Protecting your Dog from Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease

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Every year, a new respiratory virus threatens our dog’s health. When dealing with unknown respiratory dog illnesses going around, being as proactive as possible is essential. This year’s new canine respiratory illness has brought a new panic to many dog owners, but should you be panicking?

Check out our FB Live with holistic pet experts including Angela Ardolino, Dr. Odette Suter, Dr. Cathy Alinovi and Dr. Lynda Loudon to get a no-nonsense understanding of the situation as it now stands. Including the conventional therapies you should avoid, ways to reduce your pets risk of infection and discussing the natural plants, herbs and fungi that can protect and help your pet fight against this and any future respiratory condition.

What to Know About Canine Infectious Respiratory Diseases

Since the 2016/2017 canine flu outbreak, dog owners have been on alert to keep their dogs safe and protected from contagious illnesses like dog flu and kennel cough. However, this heightened state of fear results in decisions that might not be so logical, like giving our dogs vaccines for diseases they’re not at risk for, or overloading our dogs with drugs like antibiotics that deplete their immune system long term. 

Respiratory illnesses are generally the most contagious since they can spread via the air (airborne). Because of this, it is difficult to be 100% sure your dog has not been exposed in some way or another, depending on their daily activities. So, instead of waiting for a problem, being proactive through diet and supplementation is critical. Healthy dogs have less to fear from these new illnesses every year, with most dogs affected typically being senior dogs or dogs with other ailments or who are otherwise immunocompromised. 

Symptoms of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC) is the blanket term used to describe most types of respiratory illness among dogs. First, let’s quickly touch on what some symptoms of CIRDC may look like (this goes for the new disease as well):

  • Wet Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge (usually runny)
  • Lethargy/Weakness
  • Fever
  • Anorexia (no appetite)
  • Diarrhea

Depending on the canine respiratory illness, your pet may have some or all of these symptoms. More severe respiratory infections in dogs usually have a fever associated with them, whereas less severe illnesses like kennel cough do not.

Most respiratory diseases are self-limiting to about a week, meaning they will resolve independently after this period. While coughing and sneezing are unpleasant, dogs with healthy immune systems handle these illnesses without much issue. 

However, if your dog has any ongoing illness or disease, like allergies, collapsing trachea, or autoimmune illnesses, this can make their recovery more complex and may require intervention. 

Diagnosing Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease

Unfortunately, not all canine respiratory infections can be definitively diagnosed. The new “mystery respiratory illness of 2023” (origins tie back to 2022) is causing more concern than usual since this illness seems to linger, with the symptoms, like coughing, lasting upwards of a month or more.

In addition, this new illness can also result in acute and/or severe dog pneumonia, which has potentially life-threatening consequences. This recent illness is not responding to conventional antibiotic treatment and creates a secondary issue if treated in such a way. Using antibiotics for something not microbial/bacterial in origin only wipes out the microbiome and, thus, the immune system. This makes the dog less able to fight secondary pneumonia.

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Protecting Your At-Risk Dog From Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease

Especially in light of new bugs, like the one that arose this year, treatment can be challenging to nail down, so prevention is critical for seniors and at-risk pets. As time passes, this new illness will be isolated, sequenced, and treatment will be more definitive. But for now, we must be diligent in proactive measures to lessen our immunocompromised dogs’ chance of exposure and infection.

Keeping your dog out of communal situations like the dog park, daycare/boarding, and grooming (especially if your groomer lets all the dogs run around together) is a good idea. In addition, keep your dog away from communal water bowls or chews, and do not let them mingle with dogs outside of your household.

If you must travel, finding a pet sitter who can watch your pet from the comfort of your home is a good idea. This reduces the likelihood of disease transmission and is less stressful for your pet, and thus better for their immune system overall.

The bottom line is that while it sounds scary, this mystery respiratory illness does not affect the majority of healthy dogs. By avoiding communal areas with your senior, or immunocompromised dog, you will eliminate most of the risks associated with this mystery illness. 

Can I Give My Dog This Respiratory Illness? 

No evidence has shown that this mystery respiratory illness can be spread via human-to-animal contact. However, suppose a human came in contact with an acutely ill dog, and was coughed on or was exposed to the respiratory droplets of a sick dog. In that case, they should change their clothes before coming into contact with another dog, especially if that dog is at a higher risk (senior dogs, or dogs with other illnesses). 

Vaccines for Respiratory Illnesses

Conventional medicine relies on vaccinations as their method of prevention. However, giving your dog vaccines for things like the canine flu or kennel cough (bordetella) while new illnesses spread creates a two-fold problem.

By giving vaccines during the current illness spread, not only are you not protecting them from the present issue, but you are also burdening your dog’s immune system as they are busy processing the genetic information in the vaccines. This makes them even more vulnerable to the current illness you’re trying to protect them from.

Unfortunately, developing new, effective, and safe vaccines is not something that happens overnight. In the animal world, safety studies are not as thorough as in human medicine, so the side effects these vaccines cause are often not discovered until the general population uses them.

Integrative and holistic veterinarians do not recommend vaccinations for old diseases, while new diseases are an issue. 

Protect Your Dog From Respiratory Illness Naturally

Holistic medicine means looking at the whole picture rather than band-aiding symptoms or waiting until a problem starts to address it. By building a healthy body from the start, prevention is a hallmark of holistic medicine. 

Feeding our pets a fresh diet is always the foundation of health. Providing a whole food diet, with humanely raised meat sources fed a proper diet (grass-fed, pasture-raised) and avoiding synthetic vitamins is key. This ensures that your dog’s inflammatory load is already lower than that of a kibble-fed dog and gives their immune system the ability to fight pathogens and illness naturally as they come along.

The second way to help prevent respiratory illness is to supplement the immune system with Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD oil and functional mushrooms. This can be done regardless of diet and should be implemented before problems arise. Medicinal mushrooms and FSHE CBD oil have multiple benefits when taken daily, bringing balance to all the body’s systems, including the immune system. A balanced body is less desirable for pathogens and illness. 

Colloidal Silver for Canine Respiratory Infections

When made correctly, colloidal silver for dogs is a fantastic tool for combating all sorts of pathogens, diseases, and illnesses. For respiratory infections, it can be given internally in a couple of ways: sprayed around the dog for them to inhale, used in a nebulizer to inhale, or added to their water to drink, making a more direct impact on the gut and immune system. Ensure the silver you’re using is a hydrosol and uses MRET technology to ensure the best absorption and attachment to pathogens. 

Medicinal Mushrooms for Respiratory Health & Immune Support

breathe mycodog mushrooms for dogs extract tincture supplement adaptogens pugs brachycephalic mushrooms for cats with asthma respiratory illness disease For respiratory concerns, BREATHE by MycoDog is the perfect, tailored solution. This blend of medicinal mushroom extracts and adaptogens was specifically formulated to help prevent and lessen respiratory illness and chronic respiratory diseases like BOAS, collapsing trachea, and laryngeal paralysis.

The medicinal mushrooms in our Breathe blend are carefully chosen for their cardiovascular and respiratory health benefits. Artist Conk, one of the mushrooms in Breathe, has been used for centuries to treat respiratory illnesses like tuberculosis. Chaga, another ingredient in Breathe, is also a powerful antiviral and anti-inflammatory. Ashwagandha, our herbal adaptogen included in Breathe, has been shown to increase cardiorespiratory endurance, increasing VO2 levels in those who use it. 

Medicinal mushrooms are so powerful that, although they’re ancient in origin, they can deal with even the newest bugs. They work with the body to enhance immune function by activating both the innate and adaptive immune systems. This enables them to deal with any disease or pathogen they encounter. This is even the case with COVID-19, where mushrooms were studied and shown to produce natural killer cell (NK) function, neutrophils, and macrophages and increase the release and development of cytokines. 

We recommend a dose of 1mL (1 full dropper) twice daily for maintenance and prevention. Breathe can be given with or without food. 

Full Spectrum Hemp Extract CBD for Immune Support & Respiratory Health

The perfect pair of immune-modulating plant medicines is found by combining medicinal mushrooms and full-spectrum hemp extract.

FSHE CBD oil has been shown to reduce respiratory distress in cases of illness like COVID-19, “the anti-inflammatory function of CBD may reduce cytokine storm and mitigate the effects of exaggerated inflammation” in those with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrom (ARDS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

These studies show that CBD is helpful in acute circumstances and the long-term treatment of lung/airway inflammation and damage from upper respiratory diseases. The study indicates that FSHE CBD oil helps increase oxygen levels, repair lung damage, and improve lung function. That means that daily use of CBD helps you and your pet breathe better and gives them a leg up on respiratory illnesses that may be on the rise. There is even emerging data showing CBD to be a valuable tool in combating cancers associated with the airways, like lung cancer. 

Bruce Wayne the Pug with CBD Dog Health's HEAL CBD oil for dogs immune support respiratory support FSHE CBD oil’s usefulness in respiratory diseases is one of its many benefits. We also know that it is a potent immune system modulator that will help with any immune system issue and has incredible anti-inflammatory effects. Keeping FSHE a part of your dog’s daily wellness protocol isn’t just a good idea; it’s the best idea!

Regarding respiratory illness, we prefer our HEAL CBD oil for dogs for its potency and ability to tackle more severe issues. Depending on your dog’s other metabolic needs and age, the dose will vary, but we recommend a general dose of .50mL (½ dropper) given along the gum line twice daily. 

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Protect your Pet with our Dog Respiratory Duo

In the face of the latest respiratory bug, we’ve got your furry friend covered when it comes to holistic support. Introducing the Dog Respiratory Duo—a tag team of two top-notch supplements: Heal CBD oil for dogs and MycoDog Breathe mushroom extract & adaptogen tincture.

This powerhouse duo is your secret weapon against sniffles, coughs, and anything else in the air. Let’s keep those tails wagging and noses booping with the Dog Respiratory Duo!

Final Thoughts on Protecting your Pet from Canine Infectious Respiratory Diseases

When dealing with any contagious illness, being proactive is crucial. Prevention can come in many forms, from abstaining from communal activities like the dog park or daycare to giving immune support to your dog.

Everyone’s circumstances vary, and some simply can’t isolate their dogs every time there is a new infectious respiratory illness. These are the times when we need the miracles of whole plant and mushroom medicine, not only to prevent illness proactively, but also to combat it when it arises. Using holistic approaches to protect your pet from respiratory illnesses, including a fresh whole food diet, cannabis, and medicinal mushrooms will yield the most significant outcome for you and your pet long term.