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Respiratory Parasites in Dogs and Cats

Respiratory Parasites in Dogs and Cats

Herbal nutrition to help address respiratory parasites related to lung and worm infections in dogs and cats.


The immune system is a complex army of cells found through out your pet’s body that provides a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites, toxins, foreign fells and cellular mutations (healthy cells which have mutated into irregular cells). The immune system is tasked with protecting EVERY cell in the animal body. 

A healthy immune system is resilient, robust and up to the task of supporting normal, balanced function. The immune system is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated.  But even an animal with a highly developed immune system can experience dysfunction or failure. In cases of dysfunction, an animal body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every bodily system is at risk for disease. 

Respiratory parasites are classified as worms, and can be found in the passages of the respiratory tract or in the blood vessels, including the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, and windpipe), or the lower respiratory passage (bronchi, lungs).  Parasites can affect all of the your pet’s bodily systems, including respiratory system, cardiovascular system circulatory system and endocrine system, which includes the liver and kidneys.

If your pet contracts lung parasites (lungworms and heartworms), they may cough and have difficulty breathing. Your pet may also display shortness of breath, labored (slow) breathing, as well as fast or shallow breathing and lethargy. 

If you notice your cat breathing with its mouth open, and it is not related to heat exposure or a new scent, this is an emergency situation and you need to visit your veterinarian immediately.

Respiratory parasites often begin their life cycles in shellfish, crabs, lizards, and worms, spreading to other animals opportunistically.

Symptoms of respiratory parasites include:


Runny nose

Bloody nose


Harsh lung sounds

Behavior changes (neurological changes as parasites migrate to the brain)

Coma (parasites in the brain)

Signs or other exposures to respiratory tract disease include:

Eating worms

Digging or sniffing around rodent holes, dens or burrows

Touching noses or other mucous membranes with another infected dog or cat

Being sneezed upon by an infected animal

Eating or exposure to infected feces

Eating infected rodents, insects, birds, crayfish, cockroaches, snails, ants or other infected insects or animals not listed

Infection via mother's milk to puppies and kittens (if mother is a host)

If you suspect that your pet is infected with parasites, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your dog or cat has already begun to show symptoms of neurological change or decline in health condition, it is an emergency situation and call your veterinarian for an emergency appointment.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal nutrition is used holistically for its beneficial effects on the respiratory system to help reduce respiratory disorder, to help strengthen immunity and resistance to all types of infections, including parasites, to help maintain clear, healthy chests, noses and throats, to help relieve dry, hacking coughs & sneezing and to provide immune protection and to help reduce symptoms related to panting from anxiety, heat stroke and overheating.

Life’s An Itch - (learn more) is used to promote optimal immune response, reduces and works to correct all types of allergic (acute and chronic) reactions by stopping histamine and mast response, which directly causes allergies; help reduce respiratory disorders; relieves wheezing, chest discomfort and sinus inflammation; soothes smooth muscles and tissues and alleviates respiratory congestion, including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, esophaghitis (GERD, reflux), rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, COPD; relieves viral and bacterial infections, hot spots, remedies skin allergies and irritations, soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, and works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infection. 

Shake Ur Groove Thing  (learn more) promotes healthy bowel function, purification, gentle parasitic detoxification and body clarification; waste and toxin removal, including pesticides, environmental toxins found inside and outside the home, chemicals related to flea and tick products and drugs regimens such as NSAID’s and synthetic glucosteriods and corticosteroids; helps remove inorganic synthetic and derivative compounds from an animal’s cell walls to help reduce toxic load in the body; also used for cramping, pain, constipation, gas and bloating; helps support a correct balance of native intestinal flora and helps calms the digestive system; promotes immune balance and helps to limit inflammation, which is important in disease prevention; used holistically for anal fissures, fistulas, hemorrhoids, food allergies and hypersensitivities and as a general skin support. 

Yummy Tummy – (learn more) promotes Probiotic digestive, urinary, bladder and gall bladder support, for all types of digestive disorders, promotes proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, for bladder (cystitis) and kidney (pyelonephritis) infections, tones and strengthens the connective tissue of the bladder related to urine leakage and urinary incontinence; for Candida including systemic Candida as a natural, plant-based steroid alternative, provides important support for cramping, pain, discomfort, Gastroenteritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), prostate inflammation, BHP, prostatitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) and Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS).

Love Your Liver - (learn more) promotes the performance, health and repair of the liver, kidneys and bladder, facilitates rental and digestive excretions, provides protection and detoxification from insecticides, toxins, vaccinations, an inappropriate diet and an excess of food, relieves symptoms such as pressure, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and flatulence, regulates kidney acid/alkaline levels, for hepatic lipidosis, Fatty Liver Disease (FLD),  Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS) and Feline cholangiohepatitis.

Conventional Remedies:

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis to determine the exact origin of the symptoms. A differential diagnosis may find parasites, but it may also find a bacterial respiratory infection.

Your veterinarian will specifically examine your dog or cat’s urine and feces for parasite eggs or pieces of parasites. In feces, these are found by microscopically examining a solution of your animal’s feces. A sample of your dog’s or cat’s cough discharge can also be microscopically examined for parasite eggs.

X-ray imaging of the lungs is crucial for visualizing abnormal lung changes that may be indicative of a parasitic infestation. A rhinoscopy or bronchoscopy (direct visualization of the nose and bronchioles with a small camera) is an even better way to look for respiratory parasites.

Patients with respiratory parasites are usually treated on an outpatient basis with de-wormers. Anti-inflammatory agents are also given to the patients to decrease their body’s negative immune reaction to so many dead parasites. In some cases, the parasites can only be removed surgically one at a time.

If your dog or cat is having trouble breathing, it should be hospitalized and given oxygen therapy until the parasite infestation has been resolved.

Your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments to examine your animal’s respiratory passages with a bronchoscope and to reexamine fecal and urine samples for parasite eggs. Preventing your dog or cat from eating insects, rodents, and wild animals is the best way of protecting your pet against parasite infections.




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