Tabb finds comfort through herb treatment

Little Tabb spent his kittenhood in a shelter, but one day, when he was just a year old, Miranda Joslin adopted him. As excited as he was to have his furrever home, the shelter life had taken its toll. He had a terrible upper respiratory infection and an ear infection. It took four months of multiple antibiotic treatments before the infections finally cleared up.

“It was awful for Tabb,” said Dr. Kristin BeVirt-Patenaude. “After just a few months, his nasal congestion returned. The antibiotics cleared it, but then it came back. Finally, Tabb went to a specialist who found a nasopharyngeal polyp and removed it.”

She explained that polyps form after chronic inflammation, and that makes it difficult to clear up infections. “We were hopeful removing the polyp would be a long-term solution, but after a few months the congestion returned,” said Patenaude. “At that point it appeared Tabb was going to need long-term antibiotic treatment to manage his symptoms.”

When Miranda Joslin adopted Tabb, he had chronic respiratory troubles. Herb therapy is giving him relief.

She explained there are several problems with extended use of antibiotics. Because Tabb was still quite young, the medications would eventually lead to problems in his gastrointestinal tract and with his immune system. And always a problem with long-term use of antibiotics is the body developing resistance to the medicine.

When bacteria are subjected to antibiotics, they fight back. As they battle the medication, they get smarter and smarter about how to slow down its effectiveness. Eventually, the bacteria learn how to defeat the antibiotic altogether, so the medicine stops working. Unfortunately, pets then become vulnerable if they develop other types of bacterial infections, because different types of antibiotics are no longer effective.

“The owners and I discussed whether to approach Tabb’s health problems holistically, using an integrative herbal approach,” said Patenaude. “I used a mixture of Western herbs to address his specific needs. Not only did the herbs relieve his symptoms, but they also strengthened his overall health.”

The holistic approach was multifaceted, she explained. “We are using plant-based support for Tabb’s sinus irritation and infection, normalizing his immune response, helping his body cope with the stress from chronic illness, improving his body’s detoxification and strengthening his sinuses overall.”

Tabb has been primarily treated with herbal treatments since November 2020. His formula has been adjusted during that time, and he still has symptoms of chronic rhinitis. However, the symptoms are much better with the herbal treatments. Occasionally Tabb takes antihistamines, and once he needed antibiotics. However, a recent CT scan showed his disease is under control with his current treatment.

“While pharmaceuticals definitely have their place, herbs can be a tremendous benefit in the treatment of chronic illnesses,” Patenaude said. “They can be used to enhance the effect of drugs, sometimes allowing lesser dosages of medicines. They are invaluable for supporting organs that may be stressed by drug metabolism, and they can help combat side effects. In cases like Tabb’s, sometimes the herbs can be the mainstay of treatment.  Overall, Tabb is a great example of how herbs can be a viable alternative to manage symptoms and improve overall well-being in managing chronic illnesses.”

In addition to her veterinary degree, Dr. Kristin BeVirt-Patneaude is certified in veterinary medical acupuncture and holds a graduate diploma in veterinary Western herbal medicine. For more information or to make an appointment, call 414-421-1800 or visit

There are numerous classes of herbs and many herbs within each class. The energetics of a plant determine which herbs to use for each patient’s health needs.

Dr. Kristin BeVirt-Patenaude developed this herbal therapy protocol for Tabb, who has chronic respiratory troubles:

Herbs For Immune System

  • Enhance the part of the immune system that clear pathogens from the body
  • Dampen hyperactive part of the immune system that perpetuates chronic inflammation


  • Natural defense mechanisms insome plants give rise to antimicrobials, making it harder for bacteria to create resistance

Herbs For Respiratory Tonics

  • Strengthen sinuses


  • Help body deal with stress