How to treat kennel cough?

Autumn is here. And with it comes the flu season. Colds and other ailments associated with this time of the year do not only affect people, but also their four-legged friends. Especially widespread and highly dangerous in case of non-treatment is the kennel cough, which affects dogs in cities as well as in the country. Despite being fairly common, this dog disease is highly contagious. How to treat it?

How can you tell it is kennel cough?
It is crucial to recognise the symptoms as soon as possible, which can be an irritating dry cough, sometimes even paroxysmal cough. The dog can be coughing up white foam or mucus. Dog cough sounds different to human cough. Some even compare it to goose honking. So do not be fooled and if you are not sure, take your dog to see your vet. 

First aid for cough
First of all, make sure your dog has plenty of rest. Ignore the fact that your dog is usually very active. Shorten your walks to a minimum. Do not let your dog near other dogs. In the case of kennel cough, the animal is contagious for about three days. Provide him with a cozy snuggle and a blanket. You can make an exception and allow a bit of "couching". If the symptoms are mild and the cough is not severe, exhausting and convulsive, Plantago syrup is recommended. Plantago syrup is a little miracle and provides the animal with immediate relief from coughing by calming down the throat. 

Measure the dog's temperature by inserting a common thermometer in his anus. Phone your vet to discuss the next step.

If the vet does not prescribe antibiotics, they will at least recommend some vitamins. Same as with the human cold, it is important to boost immunity. Other than the Plantago syrup, you can also give your dog Vitamin C, spirulina or echinacea. All this strengthens the immunity and speeds up the treatment.

If the dog is not suffering from other health problems, the treatment should last about a week. 

How to comfort the animal?
Take off the collar. It can be uncomfortable on the neck. You can replace it by a harness when going for a walk. Humidify your home. Moist air will help with the dry cough. If you own an essential oil diffuser, use a few drops of lemon balm oil or mint and eucalyptus oil. You can also put a wet towel on your warm radiator.

Make sure the dog drinks plenty of water. You can make him a weak tea with honey, add a few spoonfuls of milk into water or cook a meat and vegetable broth. If you use dry food, it is recommended to temporarily soak it in warm water or in the broth. Dogs suffering from diarrhoea can be fed boiled rice with chicken.

Another option for you to consider is vaccination against kennel cough. However, because it is not only a single disease but rather a combination of bacteria and viruses, a 100% effective vaccine doesn't exist as yet.

We wish all our two and four-legged friends the best of health.

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