Nellie Belle will be 10 in August. That's not too old for a chihuahua because life expectancy is about 16 or more years. Nellie started hobbling on 3 legs and developed a cough that sounded very similar to a cat trying to bring up a hairball. So, being the good mom that I am, we went to the vet. Nellie was all happy to be going bye-bye in the car (she loooves going for rides).
*Arthritis in her rear right leg
*Heart murmur. The cough is a classic symptom of heart murmur in canines.
The vet prescribed a pain killer for the arthritis to be taken as needed and Lasix for Nellie. The Lasix has eased her cough by removing fluids from around the heart. She drinks like a gazillion gallons of water and pees like a race horse but she is doing better. There is no cure for a heart murmur other than very expensive surgery and it was not offered for Nellie. On a scale of 1 to 6 with 6 being the most severe, Nellie's murmur is at a 4. We learned that even though she may still like to play like a puppy, we have to try to keep her from getting over stimulated. About 2 weeks ago, she was running the fence line while the neighbor was cutting his grass. She has done this for almost 10 years every time he cuts his grass. Now, the exercise is too strenuous for her and she fainted. I never heard of a dog fainting before and I rushed her to the vet and that's when I learned that even though our Belle-Belle is playful as a pup her health is fragile and she has to take it easy. A murmur can develop fast. Just a couple months ago she was at the vet in Florida and her heart sounded good. Nellie has become a bit picky with her food and treats but otherwise she is very playful and active.
I wasn't going to post about this but I decided so that if any of your fur babies has an innocuous sounding cough, you might want to get it checked out because there may be a more serious issue.