Last month, a week after my labrador, Abby, spent a night at the vet’s office following lipoma removal surgery, she developed a cough. I let it go for a little over a day, as I waited to see if it was just a fluke since she was on antibiotics from her surgery and it was a pretty minor and only occasional cough. Listening to her, it just appeared that she had something in her throat. She hadn’t had any bones recently and she’s a grass eater, so I thought maybe she just had a piece of grass stuck in her throat. Unfortunately, by the next day when my scheduled post surgery check-in call with the vet came, the cough had progressed to being more frequent.
Analyzing Abby’s cough
Since I have no other option, the vet that I took Abby to for both of her lipoma surgeries is conventional. While she is a very nice and seemingly knowledgeable vet, the first thing to quickly roll off her tongue for any health issue is a pharmaceutical drug for it. Sadly, she is still gung-ho on doing this despite me telling her previously that I now prefer to treat my pets naturally after Previcox killed one of my dogs, as I wrote about here, http://savingcatsdogsandcash.com/previcox-killed-my-dog/.
As we discussed possible reasons for Abby’s sudden development of a cough, the vet narrowed it down to possibly heart disease or kennel cough. She gave me the number of breaths to count to rule out heart disease. I don’t even recall the names of the medications she rattled off for treating the kennel cough, including something for the cough itself if it progressed to the point of affecting Abby’s eating and sleeping. Honestly, she’d already lost me when drugs were her first thought to treating a pretty common ailment I know dogs get when they are around other dogs. Instead, I told her if it turned out to be kennel cough, I had some things I’d try first. We left it that if things didn’t improve in a couple of days when we had our follow-up visit, we’d talk about further action.
Kennel cough treatment
Since Abby’s breathing was fine and she had no other symptoms except a cough that had progressed a bit from the previous day, the first thing I did was head to my go-to home remedy site, earthclinic.com and see what they recommended. After perusing what was recommended and what I had in my medicine cabinet, I pulled out my liposomal vitamin C, that I just recently wrote about here, http://savingcatsdogsandcash.com/vitamin-c-for-cats-and-dogs/. I opened a packet of the vitamin C and gave it to Abby in some bone broth. I also added Echinacea to the mix.
Unfortunately, while the vitamin C and Echinacea did help a lot with Abby’s cough, I wanted it completely gone by the time we went back to the vet in a couple of days. I had read previously on earthclinic.com that the #1 recommended remedy was hydrogen peroxide, but because my bottle was almost empty, I’d opted to try the 2nd most popular treatment plan involving vitamin C. Once I’d replenished my hydrogen peroxide supply, I headed back to earthclinic.com and found this page, https://www.earthclinic.com/pets/cough.html#h2o2. After reading through the most common methods used, I mixed a few drops of the hydrogen peroxide into 6-8 ounces of water with honey (to offset the taste of the hydrogen peroxide) and offered it to Abby, who was resting on her bed.
Administering the remedy
Abby had just had her 2nd surgery in six months the week before, had a nine-inch incision on her side, and now a cough, so I wanted to keep her as still and comfortable as possible. The problem with my plan, I soon realized, is that Abby is probably one of the sloppiest drinkers on the planet. As I held her bowl for her, she began to drink/fling a good portion of the mixture onto my face. Later that day, about six hours after her first dose, I decided to try the bread method some users on earthclinic had discussed. Even though Abby eats raw only, I made an exception in an attempt to get the hydrogen peroxide IN her, not on me or the surrounding area.
In the end, the method that ended up working the best for us was me adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the bone broth and meat that I feed Abby twice daily. The meat and broth combined kept the slopping to a minimum, so once I got her on a schedule after those initial tries, administering was easier. In between her meal times, when I gave just the bone broth and hydrogen peroxide mixture to her, I moved her to the vinyl flooring where the mess from her sloppy drinking was easy to clean up.
Using caution with hydrogen peroxide
A word of caution though about using hydrogen peroxide. As you may or may not know, hydrogen peroxide is also used to induce vomiting, and you don’t want that. Two to three drops of hydrogen peroxide added to about 6-8 ounces of honey water/broth should be sufficient for a medium to large sized dog, but you can read how much other users gave their smaller dogs at the earthclinic link above.
I accidentally gave Abby too much hydrogen peroxide one night when the bottle slipped as I was tipping it, giving her more than I’d planned. I thought she’d be ok, given how big she is (95 lbs.) and how much broth was in her bowl. I was wrong. She ended up throwing up a few times over the course of the next 15-20 minutes and I felt AWFUL. I’m not sure if she would have had the same reaction if she’d had food in her stomach, but luckily, she only had three small episodes and then she was fine.
At the vet’s office during her follow-up, even though my normally docile lab gets extremely excited, Abby showed no signs of a cough. Once we’d wrapped up the visit and were paying, the vet casually asked how Abby’s cough was. I told her it was almost if not completely, gone. She said Abby had coughed once while she was briefly in the back having her stitches removed. I don’t know if it was the same cough I’d been hearing, or one from the leash being pulled too tight, or what, but just for good measure, I gave Abby one last dose of hydrogen peroxide with her meal when we got home. No further treatments were needed and once again, earthclinic.com was able to provide a helpful and effective home remedy.
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10 thoughts on “How I cured my dog’s kennel cough”
We just took our dog to get her kennel cough vaccine for the first time. She was completely wipe out for the following 48 hours, we’ve never seen anything like it. However, it’s worth it to us since she’s going to be staying in a boarding facility while we’re on vacation.
Hi Alexis, I’m not sure if you do your homework regarding the dangers of vaccines and how to ward off any side effects, but I thought you might find this article about the kennel cough vaccine helpful. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/three-critical-problems-kennel-cough-vaccine/ I know in some cases, such as boarding, you may not have a choice, but I recommend at least talking to the vet, facility or whoever in charge first before you just assume that you MUST give potentially harmful vaccines to your pet. Abby is not up to date on any of her shots and they never questioned me at the vet clinic where she had to stay twice for both of her surgeries, despite having signs up that all dogs being boarded had to be up to date on their shots.
Once my dogs get their puppy shots when I first take them in, they do not get any others and in taking in many, many dogs over the years, I’ve never had a problem following that protocol. All the vaccines that are pushed on pet owners yearly are not necessary and there is a ton of information online, including those who have had titers done, to prove that. It is a huge money maker for vets, so they, of course, push them. I also believe the ignorance of their dangers also plays a big role in the vaccine craze.
I’ve had enough bad experiences with vets (two of which cost me my dogs’ lives) that I do not trust their opinions on a lot of things, sadly. Instead, I do my own research and like in this case, I come up with my own safer treatment. Abby recuperated from her kennel cough and none of my other dogs caught it.
I just came across your website and I am fond of how you take care of your animals. Please talk to me about vaccines. All my animals have had vaccines in the past but I am reluctant to keep giving them vaccines. I have both cats and dogs. What do you recommend?
My animals all get minimal to no (depending on their age, the situation they came from, etc.) vaccinations when I first take them in and that is it. I can’t afford titer tests on 10 cats and dogs to prove for sure my animals are all immune, but it has been proven that vaccines can and usually do last a minimum of several years so I am comfortable only giving them minimal vaccinations once. That’s especially true after reading so many heartbreaking vaccine-related stories online over the years.
I urge everyone to do research on this topic before subjecting their cat or dog to annual vaccinations. I know many people are required by law to get the rabies vaccination, so even though many do not want to get it for their dogs, it’s the law. In those cases, sometimes senior or sick/frail pets can be given an exclusion if a letter is written by the vet explaining the danger to the animal in getting the shot. 3-year rabies shots are also available and sometimes will work to fill the requirement, depending on the city. Those methods of avoidance don’t always work, but they are worth a shot, in my opinion.
If you MUST give shots, either as their first protocol or due to laws, I recommend doing the detox for them. Depending on what shots you are giving, the detox method varies, but aren’t too involved and you can find them on the internet. I also wrote an article about vitamin C and how one of my holistic vet books advised giving it prior to and after vaccinations to help boost the immune system.
If your animals have all had their first set of puppy/kitten shots, I would say they are probably good for life, or most of their life, but that is ultimately your call. If you are concerned, you can look into titer testing to see if they still have immunity. I recommend visiting Dr. Jean Dodds’ website, hemopet.org to read more about her thoughts and protocol on vaccinations and the titer testing she offers, if you are interested in it.
Dr. Dodds is a very well respected vet and many people use her services and advice. Here’s an excerpt from her site:
“Dr. Schultz summarizes his 40 years of research with the following:
“Only one dose of the modified-live canine ‘core’ vaccine (against CDV, CAV-2 and CPV-2) or modified-live feline ‘core’
vaccine (against FPV, FCV and FHV), when administered at 16 weeks or older, will provide long lasting (many years to a
lifetime) immunity in a very high percentage of animals.” You can read the entire document ‘More Is Not Better. What Every Vet (And Pet Owner)Should Know About Vaccines’ here: https://my.imatrixbase.com/clients/14145/documents/Press/MoreIsNotBetter.pdf
Thank you for taking the time to stop by leave me a comment. You are on the right track with your hesitation and I hope I have helped shed some light on the subject for you. 🙂
Thank you so very much for your invaluable information! I appreciate your thorough and caring response. You are truly someone who cares about animals and their well-being and I am so glad I found your blog. I have been sharing your blog with others as well as I feel it is a great resource and the information you share is genuine and real as it is truly about the welfare of animals and their ultimate happiness and health. Thank you. <3
Awww, thank you so much for your kind words, Antonia. You’re welcome for the information. I’m glad you found my blog also and thanks so much for sharing it with others! 🙂
Your care and treatment of your animals resonates deeply with me. I am going to use your kennel cough treatment on my two new foster dogs from the shelter. How many days did you treat Abby? Thank you for sharing your experience and advice.
You should notice a reduction in the coughing within a short time (minutes to an hour) after just one dose, but I doubt it will be completely gone. I just went through it again with Abby after she’s had to make weekly visits to the vet for blood and urine tests and other things related to a UTI and bladder stones. She was on antibiotics, which upset her stomach and had her eating grass, so I missed the beginning stages, thinking it was grass in her throat so her case was more advanced. Even so, I only had to give her the mix I think twice a day for two or three days at most before the coughing stopped and then maybe once since then when it seemed like she maybe sort of was trying to cough (blowing air out and making her jowls shake–like coughing without opening her mouth).
Keep in mind she’s a big dog (92 lbs.) and I was using 3% hydrogen peroxide and it literally only took 2-3 drops per dosing to cure her, so use less if your dogs are smaller because it will make them vomit. The thing that I love about using hydrogen peroxide is that it starts helping right away and only takes a few doses. You just have to be careful not to give too much.
I hope this remedy works as well for your dogs as it did for Abby. Thank you for opening your heart and home to fostering and let me know if I can be of any other help to you.
Thankyou so much on your advice re kennel cough , I have had my little mans heart checked recently , he’s a fit 12.5 years and observed his breathing so I’m sure it’s kennel cough, started on honey , and now on a minuscule amount of the hydrogen peroxide in it , my two other 1 yr old and 4 yr old chihuahuas seem ok, and as they like honey there happy to have a drink in warm water , I won’t add peroxide yet to there’s unless they start coughing ,
I’ve donated 10 dollars for your charity , best regards Jo watt, / Raggie,Lillie,Wally 🙏
You are quite welcome and I hope this information helps. Every time my dog has picked up kennel cough (from the vet both times!), this method has worked quickly. Even though kennel cough is very contagious, my other dogs didn’t get it, so it’s quite possible you’ll only have the issue with your one dog. At least you’ll have this remedy in your quiver of treatments if needed. 🙂 Thank you so much for your donation. It is greatly appreciated! All the best to you and Raggie, Lillie, and Wally! <3