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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23766
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Cough relief using dextromethorphan: Dosage? I have a ten

Customer Question

Cough relief for dogs using dextromethorphan: Dosage?
I have a ten pound Pomeranian that suddenly developed what seems like kennel cough a day or day and a half ago. It is unproductive. Her temperature is normal and she is otherwise acting normal.
I know that I can give dextromethorphan to try to relieve the cough. I also know that the usual dosage is .5 to 1.0 mg per pound. However, from looking at websites, the frequency of dosing is all over the ball park, from once every four hours, to once every six hours, once every eight hours, once every 12 hours and even once a day! What is the correct.... or best... dosing amount and schedule?
Also, I have a fresh bottle of liquid dextromethorphan (witn no other ingredients), but it is a long acting 12 hour formulation. It's Walgreens brand of Cough DM (dextromethorphan polistrex extended-release oral suspension cough suppressant). It contains 30 mg per 5 ml. (I double checked it. That's correct).
Is that medication ok to use or should I go buy a small bottle of regular strength dextromethorphan? If it is ok to use what I have, how much shoud I give and how often? Is it the formulation that is long acting or just that it is a stronger dose? I am concerned that this formulation might be harmful or that it is too hard to calculate the correct dosage.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

Dextromethorphan is no longer recommended for use in dogs due to lack of efficacy. You'll find a teaspoon of honey every few hours to be more efficacious. (Previous dosing of dextromethorphan was anecdotally recommended at 1 mg/lb twice daily.)

Be careful about diagnosing kennel cough in a 10 year old - an age when more serious causes of cough are more likely - collapsed trachea in a Pom and advanced cardiopulmonary diseases., e.g. If you don't see prompt remission within a week, please don't hesitate to have Dee Dee's chest auscultated and X-rayed. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.
Hi Richard,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Dee Dee. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin