Safe HOMEOPATHIC AND TRADITIONAL Remedies for Kennel Cough
Aconitum napellus. Symptoms such as fever and sneezing come on rapidly, the mouth is dry despite drinking a lot of water, the animal seems anxious—pacing or clingy.
Ferrum phosphoricum. Low-grade fever with few other indications. May have "drippy" nose, hacking cough with some mucus production.
Full-blown Kennel Cough
There are a number of remedies that can be very useful at this stage.
Drosera rotundifolia. Spasmodic or paroxysmal coughing spells, cough sounds "deep," worse when lying down. There may be hoarseness and/or laryngitis, and the throat is very sensitive.
Bryonia alba. Dry cough, aggravated by motion or being carried, although better sitting sphinx-like. Tremendous thirst. Rapid shallow breathing, panting from pain.
Spongia tosta. Barking cough that sounds like sawing through wood; cough is better from lukewarm water and warm food.
Rumex crispus. Dry, spasmodic coughing, cough is worse from cold air, or touching the throat.
Ipecac. Coughing so violent, it ends in retching or even vomiting.
What if he's getting worse?
Old animals and those with chronic diseases have a much harder time getting through this disease. Kennel Cough is predominantly an upper respiratory disease, so if you hear mucus or rattling in the chest, this means the disease has progressed to the lungs and probably needs professional help. In the meantime, consider the following remedies:
Antimonium tartaricum. A lot of thick mucus in the lungs; the animal is already very weak from days of coughing and so has trouble raising the mucus.
Carbo vegetabilis. The dog is cold and exhausted. Cough is much worse at night. Cough in the morning brings up greenish mucus.
Phosphorus. When the cough has gone down to the chest, and the mucus is blood-tinged.
Whenever one of your animals gets sick, give them the same consideration and care you would give any other member of the family. Give them plenty of fresh water and nutritious food. If possible, experiment with temperature preferences (anything from ice cubes in the water, to lukewarm water). Quarantine them from other dogs (walks, playgroups, etc). Wash bedding regularly, clean surfaces and toys they play with. If they exhibit symptoms such as, "Desires to be alone," "Motion aggravates," or "Touch aggravates," keep young children away from them while they heal. If they are not getting better, get professional help.
You may wish to consult the following useful texts to learn more about the homeopathic care of animals:
• Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs, Don Hamilton, DVM
• The Homoeopathic Treatment of Small Animals, Christopher Day, DVM
• Dogs: Homeopathic Remedies, George Macleod, MRCVS, DVM
Robitussin dm In dogs, the dose given is 0.5 to 1 mg per pound (1 to 2 mg/kg) every 6 to 8 hours. Does as high as 5 mg per pounds may be used twice daily in some situations. Many veterinarians recommend doses of anywhere from 1 ml to 2 ml per 10 pounds of body weight.
Colloidal silver : I used it for ear infection (3 drops from dropper) and kennel cough (5ml). Used it twice a day for 10 days. Worked like a charm & I didn't have to worry about my dog taking pharmaceutical meds with all the side effects.
1. Nosodes — A nosode is a homeopathic remedy derived from a pathological specimen. Nosodes stimulate the natural immune system to react against specific diseases. Kennel cough nosodes are particularly effective.
2. Esberitox — This is a fast-acting Echinacea that I have found very effective in reducing the virulence of bordetella infections.
3. Vitamins C and E — Vitamin C is an antiviral and E provides immune system support.
4. Oregano oil has antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
5. Astragalus is an herb used in Chinese medicine to enhance the immune system, support lung function and stimulate the regeneration of bronchial cells.
6. Raw garlic and olive leaf are natural antibacterial and antiviral agents.
7. Raw honey will ease the discomfort of coughing, and certain herbs will soothe and naturally suppress a cough, among them licorice root and marshmallow.
8. Essential oils can be used to help a pup with kennel cough breathe easier. Oils of eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Chamomile has a calming effect.
9. Slippery Elm can help soothe sore and irritated throats.
As always, you should talk with your holistic veterinarian about natural remedies and the doses or applications most appropriate for your pet.
Note: Do not give this medicine to your dog without seeing the vet for a prescription and diagnosis of symptoms.
A typical dosage of doxycycline for dogs is 1.4 – 2.3 mg/lb every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days. Dr. Drewrecommends a higher dosage of 2.3 – 4.5 mg/lb every 12 to 24 hours for 10 or more days. Always follow the recommendation of your vet.
The following chart shows a dosage of 2.3 mg/lb.
Other suggested doses specific to different conditions are listed below:
Method of administration
ErhlichiosisOral2.3 – 4.5 mg/lb every 12 hours for 7 to 10 days
Lyme diseaseOral4.5 mg/lb once daily for 21 to 28 days
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)Oral2.3 mg/lb every 12 hours
Salmon poisoningIV4.5 mg/lb twice daily for 10 or more days
Soft tissue infections or UTIsOral or IV2.2 – 5 mg/lb twice daily for 7 to 14 days
All injections should be given intravenously (into the bloodstream). Avoid intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.
Doxirobe® gel used to treat periodontal disease comes packaged as two syringes which should be mixed together before use. For detailed instructions regarding the use of the gel and the amount to use please visit Zoetis.
Example: Your vet could choose to treat a 40 lb dog with 100 mg per dose, which is equal to one 100 mg tablet per dose.
Is It Safe?
Doxycycline is FDA approved in gel form, and the oral/injectable forms are commonly used to treat dogs. Care must be taken to avoid superinfections of bacteria and fungi which are not susceptible to the drug. Rapid IV injection of the drug in overdose amounts could potentially lead to irregular heartbeat and more serious cardiac effects based on the reactions of other species.
Pregnancy/Nursing: Do not administer this medicine to pregnant or nursing dogs. If use on a pregnant dog is unavoidable, use of the medicine during the last half of pregnancy is possible.
Guidelines For Use
We recommend the following guidelines when using this medicine to treat your dog:
Do not administer this medicine orally alongside antacids. Doing so could inhibit the absorption of the medicine. Do not give to dogs who have shown hypersensitivity to this drug or any other tetracycline antibiotics in the past.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic, it can treat many different bacterial infections and is usually the drug of choice for treating Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as well as several other tick-borne diseases.
Side effects are usually limited to gastric upset. Incidence of vomiting and nausea can be reduced significantly by administering the drug alongside food. In larger amounts weight loss has been noted. In rare cases superinfections may develop following the use of this medicine due to the growth of bacteria and fungi which are resistant to the drug.
Dr. K. Hartmann
Dr. Y. Rikihisa
Cough medicines that contain the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (such as Robitussin-DM, Benylin Expectorant) are available over the counter.
Recommended dosage is one teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight every 6 hours.
A Natural Product for Kennel CoughIf you prefer to go natural, here is an excellent product that can be used for mild cases of kennel cough in dogs:
Throat Gold – Cough and Throat Soother for Dogs
This all-natural product contains herbs such as mullein, slippery elm, licorice, and more. All these herbs are effective in managing and controlling symptoms of kennel cough.
Simple Kennel Cough Home TreatmentHere are some home remedies that you may want to try if your dog has mild kennel cough:
Hydrogen Peroxide and HoneyThere are quite a few anecdotal reports that claim that hydrogen peroxide and honey can help ease the dry, hacking coughing caused by kennel cough. Add 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide (food grade) to a teaspoon of honey mixed into a large glass of water.
Let your dog drink up the water as soon as possible.
Hydrogen peroxide loses its potency after a few hours in water, so you need to give your dog a fresh new bowl of honey water with hydrogen peroxide every few hours.
Raw HoneyIf you have raw honey or Manuka honey (from New Zealand), try adding one teaspoon or so to a warm cup of water and give it to your dog. Honey can soothe the throat and is antibacterial as well.
Note on Manuka Honey UMFManuka honey comes in different grading levels called UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). This UMF grading system appraises the natural properties found in Manuka Honey, and assures purity and quality. The higher the grade, the better the quality. Get one that has an UMF of at least 15.)
If your dog refuses to drink it, use a medicine dropper and administer a few drops of the solution directly into his mouth every hour or so.
Coconut OilSome dog owners have reported good results in using coconut oil as home treatment for kennel cough. It’s not surprising because coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
You can give about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight in a day. An easy way is to give the oil with your dog’s food. If your dog has never had coconut oil before, start off by giving him a small amount (i.e. less than 1 tsp/10 pounds) to avoid loose stool or diarrhea. Then increase gradually.
If your dog has never had coconut oil before, start off by giving him a small amount to avoid loose stool or diarrhea.
Vitamin C / EchinaceaVitamin C boosts your dog’s immune system so he can recover faster from diseases. Try giving your dog a daily dose of vitamin C. Dosage is 500 mg for bigger dogs and 250 mg for smaller dogs. An herbal tincture of echinacea can also be used to boost immunity.
Moisture / Essential OilsIf your dog has a dry cough, put a humidifier or vaporizer near his bed. This will help fill his airways with soothing moisture. If you have essential oils, adding a few drops to the vaporizer can help ease the cough as well.
Essential oils that can help dogs with kennel cough include lavender, eucalyptus, and niaouli since they all have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Kennel Cough PreventionThe best way to prevent kennel cough is to strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Add a multiple vitamin supplement to your dog’s diet. In particular, vitamins C and E are essential for boosting the immune system.
The herb echinacea is also well-known for its power in immune boosting.
Here is a natural herbal formula for your dog’s immune system:
This natural herbal product contains the immune boosting herbs such as Echinacea, elderflower, and goldenseal. It is extremely effective in boosting the immune system and supporting the liver. As a result, the body can become strong enough to fight off infectious diseases such as kennel cough.
Viral Agents and DurationThe length of time the dog is ill has much to do with the type of viral agent that gives the dog kennel cough.
Age of the DogA young dog may fight off the infection easier than a more mature dog. However very young puppies are ill or have a weaker immune system can have a harder time with the disease, and unvaccinated puppies are particularly at risk of developing kennel cough.