As a pet owner, it is important to tune in to the importance of a healthy respiratory system in your pets.
The respiratory system is responsible for delivering oxygen to the body’s cells and removing carbon dioxide. Without a healthy respiratory system, your pet may experience a range of health issues that can impact their quality of life.
In this guide, we will explore the importance of a healthy respiratory system, common respiratory problems in pets, symptoms of respiratory problems, preventative measures, natural remedies, medical treatments, breathing exercises, and how to maintain a healthy respiratory system in pets.
Introduction to the Respiratory System in Pets
The respiratory system in pets is made up of the lungs, airways, and muscles that help with breathing. The role of this system is to oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange and delivery.
The Merck Manual notes that the respiratory system starts at the nose. Both a dog’s nose and a cat’s nose are highly sensory. They are full of receptors! Both a cat and a dog have over 200,000,000 receptors in their nose. These receptors are connected to their nervous system. There is an area in your pet’s brain that processes all of those scents, and it is highly evolved.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the nose as the beginning of the airway.
Your pet takes in air (along with bacteria, mold spores, and the smell of prey), and this air travels through the sinuses. The sinuses contain mucous to trap invaders, like mold, and to protect the lining of the sinus. The sinus, along with the nose and the pharynx, make up the upper airway.
There are turbinates in the sinuses that moisten the air that goes into your pet’s lungs. Your pet has a little extra special part to their turbinates, the OLFACTORY turbinates. This is very apparent when we see search and rescue, or drug searching dogs in action.
The trachea, and the lungs which are attached to the bronchial tubes, also contain the bronchioles, and alveoli. These make up the lower airway. The lungs are responsible for exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide, and the airways are the transportation highway of air in and out of the lungs. The diaphragm, intercostal muscles, and other muscles in the chest help to control breathing.
The respiratory system is essential for your pet’s overall health and well-being.
Without a healthy respiratory system, your pet may experience shortness of breath, coughing, and other respiratory problems. It is important to keep your pet’s respiratory system healthy to ensure that they are able to breathe easily and comfortably.
There are some breeds that are born with a brachycephalic respiratory system, which makes airflow a challenge due to bred abnormalities (1)
The Importance of a Healthy Respiratory System
Whatever breed your pet is, a healthy respiratory system is essential for your pet’s overall health and well-being!
Besides delivering oxygen to the body’s cells and removes carbon dioxide, the respiratory system, with the olfactory senses, is part of taking in surrounding smells and environment, danger, food, and mates.
Without a healthy respiratory system, your pet may experience a range of respiratory problems.
A healthy respiratory system also helps to support your pet’s immune system. The lungs are one of the body’s first lines of defense against harmful pathogens. A healthy respiratory system helps to prevent infection and disease, allowing your pet to live a longer, healthier life.
Common Respiratory Problems in Pets
Some of the most common respiratory problems include:
Kennel cough is an upper respiratory condition that affects dogs. As the name implies, coughing is a main symptom. It’s also called infectious tracheobronchitis. There are many different organisms that may cause this condition including adenovirus type-2, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and parainfluenza virus.
If you see a resonating toxin of Bordetella on your Full Scan, this is no cause for alarm. Resonating energetic toxins note an exposure of the pattern in your pet’s biofield, and with energy work, toxins can block the flow of energy between systems.
If you want to read more about energy work, after this post, you can visit our sister site CBH Energetics and this blog post.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the airways that lead to the lungs. This can occur in both cats and dogs, and can be long term, or chronic in nature. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including infection, allergies, and irritants. Common symptoms of bronchitis include coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens. It is characterized by inflammation of the alveoli, which are tiny sacs inside of the lungs, that may inflame or fill with pus, and this makes breathing, and oxygen exchange, difficult.
Symptoms of Respiratory Problems
If your pet is experiencing respiratory problems, there are several symptoms to look out for. These symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Labored breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Crusty nose
- Nasal discharge
- Loss of appetite
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Respiratory problems can quickly become serious if left untreated.
Supportive Measures for a Healthy Respiratory System
There are several supportive measures you can take to ensure that your pet has a healthy respiratory system. These measures include:
Hydration and Vaporization
Making sure your pet is adequately hydrated, in all weather conditions, is important to the respiratory system. Proper hydration is important for mucous production and flow (2). In colder months, when the air is dryer, a vaporizer is a great addition to the rooms that you and your pet spend the most time in. This is different than a propolis diffuser, such as those from Bee Healthy Farms.
Having your dog or cat sit near you, while you have a steamy bath, can also support dry air and their lung health.
Remember, cats do not always drink, as they get hydration from wet food. If you feed your cat a dry diet, you can hydrate their food, or encourage water drinking with a meat flavored water for your obligate carnivore!
Good nutrition is essential for your pet’s overall health, including their respiratory system. Make sure that your pet is getting a balanced diet that includes all of the necessary vitamins and minerals, including antioxidant foods!
Feeding your pet fresh vegetables and fruit provides antioxidant support. Antioxidants decrease oxidative stress that can come from normal cellular processes, and from some chronic illnesses.
Regular exercise is important for keeping your pet’s respiratory system healthy. Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in the chest and improve lung function. It improves circulation and is important for cardiovascular health. Both the Respiratory System and the Cardiovascular System work together.
If you are smoking inside your home, you are stressing your pet’s lungs. There are over 7000 chemicals in Cigarette Smoke. This is why we identify this as Cigarette Mix on a PetMedella Full Scan. There are quite a few toxins that affect your pet in the second hand and third hand (latent) smoke. Toxins like carbon monoxide and tar directly affect the respiratory system.
Herbal Remedies and Homeopathy
Gingko Biloba is used for lung support in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine and homeopathy). Raw gingko is toxic to pets, and it needs to be roasted to be supportive. In herbal and homeopathic tinctures, the amount is small, even when it is the first ingredient as in Lungex ll.
Medicinal Mushrooms are a well studied immune support against everyday bacterial encounters that may affect the lungs. Mycelia Intrinsic is our mushroom blend available in our online store after testing.
Ginger is safe for dogs, and cats, although you do want to pay attention to the amount, and the weight of your pet. Ginger, while being a digestive support, can also upset a small animal’s tummy if there is too much in the food.
This is a homeopathic Tissue Salt that supports excessive mucous, which can also be a respiratory stress as well. Have you heard of Tissue Salts?
This blog post is a great introduction!
There are many ways to support the respiratory system. Traditional Chinese Medicine looks at the lungs as part of the group of organs called zang, which preserves the bodies energy. By incorporating preventative measures, natural remedies, and exercise, you can help to maintain a healthy respiratory system in your pet and ensure that they live a comfortable life
There are many different respiratory problems that can affect pets. At PetMedella, we always recommend that you visit your licensed veterinary professional if you suspect an illness, or medical condition in your pet. Bioresonance testing is a partner in pet wellness, and cannot replace medical or veterinary advice.