Mystery Dog Illness – According to the latest news from the Ohio Veterinary Medical Board, this disease affecting the respiratory system of dogs originated in Oregon and has been confirmed in 12 states. As of today, November 27, 2023, officials are “not aware” of clinical cases in Ohio. The causative agent remains un-identified however, experts are currently suspicious of a viral agent. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has broken down the disease into 3 clinical syndromes:
- Chronic coughing lasting for 6-8 weeks or longer, with minimal to no response to antibiotics
- Chronic pneumonia, with minimal to no response to antibiotics
- Acute pneumonia that within 24-36 hours can become fatal
What Can Dog Owners Do to Protect their Dogs with this Mystery Dog Illness?
If you suspect your dog may have contracted the illness, after calling your vet:
- Remove collars from coughing dogs so as not to further irritate their trachea and/or hamper breathing
- Until a definitive cause agent is identified, experts suggest offering therapy as you would for a virus, like the Flu.
- Treatment for viruses involves supportive care, focusing on providing good nutrition and fluids. Fluids help to ensure proper hydration,
- which promotes canine circulation bringing oxygen and critical nutrients to vital organs. Antibiotics combat bacteria but are not effective against viruses.
- Since viruses sicken dogs and lower immunity, the goal of supportive therapy is to boost your dog’s level of health and immunity to help ward off secondary bacterial invasion.
- When dogs are debilitated with viral respiratory illnesses, opportunistic secondary bacteria move into your dog’s lungs causing pneumonia.
- Bacterial pneumonia often becomes the critical factor in determining your dog’s outcome.
Practice good sanitization– most viruses are easily killed by disinfectants and 10 percent bleach solutions. Preventing the spread of these diseases usually involves isolating any suspected dogs, and thoroughly cleaning cages and exposed surfaces such as floors, food and water dishes, toys, and bedding. Wear disposable gloves and/or wash hands in between handling dogs as well as any urine, stool, or saliva, before entering or leaving.
Prepare Fresh Canine Homemade Meals
Many of our canine patients with respiratory issues benefit from fresh, organic homemade meals, in fact, research validates the fact that feeding your pets foods like those that we enjoy is a sound, healthy choice.
A meal of chicken, sweet potato, and broccoli, for example, is as good for pets as it is for people. Do not be afraid to prepare meals made of human foods for your canines. In addition to offering honest nutrition, it helps curb pricey pet food bills. Simple recipes save time and money, help to avoid emergency room visits, and promote health and wellness.
Homemade canine cuisine made of equal portions of a lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beef, veal, duck, fish, or eggs; long-acting carbohydrates, like potatoes, quinoa, pasta, or oatmeal; and fresh vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, green beans, lima beans, or Brussel sprouts are ideal.
Prepare your dog’s meals raw or cooked. Cooking options include broiling, boiling, frying, baking, and grilling. Mix, and add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil; the oil enhances the smell and taste of your pet’s food and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Don’t forget to season up your dog’s meal so it smells good. The three top flavors most canines enjoy are barbecue sauce, pasta sauce, and low-sodium tamari. Finally, balance out your dog’s homemade meal with a comprehensive, balanced vitamin-mineral, antioxidant supplement, like PAAWS.
Individual Vitamin Supplements Benefit Canines:
- Vitamin C [Ascorbic acid]: 250mg in small dogs 25-35 pounds, 500mg for dogs 35-75 pounds, and up to 1000mg for dogs over 75 pounds.
- Zinc: -1-5mg
- Vitamin E: 25-50mg
Homeopathic Canine Cold & Cough Remedy’s
- Warm chamomile tea with a teaspoon of locally grown honey and lemon. It’s a natural cough suppressant and tastes great.
- Manuka Honey offers antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties. 1 teaspoon per 35 pounds every 4-6 hours
- Aconite –helpful in the early stages of coughing when it seems like your dog has something caught in his throat.
- Drosera – useful for dry coughs, violent coughing spells, and ticklish throats. The cough may be worse when dogs are lying down.
- Rumex crispus – helpful with canine coughs that are dry and persistent.
- Spongia tosta – a croup-type cough that improves with eating and drinking warm items but worsens with cold drinks.
- Note: Homeopathic strength of 30C is ideal for most dogs. Give 2-3 pellets by mouth 2-3 times per day. Do not touch pellets with your hands.
- Withhold food and water 10 minutes before and after giving. If a remedy is not effective within the first 24 hours try a different remedy.
Herbal immune-system enhancers
- include Vitamin C, Echinacea, Olive Leaf, and Astragalus. Colloidal silver can also boost your dog’s immunity.
- Organic Coconut Oil also has immune-enhancing properties. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that are antiviral and antibacterial.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons per 10 pounds of body weight daily divided into your dog’s meals.
Humidify and Steam up to relieve Dog Nasal Congestion
- Get a Humidifier and add some eucalyptus to increase moisture in the air. Small rooms are the most effective. 15-30 minutes 2-3 times a day.
- Nasal aspirators help remove excess mucus in your puppy or dog’s nostrils.
- Steam: Turn on the shower-hot water is best, close the door, and sit with your pooch for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times a day.
- Canine massage, soft music, patience, and lots of love are always helpful in promoting your dog’s recovery back to good health.
What can Dog Owners do to keep their Canines Safe?
Avoid places where dogs congregate, including dog parks, grooming salons, doggie daycare facilities and boarding kennels. Call your veterinarian to be sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations with Influenza- the Flu- and Bordetella -Kennel Cough-being of foremost importance in this case. If your dog is showing any signs of this illness contact your vet.
Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM
Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM, is a practicing integrative veterinarian and a nationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field of functional medicine. She is the founder and director of the Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center and Pet Clinic and an Emmy-nominated television journalist. Her first two books, Naturally Healthy Dogs and Naturally Healthy Cats hit the international best-seller lists. She is a regular contributor to several television shows and networks including FOX & Friends, The Today Show, Discovery’s Animal Planet, and Good Day LA.Dr. Carol is board-certified in Anti-Aging Medicine and developed and patented PAAWS: Pet Anti-Aging Wellness System for dogs and cats. Today she has turned her passion for functional pet medicine, real food, nutrition, and wellness into activism. Dr. Osborne is leading a pet health revolution that challenges us to reimagine our pet’s biology and the process of aging to create and sustain your pet’s health for life. Learn more at http://www.chagrinfallspetclinic.com