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 Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21201
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 13 yr. old 4.5 lb. poodle just developed a wet cough

Customer Question

My 13 yr. old 4.5 lb. poodle just developed a wet cough tonight. She is sleeping at the moment but every little bit she wakes and kind of seems to be trying to "hack" or cough the fluid up. Then with no secretion coming out its as if she gets comfortable and goes back to sleep. She even opens her mouth as if to "spit" but nothing comes out. She is not around other animals and no longer travels. Is basically house bound. What could be going on? Is there anything I can do or give her to help her?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years 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.

First, since Gracie is an older dog with a wet sounding cough, we need to tread with care. In regards ***** ***** causes for what you are seeing, this could be due to a viral or bacterial upper airway infection or tracheitis. As well, our other concerns here would be a possible pneumonia, heart troubles (especially if the cough is wet), and associated with some respiratory parasites (ie lungworm, heartworm).

Therefore, with all of this in mind, we do need to monitor her closely. If her signs are mild, you can try her on a mild cough suppressant like 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.

Of course, while using supportive care, we do need to monitor her carefully, If the cough isn't settling in the next 48 hours with the above, if she is breathing heavier, has pale gums, or appears weak; then we'd want a check with her vet once they are open. We'd want them to listen +/- xray her heart and lungs to appreciate which issue is lurking. If they confirm infection, then antibiotics can be dispensed. But if the other issues are suspect, then we'd need those diagnosed so that appropriate treatment can be started to help wee Gracie.

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 as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )