Dogs can get pneumonia just like us. Therefore it is beneficial to know what kinds of natural approaches are used when we humans get pneumonia, as many things we use are also relevant to dogs.
Pneumonia can arise from viral, bacterial or fungal causes, or as a result of other diseases. It is also more common in those with compromised immune systems, or in individuals who have been in the hospital.
Depending on the type of pneumonia, medical treatment might include antibiotics or cough medicine. Antibiotics will not work if your dog’s pneumonia is caused by a virus; antibiotics only work on bacteria. And while cough medicine may help calm your dog’s cough and allow him to rest, it is essential that he is allowed to cough in order to expel the toxins.
There are several natural items that may come in handy in cases of pneumonia. These should be used alongside proper vet care and any medically treatable illness should be treated by a vet. Before considering any of these items for your dog, please consult your veterinary caregiver.
Expectorants are items that allow coughs to occur and carry toxins, bacteria etc, out of the body. Some also have antiviral and antibacterial properties, therefore helping the body heal. Some also help encourage the cough reflex itself, which is thought to be impaired in cases of pneumonia. One botanical expectorant that is sometimes used for pneumonia is licorice. This should be in pure extract form.
Mucolytics increase the quantity of mucus, which acts as a carrier to release toxins in the cough. Some mucolytics used to fight pneumonia include bromelain and N-acetylcysteine.
It is also vital to use immune-supporting items to fight pneumonia. These include vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E and garlic. There is some controversy now about garlic consumption in dogs, but it has been used for centuries to fight many illnesses.
For humans, some suggested doses for pneumonia-fighting compounds are as follows. For dogs, dosage would depend on weight and health status. I always suggest adding one thing at a time so you can better gauge your dog’s reaction. Human doses are:
- Vitamin A – 50,000 IU/day for a week OR 200,000 IU of beta-carotene
- Vitamin C – 500 mg/every two hours
- Vitamin E – 200 IU/day
- One of the following – 1,000 mg of mixed citrus bioflavonoids or 30mg zinc daily
- 4,000 mg fresh garlic per day (garlic use in dogs is controversial nowadays)
Supporting your dog’s immune system will go a long way in helping him fight off pneumonia and other illnesses. One other way you can do this is by feeding him a wonderful diet full of whole foods including meats, vegetables and oils. Please contact me if you would like to make this wonderful transition.