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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5035
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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Asthma, She cannot breath properly, coughs until she

Customer Question

Asthma
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?
Customer: She cannot breath properly, coughs until she gags/gasps
JA: Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Baby 14 yrs
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Baby?
Customer: She is being treated for congestive heart failure, but this is a seasonal problem---every year about this time, she starts the seasonal asthma attacks---2 vets have put her on prednisone for these attacks
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping to help you with your pet today. Since I can’t physically exam your pet, I may need to respond with several follow up questions so I can best help you. Remember there is no limit on how many questions you can ask to in order to clarify any information I have provided regarding your pet. I just have a few initial questions to ask to gather some more information if you don’t mind? What medications is she on for the congestive heart failure? Does the prednisone seem to help with the coughing?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Salix, enalapril, theophylline for congestive heart failure
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The prednisone is a taper, she takes one every other day now
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Her eyes, ears, nose itch and I am giving her 10mg zyrtec 2xs daily
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

Okay thanks for the additional information. Does the prednisone seem to be helping with the seasonal epeisodes? What type of dog is baby? It sounds like she has a couple of issues that may be contributing to the coughing. If she has asthma then allergies may be contributing to the coughing issue. If the prednisone is helping then the dose may need to be adjusted when it gets worse. You also have to consider if the congestive heart failure is progressing. With heart failure an increased size of the heart can cause pressure on the windpipe leading to increased coughing, and also the development of fluid in the lungs due to the heart disease can also play a role.

Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

Has she ever been on a cough suppressant? Typically I like to put dogs on a cough suppressant such as Hydrocodone or Butorphanol to see if it helps.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No, she hasn't been on cough suppressants
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

Okay I would ask your veterinarian about placing her on one of the cough suppressants to see if they would help her with her coughing spells.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Do vets ever give dogs a med like albuterol?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

Yes dogs can get albuterol. They make inhalers for dogs and cats that can be used to administer the medication. The challenge is that some dogs don't tolerate the mask on their face to give the drug.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Can albuterol be taken orally? She will not take any type of liquid meds
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I seriously doubt she would do an inhaler!
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Are there any natural herbs I could try?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

They do have oral forms of the drug similar to albuterol. But the inhaler works the best . The oral drug is called terbutaline. It can still be helpful in asthma cases though. I am not familiar with any natural herbs that could work with asthma.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Is theophylline the same as terbutaline?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Any suggestions for the seasonal allergies besides the zyrtec?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

No though theophylline has a similiar action as terbutaline they are different drugs. Terbutaline tends to be more effective in helping to open up the airways in comparison. If Zyrtec is not working for the seasonal allergies, you may want to try a newer drug that has worked well for me called Apoquel

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Apoquel is prescription?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

Yes Apoquel is a prescription medication. If you are looking for a non-prescription option then you can try the other anti-histamines such as Claritin.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Do you think the Claritin might work better than zyrtec?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

It would depend on how bad the allergies are. If her seasonal allergies are pretty bad then a prescription medication is probably the best way to deal with them. Otherwise it wouldn't hurt to see if the Claritin would work better.

Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 4 months ago.

let me know if you have any further questions