Oh how to make this as concise as possible... I'll go with sentence fragments and hope your eyes don't glaze over!
Paddy -- 10 year old Lab (my Service Dog). On phenobarb since Thanksgiving for seizures, only recently "managed". Battled back from liver dysfunction, also discovered in November. Thyroid meds for hypo-active. Exceptionally high triglycerides (slowly coming down since food switch to high protein/low fat/grain free). With all this going on I guess I "ignored" the night-time cough that developed. Until the other day when I noted abdominal swelling (not bloat -- been there) and unusual pacing in addition to increased frequency of the cough. Totally fearing congestive heart failure, I finally screwed up the courage to get him to the vet.
Final diagnosis is Lyme (4th bout) and Kennel Cough. Currently no explanation for the tummy distention, but sonogram showed NO fluid collection (so we're hoping for a ginormous fart). Drug of choice would be Doxy but he doesn't tolerate that well (throws up every blessed time) and because of the importance of the phenobarb staying down, went with Pen-G injections daily for 14 days. If the Kennel Cough is bacterial, that should take care of that as well (right). Yes, question I should have asked the vet but at that point I was a little too overwhelmed to think clearly.
Having never dealt with Kennel Cough in 40 years of owning dogs, I guess I wasn't prepared for the uptick in the coughing/gagging/hacking...
Long story shortened (apologies)..... should I be calling the vet back to get *something* for the cough? It's unproductive and it seems to be almost scaring him. He only started the antibiotic yesterday so I'm certainly not looking for a miracle cure. Your thoughts?
Two schools of thought, first the cough shouldn't be suppressed, it prevents phlegm from building up, keeps pneumonia at bay. Second thought, suppressants allow dog to rest therefore they are able to heal and get well. Our Vets do a case by case basis but it sounds like your poor baby would benefit from a cough suppressant plus they also have a sedative effect allowing more sleep. Poor dog, hope things turn around for him soon.
Have you tried humidified air, like for a little kid?
When mine had a viral cough last year that seemed to help him. I don't remember having him on a cough suppresant, but I'm not sure.
I also let him lick little bits of honey off my finger when he was having a coughing spasm and it seemed to help (not necessarily vet approved, but I was desperate).
Since your Paddy has other health problems, I call the vet and see what he/she thinks would be best.
Thank you for your replies. I'm way over-protective of the boy and as I watched him sleep rather fitfully all night, it occurred to me that if my VET had felt the need for any type of cough remedy, she'd have said/dispensed such. However, that didn't stop me from calling this morning. His lungs had "sounded good" on Tuesday and she didn't believe he required anything for the cough. That, generally, it sounds so much worse than it is. And knowing how neurotic I am over the "kids" she apologized for not addressing THAT to pro-actively ease my anxieties.
Watchful waiting is the order of the day. If his breathing becomes at all labored, I'm to run him in. (She'd put him on an expectorant not a suppressant if that comes to pass -- she wants him to "cough it up")
Thanks for giving me an outlet to express my concerns..... It'll be good to have a place to turn for information, education, and maybe support as my little man continues to grow old gracefully.