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.
Can CBD Help a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs?
Collapsing Trachea is one of the most common canine respiratory issues in this day and age. While collapsed trachea in dogs currently has no cure, you can support your pet by alleviating anxiety and relieving the symptoms caused by inflammation. Thankfully, CBD is an all natural treatment for collapsed trachea in dogs!
Table of Contents
What is a Tracheal Collapse?
Tracheal collapse is a progressive, degenerative respiratory condition, often recognized by the honking, goose-like coughing it can cause in dogs. It most commonly affects small and toy breed dogs like Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Yorkshire terriers and Mini-Schnauzers, though it can affect dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Collapsed trachea in dogs involves the slow breakdown of the trachea, which connects the nasal passageway to the lungs. The trachea, or “windpipe”, is the tube that connects the throat to the lungs. It is held open by rings of cartilage, like a vacuum cleaner hose, which help maintain its shape. This allows air to travel unobstructed from the mouth to lungs – and back.
These flexible rings of cartilage are only about 83 percent of the circumference of the trachea – the rest is made up of soft tissue. Rather than a complete circle, the trachea’s structural rings are U- shaped. A collapsed trachea happens when these rings of the trachea get progressively weaker and cannot maintain the open structure of the airway. The soft tissue begins to sag and eventually blocks the tube and the free flow of air with it.
Without these rings, it would be near impossible to take a breath or exhale. Imagine trying to suck a milkshake through a flattened straw. That’s your dog trying to get air through their collapsing trachea.
What Causes a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs?
In many cases the exact cause is unknown, though it can be genetic. This condition can also be exacerbated by a number of factors that pet parents may not be aware of, such as:
- Genetic predisposition
- Respiratory disease
- Heart disease
- Cushing’s Disease
- Wear and Tear
- Environmental Pollutants
To help prevent collapsed trachea, you should always use a harness rather than a leash. Regardless of your dog’s size or breed, a harness will take pressure away from the dog’s neck – especially when the dog may run forward faster than you can keep up. You should also manage your pet’s weight. Obesity can worsen collapsed trachea. A raw or freeze-dried diet is the best diet for balanced gut health and weight. It’s also important to keep the dog’s environment free of irritants like smoke, excessive hair, and dust.
Much like other degenerative conditions, this disease is chronic, progressive, and irreversible. An episode can be very painful and may last for several minutes, so it’s best to catch this condition before it’s too late. If the trachea is collapsed for an extended period of time, oxygen levels may drop dangerously low and in extreme cases can be fatal.
What are the Symptoms of Collapsed Trachea in Dogs?
As with any progressive condition, it’s best to catch it early. There are several symptoms of collapsed trachea to watch for. If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, make sure to discuss with your holistic veterinarian. Final diagnosis may require tests such as radiograph, echocardiogram , or fluoroscopy.
- Honking cough
- Loud, abnormal, wheezy, or labored breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Blue or purple gums
- Difficulty exercising without breathing issues
- Breathing changes when being picked up
You may also notice the symptoms worsen when:
- Your dog is excited
- After your dog eats or drinks
- When overheated or in high humidity
- When around smoke
- At night
- When there is pressure on the neck or throat area
Conventional Treatments for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs
There is no single drug among the arsenal of western pharmaceutical medications that can successfully manage all the symptoms of tracheal collapse. Instead, traditional vets will offer several different drugs in an effort to combat all of the symptoms.
Along with their own side effects, these drugs also have the potential to interact with each other as well as any other medications your pet may be on.
These drugs include:
*Before choosing to wean your pet off of prescribed medications for tracheal collapse, discuss safe weaning with your holistic veterinarian.
CBD for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs
Looking for an alternative to the various combinations of different pharmaceutical medications currently being used to treat collapsed trachea in dogs?
A CBD-rich Full Spectrum Hemp extract has been proven to manage each of the previously mentioned symptoms, without the risk of side effects or dangerous interactions that pharmaceuticals bring:
CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory
This property is one of those for which cannabis is most well known. Compounds found in cannabis that reduce inflammation are abundant and diverse. The most abundant phytocannabinoids in cannabis, THC and CBD, both have strong anti-inflammatory properties, while CBC, CBG, and THCV have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.
In an important study by the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, researchers found that the activation of cannabinoid receptors had a profound effect on inflammatory conditions for their test subjects. The study is quoted saying: “several studies show that cannabinoids down-regulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, up-regulate T-regulatory cells as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses.”
By preventing and counteracting chronic inflammation , CBD has the potential to reduce irritation and pressure in the pulmonary system and prevent further degradation of the trachea and supporting cartilage.
CBD as an Anti-Anxiety
Stress, anxiety, and fear can trigger and exacerbate that honking cough associated with a collapsed trachea. Thankfully, CBD is a wonderful, natural way to prevent fear and anxiety without causing outright sedation, as drugs like Trazodone would.
A 2013 article , publis hed in Neuropharmacology, also found that: “In addition to modulating basal anxiety states, recent studies suggest an important role for the endocannabinoid and glucocorticoid systems is the modulation of emotional states and extinction of aversive memories in animals.”
In other words, this means that CBD can help in facilitating extinction of negative emotion surrounding triggers, and helps manage anxiety or panic disorders in people and animals. Perfect, for instance, for preventing the anxiety that comes with tracheal collapse episodes.
CBD as a Bronchodilator
Not only does CBD help reduce inflammation and calm out pets anxiety, research also shows it has the ability to act as a bronchodilator, expanding these airways and letting more air in. During collapsed trachea episodes, the last thing you would want is for the bronchioles to be constricted as a result of an attack.
According to this study, from the University of Florence in Italy, “The activation of CB1 receptors on bronchial nerve endings has bronchodilator effects by acting on the airway smooth muscle and may be beneficial in airway hyperreactivity…”
CBD as an Antispasmodic
One of the secondary effects of an episode of collapsed trachea are muscle spasms, both locally and throughout our pets’ bodies. Coughing fits cause involuntary convulsions and muscle spasms as our dogs try desperately to get a breath of fresh air.
Conventional muscle relaxers and anti-spasmodics have dangerous interactions with other drugs, and are known to be highly sedative. In contrast, CBD from a full-spectrum hemp extract is extremely safe, with no negative effects to our pets quality of life.
During a 2012 study , researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, discovered that patients who consumed cannabis experienced a one-third decrease in spasticity, compared with participants given a placebo. Additionally, the cannabis also reduced the patients’ perception of pain by 50 percent.
CBD as an Analgesic
Finally, full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) is great for reducing pain. Cannabis has been used as an effective analgesic dating back thousands of years. One of the ways it does this is actually by changing the way the recipients’ central nervous system communicates the sensation of pain to their brains.
For example, when an injury occurs, like a dog hurting his paw on a sharp rock, the damaged tissue tells inflammatory and immune cells to begin repairing the damage. The cells release chemicals and proteins to activate receptors on nerves. Finally, these nerves move to the spinal cord and up to the brain causing our dog to feel the pain in his paw. CBD products can be utilized long-term to reduce pain effectively, by weakening these pain signals.
A study published in 2006, in Current Neuropharmacology, states that CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets, suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes.
Dosing CBD for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs
Despite common misconceptions, dosing CBD has very little to do with your dog’s size and weight. Sensitivity can range greatly between dogs, and can even change over time, based on age or chronic illness. Therefore, dosage is most effectively determined with consideration for each animal’s unique physiological condition.
For collapsed trachea, we recommend our Ease tincture, a Full Spectrum extract with 550mg of CBD, and formulated with frankincense and turmeric to target inflammation. Based on experience, we recommend a dosage ranging from 9-18mg a day. Our Ease tincture is specially formulated so that one full dropper (1mL) is one standard dose (9mg of CBD). The best way to administer the tincture is applied directly to the gums, in two to three separate applications throughout the day for consistent use.
Pet parents are often highly concerned that they will give too much CBD and cause harm to their pets. However, more often than not when a pet is not having the desired reaction, it is because the pet isn’t getting the dosage they need for their ailment.
If you feel nervous about experimenting to find the upper limit of their sensitivity, rest assured, it is completely safe.
Here are a few of our incredible reviews related to collapsed trachea in dogs, submitted by some of our happy pet parents:
“I’m giving this CBD 5 stars because it’s the only thing proven to work for my 6.5 yr old Pomeranian. My baby Loki has a trachea collapse and has for the past 1.5 years. He’s FULL of energy, just during the change of seasons his trachea (cough) acts up. This CBD has done wonders since I started. He barely coughs at all!! I’m so excited to continue using this product as it’s helped my baby get back in his groove. Thank you!”- Madison B.
“I purchased Ease for my 14 year old pug who is suffering from a collapsed trachea and joint pain. This product has made a huge difference in her ability to deal with both of these issues. It calms her cough and allows her to move better. She even likes the flavor! Dosing with the eye dropper is very easy and convenient. Thank you!”- Janet H.
“Excellent product! We use the CBD EASE for Dogs on our 13yo Toy Poodle who suffers from a collapsing trachea . He seems to be more relaxed and doesn’t go into coughing/hacking fits as much as he used to. I definitely recommend this product! Thank you!”- Vernie D.
In the end, you know your pet best. Therefore, with the help of a good holistic or integrative vet, you can find the right combination of natural and western style medical treatments for your dog’s specific conditions.
In the case of collapsed trachea, there is so much we can do naturally to slow down the progression of this disease and prevent future episodes. For instance, CBD from a full-spectrum extract is great for our pets immune system, mobility and mental health. In addition, it has the potential to replace each of the five main types of medication used by conventional vets to treat this condition.
In conclusion, along with using a full-spectrum hemp extract, look into ways you the following ways you may be able to fortify your pets defenses against collapsed trachea:
CBD for Dogs With Tracheal Collapse
If so, you’re probably looking to get them effective relief from the constant coughing and breathing difficulties.
More specifically, you may be wondering if CBD can help reduce their symptoms.
Read on to learn more.
One brand I love to recommend for more serious ailments is HolistaPet. Their oils have amazing ingredients and get great customer reviews.
Exclusive Bonus: Download a free checklist which helps you decide if supplementing with CBD is right for your dog. Download your free copy today!
Table of Contents
What is Tracheal Collapse?
The trachea, or windpipe, is a tube of cartilage in the throat that helps transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs.
This pipe is made up of little rings of cartilage that connect the larynx and the lungs.
As the name suggests, tracheal collapse is a condition in which this small tube collapses.
This is usually caused by problems in the small rings of the trachea, causing them to weaken and the structure to collapse in on itself.
As a result, the animal’s airways become blocked and the trachea inflamed, making it much harder for them to breathe.
What are the Main Causes?
The exact causes aren’t always clear.
It can affect any dog of any breed, although it tends to be diagnosed in dogs of around 6 or 7 years of age.
In most cases, however, tracheal collapse is caused by a birth defect in which the cartilage of the trachea doesn’t form properly.
Tracheal collapse can also be caused by the weakening and degeneration of the rings of cartilage.
Some risk factors that might increase a dog’s risk of developing this condition include being overweight, as well as suffering from other underlying health conditions like:
- Heart and lung diseases.
- Respiratory infections like Kennel Cough.
- Allergic bronchitis.
- Cushing’s disease.
This is also more common in some particular dog breeds, including Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Maltese, Poodles, and Chihuahuas.
Using choke collars may also cause damage to the trachea and, over time, cause tracheal collapse.
What are the Symptoms of Tracheal Collapse?
The telltale sign is a very distinct, dry cough.
As the dog breaths, the windpipe narrows, creating a tickling sensation in the animal’s throat which causes them to produce a deep, dry cough with a very distinct, almost honk-like sound.
Dogs with this condition tend to cough more in situations when they are breathing rapidly, such as on walks, during exercise or while playing with other animals.
Your dog may also cough in other situations when they are agitated, such as during car rides.
Some dogs will also cough when eating or drinking.
They may also suffer from coughing fits.
This constant coughing will irritate the trachea, causing it to become chronically inflamed, which in turn will lead your dog to cough even more.
Besides coughing, other symptoms of tracheal collapse include:
- Lethargy and fatigue.
- Trouble breathing.
- Avoiding exercise and play.
- Blue gums.
The cough associated with tracheal collapse is typically very dry.
And while it may sound harsh, the cough itself shouldn’t be painful to your dog.
Nonetheless, over time, it will cause your dog distress and will affect their overall quality of life.
What is the Prognosis of Canine Tracheal Collapse?
This is a progressive, chronic, and irreversible condition.
However, most cases can be managed well with medications, supplements, lifestyle changes, and in some cases surgery.
Lifestyle changes, while they might seem simple, can be a big help for dogs with a collapsed trachea.
If your dog is overweight, helping them lose weight should be one of your first objectives.
You should also stop using neck collars right away, as the pressure from the collar will only aggravate your dog’s symptoms.
Also, make sure you limit your dog’s exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, dust, or pollen.
You may also notice that some chemicals, such as those found in cleaning agents or room deodorizers, aggravate your dog’s symptoms.
If so, make sure to stop using these products.
If you’re a smoker, also make sure to avoid smoking in the house and around your pet as this will only further aggravate their symptoms.
Dogs with this condition will suffer in situations where they need to breathe rapidly. So try to keep them from doing intense forms of exercise like running or long walks.
You’ll still want to keep your pooch active but try to do so through light exercise, such as short, slow walks.
Also, try to keep your dog cool during hot summer days, as the heat will make them pant which, in turn, will probably make them cough.
Keeping your dog’s food and water elevated may also help them as they won’t have to bend their neck in order to eat/drink.
If your pet has only been eating dry food, you may want to consider switching them over to a moist diet as well.
Dogs with this issue will usually take one or more medications to help make breathing easier and reduce inflammation of the trachea.
Some common medications used include:
- Cough Suppressants. These are usually the first line of defense in cases of tracheal collapse that aren’t very advanced.
- Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory and help relieve inflammation of the trachea from constant coughing.
- Bronchodilators. These drugs help dilate the bronchioles and bronchi, increasing airflow to the lungs while decreasing resistance in the respiratory tract. In doing so, they’ll alleviate some of the breathing difficulties your dog may have.
- Antibiotics. Your dog might be at a higher risk of developing respiratory infections. Your vet will prescribe antibiotics if they feel your pet is at risk of developing one of these infections.
- Anabolic Steroids. These drugs also help with inflammation and may also help strengthen the cartilage of your dog’s windpipe.
- Sedatives. Your dog’s symptoms will be aggravated by agitation and stress. In some cases, doctors may use a sedative to keep a dog from getting too worked up.
Some dogs may benefit from surgery.
Surgery is usually used on dogs who cannot get relief from lifestyle changes and medications, seeing as it can be risky and may lead to further complications further down the track.
Tracheal surgery usually involves inserting a breathing tube into your pets respiratory tract to improve airflow to the lungs.
Your vet might use a number of supplements to help slow the progression of your dog’s condition.
These can include joint supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, which claim to prevent the breakdown of cartilage.
They may also help with inflammation.
Can CBD Help With Tracheal Collapse?
CBD, as you probably know, is a component found in cannabis.
It is one of over 400 active compounds in the plant and has been the focus of a growing body of scientific research due to its potential health benefits.
Because CBD doesn’t produce that iconic high associated with marijuana (which is caused primarily by THC), it’s an attractive potential medicine and supplement for children as well as pets.
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re familiar with the huge variety of pet CBD supplements out there.
You may already have read about some of the health benefits of CBD for pets.
But can these benefits relieve the symptoms of collapsed trachea?
Well, they might.
To understand how, you’ll need to first understand how CBD works in the body.
I haven’t used CBD on a dog with this issue, but I have used it with my other pets. You can read more about my personal story with CBD here.
CBD and Your Dog’s Endocannabinoid System
You’ve probably heard of the endocannabinoid system before.
Without going into too much detail (click here for a full overview of the ECS), the endocannabinoid system is a sort of regulatory system that can help manage a wide variety of bodily processes.
It is mainly made up of 2 components: Endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG) and their receptors (CB1 and CB2).
The most basic way to stimulate endocannabinoid activity is with endocannabinoids that fit directly into these receptors.
However, the body is a complex mechanism, and there are many other pathways within it that, once activated, can also activate the endocannabinoid system.
CBD doesn’t bind to either cannabinoid receptors in the body but instead activates other receptors and molecular pathways that end up stimulating the endocannabinoid system indirectly.
So, what does that mean for dogs with a collapsed trachea?
Well, CBD can produce effects that might be able to alleviate your pet’s symptoms.
CBD is a really great anti-inflammatory compound.
In fact, some studies have shown that CBD can be more effective at relieving inflammation and inflammatory pain as standard NSAIDs like ibuprofen and even as effective as some prescription anti-inflammatories.
Actually, CBD provides its anti-inflammatory benefits via some of the same mechanisms as ibuprofen and paracetamol.
Like these drugs, CBD affects COX enzymes.
Regular inflammatories block both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, both of which produce special compounds known as prostaglandins which have hormone-like effects.
COX-1 prostaglandins help with blood clotting and protect the lining of the stomach and intestines, while COX-2 prostaglandins are produced in response to injury or infection and help regulate inflammation.
By blocking both of these enzymes, regular NSAIDs reduce inflammation but also cause adverse effects, especially when taken over long periods of time.
CBD, on the other hand, is more selective and seems to have a greater effect on COX-2 enzymes.
In doing so, it is able to relieve inflammation without causing some of the harsh side effects associated with regular NSAIDs.
CBD also acts on glycerine and vanilloid receptors, through which it may also deliver part of its anti-inflammatory effects.
Today, a wide body of research exists on the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD as well as the role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating inflammatory processes.
Other Benefits of CBD for Dogs With This Issue
Besides its anti-inflammatory benefits, CBD may also help dogs with tracheal collapse by:
- Fighting Anxiety: There’s a really solid body of research detailing CBD’s anxiolytic effects. Remember, agitation and anxiety will increase your dogs breathing, forcing more air through their trachea, causing irritation and only aggravating their symptoms. If your dog tends to get anxious or agitated on walks, car rides, or during playtime with other pups, CBD may be able to help them stay calm. For more information, make sure to check out my previous article on CBD for dogs with anxiety.
- Fighting Pain: While it usually isn’t painful, the harsh cough from tracheal collapse can cause pain in some dogs. If your dog suffers from some kind of pain as a result of a collapsed trachea, CBD may help. For more information, make sure to check out my previous article on CBD for dogs with pain.
Remember, the endocannabinoid system is a really wide-reaching system involved in many different aspects of the body’s physiological function.
Hence, stimulating this system with CBD supplements can have a wide variety of effects.
For more information, check out my CBD benefits page where I discuss all of the benefits of CBD for pets in more detail.
Are Pet Owner Treating Tracheal Collapse With CBD?
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, there’s hardly any research trialing CBD on dogs or cats.
Most of what we know about the effects of cannabidiol comes from in vitro trials, studies on lab animals, or clinical trials on humans.
Now, I understand that might make you nervous.
After all, nobody really wants to experiment with medicines and supplements on their pets.
However, CBD is super safe and many pet owners swear by it.
After seeing the effects CBD had on my dog Rosie (who suffered from hip dysplasia and later cancer), I’m convinced that this stuff works.
But don’t just take my word for it.
Luke, for example, is an aging Chihuahua who started suffering from a harsh cough due to his aging trachea.
Luckily, his owners were able to greatly reduce Luke’s symptoms using CBD capsules.
Tinker is another dog with a similar story.
At 13 years old, Tinker suffers from sarcoma in his lungs that’s also left him with a strong, persistent cough and feeling miserable.
After just a week of using an extra strength CBD tincture, Tinker’s owners noticed a huge change:
Tinker’s cough was almost completely gone and he started playing again and acting like his old self.
There are many other CBD success stories out there.
Make sure to visit the testimonial pages on sites like Canna-Pet for more insight from other pet owners on the effects CBD had on their pets.
Which CBD Brands and Products are Best?
If your dog suffers from a collapsed trachea, CBD might be able to help them with inflammation, pain, and anxiety.
On my website, I review a wide variety of CBD brands and pet products.
Right now, one of my favorite pet CBD brands for these ailments is HolistaPet.
For this particular condition, I’d recommend HolistaPet’s CBD Pet Tinctures.
HolistaPet also carries a great line of CBD dog treats and capsules. You can review all their products on my HolistaPet review page here.
For more information about this brand and other CBD pet products, make sure to check out the reviews on my homepage as well.
Hey I’m Blake, the founder of this website. Our family was fortunately to have discovered CBD products after our dog Rosie was diagnosed with a few common ailments. I truly believe they enhanced her last few years, and it’s my passion to spread the word through this website. Thanks for visiting!