• The One About Kennel Cough...

June 19, 2019

It’s that time of year again!
Kennel cough, the scourge of every boarding facility, is more likely to rear it’s ugly head around now than at any other time of year.
Because this is the time of year that most people travel and so they think about boarding their dogs. Most facilities require a  Bordatella vaccination before they will accept dogs onto the premises and so you have a glut of dogs going to the vet to get vaccinated.
These dogs then go on play dates, go to dog parks and out into the community, spreading the live virus wherever they go......through their eliminations, their sweat and on the air as they pant and sneeze etc. 
The Bordatella vaccination is a live virus, not a killed virus like most other vaccines, so it stays active for days after being administered.
Some boarding facilities will accept dogs that have had the vaccination straight away. 
We do not.
We have always insisted upon seven days between vaccination and your dog coming to DD and we are now going to extend that to ten days, as we have found that the virus can still be active and contagious in its host at seven days.
There are hundreds of different strains of this disease, your dog is only going to get one of them. He can only be vaccinated for one strain, but it is unlikely, given these numbers,  that this will be the one he will get.
Even if he is vaccinated, the vaccine is only 20% effective; meanwhile, though, he is walking around with a loaded gun of live virus in his chest that he is spreading near and far. 
Immune compromised dogs, the old and the sick, dogs on chemo, or dogs that are on large doses of prednisone for things like skin allergies are then at huge risk of contracting the disease. Because they have weakened immune systems, they cannot fight the disease as well, and it can very easily turn to pneumonia.
So what do we recommend?
There is no cure for the common cold. 
That’s what Bordatella is. Just a cold. 
There is no substitute for a strong, healthy immune system when dealing with any pathogen, so here’s my advice.
Plenty of sleep, a stress free life, a good diet that includes fresh meat and vegetables, either raw or cooked, and a good amount of sunshine and exercise.
That’s it. 
If you can give that to your dog, he is less likely to get the disease, but if he does, he will be able to fight it off much easier because his body will be stronger.
Things that help to heal the body when dealing with kennel cough are;
  • Sipping green tea with honey every few hours. The anti-oxidants in green tea are very good at bludgeoning pathogens like this, while the honey soothes a raspy cough.
  • Chicken soup. Yep, just like you have, minus the onions and too much garlic. See the recipe below.
  • Slippery elm, the stuff that we use for upset stomachs at the Ranch because it heals the stomach lining very quickly, works in the same way on lung tissue, so giving slippery elm with honey in meals or as a snack works wonders.
Which kind of honey?
I’ve always been a proponent of raw local honey but I have to say that nothing beats Manuka honey 820 mgo medicinal strength for dealing with infections. This stuff is simply incredible. So much so that I keep three jars in my cupboard at all times to use on wounds, to take orally for possible infections or for general wellness.
Your dog can have a teaspoon [medium size dog] of this wonderstuff a couple of times a day and just watch it’s perfect antibiotic properties do their thing! 
Pair it with slippery elm to ease a ragged cough and you’ve got a dream team.
If you have an older or weaker dog, or if you prefer not to take chances with holistic stuff, sure go get you some antibiotics and some cough medicine just to be on the safe side. 
Just please don’t let your dog come into contact with any other dogs for 14 days once diagnosed is that you can do your little part in stopping the spread of the disease.
We ask you not to bring your dog to the Ranch until ten days after the last cough was heard.
Be safe out there!

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