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Ask Louise Sivak, M.D. Your Own Question
Louise Sivak, M.D.
Louise Sivak, M.D., Doctor
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 3499
Experience:  Pediatrician, Board-certified in Ped Hematology/Oncology
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My son has a dry cough that sounds raspy (probably like a croupy

Customer Question

My son has a dry cough that sounds raspy (probably like a croupy cough) that he has had for months now. He complains that he feels as though it is "hard to breath" but he is not wheezing. I have taken him to our pediatrician on numerous occasions and have been told that it is croup... What am I missing??? Does not make sense!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Louise Sivak, M.D. replied 4 years ago.

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

Hello, Sorry your son has ongoing cough. How old is your son? Any underlying medical issues? Does he have asthma? What symptoms at peds visits? What tests / Xrays / treatments? Why are you still concerned?

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

Please post back when you're online,

Customer:

Hello, My son has an ongoing cough. He is 6 years old. He has no underlying medical issues that we are aware of. He does not have asthma. He has had this cough over the course of months now... sometimes the cough is more frequent than other times. The pediatrician initially thought it was a croup like cough but it has not subsided. She suggested using albuterol with the thought that it could possibly be an asthma like cough although he did not appear to be wheezing. The coughing did not subside with the use of albuterol and my son says that he still has the same "feeling of it being hard to breath" after use.

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

What triggers the cough? What makes it better? Any other symptoms? NO better with albuterol? Was a chest Xray done yet?

Customer:

The cough has a raspy sound to it... almost like the barking cough that a lot of people refer to as a croupy cough.

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

See above posts: Triggers? What helps? No help from albuterol ? chest Xray yet?

Customer:

The cough has been present for months... sometimes more persistant than other times. Nothing seems to help. The albuterol does not seem to make a difference (would albuterol help a croupy cough at all??) we have not had a chest x ray

Customer:

What would an x ray indicate with this type of cough??

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

A new and now persistent cough in a 6 yo can be viral, aspirated foreign body (unlikely), allergies, asthma (yes even if albuterol doesn't help but less likely), congenital lung malformation, pneumonia, mediastinal mass, among others. Recommend you discuss with your son's pediatrician getting a chest Xray. What is the next step? If new environment, then allergy medication trial and allergy testing may be in order. If a lot of new stressors this may be pyschogenic cough triggered by stress. Pediatrician who knows and treats your son is next step as he must have in-person eval. Please ACCEPT if I've answered your question so far and please post with further questions. Xray can indicated mass, pneumonia, sometimes indicators of viral illness, aspiration, congenital cyst.

Customer:

The pediatrician recommended going to an ENT at childrens Hospital....does that referral make sense??

Customer:

Everything you mentioned seems more likely to be the focus of a pulmonary physician.

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

Possibly altho' not sure a referral needed so fast. I'd have done a chest Xray first and eval'd for allergies etc before ENT referral. I am not the treating pediatrician so I haven't listened to your child's lungs. I always defer to the treating physician. No, these are a primary peds doctors issues first, then referred if more complicated. I do this every day > 10 times.

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

Please post back if more ?s . Have to see pts in hosp. Back online when i can, Best,

Customer:

The pediatrician has listened on numerous occassions to my sons lungs and has not been concerned. Would allergies cause a croup like cough??

Louise Sivak, M.D. :

yes they can. get a chest Xray to start. discuss with Pediatrician for ENT or Pulmonology referral. Best,

Customer:

My son does complain about stomach aches... could that go along with allergies that may cause a cough such as this??

Louise Sivak, M.D., Doctor
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 3499
Experience: Pediatrician, Board-certified in Ped Hematology/Oncology
Louise Sivak, M.D. and other Pediatrics Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Yogindra Vasavada replied 4 years ago.

Hello,

Yes the stomach complaint has lot of bearing to symptom of cough. Most nights children aspirate some acidic fluid into lungs when they have more acid in stomach (reflux problem).

At times there could be a polyp like growth near vocal cords causing this prolonged symptom. A simple viral croup never lasts more than a week or ten days.

Apart from ENT check up, an endoscopy or laryngoscopy would help. X ray chest a must if he has loss of weight, lethargy, anorexia, fever, productive cough or blood stained sputum. (Any cough for more than 3 weeks should be investigated with plain X ray chest).