“They have a hoarse, dry cough,” says Minter. “There could be blood in the expectoration. And the cough is often triggered by something going on in the house, excitement, running around, any of those treats being doled out could kick off a coughing spasm.”
Bryonia: These dogs will have a dry cough with little expectoration. The cough is better with warmer drinks and is worse coming from cold air to a warm room.
“The Bryonia patient in general prefers to keep quiet, they don’t want to move much. They sort of want to be stationary,” Minter says. “Their mucous membranes are dry… Things are just dry all about.”
Spongia: This patient is better with warmer drinks or food. His cough is brought on by excitement, he has a sensitive larynx and his cough awakens him from sleep. This is a constant, barking cough.
“Spongia is a big coughing remedy,” Minter says.
Hepar sulphuris calcareum: Here there is great sensitivity to wind and cold air, which can make the cough worse. Cold food and drinks make things worse as well. It’s a loose-sounding barking cough with mucus.
“Hepar sulph is usually reserved for more chronic treatment or maybe advanced lung symptoms,” says Minter. “There’s some mucus going on in the lungs, in the trachea, in the bronchi.”
Causticum: The Causticum dog is better with cold water and has a hoarse,
hollow cough. There may be discharge of urine in an older patient when coughing.
“The Causticum patient generally has a lot of weakness going on,” Minter says. “There’s hoarseness, they can’t bark, they can’t get the cough out.”
Now That You Have Your Homeopathic Arsenal
As you embark on your mission to keep your dog kennel cough vaccine free and healthy with homeopathy, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Careful with herbs. Minter says that if you’re treating with homeopathy, be careful about using herbal remedies alongside until you get a better picture of your dog’s symptoms.
- Avoid homeopathic combo cough medicines. These can do more harm than good, according to Minter.
- Inform your homeopath. If you are already working with a homeopath for a larger condition, let her know about your plans to treat the kennel cough on your own before you do it. This process may help with the larger treatment. “Often it can be a window into a very important step in your dog’s treatment,” Minter says.
Exposed But No Symptoms
One final situation you may be confronted with is that your dog is exposed to kennel cough, but there are no signs. Minter says to watch and wait.
“I would watch,” Minter says, “knowing what you know. Maybe use your nutritional support… a little more vitamin C… things like that. Vitamin A, up that a bit… Put in some more soupy things, liquidy things in their food. Just sort of watch and wait. You may not have a problem. But I wouldn’t give a remedy preemptively.”