How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Gary Your Own Question

Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16903
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
15010675
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Gary is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

sheltie: My little..he ate his dinner..natural digestive enzyme powder

Resolved Question:

My little sheltie boy, Rumi started coughing and heaving thick white mucous when I returned from a few errands today. it started I can only guess about 4pm and it's now almost 2 am.

he ate his dinner and was fine for about 30 - 40 minutes afterwards. I had included a natural digestive enzyme powder in his food. then he began again and has continued periodically throughout the evening. he is presently resting...

I see no bloating and otherwise he looks fine. can I wait until the morning to take him to the vet. I don't spray the office with anything and left nothing down for him to eat.

He did have an episode where he got his collar stuck on Sunday and was fighting to get untangled from something for about a minute before I got to him. checked him out and then he rested and i thought everything was fine.

today's coughing and heaving came on without any warning... and it's not happening every minute. he's fine for awhile and then it starts again. it appears to start with his belly spasming and then he coughs or hacks... sometimes nothing comes up and other times a thick white mucous...

PLEASE ADVISE he's my little lassie boy and I want to do the right thing.

Patti
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.
Hello.

It sounds like your dog has a collapsing trachea. This is common in small breed dogs where the trachea (windpipe) collapses down on itself as it enters the chest. This causes a dry hacking cough that can sometimes sound like a honking sound almost like a duck. They will often hack and then cough up some white foam as well.

As for what you can give tonight, the only over the counter cough suppressant that you can give is Robitussin DM. You can give 1/4 teaspoon every 8-12 hours as needed. The other thing that may help is Benadryl at 1 mg/lb. We usually use Benadryl for allergic reactions but it is a mild sedative so we may use it for it's sedation properties.

For more long term treatment, we typically use a combination of a sedative (Acepromazine) + a cough suppressant (Butorphanol/ Torb) as needed. In the severely affected dogs, we go to surgery to place a tracheal stent that holds the trachea open. This is not often needed, but it's an option.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This doesn't make sense. He stays in the house except for walks and is perfectly healthy. He's not hacking all the time just periodically and then it may stop for an hour or more. How could his trachea be collapsing?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.
It may be something else like kennel cough or even an allergy. Collapsing trachea is very common in small breed dogs and that is what makes it the most likely. It's a breed problem, not something infectious.

I would just try the Benadryl or Robitussin DM tonight and get chest x-rays in the morning. This will rule in or out a collapsing trachea. It will also look for pneumonia or bronchitis or heart disease.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He's resting now. Do you think a chiropractor adjustment would help and would that be safe to do that prior to an xray? What is the benadryl and robitussin going to do? My vet opens at 7am... is it safe to wait or could he have more problems in the next few hours? Do I need to stay awake and watch him?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.
No, a chiropractor adjustment would not likely help. That is more helpful for spinal abnormalities. The cough is not likely spinal in origin.

I think it'll be ok to wait until 7 and see your vet.

If you notice pale or blue gums, then you should go in sooner.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just looked at his gums and they are normal in color however Very Inflamed... what does that mean?
Could this be an allergic reaction to something?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.
With reactions they usually look more red than pink. If that is the case, then the Benadryl should help it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He's between 22 - 24 pounds... human benadryl and how much exactly is safe?

thank you,

Patti
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, I mentioned the episode on Sunday where he got his collar stuck and was freaking out trying to get free and pulling his head and neck against the collar before I got him out. Could that have hurt his trachea and why would it just now show up two days later?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, I didn't see this before I signed off last night. The dose I'd give would be 25 mg of Benadryl every 6-8 hours as needed.

The previous choking episode can lead to NCPE (non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema). NCPE is basically fluid that builds up in the lungs due to something non heart related. This can be electric shock (biting electrical cords), choking, near drowning. Usually we don't see much coughing, but instead we see labored breathing and pale/ blue gums.

It could have been irritation from the choking episode on the trachea. In that case, the x-rays would be normal but we'd get irritation when palpating the trachea. Anti-inflammatory meds and cough suppressants would do the trick then.
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16903
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
Dr. Gary and 4 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/debkatreyn/2011-11-28_33650_682e.64x64.jpg Dr. Debbie's Avatar

    Dr. Debbie

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    902
    Companion animal veterinarian practicing for over 10 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    13796
    UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    9550
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    7758
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6598
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    6377
    13 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/bigislandvet/2013-2-21_214244_IMG0357.64x64.JPG Dr. Michael Salkin's Avatar

    Dr. Michael Salkin

    Big Island Vet

    Satisfied Customers:

    6049
    University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 41 yrs. of experience.