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Male Chihuahua hacking like his has a hair ball. Been a few…

Male Chihuahua...

Male Chihuahua hacking like his has a hair ball. Been a few days but seems to be getting worse.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the Chihuahua?

Hacking and coughing like he has a hair ball in his throat. Been a few days and seems more frequent today

Veterinarian's Assistant: Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the Chihuahua's name and age?

Oliver 11 years

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Oliver?

No I don’t think so

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,013
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help with this concern about Oliver.

Please give me time to type back a response for you; thanks for your patience, Deb

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question

While there could be a number of different reasons why he might be coughing (which range from collapsing trachea to heart disease to bronchitis), if this is a new symptom and he's otherwise acting pretty much his normal self, then kennel cough tends to be at the top of the list.

This condition is secondary to either a viral or bacterial infection and can be contagious between dogs. If a bacterial infection, then these dogs respond to oral antibiotics pretty quickly. But if this is a virus , then it will have to run it's course....which is usually between 10-14 days.

Kennel cough tends to worsen before improvement is seen and gradually improves rather than abruptly stopping unless this is a bacterial infection and antibiotics are started.

While this condition is usually transmitted between dogs (such as in a boarding or day care situation), we can bring home pathogens on our clothes or shoes which can then infect our dogs. In other words, there doesn't have to be direct contact between dogs for this condition to develop.

As to over the counter treatment options, cough suppressants can be given although I'm often hesitant to use them if kennel cough is the problem. I want those secretions removed from the upper airways and I rarely want to inhibit this reflex. But acceptable ones to use include Dextromethorphan. The dose would be 0.25 to 1 mgs per pound of body weight 2-3 times a day. You'll just want to double check labels and ensure that the formulations only contain this ingredient although inclusion of Guaifensin is fine.

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/dextromethorphan-robitussin-dm

I'd also advise that you feed dry dog food (if this is what you feed) soaked in water for 15-20 minutes which turns the food into mush and is less likely to cause more irritation when it's swallowed.

Humidifying the air may help as well.

If other symptoms develop (such as disinterest in food or lethargy), then a vet visit would be good thing to do.

I hope this helps, Deb

Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11,013
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Verified
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