Monday, September 22, 2014

Holistic Treatments for Canine Kennel Cough

Could we be next?
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel Cough is a very contagious canine respiratory disease, similar to the common cold in humans. It is also known as Tracheobronchitis and Bordetella.  As the name would lead you to believe it is inflammation of the trachea and bronchi and that "honking" sound they are making is the classic symptom.  It is usually contracted when dogs are in close contact, for example when they are at kennels, boarding facilities, shelters, dog parks or even the vet clinic. The most at risk are puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with compromised immune systems.  Even if your dog has been vaccinated it is still possible for them to contract kennel cough. 

Symptoms

  • Dry hacking cough is the most common symptom
  • Cough may sound like honking
  • Retching
  • Watery nasal discharge
  • In mild cases, dogs would likely be active and eating normally
  • In severe cases, symptoms progress and can include pneumonia, inappetence, fever, and lethargy 

The symptoms usually appear about 5-10 days after exposure to an infected dog, and can last for up to 3 weeks, though symptoms may improve considerably within a few days. It is thought that dogs can remain contagious for several weeks after symptoms clear up.

Diagnosis
Most often the diagnosis can be made by symptoms and pet history. However, blood test and bacterial cultures may be performed to determine what type of virus is causing the kennel cough.  

Treatment
  • Dogs with kennel cough should be isolated from other dogs.
  • Your vet will recommend treatment based on the severity of illness in your dog. Many dogs recover without treatment, so your dog may simply require monitoring to ensure the symptoms are not worsening
  • Supportive care is very important—be sure your dog is eating, drinking and in a stress-free environment.
  • Holistic treatments can help pets recover faster and feel better. Argentyn or Notatum and  Quentans to fight infection, Amazing Omegas to support the immune system, Power Probiotic, especially if antibiotics are used.  Since kennel cough can spread and cause pneumonia, it is essential to use supplements to support the dog's immune system.
  • A cough suppressant may be prescribed, and in some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to combat bacterial infections, but the supplements are most important since kennel cough is viral in nature. If your dog has symptoms such as fever, lethargy and loss of appetite, more intensive treatment will be recommended.
  • Avoid exposure to irritating fumes that could increase inflammation
  • Pressure from a collar can make kennel cough symptoms worse, so switching to a harness is recommended for the duration of the illness.
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