My Chihuahua is 11 years old and she has been coughing for about 5 months now. This is not a reverse sneeze, it is more like a dry hacking cough and then she will wheeze for several minutes (about 10 minutes on average). She sounds like she is in pain and she cannot breath properly during those spells. Her cough is especially prevalent during the night and morning. She will have coughing spells throughout the day as well (around once every two hour). Sometimes when she coughs a lot, she will cough up something and swallow it. Only once did I see that it was white foam.
I have taken her to the veterinarian and she was prescribed an antibiotic since he thought it might be an infection. I gave her the antibiotic and it did not help or lessen her coughing. I then took her back again and he gave me a diuretic to get rid of fluid and again, this did not help her. All this medication did was make her urinate in great volume and make her thirsty. Also, she swelled up like a balloon. The vet then took chest x-rays and found that her liver was a bit enlarged and was pushing against her diaphragm. In addition, he said her heart looked normal. He then prescribed a stronger antibiotic and a medication that he described as a human equivalent to Mucinex. I decided against giving her any more antibiotics since he said it would make her sick and nauseous and because of what he said about her liver (my Chihuahua’s mother died from liver failure). Instead, I only gave her the “Mucinex”. It has not helped her any.
In the past she has been evaluated for heartworm and the blood test turned out negative. I do not know what to do. Are there any natural remedies or anything else I can do for my Chihuahua? Is this cough beatable given her age? Is there any cure? I am scared I might lose her :(
Three weeks ago, I took my Chihuahua to the vet again. The coughing got worse, and more pronounce. The vet had ordered an endoscope, and a tracheal wash. Last week, I got the results back from the endoscope, and it showed that her airway passages were normal and infection free. The veterinarian concluded that my Chihuahua had the human equivalent of COPD. He stated that every time my dog coughed, my dog was trying to rid the lungs of air, due to the airways constricting. He prescribed Dexamethason in .25 mg. I picked up my Chihuahua’s medication at the wal-mart pharmacy for only 4 dollars!
Unfortunately, my Chihuahua’s condition is without cure. I asked the vet if her condition will limit her lifespan, and he stated that most owners euthanize their pets because the coughing becomes a nuisance. However, my Chihuahua is family, and I would never do this. In addition, he did state that down the road, we might have to discuss some other breathing treatments. Furthermore, I asked him if my Chihuahua’s coughing was related to her heart. My vet again said no, since the x-rays showed no abnormality and when he listened to her heartbeat, the vet ruled out any association between my Chihuahua’s heart and cough.
Even though my Chihuahua’s cough is a life-long condition, her medication has no noticeable side effects. Thankfully, my Chihuahua eats, plays, and functions normally. Best of all, my Chihuahua’s coughing has abated. My Chihuahua coughs a lot less than what she used to. I have to give her medication only once a day in the morning with food. The only weird thing is that the medication comes in only .5 dosage, thus I have to cut the pill in half with a pill cutter.
I am so happy I finally got a diagnosis, and now I know how to treat her condition!
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