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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30326
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Kennel cough. Day 3 of abx and no improvement and cough

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Kennel cough. Day 3 of abx and no improvement and cough suppressants don't help
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Bella age 8 or 9 (shes a rescue) I'm trying to be patient but it sounds so awful
JA: How old is Bella?
Customer: 8
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Bella?
Customer: Shes a high anxiety dog

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Bella. Please tell me which antibiotic and cough suppressant were prescribed.

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
Amox clav 1/2 250 mg tab 2x a day and the cough med doesnt list the name. Just says cough medicine on bottle. Theyre cut in half, 1 PO every 4 hours PRN

The antibiotic is one of choice for addressing kennel cough. Unfortunately, I can't know if the cough medicine would be of value. In general, a narcotic antitussive such as butorphanol or codeine is needed for these dogs. My primary concern in an older dog is that kennel cough has been diagnosed without X-raying of her chest. While any age dog can cough due to a simple respiratory infection such as infectious tracheobronchitis ("kennel cough"), I need to consider more dire causes of coughing in an 8-9 year old such as congestive heart failure, chronic sterile bronchitis, pneumonia, heartworm disease, and neoplasia (cancer) in the chest cavity. I wouldn't hesitate to have Bella's vet carefully auscultate (listen to) and X-ray Bella's chest at your earliest convenience. I find that sending these older coughing dogs home with an antibiotic instead of promptly X-raying them is a mistake too often made by veterinarians.

That said, it can simply be too soon to see a response to the antibiotic. In general, I want to see a positive change halfway through the prescribed duration of her antibiotic administration.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
Ok so if no improvement in a few more days follow up. The vet did listen to her and said "she looked good" and seemed to be standard sx but if no improvement they do xrays. I just feel like the wreching and cough is wearing her out and its hard to be patient its so loud and constant

I understand. Add a teaspoon (small dog) or tablespoon (large dog) of honey every few hours to her therapy. It can be more effective than over the counter antitussives which usually contain dextromethorphan which is no longer recommended to be given to dogs due to lack of efficacy and toxicity in the higher dosing range. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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