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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19600
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Oh wow We have a chihuahua terrier mix - he's probably about

Customer Question

Oh wow hi. We have a chihuahua terrier mix - he's probably about 9 years old and has a persistent cough. It's a breathy type of cough? His belly is also bigger but I thought it might just be from late night treats from when my husband comes home from work at 2:30 AM but wondering if the two could co-inside. I'm noticing that more. He's also just recently peed a couple times in the house which he has NEVER done before in the past month even after he's gone out for a walk.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: He doesn't have a would but he does lick his paws alot from a skin allergy which we give him a half a pill of benadryl if he's too persistent about it.
JA: What is the terrier's name?
Customer: Hi name is Cook.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the terrier?
Customer: I think that covers the surface issues.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi jaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Coughs can occur for quite a few reasons. They can develop upper respiratory illnesses such as kennel cough and canine influenza as well as bronchitis and inhaled allergies. You can read about bronchitis here:

If your dog is sneezing and has nasal congestion, then it could be due to an allergic reaction to an inhaled substance. If this is the case, Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. You can read about these here.

Kennel cough is normally contracted when a dog has been boarded or kenneled or around a large number of dogs such as at a dog show, dog park or pet store. Here is a website with more information on kennel cough.

Canine influenza is now more widespread than it has been in the past and like it sounds it is a canine flu. Here is an excellent site on it.

To help your dog breathe easier you can run a NON-medicated humidifier in the room your dog is in, or sit in a steamed up bathroom with your dog to help keep the mucous moving. Robitussin DM at a 1/4 teaspoon per 5 pounds can be used to control the cough. It should only contain dextromethorphan and Guaifenisen. and should NOT contain pseudoephedrine. Dosages can be obtained at this website.

There are other reasons for coughs such as heart problems which should be investigated if your dog is not on heartworm preventative or is an older dog. The following site goes over canine coughs.

I'm pretty sure you know about reverse sneezing and collapsing tracheas since your boy is 9 years old and these are common issues, but let me give you some sites that discuss this.

What concerns me though is that you describe it as a breathy cough and you believe his belly is a bit distended. This might point to a heart issue. With congestive heart failure there can be fluid retention in the abdomen. Read more on this here:

I strongly suggest you have him seen by your vet as soon as possible and I'd keep him inactive until then as well. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Michelle,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Just a quick followup to see how Cook is doing? I hope you had him seen to rule out a heart issue. Remember that rating does not prevent you from asking followup questions if needed.

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