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Coughing and not eating chihuahua

Species: Dog
Breed: Chihuahua mix
Age: 2-5 years
My 3 year old chihuahua has been going downhill for about 2 weeks. Last week he began coughing and didnt want to eat. Here in Arizona the heat is unbearable so I kept him wet and gave him water everyday. This week has been stressful. He has lost a lot of weight, his eyes often times are swollen and shut with mucus and his panting has become more like a struggle to
Breath. I have given cocky some benadryl, water with a little pedialite in it and Fed him with a tube. Although his breathing problems come and go he is also very tired and lazy and he won't walk as much. I cannot afford a vet right now because my older dog recently died from
Cancer and the cancer treatments hurt my bank account. What can I do??


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, poor Cocky. He really sounds sick.

I'm really concerned that he has a serious virus such as distemper. Unfortunately if it is distemper it may be life threatening.

It is also possible that he has a very severe case of kennel cough (bordetella) which has progressed into pneumonia. But, kennel cough doesn't usually cause eye problems.

Cocky really does need to see a veterinarian. It sounds like, at minimum, he needs some antibiotics. Unfortunately he won't be able to get antibiotics without seeing a vet.

If you have some financial problems, this list of ways to help pay vet bills might be helpful.

Until you can get to the vet's you can try putting Cocky in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes to see if this will loosen up some of his congestion.

I wish I could give you more at home remedies, but I can't stress enough how important it is to have a vet see Cocky. It's possible that with some antibiotics he will start to recover. But, the longer we wait, the sicker he is going to become. This really doesn't sound like something he is going to get over on his own.

I really hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you so much for your information. I took cocky to the vet and he gave him some antibiotics for pneumonia and also thought it could be distemper but was not too sure. I started seeing though after the vet visit that cocky was dropping a lot of mucus from his nose. The color what somewhat yellow with a hint of red. Could that be because of the medication?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm glad to hear that he's on medication. Let's hope this is not distemper!

The medication really shouldn't cause any nasal discharge. It sounds like this is just part of the set of symptoms that he has.

I really hope he responds to his antibiotics!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.