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Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16844
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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My chihuahua has congestive heart failure. She is on Enalapril.

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My chihuahua has congestive heart failure. She is on Enalapril. Last night she started coughing a lot. The vet told me awhile ago I could give her benadryl if her coughing starts up. This cough sounds different to me. I gave her the Benadryl and Doxcycline. Doesn't seem to be doing anything. But of course it is early. Can I give her some OTC cough med? She is 9 years old and 15 lbs.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. A dog who has congestive heart failure (CHF), and is only taking Enalapril, is not being managed properly. Enalapril is merely an accessory type of treatment, it is not the mainstay of CHF treatment. CHF is managed with Lasix (furosemide), as this removes excess fluid from the body, especially the lungs, in order to help improve breathing. You need to have this little dog seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, because if she truly has CHF, and is coughing, then she needs to have a chest x-ray in order to assess the situation, and if the diagnosis of CHF is correct, then Lasix needs to be started immediately.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have an appointment for 6PM tonight. Is there anything I can give her before then? In addition to the benadryl and doxycycline I've already given her?
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
I would not suggest giving anything else, since there isn't anything likely to make the situation any better, if we truly are dealing with CHF. If you are seeing a worsening in her condition, such as an inability to lay down or get comfortable, then you need to get her in to a veterinarian immediately.
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