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My 11-yr-old spayed Chihuahua ha been diagnosed with an enlarged heart and has been on lasix for several months. She coughs terribly. Prescribed suppressants seemed ineffective. Robitussin DM has been suggested and tried temporarily, also mostly ineffective. Can you suggest anything else that could ease the coughing? Her appetite and elimination are good and she is active. The coughing seems to be less a bother to her than to me.

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Asked on May 27, 2021 8:41 pm
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This is a condition we face frequently at the Sanctuary. An enlarged heart, or cardiomyopathy, can cause coughing in multiple ways. The fact that the heart is not functioning at 100% can lead to fluid accumulating in the lungs. That is the purpose of the lasix, to help eliminate the fluid. We will often use another drug, enalapril, to decrease the after load on the heart and enhance circulation. This helps to prevent the fluid from building up in the lungs. The enlarged heart can also cause coughing by putting pressure on the trachea. For this we use butorphanol tablets, brand nam Torbutrol. We find this drug to be the most effective when used 3 times a day. We hope this helps.

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Posted by Dr. Gaylord Brown
Answered on May 28, 2021 6:38 pm