Treating Kennel Cough Symptoms in Dogs with Herbal Products

Because there is no well-known cure, treating kennel cough can be a guessing game. Often, there is no treatment recommended even from your veterinarian. Home treatments can involve helping reduce symptoms as well as herbal treatment that can cure the disease more quickly.

Kennel Cough Symptoms

Kennel cough is an upper respiratory disease named because it is often contracted at boarding facilities. It is highly contagious and thus can be easily spread in places where lots of dogs can be found such as kennels, groomers and dog parks.

The most common symptom of kennel cough is a dry, hacking cough occasionally accompanied by dry heaving. In mild cases, this may be the only symptom, though nasal discharge is sometimes present. However, in more severe cases, symptoms may include lethargy, decreased appetite, fever and pneumonia.

Traditional Treatment

In mild cases, veterinarians just recommend allowing kennel cough to run its course while isolating your dog from others to whom he may pass the disease. In more severe cases, a round of antibiotics or a bronchodilator may be recommended. Steroids and cough suppressants are usually not recommended because they can prevent the dog from coughing up phlegm and fluids that may clog their lungs.

The most common treatment for kennel cough is actually prevention. Effective vaccinations are available and recommended at six-month intervals if your dog is frequently around other dogs, such as at boarding facilities. Most facilities now require the vaccination before admitting your dog.

Herbal Treatments

However, many home treatments are available to ease your dog's symptoms and help him shake kennel cough. There are many pre-made herbal remedies that can be purchased from herbal stores, but you can also try some individual herbal treatments on your own.

Plantago, made from plantain, is a common herb used to soothe the throat and upper respiratory tract. It also promotes a healthy nose, throat and chest. Bryonia is also used to soothe the throat and clear the chest.

Kali sulphur is often used in conjunction with Ferrum phosphate to support a healthy respiratory system, and magnesium phosphate helps maintain balance between the throat and chest.

In general, echinacea is one of the most highly regarded herbs in terms of promoting a healthy immune system. It especially provides immune support when your dog is fighting or recovering from an illness and can be used with other herbs or alone to help reduce the effects of kennel cough.

Additional Treatment

In addition to herbal remedies, there are several things you can do to keep your dog comfortable while he recovers from kennel cough.

Keep your dog in a warm, dry area, especially when he is sleeping and the fluids build in his lungs. If you have a vaporizer, keep it near your dog's resting place to help open his bronchial tubes. If you don't have a vaporizer, run a hot shower with your bathroom door closed, allowing the steam to build. Keep your dog in the steam-filled bathroom for 20 minutes three times per day.

Though there is no one way to treat kennel cough, there are several options to help your dog heal more quickly.