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Thank you for your question. My name is***** I have been a small animal veterinarian for 13 years.
I understand your concern. In all likelihood the stress of the trip to the vet will increase his coughing. However, I would still recommend going. He may just have some tracheal irritation or infection, but at 19 years of age he could also be coughing because he is having trouble with his heart. Heart related coughing, specifically congestive heart failure can be very serious and they can decline pretty rapidly so I worry the wait and see approach may be a bad idea. And if they take a look and some X-rays and his heart looks fine, they are going to be able to provide a cough supressent, which will provide great relief to him and help him (and you ) sleep tonight.
I hope that helps, but if you have additional questions let me know.
When he is sleeping... count his breaths. If his breathing rate is higher than 30 breaths per minute at total rest then I would go to the 24 hour clinic. If it is less than 30 then you can monitor him until monday and only take him if he is worse.
Best wishes. Don't forget to rate my answer.