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Natural Remedies

Anna H

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Hi all,

Poor little Chelsea appears to have picked up kennel cough, she has been vaccinated against it, but definately presents with symptoms of cough (I'm guessing like human colds, the virus mutates??)... when I rub her throat she starts coughing, it is a very dry un-productive cough which kinda sound like she has something in her throat. Other than the cough she is eating normally and appears otherwise healthy.

I haven't taken her to the vet (yet!) as I don't want to take her out in public where she could spread the virus.

Anyone know of any remedies I can safely give her to either speed up recovery or ease the cough? I'm giving her a tablespoon of honey a couple of times a day... seems to ease her cough (but I'm sure it cant be good for her :rolleyes: )

Cougar has not been affected as badly, but is coughing a tiny bit.

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This is something i put in another thread but..

For boosting the immune system and fighting off infection:


500 mg Vitamin C 3x/day (250 mg for tiny dogs) (If you already supplement with vitamin C, great! But this is in addition to the regular daily dose, and is spaced out during the day.)

Herbal tinctures:

Echinacea (give a few drops, 3x/day, either directly into the mouth or on food)

Goldenseal (same instructions as Echinacea)


Colloidal Silver (Give just a drop or two, 3x/day. May be mixed with food or put into drinking water.)

For directly combatting the Kennel Cough virus:

Homeopathic Remedies:

Bryonia (give 1-2 pellets/tablets 3x/day, allow no food for ten minutes before and after the dose.  Most health food stores sell homeopathic remedies in the 6X or 6C potency, which is fine to use.  If you have a choice of potencies, ask for 30C, which is a bit stronger.  Homeopathy works when the correct remedy is matched to the correct symptoms, regardless of the potency of the remedy.)

Drosera (same instructions)

For soothing throat irritation:

Honey (about a teaspoon for a small-med dog, a tablespoon for a larger dog, 3x/day)

Eliminate exposure to second hand smoke.

Maintain humidity in the environment

Other Thread

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Is Benadryl a natural product??? :laugh:

Maybe not, but it is highly effective, faster and longer acting than honey.

Putting a dog onto a low dose course of antibiotics for a week can also help prevent a secondary infection (you'll know if she's going to get a secondry infaction after 3 days of the cough appearing usually).

Tixilix works well too.

I don't see the point in heaps of natural products that all need to work together and can be costly when there is one product (Benedryl) that works very well. :rolleyes: and I've never had any dog or pup suffer even the slightest negative side effect from using it. :rolleyes:

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I ended up using Benedryl (or one of those type anyway) for night time and the Drosera (common name being Sundew, available at health food stores) throughout the day...as soon as i started doing that the coughs were gone within three days.

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Have you looked to see if it might be tonsillitis rather than kennel cough?

Depending on how much your dog tolerates this, open her mouth wide & look towards the back of her throat, on either side (in little crypts) is the tonsils.

If you can't see them, they aren't inflamed.

If you CAN see them, then there is a problem.

For inflamed tonsils we give the dogs a tablespoon of glycerine over the tongue to help alleviate any irritation.

Increasing the vitamin A intake to 20,000 iu per day will also help strengthen the dog's immune response (on top of the other suggestions already made).

Cod Liver Oil is a very potent source of vitamin A.

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Is Benadryl a natural product???

Hmmmmm... ok, maybe I shouldn't have written the word 'Natural' and replaced it with "Other than (ineffective) antibiotics" :rolleyes:

I'll give Benadryl a go.... cheap as chips too!

Not tonsilitis... can't see tonsils down there! I must add, her tongue works just fine tho, my face has been thoroughly washed.

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Yep I have used same natural product as Kitkat... Drosera homeopathic. It shortened the course of the illness - didn't just treat the symptoms.

I also used a cough suppressant at night time so we all could get some sleep!!

If you do decide to take your dog to the vet - just ring ahead and let them know so you can come in the "back door" and not infect all the dogs in the waiting room. It is highly contangious - nose to nose contact will do it.

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Benadryl works a treat! Chelsea's cough has improved a fair bit since I've dosed her up.

Bummer is that now Cougar has it too... seeing that he is nearly 11 years old, I'm keeping him very quiet and keeping a close eye on him.

Now, do I tell our neighbours (who have two dogs) that ours have it... we've only been in our new place for a week and I'd hate to cause neighbourly problems unneccessarily! Then again, if their dogs are at risk, then I'd rather tell them.

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Hello :kissbetter:

Poor Cougar Boy & Chelsea Girl, Give them a hug from me.

It would be a good thing to do to tell the neighbours as it would be a great meeting oportunety if u have not aready met & it shows as I'm sure u would like them to do the same in the same situation.



Busta misses them alot :thumbsup:

So I hope they feel better soon

Edited by HeidiB
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I was thinking that the nice thing to do would be to tell the neighbours (tho if they haven't heard the hacking coughs from our side of the fence I'd be really surprised!) but at least they'd have a chance to confine their dog to the other side of their yard.

Chelsea is off to the vet today, her coughing was terrible last night, she seems to be getting worse... I've not experience kennel cough personally before, so not really sure what to expect.

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Disclaimer: I've never needed to try this on animals, but have had good results on myself... (edited to add, but not for kennel cough!) - here goes !

1. Sage leaf is a fast and soothing cough/throat infection remedy

2. thyme (red thyme, preferably) stronger taste, but great anti-infective qualities

I prepare them as a 'decoction' - take 1tablespoon of dry herb plus 2 cups water, bring to boil then simmer on low heat until reduced to one cup, for 3-5minutes & strain /discard herb leaf - this could be added to a BARF pattie or made into a 'soup' with some kibble.

You could also use lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar in a barf food diet for a week or so...

Edited by mirajam
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Although mine are immunised for kennel cough, I have had cases over the years. Oddly it always seems to be the ones that DONT go to shows that get it. I supposed that the ones that are out and about have built up more of a resistance than the retiree's. Benadryl is great, but an even cheaper and just as effective one is MEDALLION cough mixture. cheap at the supermarket and full of honey. Tastes a bit better.

Good luck


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My two really aren't all that keen on the taste of Benedryl, but at least it is easy to dose them!

It does seems to be helping with their coughs... time will fix the virus itself.

Chelsea seems to be a lot worse at night, then not too bad during the day.

If it wasn't for the fact that I am around the dogs alot, I daresay that I wouldn't have even noticed that Cougar has it as well... it has barely affected him.

Funny enough, it was Chelsea that got the C5 vaccine, Cougar only got the C4!

Now, all I need is some sleep!

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What do I need to keep an eye out for in regards to secondary infections?

Both my two are still pretty much their usual selves (aside from coughing)... sleeping a little bit more than usual, but I'd guess that would be 'cos they aren't sleeping at night at the moment 'cos of the coughing.

Talk about paranoid huh? :kissbetter:

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i worked in kennels many years ago and my dog picked up kennel cough i used :thumbsup: Benedryl and it worked many others i know use it to :kissbetter:

Yep it does work to decrease the amount of coughing the dog does... I am not disputing that. But it does not change the effect of the virus on the body and the length of the illness.

Panadol will take away your sinus pain when you have a head cold... but it doesn't cure the cold. Same thing.

There are, however some natural remedies which work with the dogs immune system to fight the virus - and possibly shorten the course of the illness.

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If your dog develops a secondary bacterial infection you may find that the course of the illness is longer and more severe. If your dogs are eating well and reasonably active then they should be okay. If the dog coughs up any sputum with viral KC it is usually clear/white frothy/pink (mild bloodstained from trauma of coughing to the delicate tissues of the airway). If a bacterial infection develops I would expect the dog to be less active and coughing up greenish sputum from lower down in the chest. (A KC cough is very "seal like" as it is only irritation of the upper airway.... a chest infection would be more of a moist cough "rattly" breathing etc). Of course - like anything - if you are in doubt see your vet.

Kennel cough is the equivalent of a cold in a human being. It is viral and doesnt usually need treatment.

The vets will tell you - course of KC with antibiotics? about two weeks.... course of KC without antibiotics?? 14 days :laugh:

Edited by blacklabrador
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With kennel cough they should be still happy and eating. If they get blue, don't eat and have fever, or get worse after a few days, that's bacterial.

Also it's always worth to check with vet anyway, as cough may be a sign of a few diseases, including heartworms and distemper.

Hope they get well!

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