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Gracie STILL coughing :(

August 30th, 2007, 04:05 PM
I work at a pet store as a groomer, they sell puppies (which I don't agree with) and I never would buy one from them.

However, they got 3 'supposedly' chihuahua/ cavalier cross puppies in from the US, 2 large males and a tiny little female. When they got her off the plane she was barely alive. They discovered that she has a collapsed trachea (apparently she got crushed by the larger pups in transit, not sure if that's true or not as I know these breeds are succeptible to trachea problems) and had other health issues as well, bacterial infection, coccidia (sp?) very undernourished, dehyrated, ingrown eyelashes... etc. They were not going to sell her and would have just put her down if someone hadn't taken her, so me being a sucker, I took her in.

She's doing MUCH better now, has put on weight, is very active and is a real doll. :lovestruck: Everyone loves her to bits.
Unfortunately, she has/is costing me a LOT of money in vet bills. The most recent issue she had was coughing a LOT. The vet diagnosed her with kennel cough and she was put on 1.3mL of Cefadroxil 2x a day for 14 days. I followed the instructions to the letter and it's been about 20 days now. I stopped the meds after day 14 because it was obviously not helping. Since then the cough has gotten worse not better, she doesn't do it all the time though but it is especially bad at night and sometimes I'm scared that she can't breathe. Other than that she seems perfectly healthy albiet a little runty. She is 6 mos old and weighs 3 lbs.

Do you think this is more of a trachea issue and what would you suggest I do? I am loathe to take her back to the vet for MORE tests and meds which she may or may not need and which I can barely afford.
It is odd to me that the meds didn't work which makes me think it's a trachea thing but on the other hand, it does not get worse when she's active and is especially bad at night. :confused:

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

August 30th, 2007, 06:17 PM
I would try a cough suppresent like tussigan, to help her with the coughing. I would also think about taking her to a specialist. or if your vet does this, have them look deeply down her throat, i think they put a little camera down there. AMber

August 30th, 2007, 11:00 PM
Thanks Amber... what is this tussigan stuff? Do you get it from a vet? I'd be leery of using it though, what if she NEEDS to cough, to clear her lungs or something? I really need to know WHY she is coughing first I think...

August 30th, 2007, 11:05 PM
I would try a cough suppresent like tussigan, to help her with the coughing. I would also think about taking her to a specialist. or if your vet does this, have them look deeply down her throat, i think they put a little camera down there. AMber

Check with your vet first before administering any human medications. You could very well harm your dog more. Even though I know it is expensive, I think another vet visit is required. Keep us posted.

August 30th, 2007, 11:22 PM
Thank you, yes I most likely will be making yet another trip to the vet's, hopefully I won't have to pay for an examination fee again (58 bucks) since the problem was not fixed from the first diagnosis.
I guess I was just hoping someone would be familiar with this type of problem and could give me some insight. I'm starting to feel like she is never going to be healthy or that I won't be able to afford her many health issues... :cry:
I will keep you posted though! :thumbs up

August 31st, 2007, 12:01 AM
You could also try a second opinion. How long was she supposed to be on the meds? Stopping prior to the prescription running out could cause a resistance to that med. Has she had x-rays to see if there is any damage/abnormality to her trachea?

and where's the pics of the wee one? we all want to see your :lovestruck:

August 31st, 2007, 07:26 PM
I agree with Growler. Even if the meds did not appear to be working, one should NEVER and I mean NEVER NEVER NEVER stop antibiotics until the time is ended!!! Even if she has other meds, she should complete the ones she was taking or she is opening her tiny frail body to more infections and a resistance to antibiotics she can ill afford.

I would see the vet again or get a second opinion and not administer her any human meds until you know what exactly the problem is and unless a vet agrees. While it's true that many of our human meds can help animals, only a vet has the background and proper credentials to be able to assess an animal and determine the best medication for your dog. I do research in pediatric pain control and when I wanted to help my own kitten - and I well understood the biochemitry of cats but am NOT a vet - I consulted with my vet before administering a medication I had to her in minute amounts. I am hopeful that given the amt that it may not hurt her to have ended this particular course of antibiotics but in the future, make sure she completes each and every one of them. They may have been doing some good - even if she was not improving. We can often ascertain more by taking vital signs and blood work than by looking at a dog. That would tell you if she was improving.

You of course know your dog - and you are her angel for taking her in!! I hope the vet will ultimately find what the problem is. There is an organization ( who help people who need assistance with vet bills and whole you have to provide all the info they desire and work see a vet who works with them (your just might), they do good work!!! I myself donate to them - usually "adopting" a particular animal who needs help and the family jeeps me updating on how their pet is doing. They fund everything from fip and diabetes in cats to hip problems in dogs and cancer in many animals.

Good luck!!!! :grouphug:

September 7th, 2007, 11:42 AM
Thank you for your responses...
I guess I wasn't very clear... the meds were prescribed for 14 days and I followed them to the letter, she had the whole dosage. I just had extra left over from the vet because of a screw up on their part... which I'm finding is quite typical for them unfortunately.

I took her back, the original vet was not in and she was seen by someone else who supposedly had been updated on everything. They did chest x-rays and took a throat swab. The x-rays showed lungs as clear, the results are not back from the swab yet. They also found that she has ingrown eyelashes on her left eye and suggested surgery. And put her on anti-biotic eye drops for that. I questioned the safeness of doing surgery since she has a collapsing trachea and the new vets response was, 'oh she has that? I didn't know that!' Well... DUH!!!! :frustrated: Um why do you think I asked you if the cough could be caused by that?? She was supposed to get back to me on the riskiness of surgery and a quote on the price of said surgery AND results of the swab AND what should we do next for the cough... but she didn't. I phoned yesterday and left a message but still nothing. :mad: GRRRRR. So now I'm out ANOTHER $350 (which I REALLY can't afford) and I STILL don't know what the coughing problem is!! :wall: :confused: :mad: :yell:

This vet's office is waaaay too busy and WAAAAAYYYY too expensive and there seems to be a huge lack of communication amongst the people who work there.

The original vet is back today, I will try and get the results of the swab from her but then I'm going somewhere else I think. If it's safe I would like to get the eye surgery done and maybe spaying at the same time, but not by them.

Is it possible to get her file from them, does anyone know? I paid for all that info, I should be entitled to it, shouldn't I?

Does anyone have any info on the eyelash problem? The second vet mentioned that it could be relieved by just trimming the offending hairs but didn't seem to think that was the way to go, probably because that means less money for them... :frustrated: As a groomer I'm pretty used to messing around close to dogs eyes with scissors so I know I could do it myself, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or experience with that.

Again thanks for all the help and suggestions, Gracie sends big... well little kisses!

P.S. I will try and figure out how to post a pic of her...

September 7th, 2007, 12:42 PM
Chloe sorry for eveything you are going through! I dont really like my vet either!! long story! I just wanted to say that I know someone at work thats parents have a small bischin frise (I think) and it had ingrown eyelashes as well...they had the sounded like all was well...there was one problem after a few years and they just redid it again a few months ago. but I think it was a better option that the infections and discomfort for the puppy! I imagine it will be costly?? I think he said it was done by lazer?? Best of Luck!


September 7th, 2007, 02:00 PM
How frustrating for you, and especially for the little one. I have no suggestions for you other than if you are unhappy with your vet, it's probably a good time to change. I'm surprised at the many posters that have bad experiences with veterinary practices, as I have had nothing but positives at my clinic. I have sent you a PM of where/who my vet is, as we are in the same area, if you want to try mine and don't have any other suggestions. I hope you get this all figured out, I know from experience how hard it is to see your furbabys ill.:sad:

September 7th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Get this:
When I phoned for the swab results today they seemed kind of cranky, she told me the results weren't in yet (how long does it take to get throat swab results for crumb's sake??) and THEN went on to tell me that Gracie was booked for eye surgery this morning and how come I didn't show up? She was really annoyed!

I told her I most definitely did NOT book any surgeries and in fact had been waiting for them to tell me if it was even safe for her to have surgery and also a quote. She just said 'oh' and hung up! I really can't believe this... it just gets more ridiculous by the moment. *shakes head sadly*

PS Finally I figured out how to post a pic... here she is!! :lovestruck: :lovestruck: :lovestruck:

September 8th, 2007, 12:50 AM
Is it possible to get her file from them, does anyone know? I paid for all that info, I should be entitled to it, shouldn't I?

Yes you are entitled to a COPY of the file (I have previously asked & gotten a full copy of :rip: :dog: Cally's file after I adopted him - stayed with the same Vet cuz she was great but I wanted to know what had gone on before I got him) but they will not give you the original. When you choose a new vet tell them who the current one is & to expect a file from them, then you call the office of the current one & ask them to forward her file to new vet, give them the fax # of new vet, the current one usually won't look it up for you :rolleyes:.

glad you could post a pic of the wee cutie :cloud9:

keep us posted on her progress :)

September 10th, 2007, 08:30 AM
How is Gracie doing? Did you finally get the results of the swab back?

September 11th, 2007, 03:29 PM
OK finally got the results back!
They said she has a bacterial infection in her throat that is similiar to kennel cough but is NOT kennel cough. They prescribed Baytril for the infection and Tussionex for a cough suppressant. So let's hope it works!!:fingerscr

They also had me scheduled AGAIN for the eye surgery... :rolleyes:I told them in no uncertain terms could I afford that for her right now, so please stop booking it! I actually went ahead and plucked the offending hairs out, I thought I'd try one just to see what she'd do and she never even flinched... so away they went!! It's only a temporary solution but it works for right now. I can see an improvement already, she has stopped squinting with that eye. I'm not advocating that other people should try it either, it was mentioned by the vet as a possible solution (though I'm sure they never expected ME to do it!). I just have a lot of experience messing around with dogs faces and have very steady hands. So don't try it unless you know what you're doing!!

September 11th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Wow, they really wanted to get that surgery done eh? I'm glad to hear that you finally got something concrete back from the vet, and hopefully she will be on her way to health. Kudos to you for being brave enough to pluck those eyelashes, I know I would NEVER try that....and like you said, most people shouldn't. Gracie is sure a sweetie-pie by the way, I forgot to mention that before. Good luck with her! :fingerscr