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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30036
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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She is coughing and trying to hack something up. Drinking

Customer Question

She is coughing and trying to hack something up. Drinking lots of water
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 and age?
Customer: Lexi 11
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lexi?
Customer: Cairn terrier. Has seasonal allergies. Pet rabbit home for thanksgiving. I'm thinking hair ball?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 8 months ago.


I will wait for your reply so I know we are connected, before answering.

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 8 months ago.


Preparing answer.

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 8 months ago.


We rarely see hairball issues in dogs.

At 11 years of age, persistent coughing could be due to:

1. Upper respiratory infection
2. Bronchitis
3. Heart disease or even heart failure

The drinking lots of water could suggest:
1. Nausea
2. Kidney disease
3. A underlying endocrine condition like Cushing's disease
4. Diabetes
5. Urinary tract infection can cause increased water intake.

So, essentially, I think there is more than one explanation for the combination of symptoms you have described. Definitely, she needs to get in to a vet so they can listen to the chest, possibly take chest x-rays if they hear any heart or lungs issues, and a basic blood/urine test would answer a ton of questions for possible causes to the increased water intake.

Wish we had a simple answer for all of this, but definitely, at 11 years of age, with repeated coughing and increased water intake, some basic testing is needed.

Hope that information helps

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Not the response I was looking for.!..the coughing is definitely trying to hack something up. I will take her to vet tomorrow but was hoping for some type of relief for her to soothe digestive tract.
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 8 months ago.

hold a sec...

Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 8 months ago.

So, let's say you thought she had digestive issues or stomach upset...You could give Pepcid A.C. antacid. Same Pepcid we take. You could give a 1/2 tablet of a 10mg regular strength Pepcid.

Now, if it is more coughing, you could give some over-the-counter cough suppressant.

To ease coughing, you can give Dextromethorphan, which can be found over-the-counter. However, many cough medications over-the-counter are combination products. So, if you grab a product like Robitussin, make sure it doesn’t have other ingredients like acetaminophen or caffeine. If it also contains Guaifenesin that is okay.
The dose is 0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours.
So, a 20 pound dog could get anywhere from 5mg to 10mg of dextromethorphan.

If at anytime your pet is panting heavily for hours, has difficulty breathing or excessive coughing, regardless of the cause, please contact an ER veterinarian immediately.

Best answer I can offer for ways to help coughing or a way to help with stomach upset. Of course, NEITHER is a replacement for more immediate examination.

I hope that answer is more satisfactory?

Dr. Andy

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
haha! yes, appreciated. this wasn't in lieu of an appointment. (she's survived cancer 3 times, 2 hip surgeries and an ACL issue!). it isn't a persistent cough, nor is she panting or having trouble breathing. I really think she has something stuck or caught that she's trying to get out. thanks for your time and expertise, Andy!
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 8 months ago.

You are very welcome.

Good Luck

Dr. Andy