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Infectious Tracheobronchitis in Dogs and Cats

Infectious Tracheobronchitis in Dogs and Cats / Kennel Cough in Dogs and Cats

Herbal remedies for cats and dogs to help relieve dry coughs due to Infectious Tracheobronchitis 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. With so many pet parents wondering why and how to best support immunity in their dogs and cats, this article will highlight its role and provide practical suggestions. 

A healthy immune system is resilient and powerful 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. 

Infectious Tracheobronchitis, also called kennel cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection affecting dogs and cats, but tends to be more common amongst dogs. It is characterized by a dry, hacking cough and sounds as though your dog wants to clear his throat or something is stuck in the throat. Although kennel cough is very infectious and easily transmitted from dog to dog like colds are in humans, most of the time it resolves on its own.

Your dog’s overall health and wellbeing remains the same and he will still feel active and have a normal appetite. However, your dog will cough a lot, often keeping you awake at night! The coughing generally lasts from 7 to 21 days. Episodes of severe kennel cough seldom occur but if left untreated can lead to pneumonia and other respiratory complications.

Common symptoms and signs include:

Honk-like, coarse, dry cough

Large amount of foamy mucus or phlegm is produced after coughing

Retching or gagging



Kennel cough is caused by a combination bacterial and viral agents called Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Parainfluenza. Other less common agents such as Adenovirus Types 1 and 2 and Mycoplasma may also cause kennel cough.

There are many different agents that can cause of tracheobronchitis. The most common are parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and mycoplasma. Canine adenovirus type 2, reovirus, and canine herpes virus are thought to possibly contribute to the disease, as well. Although any one of these organisms can cause symptoms of the disease, the majority of cases are the result of more than one organism.

This condition is transmitted when dogs are in close contact with each in an enclosed environment (kennels, dog shows or animal shelters) or through sharing food and water bowls. When a dog coughs or barks, the bacteria become airborne and if inhaled by another dog, kennel cough develops.

If your dog’s cough persists or fever, depression, abnormal nasal discharge or lung sounds are present, you should consult your vet immediately. A physical examination, chest-x-ray and complete blood count will be performed to rule out any other health complications.

Other helpful suggestions:

Feed your pet an all natural, premium diet free of corn, wheat, soy and preservatives to strengthen immune health

Always have fresh, clean, filtered water available for your pet

Exercise your pet regularly 

Ensure that your pet is vaccinated against kennel cough before attending shows, daycare or boarding

Keep kennels and living areas clean, dry and disinfected

Make sure that living areas are well ventilated and that there is ample air flowing through from the inside to outside

Avoid sharing your dog’s food and water bowls as well as toys with other dogs

Incorporate immune-boosting supplements as part of the daily diet

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

Herbal remedies are used for their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties to provide symptomatic relief of bronchitis and to alleviate infections of the respiratory tract; to help provide respiratory support; to help address all types of respiratory infections; to help relieve dry, hacking coughs & sneezing; to help reduce symptoms of sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, sore throat, and nose; to boost the immune system; to act as a tonic for the immune system and support systemic health of your pet; to speed up the natural healing process.

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. 

I Want Liquid Immunity -  (learn more) contains water-soluble plant bioflavonoids that function as potent antioxidants which are important in disease prevention; used adjunctively for growth abnormalities such as tumors, cysts and lipomas (often related to poor diet, excessive medication, environmental toxicity as well as aberrant cellular mutations); provides antioxidant protection against free radicals; helps promote cellular health and to reduce catabolic waste; may help address symptoms related to allergies, Lyme disease and other auto immune diseases; provides nutritional, biochemical and plant botanical support of healthy immune cells; promotes optimal immune protection and systematic health and strength; supports bone, teeth and muscle health and integrity and for animals that need extra joint, immune, circulatory and vascular support. Strongly anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-mutagenic.

Bionic Body – (learn more) is used holistically for its adaptogenic (read, repair and restore funcions) immune boosting and anti-inflammatory support; as an antioxidant and for its free radical scavenging (disease preventing) actions; for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize bones, eye, teeth, skin and coat; works to stimulate collagen production, a primary building material of bones; may help prevent dental disease; for its plant actions to help strengthen bones, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues & blood vessels & helps to reduce joint inflammation, while activating a cartilage-protective biochemical, potentially helping to preserve healthy cartilage in aging joint; for its anti-allergen natural plant chemicals which may help to fight off allergies and infections; for its prebiotic and probiotic content to help support native gut flora and healthy digestion.

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; stimulates collagen production which directly affects bone mass, bone strength, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues and blood vessels (important for cases of arthritis) as well as eye and teeth health (important for macular degeneration and dental disease); promotes optimal immune response; promotes strong teeth, bone, skin and coat; may help reduces allergic (acute and chronic) skin reactions and irritations, hot spots and soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats; may work  to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infections and provides general mood support; may help fight infection in the animal body.

Conventional Remedies:

Kennel cough is self-limiting and symptoms usually resolve on its own within one to two weeks without treatment. Vaccinations against kennel cough are available and are quite effective in minimizing this disorder. These annual and bi-annual vaccinations include Adenovirus type 1 and 2, Parainfluenza and Bordatella bronchiseptica and may be administered in the form of injection or nasal drops.

The nasal vaccine like the Bordetella tends to produce a higher level of immunity than the injectable vaccines. Your vet will most likely suggest an additional booster if your dog is exposed to other dogs, for instance at dog training or

Treatment includes cough suppressants for mild coughs while antibiotics may be prescribed for severe, persistent coughs accompanied with a fever and to prevent secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia.




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