It’s that time of year again. Cold and flu season doesn’t just affect us, it affects our pets too. One common complaint that can hit your dog this winter season is kennel cough.
Kennel cough is exactly what it sounds like: it is a cough in your dog, much like a human cold. It is almost always self limiting and can last anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks. The virus is passed easily between dogs.
Coughing in dogs can be difficult to detect if you’ve never heard it before: often, it sounds like your dog is choking or has something in his throat. Normally, the cough is dry and short in duration. Symptoms of kennel cough are normally limited to the upper respiratory tract.
Homeopathy can be very effective for treating kennel cough. Here are some common remedies you might want to consider.
This is the primary remedy for kennel cough and should be considered for a dry, hacking cough which may be worse when the dog is laying down.
If the dog’s breathing appears abdominal and the cough is deeper, Bryonia may fit the bill. The dog will appear to be in pain when he coughs and if you hold his rib cage when he is coughing, it may relieve his symptoms and pain. The dog may prefer rest over exercise and motion will aggravate his cough.
Another remedy for a dry, hacking cough that is worse in cold air. Phosphorus may be indicated if there are small flecks of blood or blood-tinged mucous. These dogs will appear chilly, thirsty and unusually hungry.
This remedy is good for a very dry, barking cough. It may be accompanied by a weak heart. Warm water will generally improve the cough whereas cold water will aggravate it.
The key to this remedy is a sudden onset and this remedy is most effective if given when symptoms first appear. If given early, Aconite can prevent the kennel cough entirely. These dogs may appear nervous and fearful and Aconite will help to calm them, especially in the evening hours.
This remedy is associated with an abundance of mucous accompanied by a persistent cough that frequently changes characteristics. The symptoms will generally be better in the evening and night and worse in cold air.
Coughing may produce reflexive vomiting. The cough is worse at night and worse with cold air. The vomit or mucous may be blood tinged. Breathing will be laboured and the dog may seem to be wheezing.
The cough will be worse at night and breathing is difficult. Coughing fits can last for several minutes, but there may be long periods of relief.
Drawing in a breath will be difficult due to an abundance of mucous. There will be a rattling in the chest and the cough will be wheezing and rough.
This remedy is very good for dogs who have acute difficulty breathing at night – it will usually give immediate relief. This dog will seek cool, open air. Although the cough is normally worse in the evening, the cough in the morning produces a greenish-yellow mucous. Carbo veg is a valuable remedy for dogs who are weak and cold and often in the later stages of illness.
Use a 30c potency or whatever you have on hand. Give three pellets, regardless of the size of your dog. Place them in a glass of water and mix with a spoon, then give the water to your dog with a dropper.
If you see any improvement after giving the remedy, do nothing. If your dog continues to improve, then there’s no need to redose. If you don’t see any improvement, dose again in 15 to 30 minutes. If you see improvement, wait until symptoms return, then dose again. If there is no change within a few hours, then try another remedy.