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TOPIC: Daily dry retch/cough - heart disease?

Daily dry retch/cough - heart disease? 7 months 1 week ago #43591

Henry is now 8 years old. He is not a pure deerhound but probably 3/4? He's 32" to the shoulder and 45kg.
He seems to be still in good health - but I have noticed some slowing down over the last year. It's not very noticeable - but sometimes he will choose not to follow his lurcher friend when he spots something interesting on the other side of the fields; and he is somedays less likely to join in playing in the garden, particularly recently when he's twice had a spell of 4-5 days when he's been reluctant to move off the sofa other than for daily walks and meals.
I had been wondering whether this was just typical lazy deerhound behaviour or just normal slowing down with age? - but I have also noticed over the last few months that once or twice a day he will make a strange sort of dry retch noise - sort of half like a retch, half like a cough.

I am wondering whether this is any indication of Dilated Cardiomyopathy and would like to know others experiences? It seems that this can be a common early warning symptom in Great Danes but I haven't found anything regarding Scottish Deerhounds.
Henry is due to go to the vets in the next week or so for his annual booster injections and I intend to ensure the vet has a good look at his heart - but I thought it would be wise to go armed with plenty of information before I go as vets are not always knowledgeable about the idiosyncracies of deerhound physiology. Anything I need to know - anything different about how deerhounds present with DCM compared to other breeds,etc?

I would also be interested in whether anyone who has experience of DCM has tried supplimentation with any success? Or is there any particular dog food which is especially recommended as having guaranteed high levels of taurine etc? The food Henry is on is supplemented with taurine (he has dry kibble, but I do occasionally add tinned oily fish to it) but I am not sure whether this is in high enough quantities for a deerhound? Or should I be giving him fresh / or raw meat? I am not keen to swap to a raw food diet but is there something simple that I could add to his dry kibble to increase his intake of any nutrients he may need?

Also - if he has got DCM should I be careful about the amount of exercise he gets? Recently when he has been reluctant to get off the sofa all day I have made a point of insisting he comes out in the garden with me and the other dogs once a day for at least 20-30 minutes because I really don't think it does him any good to lie there all day. Is this the right thing to do? Also should I be limiting his exercise? He currently has still been happy to come on 5 mile walks with us (which tend to be every couple of weeks or so - daily walks tend to be 2-3 miles due to time constraints) and I am reluctant to change that because he enjoys it so much - or should I be more careful?

Obviously I know I haven't even seen a vet yet or got a diagnosis but I would really welcome everyone's experiences so I can be thinking and planning ahead and also I know the right questions to ask - otherwise I tend to find I get flustered at the vets and don't take everything in - and forget to ask important questions.
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Daily dry retch/cough - heart disease? 6 months 4 weeks ago #43603

How did Henry get on at the vets?
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Daily dry retch/cough - heart disease? 6 months 3 weeks ago #43605

Sorry for not returning sooner -

good news! No evidence of heart disease - in fine health! Horray!

Worrying over nothing as usual!

Just a bit paranoid after having lost 3 dogs in 2 years; I'm now always hyper-alert to any potential health problems and generally fearing the worst. Fingers crossed I can have at least a good few years with Henry now.
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Daily dry retch/cough - heart disease? 6 months 3 weeks ago #43607

Glad the news was all good. Much better to have had him checked out though.
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