us to a cardiologist, and quoted us $3000 for blood work, echocardiogram, x-ray and consultation (our dog would have to be sedated for the echo). My wife and I are not sure we want to put our dog through a day of stressful tests, and the $3000 fee is also something we weren't prepared for. We wonder if the vet could treat our dog with medication without the echocardiogram/x-ray? They would be speculating as to what the heart condition is without imaging. We definitely would not consider surgery for our dog at this stage. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks
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