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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30379
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My 13 year old Shitzu/ cross Maltese has kennel cough. 1

Customer Question

My 13 year old Shitzu/ cross Maltese has kennel cough. 1 year ago he escaped n spent n afternoon at a local vets since then he has not been free of kennel cough. I have taken him to a vet twice n done 2 courses of antibiotics, but there was never a significant improvement and right now he is really struggling. The cough is definitely very dry and has a gagging reflex with it. What can I do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am sorry for the delay in response. If you would like to continue can you please answer a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Has your vet done any testing like xrays?

2- I will assume your vet examined his heart and it is normal, correct?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No X-rays were done but his heart was normal. The other thing of note is that he eats well. The real concern for me is the real struggle for breathing in the small hours of the night, it is very disturbing to hear him gaspinging throughout the night. Also it is worse after an excersizing walk which is sad because he so loves his walks.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.

Friend, what you are describing in Gizmo is not likely related to kennel cough. Instead, it sounds like he has a condition called: "Tracheal Collapse." This is when the rings around the trachea (tube connecting mouth to lungs) become weak and collapse; when this happens the patient will hack/gag to re-open the tracheal lumen. It is also important to rule out an underlying heart/lung disease that can also have similar symptoms.

In this case, I would strongly recommend having Gizmo re-check by family vet and discuss with your veterinarian about doing xrays of the chest for Gizmo. As far as treatment it will depend on exact underlying cause. If this is related to a collapsing trachea he may need one or a combination of cough medicine, anti inflammatory or/and a bronchodilator. For now you can start him on Robitussin DM (cough) 1/2 teaspoon every 6-8 hours. You can buy Robitussin DM over the counter in any pharmacy.

Please do not forget to rate my answer - I hope you found it to be excellent. If there’s more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know. It’s my goal to provide you with excellent service." Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Gizmo. How is everything going?
Dr. Peter