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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18957
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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I have a maltese shitzu about 11 years old so not. But she

Customer Question

I have a maltese shitzu about 11 years old so not young. But she has developed nasty hacking cough. I too her to the vet who gave her an antibiotic injection which has done nothing. Can you suggest what I could do to help her.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she had this cough?

Any nasal discharge, vomiting, or breathing changes?

What tests did her vets actually do?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She has had this cough about a short week. No nasal discharge, vomiting or breathing changes. I don't think the vet did any tests just expected the antibiotic injection to fix it and told me to wait about 4 days. It has not changed whatever.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She has neer had anything like this previously. It seems to come in waves. I am keeping her inside in the warm but nothing seems to help.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

Now I am glad to hear that she has only had this cough for a short period of time, but it is worrying that it hasn't responded to antibiotics. Therefore, we do need to tread with care; especially as we can see harsh coughs in older dogs related to upper airway infections (which could be resistant to what antibiotic they chose), but also bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, heartworm, lungworm, and even some heart diseases (specifically those where the heart enlarges and presses up on the trachea).

With this in mind, we need to be careful. An xray would be ideal but if costs are a concern you could ring the vet that has just seen her about dispensing an alternative antibiotic (in case we have resistance) +/-a dog safe anti-inflammatory. That way we can try to tackle any lurking bacterial agents but also reduce throat inflammation that is driving her to cough in the first place.

Otherwise, in the meantime, to reduce and soothe this cough, you can try giving a mild cough suppressant. Commonly we will give a few millilitres of plain honey & glycerin cough syrup or plain honey. These can be given as often as needed. Alternatively, you could use Robitussin DM at a dose of 1 milligram per pound of body weight every 8 hours. Of course, do make sure to only use this and avoid any with pet toxic cold medications (ie acetaminophen, paracetamol, ibuprofen caffeine, alcohol, or pseudoephedrine) here. And if you aren't already plan to offer a soft diet to just reduce general throat irritation.

Overall, her lack of response to treatment raises some other non-bacterial worries. Therefore, we'd want to start the above, speak to her vet about alternative treatments but if she isn't settling after a week with those, then an xray really would be for the best to ensure we pinpoint the cause and get this settled before it can affect her breathing or cause her discomfort.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Not sure why you are charging me $39.00 when you listed $5.00 as the original question??
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello again,

As a veterinarian, I don't have control over the costs with the website but will send your question to customer service to help you with that. Please note I won't be able to reply after doing so, therefore you will need to await them getting to your question.

Take care,

Dr. B.