Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats


Natural Remedies

Note: Veterinary diagnosis is essential.

Symptoms: Discharge from one or both nostrils. The mucous discharge (catarrh) may build up and cause partial obstruction of the nose and difficulty in breathing. The cat may have to breath through it's mouth. The discharge may be thin and watery, thick, or stringy. The color may vary from yellow or green to greenish-yellow and it may contain blood. The cat may also have bouts of sneezing, runny eyes and a cough. Loss of appetite often accompanies the problem because the cat is unable to smell its food.

Homeopathy to the Rescue

The color, consistency and type of discharge produced, along with the cat's temperament is the guiding information that you can use to help you select the best remedy.

Natrum Muriaticum 30c, three times daily for 5-7 days only if needed. Stop dosing as soon as the cat improves. Only repeat dosing if the symptoms return. Chronic sinus infections. An egg white like thin watery discharge that last for 1 to 3 days then the nose becomes blocked and stuffed up. Violent sneezing (if this remedy is used early on during the sneezing period it can stop a cold in it's tracks). Loss of smell and taste. Loss of appetite. The eyes may tear, look wet and sticky. There may be coughing. The animal may be irritable, oversensitive and want to be left alone. Weakness and debility.

Hepar Sulphuris 30c, twice daily until improved, up to 7 days. Hepar. Sulph., is beneficial if there is infection present in the sinuses and the nose becomes sensitive to pressure or touch. The pet may rub it's nose and eyes due to burning an itching. Keynotes to this remedy are: red eyes, scabby nostrils, red anus, etc. These animals typically have a weak immune response. Their disposition can be sensitive to even the slightest impressions. These animals may have unhealthy skin, eruptions and glandular swellings. Show signs of chilliness and prefer to be covered and warm. Bouts of sneezing from going out into the cold. Thick, offensive smelling discharge and ulcerated nostrils. Sulphur pets may be quite thirsty for frequent drinks of water but lack appetite for food. The often feel worse in the morning.

Silica 30c, twice daily or until improved, for up to 5 to 10 days. Silica's nature is yielding and anxious, nervous and excitable. The silica type usually have one infection after another. They have a poor immune response, generally have poor skin, teeth, gums and lack energy. This remedy is useful if the condition has become chronic and longstanding with a whitish color pus-like discharge. If the animal is sensitive to cold, touch and noise, has a history of repeated vaccinations and it's body type is thin and weak think, Silica.

Kali Muriaticum 6c, twice daily for up to 4 to 8 weeks or until improved. This remedy is of great value when there is a profuse buildup of thick white mucus in stuffy colds. This remedy is useful when sinusitis and excess mucus production has become chronic. With mouth breathing, scabby eyes, repeated bouts of throat inflammation. Swollen glands. The animal may sneeze early in the day. The nose may be obstructed with loss of smell. Dry, hard bloody crusts of blood around the nose.

Arsenicum Album 30, once daily until improved, up to 5 to 7 days. Arsenicum animal may show signs of anguish and restlessness and feel worse in the evening. Show great exhaustion after the slightest exertion. Their discharge is often green, watery and very acrid which makes the nostrils sore and inflamed. The discharge may start or be heaviest on the right side. The face may be painful. The eyelids may be red, ulcerated, scabby and red. The nose may be stopped up causing the animal to sneeze frequently without relief. Cleanliness is a charcteristic of the Arsinicum state — the animal may spend a lot of time trying to clean their nose. There may be bleeding from the nose. The throat may be sore making it hard to swallow. The Ars. patient will generally be, fearful, thirsty and chilly.

Kali Bichromicum 200c, liquid dose every two hours until improved, then stop dosing. Repeat dosing only if the symptoms return. For ongoing cases where the mucus is very thick, greenish-yellow, sticky and stringy. The nose may become obstructed resulting in violent sneezing. Sore throat often accompanies the nasal congestion and the animal may show signs of difficulty swallowing. These animals usually will have a thick crusty build up around the nose, that does not come off easily. If you try to remove it, the skin will come off too, resulting in bleeding sores. If the mucus is sticky and thick, to the point of making the animal feel like it is suffocating because it is almost impossible for them to breath, think Kali Bic.

Pulsatilla 30c, 3-4 times daily until improved. This is a right sided remedy so you would choose it particularly if the right nostril was blocked. The nose may have dried green flaky discharge in the early part of the day. The mucus can be thick then thin, it may alternate back and forth changing color and consistency from yellow to clear to greenish-yellow. The Pulsatilla temperament is usually sweet and clingy.

Acupressure Points for Respiratory Infections in Cats

LI20: This point is located on both sides of the cat's face in the depression at the end of nose where it meets the face. It is used to treat chronic sinus infections. If the cat's face is not painful to touch hold the point gently for 10 to 30 seconds 2 or 3 times a day. Work the point on both sides of the face.

LI4:This is the master point for the nose and sinus cavities. It is located between the dewclaw and the first long toe. 2 or 3 times a day, work the point by massaging the webbing in a back and forth motion.

Herbs to the Rescue

• If the nasal discharge irritates the nostrils apply homeopathic Calendula ointment or aloe topically.

To boost the cat's immune system:

Echinacea: Dilute 15 drops in 1 ounce of purified water. Suggested dose: 10 drops of the diluted herb, 1 time daily for 2 weeks. Stop for 7 days then repeat 1 time daily for 2 more weeks.

Eyebright: Steep 1/2 teaspoon of dry herb in 1 cup boiling water in a covered cup. Cool and give 1 to 2 teaspoons mixed into food or a treat (make fresh daily). The tea may also be used as a wash for the eyes and nose.

Antioxidants to Restore Immunity

Vitamin C in moderate doses: if the cat is eating, 10 mg/lb two or three times daily, mixed into a meal.
Vitamin E: 5 mg/lb once daily mixed into food or a treat.
Cod Liver Oil: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily.

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