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I have a 12 (13 in January) year old Bichon, Mimi, who also has a severe heart murmur. I've noticed a hacking cough that comes and goes. I know it could be the heart problems, but also sounds like what people describe with a collapsing trachea. I'm planning to get her in to the vet next time I get paid in about a week. I need to get her teeth cleaned, but I'm nervous about the anesthesia with the other problems. I can update once I get her looked at, but I wonder if anyone else has had experience with an older dog with this combination of issues. I'm not sure if I can find someone who does no anesthesia tooth cleaning. Is that even a thing?
 

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Yes, anesthesia-free dentals are a thing. I've had it done to my Rottweilers a couple of times. The thing is it's not that easy on a dog either. It doesn't look like a lot of fun to me. I've been surprised a dog puts up with it - whether it can be done on a given dog depends on whether they will.

And yes, I had an older dog with a collapsed trachea. As you describe, it started with a slight cough. The cough got worse and worse, and eventually his breathing was noisy and labored. He was a Rottweiler I took in when I was doing rescue work and was IMO too tough a dog to adopt out to the kind of homes that come to rescues groups, so I kept him, but he wasn't one to cooperate with vets. I didn't even explore whether anything could be done about it with the vet. We euthanized.
 

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Thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure Mimi wouldn't cooperate. I've got an appointment for Jan 3. I've had Mimi all her life and I'll try to do whatever I can to keep her alive. I know there's a surgery as sort of a last resort. I'm sure it's expensive and not always successful. I hope it doesn't come to that.
 

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So sorry your Mimi isn't feeling well. I have always gotten anesthesia-free dentals for my dogs and believe it or not, they shockingly cooperate. Not sure how they do it, but once the Moms go away, they do settle down and the teeth get cleaned. They stick something in their mouths and most dogs do just sit there and let them scale their teeth without anesthesia! The only time I have had a dental for my dogs with anesthesia is if a tooth needed to be removed.

Regarding collapsed trachea, there is a lot you can do to strengthen the trachea if that indeed is the issue. I have a friend whose Pomeranian Benny was coughing and hacking especially after drinking water or getting excited. Benny also had heart issues too. My friend is using a few supplements to strengthen his trachea and they really helped. He is much, much better. But, I guess you better find out first from the vet if that indeed is the issue or if it is strictly a heart problem. Hope Mimi feels better. Please send an update when you can.
 
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