Tag Archives: health

Help your dog with its cough using natural remedies

 

By Marilyn Miller

Dog with a bag of cold water on his head

Your best friend went to the bark park or doggie daycare and now he has a little cough. Of course, the first thing you’re going to do is call your vet and see if the dog needs to be seen or requires professional treatment.

But what happens when it’s a simple cough that will go away in its own good time? What if your dog’s coughing is keeping not only him awake, but you, and oh by the way, you have to go to work in the morning.

Here are some natural remedies you can try. Again, clear these with your vet before you try them.

A spoon of (preferably locally-sourced, raw, dark) honey can give both of you several hours of blessed relief. We know in humans honey not only calms a cough but gives some pain relief from the sore throat caused by coughing. Not too much, now. Too much will give your dog loose stool and nobody wants that. Try a teaspoon for a 40-pound dog, see how it goes.

Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme that reduces inflammation and swelling. Some dogs like to chew on the core of a pineapple, and some stores selling fresh cut pineapple will sell you the cores for pennies. The core is fibrous and will keep them occupied for a few minutes. Otherwise, a bite or two of fresh pineapple as a treat or with food. It has to be fresh pineapple, not frozen or canned, because processing destroys the enzyme. Again, too much will give the dog some loose stool, so start slowly.

What do you eat when you have a cough or cold? Chicken soup, of course. Put some chicken broth in your dog’s wet food, or even serve it in a bowl as a first course or snack. It’s soothing to the throat.

Keep the air in the house from being too dry. Especially in winter, the humidity level in our homes can seem lower than that of the Gobi Desert. This dryness will cause your dog’s (and your) mucus membranes to crack, causing discomfort and more coughing and possibly leading to more infection. If you don’t have a humidifier, try skipping the clothes dryer and hang your damp clothes up to dry, or put a tea kettle on the stove to barely simmer (watch the water level, don’t want a fire). Even setting cups or glasses of water around will help a little bit.

Similarly, steam may give your dog a lot of comfort. Run the shower with the bathroom door closed, and then let your dog sit in there for ten minutes or so.

If you smoke, please don’t smoke around your dog when it’s coughing. It’s an irritant.

Ask your vet if there is an over-the-counter cough syrup you can give the dog. Opinions on this seem to vary among vets and it’s not suitable for all dogs. Do not give a cough suppressant without your vet’s okay.

Coconut oil may have some anti-viral properties and is soothing. Most dogs will lick it right out of the spoon. Try a tablespoon for a 40-pound dog and see how it goes.

Take the collar off and replace it with a harness. You don’t want pressure on the throat.

An internet search will show there are a number of herbs that may be useful, but please talk to your vet before trying them. Some of them can make underlying heart, kidney, or liver disease much worse. Please don’t experiment.

Of course, if the dog doesn’t want to eat or drink or seems listless or worse yet, weak, get him to the vet pronto. Kennel cough can turn into pneumonia, and some types of cough aren’t viral at all, but are symptoms of other health problems. But in the normal course of things, this cough will pass and your dog will be back to his usual happy self.

What have you used to relieve a simple cough in your dog? Let us know in the comments section. Thank you!

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Don't be sad, baby!

HAS SHE GONE MAD? NO, YOUR BABY IS TEETHING!

There are many joys bringing home a new puppy though with those joys there are also terrors that come with having a new pet…one being teething.Don't be sad, baby!

Though mainly seen in puppies, both kittens and puppies can go through a teething phase, much like human infants. During this time the youngster begins to lose her baby teeth a lot like a human child. That’s when an increase kittens may begin gnawing on her owners and puppies may look for a chair or shoe to test their teeth.

The best thing to do is to get rubber bones or any other appropriate toy to redirect the chewing, says Dr. Camille Telleen of All Creatures Small Veterinary Clinic. There are also toys you can put in the freezer like the ones human infants use when they are teething.

“I have actually been called out for an emergency because a pet owner saw their puppy was bleeding in the mouth. It ended up being because of losing a baby tooth,” Telleen says.

Other remedies to help sooth your pet's aching gums include letting your puppy chew on an ice cube or massaging her gums.

Fear not pet owners; Dr. Telleen assures us the teething phase normally is done by 6 months. By that time the animal will have grown all of her adult teeth.

~Intern Cait

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LYME DISEASE 101

Lyme disease is an easily preventable tick-transmitted disease. The effects from Lyme disease can be painful and no fun for your pup. Not to mention you as well can contract Lyme disease from a tick.

Symptoms

  • Lameness due to inflammation of the joints, many only have acute lameness that lasts only three to four days but reoccurs days to weeks later, in the same leg or in other legs
  • Lack of appetite
  • Depression
  • Damage to the kidney
  • Heart or nervous system disease

Prevention

Young dogs appear to be more susceptible to Lyme disease than adult dogs. Ticks can be found anywhere, but are most commonly seen in the upper Midwestern states, the Atlantic seaboard and the Pacific coastal states.

If your dog gets diagnosed with Lyme disease he will probably get put on antibiotics, which take about four weeks to work. Unfortunately, there may be some long term joint pain even after the bacteria is cleared out. There are things you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to your pup.

  • Don’t let your dog roam in tick-infested environments.

    Courtesy of michigananimalhospital.com

    Courtesy of michigananimalhospital.com

  • Groom your dog daily and remove ticks immediately if found. Pull ticks straight out when removing, don’t twist or crush the tick. Wash your hands as soon as you remove the tick to limit exposure to yourself.
  • A veterinarian can recommend a variety of sprays, collars and topical products to kill and repel ticks.
  • There are routine vaccines that should be given to dogs.

Quick Facts

The topic of Lyme disease can become a little controversial between veterinarians. Not all dogs that are positive for Lyme disease are clinically ill, so it’s hard for vets to decide whether or not to treat them. The United States does have a better track record with Lyme disease than other places. According to Dr. Erika de Papp, DVM, DACVIM, in New England 50-75 percent of dogs test positive for Lyme disease.

For Lyme disease to be contracted the tick must be attached for at least 48 hours, this is why it is so important to remove the tick as soon as you find it. Adult ticks are active whenever the weather approaches or exceeds freezing. So, if there are several warm winter days in a row ticks could be active, don’t consider it safe just because it’s winter.

Lyme disease is scary and may even cause permanent damage to your pup. Both you and your dog need to always check for ticks. Keep your pooches protected and make sure you’re always on the lookout for ticks!

Photo Courtesy of animalgeneral.com

 

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