By Dr. Andrew Jones | February 8, 2013
What can you do to stop your dog from coughing? Coughing in dogs has many causes, from kennel cough to heart disease. In this article you’ll learn about the different types of cough and how that can help diagnose the exact cause. Most importantly you’ll find out about the exact natural remedies that are effective in treating your dog’s cough at home.
Your dog coughs because his airway is irritated by something- it could be inflammation, fluid, or infection. Kennel cough usually shows up as a sudden ‘goose honking’ cough; it is very loud, and usually continuous. Heart disease will produce a cough that often starts at night, when your dog is lying down, and may be ‘wet’ with fluid. Tracheal collapse will produce a cough when the trachea, (main airway) is compressed together- it more often sounds like gagging and that you dog is trying to throw up a hairball.
Visit your veterinarian if your pet is acting ill, weak, being reluctant to exercise, eat or drink. In a small percent of cases kennel cough can progress to pneumonia, requiring antibiotics. In heart disease some type of treatment is needed to reduce the size of the heart and to reduce the fluid in the airways.
Remember having your mother put a ‘steamer’ in your room when you had a cough as a child? Well this also works well for dogs. Adding humidity to the air will calm an irritated airway. Put on a humidifier or put your pet in the bathroom and turn on the shower.
Natural Cough Syrup. Lemon and honey can soothe any sore throat. Mix 2 tbsp of honey, 1 tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water. Give it to your dog twice daily, 1 tbsp for an average sized (50 lb) dog, 1 tsp for a cat . Homeopathic cough syrups may also be helpful. I have used Hyland’s Cough Syrup, dosing it at 1/4 of regular adult dose per 10 lbs of body weight.
Get the Collar Off. Any irritated airway will benefit from having less pressure put on it. Remove the collar and use a harness for restraint. Avoid putting any pressure on your dog’s throat, especially in chronic coughing such as tracheal collapse. Many dogs respond better to completely removing the collar, and just using a dog harness.
Herbal Help. In cases of Kennel Cough, stimulating the immune system could speed recovery. Echinacea and Goldenseal are the most useful, with both antiviral and antibacterial properties. Doses of the tincture are 1 drop/lb of body weight twice daily.
Licorice Root is an effective cough suppressant, but must not be used for more than 5 days. It should not be used long-term or if there is underlying liver, kidney or heart disease. The tincture dose is 1 drop/lb of body weight twice daily.
Dandelion is a wonderful overlooked herb that can be very beneficial for fluid and coughing. The leaves act as a diuretic, helping to remove the excess fluid; dandelion is a very safe diuretic herb. Give 2 drops per lb of body weight twice daily.
Lastly there are 2 homeopathics that can be helpful, Belladona, and Pulsatilla. Belladona is used with a dry cough, dose 30C, 3-4 times a day. Pulsatilla is used for a cough that is dry at night but loose (i.e. productive) in the morning. Dose 30C, 3 times a day.
I hope you enjoyed my article on dog coughing, and that some of these remedies can help your dog. I encourage you to get my Free Book and Videos where you will find more of my top natural remedies to heal your pet at home safely and effectively.
You can get your copies by signing up on my blog, or going to http://healyourpetathome.com
Heal Your Pet At Home!
Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
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