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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our Chi is about 10 years old. Recently he's developed this terrible hacking cough--he wheezes about 3-4 times and then has this hacking cough like he's trying to clear his airway. It sounds awful and I feel so bad for him but don't know what's going on or what to do to help him. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Please get this pup to the vet ASAP! It sounds as if he could/might has congestive heart failure. Medication can offer help. Please! Sue
 

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Susan is right on. Our boy had congestive heart failure and that was the first sign. Once we got him in, we were able to get him on heart medication and a diuretic to get that fluid off of his lungs. The sooner it is found/diagnosed the better.
Please keep us posted!
 

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We took the advice here and got our pup to a vet. They put him on Lasix and Enalapril. He improved for a period of time but he still struggles. We don't think he does well on the Enalapril. The vet said he has an enlarged heart and he also had fluid. The medication seemed to help the fluid problem but he still coughs and seems to really be fighting at times. We have a tom cat that is 5 times bigger than our Chi and they have always been friends. The cat watches over him like a guardian. I think he truly senses our pup is not doing well.
 

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I'm sorry about your pup. My 9 yr old chi lived 9 months on medication. Vet only gave her 6 months, so she did OK. You have to see how many days are 'good' days (not so much effort coughing) and those days that are worse. When the worse days out number the good days, well then you have to think about what to do. I euthanized my girl because of the unrelentless coughing. Sue
 

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Aww porr baby :( Hope he gets better with the meds soon
Just out of interest, How does the coughing sound?
 

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Have you had a heartworm test done as well? Has he been on routine heartworm prevention? Heartworms can migrate to the lungs as well in dogs at different points in the life cycle.
 

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You have described our journey EXACTLY! ****'s heart was very, very enlarged and the coughing was him trying to clear the fluid from his lungs. He did very well on Lasix and Enalipril. Sorry that your little one is not doing well with the medicine and that you are dealing with this.
Like the others, I can relate to your struggle.
 

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Can this happen to young chi's too? Miya is 3 months, she has a hacking cough from time to time, I thot it was just her not chewing her food enough...I will get her to the vet just in case.
 

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My 1 year old started doing this too, 1 month ago. It's raining since 1 month, so I thought it was just a cold. Since 2 days he doesn't cough no more. Should I still go to the vet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes he has been tested for heart worms and he tested ok.

Guccigrande......his coughing is a repeated wheezing until he finally has a last gasp that almost sounds like he's choking. He's always had a heart murmur since a young age and has developed an enlarged heart according to x-rays taken. My concern is that the medication he is on does not seem to be helping that much. My wife stopped the Enalapril medication because it made his cough worse and gave him diaharea. We're just wondering if there is anything else that can be done.

Susan Davis.....you said your pup lived 9 months on the medication. What medication was it? Was it for the same condition? Did the medication reduce the wheezing and coughing?

I feel he's suffering and if the meds were controlling the symptoms that would be one thing but I don't know if they are. It could very well be that without the meds he would actually get worse but of course we aren't going to stop giving him the meds unless the Vet advises us to.

Just wondering if anyone has anything more to add to this dilemma. Are there other meds that perhaps may be more beneficial for this condition?

Thanks in advance for any help/suggetions

Tim
 

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My dog was on the Lasix and Enalapril and pimobendan. It was for congestive heart faillure I think they just kept the heart function where it was, it didn't improve. The coughing at the end got to me. The meds did not help that. I have asthma and I think the coughing and gagging just reminded me of the asthma. I finally euthanized her at the 9 month period. She had already surpassed the 6 months the cardiologist had 'given' her. Good luck on this boy. I know you will do whatever you have to do to make his life more comfy. have you seen a cardiologist? They may give you more options. Sue Davis
 

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Can this happen to young chi's too? Miya is 3 months, she has a hacking cough from time to time, I thot it was just her not chewing her food enough...I will get her to the vet just in case.
My 1 year old started doing this too, 1 month ago. It's raining since 1 month, so I thought it was just a cold. Since 2 days he doesn't cough no more. Should I still go to the vet?
Congestive heart failure is relatively rare in young dogs. Most often with chis it is "reverse sneezing" which sounds sort of like a honking cough. There are some videos on you tube so you can see what this looks and sounds like. It usually doesn't require medical treatment. Allergies can make it worse. It scared me to death the first time my dog did it so I can understand why you would worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know you will do whatever you have to do to make his life more comfy. have you seen a cardiologist? They may give you more options. Sue Davis
Yes we are doing whatever we can for him but we have not taken him to a cardiologist, just his vet. It's really hard to watch him when he has those coughing spells because you just feel so helpless. We have considered the routine options--spending $$$$ or letting this run it's course. He's over 10 and he's always had heart problems. I think it's just finally catching up to him and there's not a whole lot we can do except make him as comfortable as we can.
 

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It sounds like he could have congestive heart failure. My 11 1/2 year old skippy is dying right now. Vet said she thought he might have VHF have him a shot to make sure it wasn't an infection. Then he started having seizures. He can't breath now think his lungs are full of fluid. I'm going to miss him so much he's my son not just a pet.


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Just wondering if your chi looks like he put on weight. That was one of the first signs besides the gagging skippy was doing. It's fluid building up I just thought he had put a little weight on.


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unfortunately our Chi is no longer with us. He got so bad that his breathing was very labored and he started having episodes where he would just collapse on the floor, like his heart just stopped beating. This was so hard for us to see this happening and on top of that, he couldn't breath at night and was always sitting up in bed trying to breath and then he would start hacking until he had this one big cough and all was good--but it didn't last very long and he was right back at it.

Unfortunately, with these kinds of forums either there wasn't very many other people experiencing this same behavior or if they were they simply were not responding to our questions. Our Chi got so bad that we finally made the painful decision of euthanizing him.
 

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My skippy passed this morning. I miss him so much but am glad he's not suffering. Now I have to deal with my little girl who has kidney problems. She's seven and I have to give her subcutaneous fluids twice a day. I hope I can keep her going but we've almost lost her a couple of times.


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I'm so sorry for both of your losses. It's never easy when anyone loses one of their beloved pets. There are not as many older chis ( I would say 5+ yrs or older) on this forum as there are young ones. That may be why there are not as many who have experienced this particular illness to give advice. I certainly will be remembering both of you and am grateful you have lots of wonderful memories.
 
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