Fortunately, in "Riva's" case we were able to
rule out heart disease as a potential factor from the radiographs.
However it was necessary to progress to sampling the cells
that line the respiratory tract for examination before a
definitive diagnosis could be made.
This procedure involves rinsing the respiratory tract with
saline then sucking up the residue (tracheal wash) to be
processed and then sent for examination to the cytopathologist.
The cytopathologist is then able to examine "Riva's"
cells and make a diagnosis based on the different cell types
found and the numbers involved.
In "Riva's" case large numbers of both neutrophils
and eosinophils pointed to a diagnosis of allergic bronchitis.
This condition is generally treated with corticosteroids
and fortunately for "Riva" her response was both
immediate and dramatic.
The cough has now completely disappeared and is controlled
with appropriate maintenance therapy. So "Riva"
can get back to enjoying her old age with a revitalised
spring in her step!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
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