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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10449
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Our 11.5 year old silky terrier has tracheal collapse and an

Customer Question

Our 11.5 year old silky terrier has tracheal collapse and an enlarged liver. They did an X-ray and his collapse is low, near the collarbone area. He is healthy otherwise and still pretty playful when he isn't having coughing fits. The coughing seems to be worst at night. The vet prescribed a medication for the liver but none for anxiety or cough. Should we request those to help our pup enjoy as much time as he has left?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Bruiser hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

I'm sorry that Bruiser has been diagnosed with both of these problems. I suppose I'm a little surprised that your vet didn't recommend or suggest medication for his coughing since many dogs with a collapsing trachea will benefit from them.

Some of these dogs will respond to anti-cough medications such as over the counter Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Dextromethorphan ( The dose would be 0.25 to 1 mg/lb 2-3 times a day. You just want to double check labels and ensure that the formulations only contain this ingredient although inclusion of Guaifensin is fine. Others need stronger anti-cough drugs such as Hycodan (a controlled drug which would have to be prescribed by your vet).

Some patients will respond to bronchodilators such as Aminophylline which would also have to be dispensed by your vet. Sometimes antibiotics can improve the situation since secondary bacterial infections can occur. I often dispense antibiotics to my patients with liver disease so one drug may help both conditions.

Additional tips for dogs with this condition:
Use a harness instead of a collar.
Avoid any potentially irritating substances such as cigarette smoke or excessive dust.

I'd definitely encourage that you discuss various options with your vet since there are several ones which may provide relief and increase his quality of life.

I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Hello again,

I'm just following up on Bruiser. How are things going with him? Deb