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 PitRottMommy Your Own Question
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 8694
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
PitRottMommy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

He's about 14-15 years old, he's coughing and drooling. He's

Customer Question

He's about 14-15 years old, he's coughing and drooling. He's an over weight german shepherd mix who is quite large even without the weight on him he's been having issues with arthritis and hasn't been eating much lately.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Veterinarian will know what you should do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Barney
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Barney?
Customer: Not off the top of my head. I'm just worried he's dying, I know he's on borrowed time with the age and weight. Just very concerned. He's seems himself, for an old feller, just really drooly and panting a bit
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I am a Veterinary Nurse with over 15 years experience and I have assisted in the care of many pets with this particular medical concern. It would be my pleasure to assist you today. Is it possible for me to obtain some additional information from you about your companion?

1) Is Barney primarily indoors or out?
2) Are you seeing a swollen abdomen?
3) In what state do you reside?
4) Is Barney on monthly heart worm prevention?
5) Is he drinking well still?
6) Is he lethargic?
7) Do you have a video to share of the coughing?
8) Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is mainly indoors because of idiot neighbors who took a shot at him years ago while he was on his own property. He doesn't appear to have a swollen abdomen
His cough sounds more like a snort. We're in SE TN and he hasn't been on heart worm meds in 12 years. He drinks pretty well. He doesn't have diarrhea or vomiting
He is wobbling when he walks like his right handle is asleep, it folds under him when he tries to get up. He likes to lay around and do nothing but he will happily take treats, go outside for a walk, even if his leg wobbles under him, and he still tries to take care of his cats/groom them. He is licking his front right paw and the floor a lot. He has always licked the floor his former vet decided he's bored but he seems to be doing it more now that I'm home more to pay attention to him and notice thing aren't right
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ThAt is supposed to say right hind leg not handle
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

The concern with his leg certainly sounds like is linked to arthritis. I he's not receiving anything for this, I'd consider talking to your vet about placing him on rimadyl, deramaxx, meloxicam, etc.

Drooling and panting can be a sign of discomfort in dogs, can signal that they're also nauseated, have oral issues, etc. I wold be interested to see if this clears with treatment of his other symptoms.

For the coughing, you can try antihistamines at home. Coupled with licking his right front paw, I have to worry if the coughing isn't also due to allergies. The antihistamines should help wth that, if it is, and within a few days you should be improvement if not complete resolution of his symptoms. For this, I recommend the OTC antihistamine from the human pharmacy called Zyrtec. Here's the dosing info: It may take 3-5 days of dosing every day to see the maximum benefit.

If the symptoms worsen, do not hesitate to have him examined. At his age, there could be so many things wrong and I cannot tell you with certainty that the information contained herein will be an effective treatment for all that's wrong with him. There should still be a concern for underlying issues like organ problems, heart worms, cancer, etc.

Let me know if I can help further.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Checking in, JACustomer. How is your companion doing?