Any change in our pet’s behavior causes a reason for concern. For many of us, our pets define our sense of happiness, pleasure, and comfort. So, the sudden realization that our furry friends are in any kind of discomfort or distress causes our hearts to flutter. We consider if we need to go to the veterinarian.
Kennel cough is a respiratory infection caused by an infectious agent. Here we are going to show you what the common symptoms of this canine cough include and what the clinical signs look like. But most importantly, what you can do naturally to help your coughing dog and ways to prevent kennel cough.
What is Kennel Cough?
Often distinguished by a dry, hacking noise, almost like a choking sensation, this cough can be easily identified. In the medical community, the condition is referred to more formally as infectious tracheobronchitis. This respiratory disease is highly contagious and rapidly spreads among congregated dogs in any area. Like all respiratory infections, the causative organisms can be transferred from one canine to another in an instant.
Certain conditions such as canine distemper, canine respiratory coronavirus, pneumonia, whooping cough, and canine parainfluenza virus can predispose a dog to kennel cough resulting in a secondary bacterial infection. The method of spreading can easily be understood when compared to the ways the common cold is spread among humans-through the spreading of microscopic droplets. This occurs through contact with infected secretions through inhalation or direct contact with surfaces that have been contaminated.
Likewise, because infectious tracheobronchitis results in excessive coughing, infected dogs spread the disease through spreading air and saliva in the direction of other dogs within their vicinity. Additionally, the infection is known to live for days on objects such as toys and water dishes.
Kennel Cough Symptoms
An animal with infectious tracheobronchitis will display signs and symptoms that will require prompt attention. It typically takes between 4 to 10 days for the symptoms to appear in dogs. Promptly calling your conscientious veterinarian is crucial if you suspect Kennel Cough; the symptoms are relatively similar to more serious diseases such as Canine Influenza or Distemper.
Some common kennel cough symptoms of the disease include:
- Persistent, strong cough often with a “honking-like” sound
- Abnormally wet or runny nose
- Low fever
- Loss of appetite
A dog having a mild form of the kennel cough infection may only present with a non-mucus producing cough, and they may still retain their energy and usual personality. However, animals with more advanced forms of the disease are likely to have a change in overall demeanor and present with some or all of the additional signs and symptoms mentioned.
As pet owners, we are responsible for identifying changes in our animals even if they are the slightest changes. Promptly identifying issues with our pets will stop the increase of intensity of an infection, and will stop the spread of a highly transmissible condition such as this one.
Natural Treatments and Prevention
So, your dog has infectious tracheobronchitis. Now what, you shall ask?
First of all, make every effort not to irritate your dog’s respiratory passages any more than they already are irritated. Strong smelling cleaning chemicals, perfumes, odiferous dryer sheets, smoke, anything with a strong odor is likely to create more discomfort for your best friend. Be mindful of what is in their environment. Dogs and most animals have such a keen sense of smell that strong odors are magnified significantly.
Although there is a medication out there for the treatment of almost everything, it is important to start with identifying what our dog’s lifestyle is like. Is he or she overall healthy?
Natural kennel cough treatment can include:
1) Herbal products. Most food markets and pet food supply stores have these.
2) Honey. Not only does honey soothe the throat, but it also contains disinfectant properties that fight infection. It acts as an antibacterial agent that reduces inflammation.
3) Coconut Oil. These supplements fight bacteria, microbes, fungus, parasites, and other types of infection. It can be considered an all-around infection-fighting agent. Adding a teaspoon per 10 pounds (with a gradual increase in dose) and double the dose given if an infection has occurred.
4) Honey with Coconut Oil. Both natural ingredients work together well. Both infection eliminators can work together to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Better yet-Both taste great!
Next, we identify some of the most critical aspects of an overall healthy dog-their diet, condition of their immune system, and environment.
The significance of a proper diet is surely not to go unnoticed. Not only will our pups stay healthy, but they will also be less likely to catch diseases. Dogs need consistently fed food; switching back and forth is not suitable for their body. Diet is the foundation of health for our 4-legged critters. Keeping a balanced diet is essential to make sure they reach their nutritional requirements.
Dogs are omnivorous animals and require a combination of meat and vegetables in their diet. The best diet you can feed your dog is a specie specific diet. Dogs in the wild eat other animals, raw not cooked food and they eat the bones, the cartilage, and in particular the organs and glands. A premium raw food diet provides the true nutrition needed for building a strong immune system. Hence, the natural resistance to disease and illness.
Immune System Health
The immune system is our body’s initial line of defense against illnesses and pathogens of all kinds. Similar to that of a person, the immune system of animals is important to keep healthy.
More importantly, for any immunocompromised animal, they should be kept away from large groups of animals. They also will require their own equipment and supplies, such as toys, bowls, and bedding, especially when exposed to a dog-populated area. Some of the ways to help our pets have a robust immune system within them include:
- Specie specific raw diet
- Proper essential nutrients, minerals, omega’s
- Keep their weight within the recommended range
- Regular exercise and oriented to the needs of specific breeds
- Fresh, clean, filtered or spring water
- Keeping stress at a minimum
The compromising of the dog’s respiratory tract is due to environmental exposure and stressors. For this reason, some of the everyday stressors can be due to travel, cold temperatures, living in or housed in crowded areas, pollutants such as cigarette smoke or dust, or circulating viruses of any kind. As with all pollutants and stressors, it is vital for overall health, and the health of specifically the respiratory tract, to avoid as much as possible.
Our animal’s lifestyle is also another important factor to consider when avoiding and preventing diseases like infectious tracheobronchitis.
In addition, one of the questions each owner faces is this: If I am not home, should I hire a pet sitter or take care of him or her or board at kennel or doggy daycare?
Well, as there are pros and cons to everything, this decision is just the same. Frequent exposure to other animals or regularly being in tighter vicinities with other dogs significantly increases the chances of exposure and spreading of disease and infection among the animals. No matter the precautions that are taken, transmission can happen.
An important point to consider is leaving your dog at home with a pet sitter, if possible. Being able to do this eliminates the likelihood of being exposed to transmittable infections. This way, each owner has greater control of what and who our pets are exposed to. Most animals/dogs would much rather be at home in their familiar surroundings with the comforting smells of mom or dad or there other buddies.
Boarding and doggy daycare can put enormous stress on an animal, and often goes completely unnoticed.
Additional factors to consider include the size of the area our dog has. Is he or she tightly in a cage beside another or free to run around?
Our Final Verdict
Each of us shares the goal of desiring fewer trips to the vet, and none if all possible. Taking precautions and keeping your pet at home is one way to give them their own space, away from other animals.
But, when all efforts fail and your pet has come down with the infective Kennel Cough Disease, early detection, and natural treatments is essential. Our furry friends will be on the road to recovery and will once again become the healthy pups they are!
Is canine adenovirus the same as kennel cough? It’s not the same but can be a cause of kennel cough
Is the infection caused by a bacterial infection? It is caused by the bordetella bacterium
Is nasal discharge one of the symptoms of an affected dog? Yes it can be one of the symptoms
Is a vaccinated dog more protected from respiratory disease? Not necessarily. Over vaccinated dogs have a weaker immune system which leads to more susceptibility. Proper nutrition through a specie specific diet and a strong immune system are the number one