That's very helpful.
I probably wouldn't be too concerned about the bile, then, if it's fairly infrequent. A lot of dogs will do this if they haven't eaten for a while which is because excess acid build-ups in the stomach. Acid can be irritating to the stomach lining which causes these dogs to vomit the yellow bile that you see. Sometimes just changing the timing of the meals, or feeding smaller amounts through the day can be helpful.
Antacids can be particularly effective for this problem.
Pepcid AC at a dose of 1/4 mg/lb twice a day or
Prilosec at a dose of 1/2 mg/lb once a day (it can be given twice, if necessary) or
Zantac at a dose of 1 mg/lb twice a day.
To address the coughing she's doing.... there could be several different reasons why a dog this age would cough and the cough is getting worse. Ruling out heartworm disease and lungworms is a good first step. Other causes would include the following:
1. Problems with the heart whereby the heart can enlarge compressing the trachea and/or fluid is building up in the chest.
A heart murmur in and of itself wouldn't cause coughing... this must means that the a value is leaking. But, a heart murmur might indicate that there is underlying heart disease if one is heard in an older dog who then starts to cough.
An x-ray may indicate fluid in the chest or an enlarged heart but usually an ultrasound is needed to identify what kind of heart disease is present. Then an appropriate treatment plan could be devised; we have many excellent drugs to treat heart disease these days.
2. Bronchitis which is similar to asthma in a person. These dogs are reacting to something in their environment that triggers inflammation in their lungs. Changes in the lung pattern is often seen on an x-ray when dogs have this problem.
If this is the case, then control vs cure is what might be expected and the treatment is often different for each dog.
Some of these dogs will respond to anti-cough medications (listed below). Others will respond to bronchodilators such as Aminophylline which would have to be dispensed by your vet. Sometimes antibiotics can improve the situation since secondary bacterial infections can occur while other dogs will improve on steroids such as humans would use for asthma.
3. Collapsing trachea is primarily seen in smaller dogs; this is exactly what it sounds like and tends to worsen as dogs age.
This is also a manageable condition for the most part unless surgical intervention is done to correct the problem. This is sometimes difficult to diagnose on an x-ray but is also managed rather than cured (unless surgical correction is performed).
Many of the above treatments for bronchitis are also used for these dogs.
Carrying extra weight can be a problem for dogs with this condition and can make it worse.
Use a harness instead of a collar.
Avoid any potentially irritating substances such as cigarette smoke or excessive dust.
4. Unfortunately cancer can also be seen in a dog this age. I am not trying to alarm you but just provide you with all of the information. A chest x-ray can usually identify changes consistent with this condition.
5. Valley fever (coccidioidomysosis) which is a fungal infection can also cause chronic coughing depending on where you live.
I usually recommend and advise that a chest x-ray is done in cases of chronic coughing especially in a dog this age to evaluate the heart and lungs, with additional testing if necessary.
But if you want to try cough suppressants first at least for a few days or a week to see if they help improve the situation, then the following are safe to give her. I'm going to assume she weighs about 10 lbs.
1. Robitussin Pediatric Cough (1.5 mg/ml)--1/2-1 teaspoon 2-3 times a day.
2. Vicks Formula 44 (2.0 mg/ml)--1/2-1 teaspoon 2-3 times a day.
3. Mucinex 600 mg 1/4-1/2 tablet twice a day
I hope this helps. Deb