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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15583
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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We have a large mix breed female who is at least 15 yrs. old.

Customer Question

We have a large mix breed female who is at least 15 yrs. old. She has a breathing problem with an awful deep cough. Her coughing sounds like a locomotive, slowly building up steam, then a hack at the end with shallow breathing until she settles down again. Sometimes she spits up a small amount of spittle with the hack. She is wobbly on her legs and inactive, but will hobble outside for bathroom time, and hobble back in when through. When she is at ease, the lays spread eagle and rests, lightly sleeping. She is my daughter's dog who can't afford a vet exam, much less and medication, and she absolutely will not put the dog down, which we feel would be the kindest option, though we all love this dog. Since we moved in with our daughter, we see the dog's distress clearly and my heart breaks watching "Katy" just get through the day. Her appetite is fine and she drinks tons of water. Her stools look normal with no blood. She reminds me of my father who had congestive heart failure. She clearly has some respiratory problem and is suffering severely. Is there anything we can do to help comfort her. I know it is dangerous to give human medicine to dogs, but is there any over the counter medicine that might ease her condition?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear about Katy's condition. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.
This does sound like it could be congestive heart disease. There are lots of good drugs for this, but they are prescription medications.
She could also have cancer in her lungs, or bronchitis. It sounds like she could also have arthritis from your description of her hobbling around. It must be sad to see a beloved dog get so sick and old.
You could try a little aspirin. The dose is one low dose aspirin per 15 to 20 pounds body weight once to twice daily. It has to be given with food, so if she is not eating well I would not recommend it. It could help with her arthritis and might help prevent stroke/blood clots from heart disease. If she vomits, do not repeat giving aspirin.
You can try Robitussin DM for coughing, 1/4th to 1/2 the dose on the label for people.
Let me know what other questions you have.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your advice. I will try the medicines you suggest and see if it helps give her some comfort.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome. Let me know how she is doing, and what else I can help with.
Kindly consider rating my anwer (always appreciated!); you can still get back to me with updates and questions after rating.
I hope you can make her more comfortable.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am trying the baby aspirin, 2 once a day. So far no vomiting. Not sure if it's helping. Thought I'd try it for at least 2 weeks and if no side effects, try twice a day. Haven't tried the Robitussin yet, but will. Thought it better to not do it all at once. I'm hoping that because there is no blood or diarrhea that it's not cancer. I appreciate your advice and will try it all. If something changes either way, I will let you know.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the update. Is there anything else I can help with, or answer? A positive rating of my answer helps put me in good standing with the website, and you can still get back to me with questions and updates.
Hope she continues to do well. Let me know.