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Colds and Flu

Colds and Flu

Herbal supplements to help treat colds and flu in dogs and cats and help to support healthy immunity

The immune system is complex and requires proper nutritional support to perform its vital role in fighting off colds and flu. Plant botanicals and marine extracts can help to provide nutritional and biochemical support for healthy immune and cellular response, as well as to enhance the growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism. A balanced, healthy immune system can typically ward off most types of viral and bacterial diseases, inflammation, allergies and auto immune diseases.

Some pet parents are surprised to learn that our dogs and cats can get coughs, flu and respiratory infections, just like we do. In a normal, functioning immune system, our pet’s bodies can fight off most types of illnesses, but when the immune system is compromised, your pet may be unable to fight off viral, fungal and bacterial diseases.

The freezing cold temps and wet, damp weather outside can tax your dog and cat, making them susceptible to germs and viruses. At the same time, the dry, trapped air inside, usually accompanied with less exercise along with a few extra pounds, can also increase exposure to germs during winter months, undermining immunity. Talk about the perfect "storms."

Colds and flu are types of infections that typically present in the upper respiratory tract, including the eyes, nose (muzzle), mouth, windpipe, bronchi and lungs. Your dog or cat will be visibly sick and will likely experience considerable pain, discomfort, loss of appetite, lethargy and fever.

Flu is caused by a variety of viruses which are highly contagious and can be transmitted directly through sneezing as well as discharge of the eye, nose and saliva. Flu and colds can also be spread indirectly via food and water bowls, bedding, litter boxes and interaction with other animals. The flu virus tends to flourish in areas where dogs and cats gather, such as boarding, daycare and training facilities, dog and cat shows, rescue shelters and grooming shops.

All dogs and cats are susceptible to flu whether they have been vaccinated or not. Kittens, puppies, senior pets and immuno-compromised dogs and cats are the most predisposed. 

Cat flu is usually caused by two viruses; the feline herpes virus (FHV-1) or the feline calicivirus (FCV). The feline herpes virus is also known as feline rhinotracheitis (FRV) and is a more serious strain than the calcivirus, infecting the eyes, nose (muzzle), sinuses, pharynx and throat. Feline calicivirus infects the mouth, tongue, nose, eyes, joints, paws and may also fever and depression.

Once your cat has had feline flu, he/she will be a lifetime carrier of the virus. Vaccinations against feline flu may help ward off the flu virus. If you suspect your cat has the flu, be aware that it can progress to an infection of the lungs, such as pneumonia, which can be fatal.  

Dogs can be exposed to kennel cough, also known as Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis, which is bacterial and viral in nature. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. It is a highly contagious respiratory disease and dogs of any age, breed and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

The common symptoms and signs of colds and flu include:

Sneezing

Wheezing

Eye problems

Runny, watery eyes

Runny nose

Fever

Mouth, tongue, lip and gum ulcers

Breathing difficulties

Loss of appetite

Loss of smell 

Joint pain

Lethargy

Depression

There are several ways to prevent and control the symptoms of flu which include:

Feed your pet high quality commercial food or a natural diet without preservatives, additives or colorants. It is recommended to avoid corn, wheat and soy where possible, particularly if your dog or cat has allergies. 

Provide fresh, clean, filtered water daily and encourage your pet to drink. 

Strengthen your pet’s immune system with natural, immune-building supplements.

Exercise your dog and cat daily. 

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your dog or cat. 

Maintain a hygienic environment by regularly disinfecting your pet’s food and water bowls, sleep area as well as litter box.

If your dog or cat develops the flu, let him/her enter the bathroom to inhale the steam from your bath or shower. Steam may help to relieve nasal congestion.

Avoid contact between your dog and cat and other animals that have the flu.

Monitor your pet for any changes in behavior. Visit your vet if you suspect your pet is ill.

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies are used to provide overall systemic and immune support to animals, reducing symptoms associated with flu and colds, providing respiratory system health and boosting the immune system, address symptoms of colds and flu including sneezing, nasal congestion and watery eyes, while limiting recovery time and intensity of symptoms related to flu and cold infection.

All Shins & Grins – (learn more) supports the skin’s ability to withstand environmental toxin, antigen and microorganism exposure due to its Vitamin C and antioxidant content, promotes optimal immune responsereduces allergic (acute and chronic) skin reactions and irritations, hot spots and soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infections and provides general mood support.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteroporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility.

Life’s An Itch (learn more) is used to promote optimal immune response, reduces all types of allergic (acute and chronic) reactions by stopping histamine response, reduces 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. 

Related Products:

I Want Liquid Immunity - (learn more) contains water-soluble plant bioflavonoids that function as potent antioxidants which help to normalize the release of histamine from mast cells, reducing the adverse effects of allergies, used for growth abnormalities such as tumors, cysts (often related to poor diet and excessive medication), promotes cellular health and reduces catabolic waste, and maintains health in organs, connective tissue and cells.

I Cell-Ebrate Life - (learn more) promotes healthy cell, connective tissue, skin and coat support and antioxidant protection, standardizes normal cell operation, encourages free radical scavenging of cysts and tumors, provides nutritional, biochemical and plant botanical support of healthy immune cells, optimal immune protection and systematic health and strength, supports bone, teeth and muscle health and integrity, for animals that need extra joint, immune, circulatory and vascular support.

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of flu is based on the symptoms presented, a thorough diagnosis and review of your pet’s medical history. In order to ascertain the cause of flu, swab samples of your pet’s eyes and mouth may be taken and sent to the laboratory to identify viruses or bacteria.

Although viral infections cannot be cured, treatment involves administering various medications and lots of supportive care. Your vet may prescribe medications such as antibiotics or eye drops. Vaccinations are also extremely important to protect your cat against feline flu.

While dogs and cats should be vaccinated against flu annually, kittens should receive their first vaccination shot at 8 weeks old which should be followed another shot a few weeks later. In severe cases if your pet experiences eating or drinking difficulties, intravenous therapy may be required. Isolating your pet may be necessary to avoid infection of other animals.

You will need to follow your vet’s instructions carefully to provide supportive care for your pet. Make sure that your pet’s sleeping environment is warm, comfortable, stress free and well ventilated. Keep this area as sanitary as possible and clean litter boxes regularly.

Wipe away eye and nose discharge with salt water. Feed your dog and cat palatable and smelly foods in small amounts throughout the day and ensure that fresh, clean, filtered water is always available. Lavish your furry friend with lots of love and attention to speed recovery.

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