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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2736
Experience:  12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
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What can I give my dog to ehlp or get rid of a chronic cou

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What can I give my dog to ehlp or get rid of a chronic cough?
Thank you for your question.

There are several possible reasons for a persistent cough in dogs.

An upper respiratory tract infection, such as Kennel Cough, is one possibility. This is most commonly contracted when the dog is around large numbers of other dogs such as at a dog park, groomer, or a kennel. However, even dogs that don't really leave the yard can come down with the infection, if they are exposed to the respiratory secretions of a infected dog that's recently past the yard.
Dogs with Kennel Cough tend to exhibit a hacking cough, and will occasionally cough so hard that they bring up a frothy, white foam. With this type of infection, cough medications and an antibiotic are often needed. The cough usually runs its course in 10- 14 days.

A reverse sneeze is another possibility for a small breed dog like yours. This is an abnormal intake of air (essentially blowing air out the nose, instead of inhaling it) that can be exacerbated by allergies. These dogs will typically stand with forelegs apart, head and neck extended, and a stiff body posture. A reverse sneeze sounds more like a cough, but it is actually a noise made through the nose.
You can find examples of reverse sneezing by going to YouTube and typing in the term.
Use of an antihistamine such as Chlorpheniramine or plain Benadryl can help alleviate reverse sneezing.
You can find the dosing information for either of those medications here:

Finally, small breed dogs like Dachsund's can suffer from tracheal collapse. The cartilage that supports the trachea and keeps the airway open becomes weakened, narrowing the airway. This is also a dry cough. I would describe it more as a honking, type cough, but it can sound sort of hacking, as well. This type of cough also requires anti-tussive medication from your veterinarian.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have also been giving her benadryl. I tried penicillin injections for about a week but that did not take care of it. When I took her to the vet, he put her on vetmedin for congestive heart failure, also lasix. IOf coiurse, that really didn't do anything for the cough. I took her back and he guessed that it was the trachea thing. I did get it cleared up for a while but then spring came and she seems to have a lot of problems with allergies. She jusyt seems to get worse and worse no mastter what I do. I was wondering if tetracycline would be better to give her than penicillin.

Thank you for the additional information.

It would be unethical of me to advise you to give her an antibiotic without a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship. Establishment of a VCPR requires an in-person physical examination. It would be inappropriate for me to guess what the problem is and advise medication based upon my guess, especially since I haven't examined her.

The news about the heart disease explains a lot about the coughing. In dogs with heart disease, there is usually an enlargement of a chamber of the heart, which causes it to push upwards against the trachea (the main airway). This causes the trachea to be narrowed in diameter and leads to coughing. Since this is a structural problem, there is little that can be done to address the cough, if this is the case. Sometimes use of a prescription cough medication called Tussigon, can be helpful.
An increase in her coughing may also indicate that she needs an adjustment in her Lasix dose.

I would recommend that Kyrel have a chest x-ray to evaluate the status of her lungs (to see if the Lasix needs to be increased), as well as to evaluate the size of her heart and whether it is impinging on her trachea.
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