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Lulu has had collapsing trachea for several years, but now it's gotten pretty bad. For a few days she had been coughing more often and harsher. Mostly it seemed to be worse between 4:00am to 7:00am (would love any insight on that one). The cough turned from a cough that sounded like her heart pressing on her bronchial tube to that honking sound of the collapsing trachea cough. I would get up and feed her a snack and give her a 1/4 tab lasix and that would seem to help for a few days leading me to think fluid for a bit, but yesterday she started these terrible coughing gags she couldn't stop--terribly harsh--sounded like they should really hurt her throat. I called the vet, and she had an episode while I was on the phone with him--he said sounded like collapsing trachea and he put her on an antibiotic and called her in a tussin cough medicine until I could get to his office today to pick up a script for narcotic cough med--he didn't have any in his office at the moment. He said if this didn't help the next step would be steroid which is not ideal for CHF but may be a neccessity. I'm really afraid we may have to use the steroid, and I'm not looking forward to it. She back to picky eating.
So heartbreaking to helplessly watch and listen to these coughing episodes!! Any suggestions please?!
 

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Lulu has had collapsing trachea for several years, but now it's gotten pretty bad. For a few days she had been coughing more often and harsher. Mostly it seemed to be worse between 4:00am to 7:00am (would love any insight on that one). The cough turned from a cough that sounded like her heart pressing on her bronchial tube to that honking sound of the collapsing trachea cough. I would get up and feed her a snack and give her a 1/4 tab lasix and that would seem to help for a few days leading me to think fluid for a bit, but yesterday she started these terrible coughing gags she couldn't stop--terribly harsh--sounded like they should really hurt her throat. I called the vet, and she had an episode while I was on the phone with him--he said sounded like collapsing trachea and he put her on an antibiotic and called her in a tussin cough medicine until I could get to his office today to pick up a script for narcotic cough med--he didn't have any in his office at the moment. He said if this didn't help the next step would be steroid which is not ideal for CHF but may be a neccessity. I'm really afraid we may have to use the steroid, and I'm not looking forward to it. She back to picky eating.
So heartbreaking to helplessly watch and listen to these coughing episodes!! Any suggestions please?!
Sounds like our experience. We didn't know if it was heart or trachea. They gave us hydrocodone. She takes it twice a day. It's been controlling the cough for weeks. Never progressed to the steroid. My girl also has pulmonary hypertension with her CHF so your mileage may vary.

I hope Lulu recovers quickly without steroids. It's heartbreaking to be unable to help while they struggle. I know the feeling. You're doing the best you can. Take good care of yourself, too.

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Thanks so much for your response. It helps to talk with others that can give advice and give me an idea of what I might expect. It was hard for me to know that her cough had morphed from enlarged heart pressing on bronchial tube to collapsing tracheal issue. I know that sounds strange--it even annoys me with myself, but it is confusing when your dealing with it. As bad as yesterday evening was, today had been OK. She has barely coughed, thank goodness, and when she does, I can help her get it under control quickly. I don't know if what I do really works, but I try anyway.
 

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Thanks so much for your response. It helps to talk with others that can give advice and give me an idea of what I might expect. It was hard for me to know that her cough had morphed from enlarged heart pressing on bronchial tube to collapsing tracheal issue. I know that sounds strange--it even annoys me with myself, but it is confusing when your dealing with it. As bad as yesterday evening was, today had been OK. She has barely coughed, thank goodness, and when she does, I can help her get it under control quickly. I don't know if what I do really works, but I try anyway.
Sometimes I want to freak out but I don't have time for it. This CHF situation is always changing. I have to adapt. I'll freak out later (although I came pretty close to freaking with her first syncope). It is good to meet others who understand.

When the scary cough started, there were long breaks in between. When it became hours of coughing, the cardiologist had me pick up the hydrocodone from them.

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Oh have mercy!! Health issues with our pups are surely testing--no matter what the issue is. We have those on the site with many different issues. None are easy to face and deal with. Sure is nice to have others to talk with so you don't feel so alone!
 

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Zarita also has collapsing trachea. She gets hydrocodone for severe coughing. I haven't had to use it for months. Her current problems are more orthopedic than CHF. The ascites (fluid collection in abdomen) is also worrisome, but not worse for months now.
 

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This gives me hope then that the collapsing trachea issue can be an off and on thing and not a progressively worse thing. She's better than she was Monday after a few days on antibiotic. The biggest problem is that she can go hours during the day without hearing a peep. Her worst time seems to be 2:30 in the morning to around 7am! Makes my husband and I want to scream!!
 

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Tina, can you try and give her her medicine at bedtime, or do you do that. Zarita gets her heart medication at about 10am and 10:30pm. She does not cough much at all. Does Lulu take lasix? (furosemide) I give Zarita that in the am. She does a lot of coughing first thing when waking up. Lasts maybe 5 minutes. Sort of 'clearing stuff up'. How often does lulu cough during the early am hours? Does she sleep with you, or in your room? I hope lulu gets past this for your sakes as well as hers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Lulu gets her meds at 7am and 7 pm. I could change the time I give meds to 8 and 8 or even possibly 9 and 9, but I hate to make it any later in case I have to go somewhere in the morning, and I have to leave before 9am. She gets 1/2 tab lasix, 1/2 tab enalapril, 1/2 tab pimobendan, and 1/2 tab tumil-k at both med times. When she starts that coughing around 2-3am I will feed her a snack because for some reason that helps and give her a 1/4 tab lasix. That had been helping until this past Monday when the sound, harshness, and frequency of the cough changed. That's what I'm hoping to get back under control with the antibiotic. What worried me was thinking this was going to get progressively worse or stay this way. Hopefully it may ease up.
 

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I think it would be OK to give Lulu her 2nd medicine dose as late as 10-10:30 pm. Even if you gave her 'first dose' at 7 or 8 am. Try it and see. I have 'forgotten' Zaritas medication and given it to her at 12:30 AM and she does fine! She doesn't cough much though. Mostly in the am after waking up.
 
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