Monday, November 25, 2019
Kennel cough season is here again. Actually dogs can get "kennel cough" just about any time of year. But Spring and Fall are the most common times when this cough goes around.
Dogs don't get kennel cough from being in a kennel. Rather, it is known this way because it is highly infectious. So if you kennel your dog with other dogs when you go on vacation, they are exposed to the other dogs and all the germs those dogs have. They quickly contract the cough though symptoms may not present for a number of days. Symptoms are snorting, hacking, gagging or coughing ending in vomiting.
Dogs can also get a cough from smoke or other inhaled particles so do not actually have to be in contact with other dogs for a cough to present. However the bacteria Bordetella Bronchisepitca is the most common bacteria causing cough in dogs and it is very contagious.
Typically kennel cough is treated with Doxycyline antibiotic. However, you can treat symptoms more quickly, or even treat alone, with homeopathic medicine. (Keep your dog quarantined until they have been symptom free for 10 days, however).
I was dog sitting the last week and the dog arrived with a cough and gagging ending in vomiting foamy saliva. She had been to the dog park several time in the past week. The vet assistant down the street confirmed it was kennel cough but there was no vet on hand to write a prescription for antibiotics. The owner was coming back late the next evening so I decided it would be ok for the dog to wait. She was running and playing and mostly not personally bothered by her cough or all the spit up I had to clean up.
So I went through remedies for pertussis. Ipecac, Drosera and Bryonia include coughing until vomiting. Giving them all in a 6C low dose by mouth and by putting it in the water did not give good results. However Bryonia 30c by mouth (putting pellets on the floor and letting the dog lick them up) worked great. She stopped vomiting then stopped coughing all together. By the time her owner came to pick her up the next night she had not coughed for over 7 hours (it had been about every 15 minutes before that).
Interesting is the fact that outdoors in the cold foggy weather the dog had no cough. But indoors where it was warm due to heating, the cough was very bad. Bryonia does have the hallmark of symptoms being worse in a warm, stuffy room. Usually Bryonia is a very thirsty remedy but the dog did not seem to have a lot of thirst. Other than the cough she was playing and behaving normally.
The owner did take her to the vet and got antibiotics. However a couple of days later she was back to retching and having a dry croupy cough. I got her back the third day and started her on the Bryonia again. She has not been coughing since.