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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16215
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a 9 yr old female bischon, and doing the dry coughing

Customer Question

I have a 9 yr old female bischon, and doing the dry coughing and gagging....took her to er vet last night and x rays showed no abnormalities with her trachea, heart, or lungs...they trade her for severe constipation and sent us home with 3 med for her stomach...she is still doing the coughing stuff to the point she come over and gets on my lap as if she is scared...any ideas? Allergies maybe?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
Did they send her home with any medication for her cough?
Is it harsh or soft?
Any retching or vomiting with it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing for the cough...but yes she does act like she's trying to heave something up...her cough is loud, and she makes like a loud snorting sound, no vomiting. She is fine at rest.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,
First, I am surprised that they didn't treat her for the cough, since that was her presenting sign that was causing her bother. Now its good that she has had an xray and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that she hasn't a cough secondary to a heart, or lung based issue. Still, with her cough and despite the xray, we cannot rule out a possible irritation to her throat (if she has eaten something that cause an abrasion), bacterial upper airway infections (ie kennel cough), parainfluenza or bacterial tracheitis.
Therefore, with all of this in mind, we need to tread with care and at least start Sophie with a mild cough suppressant. Ones you can use here are glycerin/honey cough syrup (with no drugs in it) or even plain honey. Both can be very soothing to the irritated and tickly throat. Typically we will give a 1-2 milliliter (~1/4-1/2 teaspoon) as needed. Alternatively, you can try Robitussin DM with her. I would just say to make sure to use this preparation and avoid any similar syrups that may contain other medications like Paracetamol, Acetaminophen, Pseudoephedrine, Phenylephrine or caffeine (since these can be toxic). If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay. Dose-wise, we tend to give this as 1/2 (half) teaspoon per 10lbs of the dog's body weight every 8-12 hours. Again, these can reduce any possible irritation driving her to cough. Furthermore, if she has a throat irritation, then soaking her kibble or offering soft foods may also help reduce her signs.
Overall, it does seem odd that the vet's didn't provide treatment for her cough even after those more worrisome heart and lung conditions were ruled out. Therefore, do try the above with Sophie to see if you can soothe her throat now. Of course, if she isn't settling, then do plan to ring the vet and request a course of antibiotics +/- dog safe anti-inflammatories (ie Metacam, Rimadyl, etc) to reduce throat inflammation and address any possible infectious cases for this cough.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best, *****
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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Kristi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sophie. How is everything going?
Dr. B.

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