Can CBD Oil For Dogs Help treat Kennel Cough?
When your dog is sick, it can be difficult to interpret the signs and figure out what he is trying to tell you. Coughing is very noticeable, and frequent coughing is definitely a sign that there is a problem.
Your veterinarian can help you determine what is causing your dog’s cough, and they can sometimes distinguish one kind of cough from another. High-pitched coughing and wheezing can indicate a narrowed airway, and coughing that occurs more frequently at night might suggest heart disease. For most coughing dogs or dogs with additional clinical signs like sneezing and fever, kennel cough might be the problem.
Kennel Cough in Dogs
Also referred to as infectious tracheobronchitis, kennel cough is an illness that affects the upper airways, causing inflammation of the trachea (windpipe) and the bronchial airways (smaller tubes that branch off from the trachea). It is primarily caused by bacterial and viral infections but can also be caused by parasites, smoke inhalation, and chronic coughing from other diseases. Kennel cough is usually accompanied by a hacking cough and throat irritation due to severe inflammation of the lining of the airways. The cough can improve after a few days but may persist for a few weeks in some cases.
Kennel cough can affect all dogs, and it occurs more frequently in unvaccinated puppies, senior dogs, and immunosuppressed dogs. Kennel cough can be caused by several organisms, including bacteria like Bordetella bronchiseptica and viruses like influenza. In severe cases, these infections can progress to pneumonia and cause serious illness in dogs.
Like cold and flu in humans, kennel cough can spread very quickly, especially during the summer months and in areas where there are many dogs. This includes hospitals, dog parks, and boarding and daycare facilities, so “kennel” cough is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to upper respiratory illnesses. Because this name can create confusion for pet owners, many veterinarians have adopted a new name for this kind of infection – canine infectious respiratory disease complex or CIRDC.
If your veterinarian suspects kennel cough, then she will likely recommend blood work to check your dog’s white blood cell count and chest x-rays to evaluate your dog’s lungs and airways. She may also recommend hospitalization with intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and other facets of supportive care. If your dog is having trouble breathing, then oxygen therapy and nebulization treatments may be recommended.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
If your dog is exposed to another animal who is sick with kennel cough, then it can take up to ten days for him to show symptoms. If he is vaccinated against Bordetella , influenza, and other diseases implicated in CIRDC cases, then your dog may have very mild clinical signs or even no signs at all!
Coughing spasms are the most common sign. The cough may also be described as dry, hacking, gagging or retching can be observed with severe coughing. It might also seem like exercise and excitement exacerbate these signs. In severe cases, and especially where kennel cough progresses to pneumonia, your dog may have a fever, nasal discharge, lack of appetite, and appear very lethargic. His breathing may appear exaggerated as it becomes more difficult to breathe.
CBD Oil for Dogs
Before discussing where CBD oil fits into cases of kennel cough, it is important to know a little background information. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that is naturally extracted from the hemp or Cannabis plant. By extracting CBD for medicinal use, it eliminates the compound THC from the final product. THC, or tetrahydrocannbinol, is the psychoactive agent in Cannabis that is highly toxic to dogs, so it is important to avoid any products for dogs that may contain traces of THC.
Fluid In The Lungs In Dogs
What your vet might call pulmonary edema is just another term for fluid in your dog’s lungs. Fluid may accumulate over time in the air sacs (alveoli) of your dog’s lungs, making it seem as though he only has a breathing problem when he exerts himself. Or it may accumulate quickly, causing acute respiratory distress. If the air sacs are filled with fluid instead of air, they will not be able to function properly and his breathing will be less efficient due to low oxygen intake and limited carbon monoxide output. Breathing are serious and require immediate veterinary attention.
Symptoms of Fluid in the Lungs in Dogs
Symptoms vary depending on the reason fluid is accumulating in your dog’s lungs and how long breathing difficulty has been developing. If your dog is showing any of the following, see your vet immediately:
– Crackling noises when breathing
– Rapid intake of air upon exertion
– Showing an effort when breathing
– Blue tongue or lips (cyanosis)
There are two types of pulmonary edema:
Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema – If your dog has a history of heart trouble, he may be experiencing cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Sodium and water retention may lead to fluid build up, and is secondary to left side congestive heart failure.
Noncardiogenic Pulmonary Edema – This type of pulmonary edema may be caused by trauma. The accumulating fluid will have a higher concentration of protein.
Causes of Fluid in the Lungs in Dogs
There are many things that could cause fluid to accumulate in your dog’s lungs.
Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema
– High sodium diet
– Dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
– Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (thickening of walls of the heart)
– Mitral valve regurgitation (heart valve does not close properly, allowing blood to flow back into the heart)
Noncardiogenic Pulmonary Edema
– Trauma to the head
– Secondary disease such as cancer
– Smoke inhalation
Diagnosis of Fluid in the Lungs in Dogs
Your vet may want to rule out things like obstruction, heartworm or pneumonia as causes for his symptoms. They’ll make note of his weight, as cardiac disease may cause him to be underweight. It may be found that your dog has an elevated heart rate and a weak pulse.
The fluid in the lungs will be diagnosed with an x-ray. If your dog has an enlarged heart, distended pulmonary veins, and fluid in the air sacs of the lungs, it will be diagnosed as cardiogenic pulmonary edema. An x-ray that shows fluid in the lungs without an enlarged heart is a sign of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema. Measurement of the fluid’s protein content can also lead to a diagnosis, as noncardiogenic pulmonary edema will have high levels of protein, whereas cardiogenic will show low levels.
Treatment of Fluid in the Lungs in Dogs
Treatment will depend on what caused the fluid to appear in the lungs, but first your vet will want to stabilize your dog. He may be put on oxygen, and given antibiotics to prevent pneumonia.
Cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema
Your dog will need rest and support. Diuretics can hasten the removal of the fluid and vasdiolators will widen his blood cells. His blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate will be monitored while he’s hospitalized. Several x-rays may be ordered to keep an eye on the fluid levels. Heart disease is a chronic problem, so the fluid may return.
Noncardiogenic Pulmonary Edema
Controlling the factor that caused the edema will be an important part of treatment. Depending on the severity and the cause, your dog may be able to improve quickly with oxygen therapy. Antibiotics, IV fluids and colloids, diuretics and anti-inflammatories will be given to him as needed. Blood pressue, respiratory rate, body temperature and oxygen saturation will be checked regularly while he’s being treated.
In both cases, your dog will benefit from the least amount of stress possible during hospitalization.
Recovery from Fluid in the Lungs in Dogs
Once your vet knows which kind of pulmonary edema your dog is suffering from, they’ll be able to determine what kind of follow up will be needed.
A low sodium diet and medication to repair and strengthen the heart will be necessary should your dog suffer from a cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Because noncardiogenic can be caused by so many different issues, follow up will be determined by the underlying cause.
In either case, follow-ups will be an important part of keeping your pet well. You should be aware of any changes in your dog’s breathing patterns and keep an eye out for irregularities in the future.