SUPERBUGS, SUPER PROBLEMS Antibiotic Resistance This is Part 2 of 5

Antibiotic resistance is among today’s largest health threats for both humans and animals: How can you combat these ever-evolving superbugs? 
In an article written by Dr. Chloe Ross, A Veterinarian in Western Australia, she writes about how antibiotics are used when they should not be or when another treatment will take care of the problem. She has a strong interest in preventive medicine, and is especially interested in the microbiome and its role in keeping a body healthy. 
Antibiotics resistance is one of the biggest threats to human and animal health, and the problem is getting worse. Avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use (and making sure they’re used properly when they are essential) can help to save important antibiotics for life-threatening situations. It can also lower your dog’s exposure to a host of potential side effects. 
After your vet has diagnosed an infection, he may prescribe antibiotics without much consideration toward the rise of the superbug. Rather than heading straight for the pharmaceuticals, if your pooch is otherwise well, you can try other alternative treatments. 
Here are some common infections, often mistreated with antibiotics and tips for how to help fight antibiotic resistance. 

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIS)
  • Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC)
  • Skin Infections
  • Gastrointestinal Upset
  • Dental Disease

I will touch on each of these topics over five newsletters as to not make each article too long. 
Today we will talk on Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). 
CIRDC, also known as kennel cough, is one of the most common diseases inappropriately treated with Antibiotics. 
Firstly, most organisms associated with CIRDC are viral, with only three out of the many strains being bacterial. Secondly, in otherwise healthy dogs, it’s a self-limiting disease (like the cold or flu). As antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, and dogs can generally recover from the disease themselves, blanket treatment of this disease with antibiotics is illogical. Instead it’s best to avoid them (unless the disease becomes life-threatening), and keep your dog as comfortable and healthy as possible while she fights it off.
Another important aspect of managing CIRDC is preventing spread. The bugs associated with the horrendous cough are commonly shed for months after the infection clears.
To keep the infection contained, try to keep the area dry and clean (diluted vinegar is a good natural antimicrobial), and ensure adequate ventilation. 
It’s important to remember that after having kennel cough, your dog will be immune to that particular strain for at least six months.
Try some of these options before to help your furry friend through this annoying disease. 

  • Give Echinacea for up to three weeks. Assume the human-recommended dose is for a 150 lbs person and adjust for your dog’s weight.
  • Humidify the air. Feel free to add a couple of drops of essential oil to the water. 
  • Give it time. You can expect up to a month of coughing in extreme cases. 
  • Give honey to sooth your dog’s throat

Be aware that Bordetella has been associated with infections in humans. If you are immunocompromised or have other risk factors, talk to your doctor. 
Next week’s article will be on Skin Infections.
Dr. Chloe Ross, “Superbugs, Super Problems” Dogs Naturally Magazine, September – October 2019, pp 9-11 

As a side note to the article:Be sure to research any essential oils for their safety around pets and be especially aware if you have cats that will be in the area as they are sensitive to specific essential oils.
We have also found with our own dogs and in our rescue that Colloidal Silver and grapefruit seed extract works really well when given to pets that start to exhibit the signs of an upper respiratory problems.