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How to Help Your Dog With Kennel Cough
When I officially met my mom’s new Miniature Schnauzer, Precious, she was an adorable puppy! What an angel!
However, before we had her 1-week health check required by our breeder, she came down with a lot of coughing and hacking. It felt like he had something stuck in his throat that he wanted to cough up.
Poor Precious has Kennel Cough, and it has become a huge pain for her as she will have bouts of wheezing, hacking and coughing, and is generally uncomfortable, especially at night.
Kennel cough is also called tracheobronchitis. It is a virus contracted by dogs, often when they are housed or come into contact with other dogs in a common area, such as kennels, daycare, groomers, and any other area frequented by multiple dogs. It is highly contagious. The incubation period is 8-10 days and then your dog will start showing symptoms.
Therefore, one of Precious’ kennel mates must have been infected with this virus and it passed to her. It just breaks your heart to see a little dog suffer like this.
It is very important to do something proactive about this infection, especially in small puppies and older dogs, as it could turn into something worse: pneumonia!
What your vet is likely to do:
The vet gave Precious 2 antibiotics to take at home:
1. Clavamox: A liquid antibiotic that comes with a dropper – 1 cc twice a day
2. Temaril Q: A pill that we give him 1/2 twice a day.
3. They also gave him a shot to increase healing time, which I’m not sure of the name of.
4. Our vet recommended that in addition to the liquid vitamins that our breeder gives us to give the puppies 2 cc twice a day in dropper form, that we also supplement with more vitamins to boost their immune system response.
5. It’s called Lickables Nutritional Gel – Super Charger. They really like the taste (external sources tell me it tastes like honey) and it boosts their immune system. In fact, the vet gave him a generous amount during this checkup.
This stuff is great and we’ve used it before with our dogs who don’t like or won’t take vitamins because you put them up their nose (not plug their nostrils), or let them lick their finger or whatever . Sugar, my mom’s dog will NOT take any kind of medication without a lot of coaxing from us! This stuff is great for her! The vet says a dog could live on this stuff, especially if they are sick and won’t eat, for a while… Great for older dogs too!
6. We were also asked to buy a Vicks vaporizer – the same one you would use on a baby or yourself when you have a similar infection.
You will also need to get the Vicks Vapo Steam and Steam Inhalant for this system. (This has helped him a lot, especially at night!)
What else can you do at home:
The point here is to strengthen your terrier’s immune system. The things you would do, you can do for your puppy too! Also, boosting any dog’s immune system is important for the prevention of infection and disease.
We have been supplementing Precious’ diet with:
1. Vitamin C: You can get a supplement specifically for dogs, or you can give them chewable human vitamin C tablets (our dogs won’t take our human chews, so we’ll have to crush them and put them in their food if we use them ).
Obviously, the difference is in the price. You can give them 500 mg 3 times a day (250 mg for small terriers). If you get vitamin C specifically for canines, follow the directions on the bottle.
2. Echinacea: Again, you can get echinacea specifically for dogs, or get it for humans (we’ve been using the human form as it’s cheaper and does the trick).
Follow the directions on the bottle, but probably cut the dose in half if it’s for humans. We just open the capsules and mix the contents with the food. For Canine Specific Echinacea, follow the directions on the bottle.
3. You can also use colloidal silver, Goldenseal herb, etc., etc. The list goes on with supplements that can boost immunity!
4. Homemade chicken soup:
I’m not kidding. If you know how to make chicken soup from scratch at home, that’s great for your terrier! Cut back on salt levels, though.
Who doesn’t want chicken soup when they’re feeling sick? Your terrier is no exception!
5. Sleep!: Let your dog sleep as much as he wants! They need it, especially if they are very uncomfortable at night.
Some other things to consider are:
1. Keep your terrier dry! Since we are in autumn, it will rain a lot and winter is just around the corner. If they get wet outside, dry them well. Don’t let them “go cold”. Don’t bathe them while they are sick with Kennel Cough if you can help it!
2. Love: Give your terrier lots of love! They will need it and want it!
Disclaimer: Any information contained on this site relating to various medical, health and fitness conditions of Terriers and their treatments is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace advice provided by your own veterinarian. You should not use the information contained herein to diagnose the health of any animal. You should always consult and consult with your own vet or veterinarian.
by Kimberly Edwards
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