Hearing the classic honking, dry hacking cough of a Bordetella infection (commonly known as Kennel Cough), can borderline terrifying to any pet owner. The important thing pet owners need to remember is to remain calm. Very young and old dogs, or those with compromised immune systems are at a larger risk of developing secondary infections in conjunction with the kennel cough respiratory infection.
It is critical that the pet’s vet is contacted at the first signs of a deep, honking cough, especially if the pet starts coughing when over-excited or trying to bark. Usually if the infection progresses to something more serious the pet will not have any respite from coughing and even her breathing at rest will be labored. The vet can prescribe antibiotics that can help with the Bordetella infection as well as stave off any possible secondary infections.
But what else can be done for a pet with Kennel Cough?
Lots of rest:
Not all dogs with kennel cough want to lay around and recoup. Some might act just as peppy as they usually do except they end up working themselves into a coughing fit. Coughing itself irritates the esophagus, the larynx, and the throat muscles, while making it generally harder to breath. A pet with kennel cough may want to run and bark at windows, but it is better to keep them calm so that their body gets the rest it need to fight off the infection and heal. For a particularly energetic pet, there are supplements that can help take the edge off. Calming treats by Pet Naturals of Vermont are an effective way to get calm without drugging. Fidobiotics also offers a Relaxin’ Rover supplement that can be added to a pet’s food. It also has the added benefits of already being chock-full of pre and probiotics.
Antibiotics do not discriminate against good and bad bacteria. The GI tract of a dog is filled with good bacteria that helps to digest their food. Unfortunately, these get the same treatment as whatever may be making the doggy sick in the first place. That is why it is important to replace the good bacteria in the dog’s tummy. This can be done by using supplements such as Digest All or Fortiflora. Adding a spoonful of plain yogurt to the bland diet is also a tasty way to get the good bacteria back where it is supposed to be.
Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Treats
Use a Harness:
It is a better idea to keep sick pets away from other pets. Kennel Cough is very easily transmitted through the air, close contact, and the germs can even live on surfaces for up to twenty-four hours. If it is a necessary thing to take a pet out of the house, perhaps to a vet visit, use a harness to walk her. A usual collar around the throat will only serve to irritate the throat more and cause more coughing. A harness will not exacerbate the illness.
Other things that can help: using a humidifier can help a pet breathe easier. Using an air purifier can kill the germs floating around in the air. Disinfectant spray on counter tops, floors, bowl stand, bowls can kill the germs and hopefully prevent the spread to other dogs.
Fruitables Digestive Supplement
The antibiotics used to kill the bacteria of the cough also wreck havoc on the good bacteria in the stomach. A bland diet will help alleviate some of the stress that the stomach is under by being easier to digest while still getting the pet the nutrients and moisture she will need. Some bland diets include: turkey and pumpkin, ground beef and rise, and scrambled eggs and rice. A tablespoon of plain, low sugar yogurt can be added to the meal for the probiotic benefits. The general rule is to use a low fat meat without any added salt, butter, or any seasoning.