On general physical examination he was bright and alert. His
vital parameters were normal and his lungs auscultated normally. A subtle arrhythmia was detected but pulses were strong. An electrocardiogram (ECG) showed atrial premature contractions with some occurring as isolated atrial premature beats with heart block and others conducting to the ventricles. His peripheral lymph nodes were normal and there was no abdominal discomfort. Two soft subcutaneous masses were noted (on left ventral thorax and in fat pad of lower neck). Fine needle aspirates of the subcutaneous masses revealed fatty tissue compatible with lipomas. He coughed once during the physical exam for a short time.
Signalment: 7.5 years old, Male Castrated, Bernese Mountain Dog
Presenting Complaint: Referred to OVC Medicine Service for evaluation of coughing and
retching episodes and a possible intrathoracic mass seen on radiographs.
The dog had started coughing and retching approximately 5 weeks
previously. Owners had associated these episodes with accidental ingestion of a plastic toy. However, these episodes persisted and he was presented to his referring veterinarian. He was treated with doxycycline for 1 week. His cough did not improve so he was presented again for chest radiographs. Due to the abnormal appearance of the structures surrounding the heart on radiographs, he was referred to OVC. His coughing episodes decreased significantly over the past week (3-4 times per day instead of every time he got excited). He was otherwise normal at home.