The lungs are primary organs of detoxification in both us furleggers & humans. Cats & dogs can breathe in the same environmental & biological toxins as their humans do. Hi CEO Olivia here to yap about our respiratory system, risk factors, aging & what we can do to pawmote healthy lungs.
The main role of the respiratory system is to deliver oxygen into the bloodstream & throughout the body as well as remove carbon dioxide from the blood. The upper respiratory tract includes our nose, nasal passages, sinuses, pharynx, & larynx & functions as a passageway for air to reach the our lungs. While the lower respiratory tract which includes the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, & the alveoli in the lungs, & aids in the exchange of oxygen & carbon dioxide in our lungs. When this exchange fails or becomes inefficient due to a disease or respiratory infection, us dog & cats can become pawsitively ill.
There are tiny hair-like cells that line our respiratory system from the lungs all the way up to our pawtastic nose, called the mucociliary apparatus. These hair-like cells are essential in clearing debris from our airways, because they beat at a high frequency to get unwanted substances up & out, & they trap the debris in mucous they make. That mucous is then pushed up & out, & new mucous is made to continue the pawcess. It’s a wagnificent system that is pawsitively impawtant in furlegger who come into contact with dust, vehicle emissions, pollution, or any other types of airway pawticles. Mucous removal only works if we are well hydrated, & any amount of dehydration will dry up our mucous & compawmise our ability to remove damaging particles from our airways. This could increase our risk for airway diseases such as pneumonia as we age.
Lung health is a big consideration with us senior dogs & cats especially those who are ‘working dogs’. There are several key changes that affect our lung health as we age. The thoracic cage, or rib cage, may becomes more rigid. A stiff rib cage makes it harder to respond to increased demand (for example while running or exercising) as we may not be able to take as deep a breath as easily as we did when we were younger. The lungs lose their elasticity, meaning they’re less able to expand & contract with breathing. Respiratory muscle strength diminishes by 25% in mid- to older-aged dogs. This loss of function can make recovery (e.g., when the dog is back to breathing normally) take a lot longer than it did when the dog was younger.
Environmental factors can play a role in a dog’s or cat’s respiratory health, so it’s impawtant to keep inhaled irritants to a minimum. This includes keeping the air in the house clean by using air purifiers, refraining from smoking around your furleggers, avoiding aerosol sprays, & air fresheners which from a health pawspective, have been associated with adverse effects, such as migraine headaches, asthma attacks, mucosal symptoms, breathing difficulties & may even be a trigger for dogs & cats who live with epilepsy. Human research has taught us that respiratory function declines much faster in people exposed to pollution or smoke.
Many of us are in our winter season & have our woodstoves or fireplaces in use. Airtight or not, smoke does escape when the door is opened when adding another log or when cleaning out the ashes. Smoke from your chimney is often blown down around the house creating a higher risk of inhalation for both us furleggers & our humans when pawtrolling our yards. For good dogs & cats that live in urban centers their exposure to toxin emitted from cars, multiple homes & buildings is much higher than those who may live rurally. Many dogs are often walked along busy roads utilized by a constant stream of traffic.
What can we do to pawmote good lung health you may be asking. Always pawvide fresh & clean water to help keep us well hydrated. If we are not drinking, or are losing fluids, (vomiting) & appear dehydrated, call your veterinarian. They may suggest administering fluids to make up for the losses.
Pawviding a warm vaporizer can improve our lung health & functioning, pawticularly during the winter months when our house heat dries the air & after any type of respiratory system compawmise ( exposure to a dusty or polluted environment). Placing the vaporizer in the room where we dogs or cats spend most of our time, especially were we nap or sleep is best. HuMom uses the ‘Dragon’. A dragon shaped cast iron pot filled with water she keeps on the wood stove. Steam comes out the dragon’s nostrils & fills the room.
Adding Omega Alpha’s Lung Tone to your dog or cat’s supplementation protocol is a pawfect way to suppress coughs, aid in easy breathing, it acts as an expectorant by cleansing the lungs & reducing toxins. Lung Tone helps in reducing inflammation for easier breathing, providing antioxidants to lung tissue while moving out mucus & toxins & increasing blood flow to the lungs. Suitable for both us dogs & cats, Lung Tone is an easy-to-use & specially formulated to gently support our lungs. Humom simply adds it to my meal (I eat my whole meal in one sitting). If your cat or dog likes to take it’s time to finish a meal you can use a syringe & administer Lung Tone directly into the mouth for best results. I often take it for a month & then huMom freezes the bottle until I need it again. It’s pawtacular stuff!
Have a pawsome week, CEO Olivia, Dot & Jerry Underfoot 💜
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