Sorry, I just read your post. It's so hard to know just what to do when a pup is so small. It just breaks your heart. You're doing so much to make his life easier. God bless you!Hi Everyone,
First post on the forums (hello everyone!). I've come here because I was hoping to get some advice...
Our dog Soondol (see my signature) is almost 12 and has gone through a lot of challenges (had surgery 5 years ago for a luxating patella for example) but we are having a very hard time lately. He has CHF/heart murmur, separation anxiety, and a collapsed trachea. About 3 years ago, we were able to help calm him during a rough coughing episode by holding him in a sitting position, snout tucked in a bit, along with Metacam and Hycodin to help relieve his symptoms. This would help calm him and eased the physical weight on his body. Prior to us figuring out what he had, going to the vet, diagnosing the problem, and getting the medication, he'd cough for hours straight and then stop out of exhaustion. Thankfully, it took about a few weeks but he was able to steadily recover. We gave him some Throat Gold as well, which really seemed to help. In due course, he was able to recover.
Soondol is not overweight, no one smokes, we don't use a collar on him, and, when things are normal, eats quite well (his mommy, who is an excellent chef, prepares meals for him as he's picky and needs a good food diet for his health)
Unfortunately, due to some bad timing, humid weather, and luck, he's going through another bout of the collapsed trachea. We have tried what we did in the past without success and almost 3 weeks in, it feels like he is getting worse. Soondol is quite light (about 2.8 kilos) and based on his weight, he's supposed to have 2.5 ml of the Hycodin every 6-8 hours. Given his heart, we tried starting him at 2.0 ml every 6-8 hours when he would have a coughing episode and after the first week, he seemed to get better, but got worse. Now, it seems we give him 1 ml every 3 hours or so and at times, even this is not enough to suppress his cough. We will sit with him to help calm him for hours on end. Sometimes, he can go for 5-6 hours without coughing but it's hard to see any progress and it seems like the medication barely works now. At night, it's been very hard, as for the past few days, he wakes up every 2-3 hours and requires us holding him and letting him fall asleep along the side of a pillow when he's "done" his coughing fit.
We don't expect him to live forever and we will do the right thing when the time comes but at times, it seems like a Jekyll/Hyde situation, where he is completely normal and then starts coughing and it goes downhill. I truly believe he still has life in him (he still loves his chicken snacks, although with the medication he is on, he's not eating his dinner as much as he used to [being picky] ) still wags his tail, still wants to go outside, still shows us his tummy and wants to be near us. I believe the medication he is on is making it harder for him to eat regularly (he seems dizzy c/o the Hycodin at times) but I truly feel he is not done yet...
I expect that it will be worse at night and I know I have to break the coughing cycle so his throat can heal, but we are at a loss of what to do. I'm trying to keep him indoors as much as possible at a comfortable temperature with the A/C on. We also ordered some CBD oil in the hopes that it will help him relax and ease any pain (I can't imagine how any creature would feel coughing for hours on end) and it will arrive soon but I'm just wondering if there is anything else we can try to help him not cough. If I can stop the coughing or minimize it, his throat will heal and he could get better, but we're at our wits end and our vet, as a generalist, seems limited in her ability to help. We give him some organic honey to help soothe his throat.
I wrote a lot but any advice or suggestions would be wonderful and sincerely appreciated.