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Discussion Starter #1
hey all, I have a question regarding my dog before I get a visit from a vet.

I have a 9 year old chihuahua variant, he is a mixed breed so he's not exactly the smallest chihuahua, kind of the size of a jack russell.

Recently he starting coughing and acting like something is uncomfortable in his throat. This happens when he exercises, mainly catching a tennis ball and bringing it back, and I do exercise his at least once a day. He also gets tired faster than he used to before, when exercising that is, his breathing shows he's getting tired faster when I throw the ball. I understand that this may be because he is now getting older, he is exactly 9 years old.

Apart from that he is healthy, he eats, drinks, barks, jumps around, and is practically always on the go. My concerns are that he gets tired faster, and that coughing.

If anyone can shed some light on the matter I would greatly appreciate.

Thanks
 

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It could be many things, kennel cough, tracheitis, age ....but it also could be something dangerous like megaesophagus, cardiomyopathy, heartworm disease etc. The best thing would be to make an appt with your vet for a complete physical. Caught early these things can often be treated...dogs are very good at hiding their illnesses...you being proactive will be better for the dog.
Good luck and please let us know how it goes.
 

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Definitely see a vet. If you haven't had a geriatric blood workup, do so. My first impulse with a dog that age is Congestive Heart failure. Early treatment can give them a good quality of life, longer. Next thing for me would be wondering about heartworm. (out here heartworm isn't as common. Depending on where you live, that might be the first thing that comes to mind).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All seems fine :D I noticed that some of the tennis balls he plays with were old and some threads from the ball were annoying him because they were sticking out. I bought him some new ones and he has not been coughing at all.

Still I have a vet visit scheduled just to be safe. Cheers for the help :)
 

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Hey guys! I had not updated you on my dogs' condition and I apologise for that. I did get a vet and he told me that he has two heart problems. One is related to a valve which does not close properly, leading to water in his lungs and hence the coughing. The other is a block in one of the four heart areas, which sometimes does not allow blood and oxygen to flow properly and my dog faints. This happened twice only. So ye there is nothing to be done except daily medication as there is nothing that can be done due to heart structure of such dogs. (He is a cross-breed of some sort, not really sure but he is a pug sized chihuahua if that makes any sense). He warned me that he will eventually die of heart failure and he may even have a heart attack.

So ye that's about it, not great news but that's life I suppose. Thank you guys for your help. He is 9 years old with plenty of fight in him. He is a strong dog and very energetic so I'm sure he won't give up and he will enjoy the rest of his life.
 

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Glad you got it checked out. So did you start him on heart meds? There are meds out there that will help give him some time, and quality of life.
 

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Yes I did start him on medication. Vet told me he's not giving me the most aggressive medication available because he is not in a very bad state, and in the case of an emergency he would need those stronger medications. He never really ceased to have a good quality of life; character wise the dog has always been nuts and lively.
 
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