When Should a Dog Take Cough Suppressants?

 |  Apr 4th 2008  |   0 Contributions

My mom passed away recently and I inherited her 12-
year-old Chihuahua. Pepi has a heart
murmur and she has been on Hycodan for the cough.
I found out that this drug is no longer being
manufactured. Do you know of any other meds that
she can take in place of it? She is also on
enalapril and furosemide. Thanks.

Indianapolis, IN

First, let me say that I am sorry that you lost your mother.

12-year-old Chihuahuas with heart murmurs most often have a leaky valve in the heart. This can lead to fluid buildup in the lungs. The fluid causes coughing.

You mention that Pepi takes three medications. Hycodan is a cough suppressant related to morphine. There are several similar medicines. Some contain codeine (which is also related to morphine). Others contain a medicine that is similar to Robitussin. However, you should not give Pepi any of these medicines without first consulting your veterinarian.

The other two medicines you mention, furosemide and enalapril, treat heart conditions. A heart condition is most likely causing the coughing. You many want assess whether her heart problems could be treated more effectively. This can be done by having a vet take X-rays and perform an ultrasound.

If Pepi's heart condition is treated effectively, Pepi may not need any cough suppressant whatsoever.


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