How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Andy Your Own Question
Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30274
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Andy is online now

what can I give my lovely 19 year old (ageing and rapidly declining)

This answer was rated:

what can I give my lovely 19 year old (ageing and rapidly declining) dog to ease her pain and discomfort, with a sore mouth condition that has the following symptoms, PLEASE?
large red extra gum growth protruding out across bottom of one side of her mouth,
blocked nose, a bad taste in her mouth, phlegm that she cannot clear, a closing of her throat and coughing.
I will try anything just to have her have a comfortable last week at home with us!
Many thanks!
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern.
Honestly, there are some very good pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications that your vet could prescribe that might help Molly greatly.

The only over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory I recommend in dogs (NOT CATS) is aspirin. Due to potential toxicity issues if not dosed correctly, many veterinarians do not consider Tylenol, Ibuprofen (Advil), and Aleve safe.
You can give 10mg per pound of body weight up to every 12 hours. Just remember, there are different pill sizes for aspirin, so look to see if it is regular strength or maximum strength.
Aspirin can be upsetting to the stomach, so discontinue if any digestive upset and definitely consult a vet if not helpful. Sometimes giving some Pepcid A.C. antacid 1 hour beforehand can be helpful.
Pepcid A.C. (famotidine) comes in 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg tablets.
You can give it every 12 hours. You can give 0.5mg per pound of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog would get 10mg.

***Do not give aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication if your pet is already on prednisone or any other anti-inflammatory medication***
Severe stomach and intestinal ulcers can result from giving a pet aspirin, tylenol or ibuprofen when they are also on medications like Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Prednisone, Metecam, Zubrin, and Previcox***

Also, Molly might greatly benefit from some pulse antibiotic therapy. That is, when an antibiotic is used for about 7-10 days, then you stop for a week, and restart for a week. Over and over. It helps to keep any infection in the mouth to a minimum.

I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select the tab, REPLY TO EXPERT, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Prior to leaving, please remember to select the RATE TO FINISH tab to provide a feedback rating, which I greatly appreciate so I am recognized by Justanswer for responding. My goal is to provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you! your advice has been great and very helpful, but not quite the answer I was looking for. we are beyond vets, as she is a dying dog, who the vets can do no more for now, beyond putting her to sleep, which will be done in the next week, but rather hoping that she will go peacefully and pain free at home with those that love her. but, I still want to give her some relief all the same! what HUMAN drugs or HERBAL remedies would you deem to be safe enough for the limited time that she has!??

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Often, dogs do not go peacefully. Hate to say it. Many will suffer for several days to weeks!

I really don't think we have the necessary over the counter therapies to help with these severe symptoms. Wish we did.

I think euthanasia would really be a fair decision in light of her discomfort and difficulties. Not the type of answer I like to give, but I just don't have anything else over the counter that will really help.

Dr. Andy
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

will vicks vapour rub on the end of her nose cause her any pain or suffering, used over a few days? and the same with using difflam spray please? in either your medical opinion or from known case studies if possible. I am looking to resolve the situation with our poor little dog as soon as possible, which I knew had to be done already. please help! x


I will pay the £11 charge as I am very happy with the service and the very clear attempts at trying to help me but I feel it would have helped more if the more direct answer could have been satisfied.


many thanks for your time and your excellent knowledge!

Yes. It could. If licked off it may actually cause salivating or nausea.
I don't think it would be of benefit.

The direct answer is that in my experience i do not truly believe either of these therapies would be of benefit.

You could try steam therapy or nebulization. So, you have her in a room with a shower. Turn shower on really hot to cause room to steam up. That might help to loosen some secretions in the nose. Or, you could use some sterile eye irrigation in the nose. Essentially, taking a few drops of sterile saline in dropping into the nose to help loosen mucous.

Not sure if will help or not, but only other suggestion I can throw out there.
Dr. Andy
I hope everything is going okay. May I be of any further assistance? I was not sure if my answer was satisfactory.