by Quentin Parker
(Long Beach CA )
Lulu is the sweetest old lady - we have had her since birth. She's kind, gentle, and a true snuggler, but she's getting old and a bit slower, and has gained some weight.
I think she's an American Cocker, she's 24" from tip to tail, 14" at the shoulder and has a big girth, 24", portly - but she still gets around well.
I regularly shave her down to short hair twice a year (to 1/4") with a lamb shearer, which she loves - when it's not cold (yeah, right, in CA).
Lulu loves to sleep in anybody's arms; she's too friendly to EVERYBODY, she never snaps, and was fixed about 6 years ago. She always gets attention from kids, passers-by etc. She's an absolutely gorgeous animal!
With age and despite very careful cleaning, she is deaf in one ear and barely hears out of the other.
Her eyes are clouding up a bit, as expected, but she still sees well enough to get around.
She sleeps on my pillow above my head and loves to snooze. A free-way dog, she is always with me on all errands.
One major concern is her coughing. She has had a persistent cough, with a gaggle noise at the end, as if she's coughing up phlegm, but never expels anything. The vet wants to do blood tests, etc, but I'm worried that this is all just nonsense.
Congestive heart/lungs, because of old age?
Are there simpler remedies?
I'd hate to give her antibiotics and other medications because of 1. I believe there is way too much over-prescription, and 2. because otherwise, she is healthy.
She weighs in at 26 lbs. but a good deal of this now is her thick winter coat (3-4 lbs.)
She recently has also started drinking an awful lot of water. She has a huge water bowl which I have to refill twice weekly. She drinks at least ten times a day, and a full belly attests to this.
If you have any advice as to her condition and potential remedy, please let me know!
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