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My chihuahua coughs all the time. took m to vet, he

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my chihuahua coughs all the...
my chihuahua coughs all the time. took him to vet, he prescribed benadryl. didn't help. any suggestions?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
9/9/2015
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,658
Experience: Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How old is your dog?

How long has he had the cough?

Is it harsh or soft? Any discharges at the nose or eye?

Any pre-existing health issues?

Did his vet do any tests?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
he is nine years old. he has had it for a few months, we were hoping it would go away. it is a harsh cough. no discharges, no preexisting health issues. no tests.
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

Thank you for your patience,

If your dog has had a harsh cough for months that has not settled with Benadryl, this only rules out allergic causes for this cough. Therefore, we really need to be considering some diagnostic tests to pinpoint the root of his cough and ensure we are addressing it effectively. In regards ***** ***** concerns in this situation, we'd have to be wary of infectious causes (ie bacterial or viral upper airway infections or pneumonia, etc). As well, we would have to consider issues like lung worm, heartworm, laryngeal disease (ie laryngeal paralysis), heart disease (usually a soft cough, but if the heart is very large and pushing on the trachea it could be harsh), tracheobronchitis or bronchitis, tracheal polyps or masses, or a mass of the lung/thorax (compressing on the trachea and thus triggering the cough). As well, it is possible to have airway irritation trigger a asthma type cough like this, but one would have to consider what could be irritating his throat in the house at that time of night and not at other times.

With this all in mind, it would be highly advisable to discuss having your vet xray his chest. This will let you visualize which of the above is present in the lungs and assess the heart size. Depending on the findings from this and your vet's exam, you will be able to narrow down the causes and again start appropriate treatment.

Finally, just Just to give you a means to soothe his throat and reduce his coughing I do want to note 2 options that could be useful here. First, you can try him with plain over the counter 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 him. 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, this can reduce the irritation that is triggering his coughing fits.

Overall, despite his lack of response to this treatment, we have quite a few serious concerns for your lad. Therefore, if the Benadryl failed to help, you can use the above to soothe his throat but will need to discuss ruling out these other concerns with his vet so that this can be addressed and your lad can be kept comfortable.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions,please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you! : )

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