It started a few weeks ago with a cough. The local V-E-T suggested it could be kennel cough or bronchitis. It is hard to say if the medication they prescribed worked so today, we pursued the next step: a chest x-ray.
For the most part, everything looked good. There was only one potential problem area. The V-E-T showed us one picture, taken while Mr. K was on his right side. It was marked with a big "X" and had the number 11.23 written next to it. The V-E-T explained this was his vertebral heart score - a method V-E-T-S use to measure heart sizes across breeds and assess for cardiac enlargement. He said it could be normal for the Scottish Terrier breed or it could be indicative of heart disease. "Doctor Google" told me the normal vertebral heart score for dogs of any breed is between 8.4 and 10.5...so naturally, I was very worried.
The V-E-T sent the pictures to a board certified radiologist who could better assess the x-rays on hand. Luckily, the radiologist believes Mr. K's heart looks fine and is normal for the breed. Still, we have a small, yet persistent cough problem to resolve so the V-E-T came up with another potential remedy: Zyrtec. Yes, you read that right!
Allergies can be a source of inflammation and therefore, a reason for Mr. K's coughing. So, for the next two weeks, he will take 10mg of Zyrtec and we will evaluate for effectiveness or next courses of action then. I have never heard of a dog taking Zyrtec, have you? All I know is that, as a chronic allergy sufferer for the last 22 years, I have used Zyrtec and it never fails to knock both me and my symptoms out every time. The down side? I'm seldom awake to reap the rewards of a good antihistamine. I am curious to see how Zyrtec affects Mr. K and can only hope it brings him relief. Fingers and paws crossed for continued good results, please!