Echninacea for improving the function of your dog’s immune system

This page contains information about Echinacea for dogs, such as the dosage, side effects, safety information and common uses of the substance.

Echinacea is the name of a herbaceous flower which is often gathered for its health benefits. Some studies have shown that taking Echinacea can speed up recovery time from common illnesses such as colds and flu. It is also often used to bolster the body’s immune system either by itself or alongside other substances like Vitamin C. Different parts of the plant can produce different effects, for dogs it is most advisable to use a blend of Echinacea which contains both E. purpurea herb and E. angustifolia root.

Echinacea dosage for dogs

Echinacea has been tested on dogs in powder form at a dosage of 45 mg/lb body weight given once a day. This dosage was administered in a study which tested the effectiveness of Echinacea in treating dogs with chronic respiratory infections. After 4 weeks of sustained treatment the study found that a whopping 39 of the 42 tested dogs were relieved of all symptoms.

Is gabapentin safe for dogs?

Echinacea is a very safe herbal remedy which has been proven to benefit the immune system of pets and relieve symptoms of respiratory tract infections. It has been recommended by some institutions that Echinacea should not be used internally in pets with auto-immune disorders, though this is only theoretical and not yet backed by studies.

Safety precautions

  • Consult with your vet about using Echinacea if your dog suffers from an auto-immune disorder
  • Keep in mind that Echinacea may decrease the effectiveness of immunosuppressants
  • Consider avoiding use in dogs who are highly susceptible to allergic reactions
  • Consider avoiding use in pets who are breastfeeding or lactating
  • Notify the vet of other drugs/substances your dog is taking

Because of the effects of Echinacea the substance may decrease the effectiveness of immunosuppressants (drugs which suppress the immune system). Aside from this Echinacea may slow down the speed at which other medications are broken down by the liver or body. If your dog needs relief from serious conditions which Echinacea is only theoretically believed to help, you should stick to scientifically proven medicine.

Uses of Echinacea for dogs

Echinacea is mainly used on dogs suffering from:

  • Poorly functioning immune system
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Yeast infection

Some people believe Echinacea is effective in treating other conditions such as allergic reactions (including Hay Fever), headaches, urinary tract infections, chronic fatigue syndrome and eczema though currently there is not enough evidence to support this. If your dog is suffering from allergies you should turn to proven medication such as Benadryl for dogs.

Side effects of Echinacea when given to dogs

Side effects of Echinacea are incredibly rare but there have been some reports of nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, dry mouth, headaches and insomnia. Allergic reactions are the biggest concern when giving Echinacea to your dog, though again, this is incredibly rare. If your dog develops signs of allergy such as rashes and hives after ingesting the substance you should seek emergency veterinary attention.

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