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Influenza (see Colds & Flu)

Influenza / Colds & FluPet supplements for influenza and flu in dogs and cats.

Herbal treatments to help treat and relieve flu and influenza in dogs and cats.

The complexity of the immune system requires a multidimensional approach of nutritional factors. The nutritional support of the immune system is directed at facilitating normal function and is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated. Plant botanicals 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, for most types of viral and bacterial diseases and diseases and for all types of inflammation and auto immune diseases.

Immune cells are designed to function in conjunction with one another to provide a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against all sorts of invaders including allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites and toxins. In cases of dysfunction, an animal’s body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every body system is at risk.

Influenza is a type of respiratory infection that frequently affects dogs and cats and is very similar to cold and flu symptoms that humans experience. This infection typically affects the upper respiratory tract which includes the eye, nose, mouth and windpipe, and can also infect the bronchi and lungs. Your pet will be visibly sick and will likely experience considerable discomfort.

Influenza is caused by various viruses which are highly contagious. The virus can be transmitted directly through sneezing and the secretion and fluids of the eye, nasal discharges and saliva. It may also be spread indirectly on food bowls, bedding, litter boxes and grooming brushes. The flu virus tends to flourish in areas where lots of dogs and cats gather, such as day care, kennels, shelters and feral colonies.

All dogs and cats are susceptible to influenza whether they have been vaccinated or not. Puppies, kittens, old and immune compromised dogs and cats as well as those suffering from leukemia or feline immunodeficiency virus are predisposed.

It is also important to note that once a cat has had feline flu, your pet will be a lifetime carrier of the virus. For this reason, vaccinations against feline flu are vital. Without regular vaccinations against the virus, your cat may contract a lung infection, such as pneumonia, leading to death.

Canine influenza is caused by a specific Type A influenza virus called the H3N8 influenza virus. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. Canine influenza virus can be spread by direct contact with aerosolized respiratory secretions from infected dogs, by contact with contaminated objects, and by people moving between infected and uninfected dogs.

Feline flu is usually caused by two viruses, feline herpes virus (FHV-1) or the feline calicivirus (FCV). The feline herpes virus is also known as feline rhinotracheitis (FRV). This strain of virus is more severe than feline calicivirus and infects the eyes, nose, sinuses, pharynx and throat.

Feline calicivirus infects the mouth, tongue, nose, eyes, joints, paws and may also fever and depression.

The common symptoms and signs of flu in dogs and cats include:

Sneezing

Eye problems

Runny eyes or nose

Fever

Mouth, tongue, lip and gum ulcers

Breathing difficulties

Poor appetite together with loss of smell

Joint pain

Lethargy

Depression 

Herbal Remedies:

Natural remedies are used to provide overall systemic and immune support to dogs and cats for influenza, reducing symptoms associated with flu and colds, providing respiratory system health and boosting the immune system, including sneezing, nasal congestion & watery eyes, while limiting all types of symptoms related to the flu and 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 responsepromotes strong teeth, bone, skin and coat, reduces 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 all types of 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, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. 

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. 

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.

Other helpful suggestions:

Feed your pet high quality commercial food or a natural diet without corn, wheat, soy preservatives, additives or colorants
Provide fresh, clean, filtered water daily and encourage your cat to drink regularly
Keep your cat healthy and fit by exercising him regularly
Make sure that your cat’s vaccinations are updated regularly, especially if you intend breeding, showing or sending your cat to a boarding cattery
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your cat
Maintain a hygienic environment and regularly disinfect your pet’s food and water bowls, sleep area as well as litter box
If your cat develops feline flu, let him enter the bathroom to inhale the steam from your bath or shower. Steam may help to relieve nasal congestion
Avoid contact between your cat and other cats if they have feline flu
Strengthen your pet’s immune system with immune-building supplements
Visit your holistic vet regularly for routine check ups to ensure overall health and wellbeing

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of feline flu is based on the symptoms presented, a thorough diagnosis and review of your cat’s medical history. In order to ascertain the cause of feline flu, swab samples of your cat’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 adult cats should be vaccinated against feline 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 cat experiences eating or drinking difficulties, intravenous therapy may be required. Isolating your cat to a cattery may be necessary to avoid infection of other cats.

You will need to follow your vet’s instructions carefully to provide supportive care for your cat. Make sure that your cat’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 cat palatable and smelly foods such as pilchards in small amounts throughout the day and ensure that fresh, clean water is always available. Lavish your furry friend with lots of love and attention to speed recovery.

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