Anyone who knows Jon and I well knows that we consider our 3 Australian Shepherds members of the family. Were always concerned for their well being, making sure they get good food, lots of playtime, and unlimited singing time when I feel like playing the piano.
The result of all this coddling is that when they get sick we expect nothing less than for them to act like the sky is falling. A recent trip to Rhode Island for a wedding forced us to incarcerate them in a seemingly decent but apparently wretched kennels called Kennelwood.
They were the only kennels nearby with rooms big enough to fit all 3 of them but their neglect was obvious when we found some scabs on Bella, and their fur all smelled like urine from being in a pen that was not kept clean. About a week later, poor baby Buster started developing this very awkward dry cough, followed by hacking.
Despite being vaccinated for Bordetella, it was apparent that Buster had developed Kennel Cough. One surefire way to diagnose it is to press down gently on their throat area, and usually it will induce a cough. It seems that there are other strains that can be passed just like the flu.
Since we had just spent $400 at the emergency vet a month prior when Buster got a stomach virus we decided to consider alternative treatments for Kennel Cough. While neither of us are veterinarians, we know our pets like we know ourselves. When something makes them feel better it's obvious, and we would do anything to comfort them when they are sick.
Rather then subject him to yet another antibiotic course, we decided to try something natural. This home remedy cured his cough, and cured Bella's when she developed it a few days later. Luckily Legend did not catch it.
Whenever I am feeling sick, I have chicken soup and it's like an instant cure, even if temporarily. We figured that since we feed our dogs food that's good enough for a person to eat, maybe creating a little chicken recipe would help. We gave them this a few times a day, but mostly in the morning and night when the coughing was at its worst. It instantly stopped their coughing, and hopefully it will work for you.
I use my Homemade Chicken Stock. Depending on the size of your dog, heat up enough of this to give them a drink that will last a minute or two. Add a tablespoon of honey while its hot. Take out some hydrogen peroxide, and put 3 drops into the broth/honey mixture. Be careful not to add more or it will cause them to vomit. Once the mixture is combined, place it in a bowl and allow it to cool. Add an iced cube or 2 and stir until just warm enough not to burn your dog when they drink it.
If you don't have any chicken stock, then you can use some chicken bullion cubes instead but I highly recommend you make the stock using my recipe. Your dogs will love you even more because of it. While this may not be a solution for all dogs or violently sick dogs, it worked for ours when they had very minor coughing.
Even if you don't have any plans to board your dogs, you need to get them the vaccination for Bordetella because you never know what might happen, and it's better safe than sorry.