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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24378
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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She is very congested and is not resting well. I can't get

Customer Question

She is very congested and is not resting well. I can't get her into her vet until Monday and I would like to know if she can have a small dose of an OTC decongestant until then. She has been on a small dose of prednisolone (5 mg. every other day) for 6- 8 months now.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the dog?
Customer: Not breathing well... is very congested.
JA: Where does the dog seem to hurt?
Customer: She doesn't hurt at all, just very congested and not sleeping well because of it.
JA: OK. No obvious pain. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: No, she's very healthy and not in any pain at all. Just congested and we want her sleep a little better until they can see her on Monday. She has a history of minor allergies as I've stated.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

We have to be very careful when prescribing systemic decongestants to dogs because there's such a narrow range of safe dosing. As a decongestant pseudoephedrine can be dosed at just 0.5 mg/lb every 8 hours but many feel that it shouldn't be used in dogs due to the difficulty in dosing it down properly. Phenylephrine is safer but an oral therapeutic dosage in dogs can't be located. Sterile saline nasal drops (an adult dose) plus an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) dosed at 1-2 mg/lb up to every 8-12 hours (maximum dose of 50 mg at any one time) is a safer approach and likely to be helpful particularly if you give the prednisolone daily until her vet can take a look at her. Among its other attributes, prednisolone is a potent decongestant. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.
Hi Bobby,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin