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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28457
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog has been hacking 1 year - started out small and over

Customer Question

My dog has been hacking for about 1 year - started out small and over time has increased. I have taken him to the vet and was told he had an infection from bad teeth decay. I have had is tooth clean since then and have had hime on two type of medications. The hacking still persists. The vet told me to add some cough medicine to his water. Is this okay?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. No, over the counter cough medicines are not only ineffective but likely to be contraindicated. Many contain dextromethorphan which isn't recommended for dogs due to lack of efficacy. In addition, if Sammy needs to expectorate material from his respiratory tract, an effective cough suppressant - usually a narcotic - will prevent that from occurring. The proper manner in which to proceed is to have Sammy's chest X-rayed to see if lower respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as might be seen with a chronic sterile bronchitis or advanced cardiovascular disease such as myxomatous valve disease ("leaky heart valves") is present. Sammy's oropharynx may be infected due to previous dental abscessation but his worsening cough in spite of antibiotic therapy indicates looking further to see why that cough has persisted.

Please respond with additional information and further questions or concerns if you wish.