How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16810
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
2361900
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my elderly dog has had a dry cough intermittently for the

Resolved Question:

my elderly dog has had a dry cough intermittently for the past two months coughs a bit then is fine, the past two days it's gotten worse, tonight it is spastic. he is a 17 yr old poodle, well loved with a history of bradycardia under anesthesia, thus his bad teeth, he hasnt had a good surgical cleaning in years. He is a laid back loveable dog, not a barker, most people don't think he's a poodle at all. He is deaf and his vision is poor. He is very loved.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.

Hi Sir or Madam,

 

Dogs don't get colds like humans, but they can develop upper respiratory illnesses such as kennel cough and canine influenza as well as bronchitis and inhaled allergies. I'm going to go over the various reasons for coughs THEN discuss your dog specifically. You can read about bronchitis here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/chronic-bronchitis-in-dogs/page1.aspx

 

It's possible that if there is sneezing and nasal congestion, that it can be due to an allergic reaction to an inhaled substance. This is the time of year when we see dogs react to pollen. If this is the case, Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. You can read about these here.

http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/inhalants.html

 

Kennel cough is normally contracted when a dog has been boarded or kenneled or around a large number of dogs such as at a dog show, dog park or pet store. Here is a website with more information on kennel cough. http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/kenc.html

 

Canine influenza is now becoming more prevalent and like it sounds it is a canine flu. Here is an excellent site on it.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/canine-influenza-virus-dog-flu/page1.aspx

 

You will want to monitor your dogs condition looking for colored discharge from the nose or eyes, a productive cough (coughs stuff up), stops eating or lethargy. These are signs of a possible bacterial infection as well and my require antibiotics. If your dog appears to be having a difficult time breathing, you will need to see your Vet as some dogs dog get really sick with canine influenza and need support to recover.

 

To help your dog breathe easier you can run a NON-medicated humidifier in the room your dog is in, or sit in a steamed up bathroom with your dog to help keep the mucous moving. Robitussin DM at a 1/4 teaspoon per 5 pounds can be used to control the cough. Dosages can be obtained at this website. http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/dextromethorphan-robitussin-dm/page1.aspx

 

There are other reasons for coughs such as heart problems which should be investigated if your dog is not on heartworm preventative or is an older dog. The following site goes over canine coughs.

http://www.canismajor.com/dog/cough.html

http://www.gopetsamerica.com/dog-health/chest-lung-conditions.aspx

 

Your dog could be doing what is called a reverse sneeze or a collapsing trachea. Here is a site on reverse sneezes and one on collapsing tracheas.

http://www.beaglebuddies.com/misc/reverse.html

http://vetsurgerycentral.com/tracheal_collapse.htm

 

Since your dog is quite elederly, I think your are right to worry about a possible heart condition. Especially since dental issues can release infection into the blood stream which does lead to heart issues. However, a collapsing trachea might also be to blame. Owners of dogs with collapsing tracheas report that rubbing the throat lessens the severity and duration of the episode. Try that and if it helps that might be a good indication of the cause. If your dog is not on other medication, then try the cough medication and see if there is improvement. I wouild suggest a senior check up with bloodwork.

 

I hope you find this information helpful.

Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16810
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Jane Lefler and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
could you please give me more information on tracheal collapse? Medical treatment and palliative care? He is too old to have surgery and Like I said cannot tolerate anesthesia so it wouldnt be an option. He doesn't have any other symptomology of an infectous or viral process. He does have that honking cough. He has quieted down now. Thank goodness.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.

JaCustomer,

 

A honking cough is indicative of kennel cough. Almost every time a client describes the cough as honking it has been kennel cough. Given the age of your dog, you should have your vet prescribe an antibiotic to help prevent secondary infections. He may have a bit of a cough due to heart issues but have contracted kennel cough recently. If so then he should improve after a couple of weeks of coughing.

 

As for tracheal collapse, non surgical treatment includes cough suppressants such as hydrocodone or torbutrol, bronchodilators, corticosteroids such as prednisone (to control inflammation), and/or antibiotics and long term prognosis is good. If your dog is overweight then getting the weight down helps prevent episodes.

Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16810
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Jane Lefler and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.