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Dr. Stacy
Dr. Stacy, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1555
Experience:  10 years of experience in general practice.
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My 19 year old Russel coughed and gagged all night last

Customer Question

My 19 year old Jack Russel coughed and gagged all night last night and all morning. He normally goes outside a good bit of the day and today he stayed in my bed half covered and with the electric blanket. His cough lessened in the afternoon and has not been nearly as bad but he has also been sleeping most the time. It seems that when he is awake he coughs a bit more. However, not near as much as early this morning and until about noon. His appetite is normal and very good.
I have been contemplating taking him to the 24 vet...we go there anytime there is anything outta the ordinary, regardless of day or night...but it really stresses him out. I used to always take him in just to be on the safe side but since it bothers him to go to the Dr as bad as it does, I have to weigh that in every time I feel like he doesn't feel 100% because it really does make him that nervous. That's the point I'm at right now and am Just wondering if I should just keep close eye on him since the coughing gas
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 13 years.

I understand your concern. In all likelihood the stress of the trip to the vet will increase his coughing. However, I would still recommend going. He may just have some tracheal irritation or infection, but at 19 years of age he could also be coughing because he is having trouble with his heart. Heart related coughing, specifically congestive heart failure can be very serious and they can decline pretty rapidly so I worry the wait and see approach may be a bad idea. And if they take a look and some X-rays and his heart looks fine, they are going to be able to provide a cough supressent, which will provide great relief to him and help him (and you ) sleep tonight.

I hope that helps, but if you have additional questions let me know.

Dr. Stacy

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you recommend going to the 24 hour emergency vet right now or waiting and monitoring him until Monday morning when he can see our regular vet. Of course if the cough was to get worse then I would take him. But if it stays the same and continues to lesson and he continues sleeping as he has been (very well) then will it be alright to wait until Monday.
Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 1 year ago.

When he is sleeping... count his breaths. If his breathing rate is higher than 30 breaths per minute at total rest then I would go to the 24 hour clinic. If it is less than 30 then you can monitor him until monday and only take him if he is worse.

Expert:  Dr. Stacy replied 1 year ago.

Best wishes. Don't forget to rate my answer.