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Do Dogs get Colds? What should you do?

Just like us, pets are prone to colds and flus. More often than not, the respiratory symptoms manifested in animals are a result of viral, bacterial, or fungal infection.  However, most commonly, canine colds and flus take place due to virus. Since these illnesses can result in serious secondary bacterial infections if left untreated, consulting your vet for immediate treatment is very important.

Symptoms and Causes

· In dogs, some of the most common indicators of colds and flus include moist, soft cough; thick nasal discharge; and rapid, labored breathing. Cold symptoms are usually brought about by Bordatella as well as flu virus.

· Canine influenza, commonly known as dog flu, is a highly communicable respiratory illness that can spread easily among dogs. There is no available vaccine or serum against this condition. Respiratory infections in dogs are usually an effect of congested, humid conditions with inadequate ventilation like in pet shelters and kennels. Aside from that, poor nutrition and sanitation, and even stress on a pooch’s immune system also contribute to cold and flu contagions.

How to Care for Your Ailing Pooch

· If Fido is sneezing or coughing, but is still in otherwise good health, you may treat his condition by feeding him with healthy foods, and letting him drink lots of liquids. Allowing your dog to stay in a warm, humid room sometimes will also help by letting the temperature around him loosen up his lungs and sinuses.

· Remember that while most respiratory symptoms can start improving within only several days from the period of onset, some pooches, however, have immune systems which are not as equipped for the illness. These dogs might require antibiotics and other prescriptions in order to fully recuperate.

· If your ailing pet is either very old or very young, it would be best if you have him examined by your vet. Dogs at these ages are more likely to have less capable immune systems; making them to suffer more from the illness.

· One of the most common preventive techniques is keeping Fido inside your house during cold and wet weather conditions. Brief trips outdoors can be done, of course, for relief. Keep in mind that it is not the chilly temperature that sets off the illness. Instead, it’s the overexposure to unfriendly environment that creates a physical situation in your dog which makes it easier for viral or bacterial germs to take hold of your pooch’s body.

· Ensuring that your dog’s physical condition is at its healthiest is the key preventive measure for a host of canine diseases, not just colds or flus. Always provide your pet with adequate exercise, lots of clean, fresh water, and healthy foods so that his immune system can always better resist whatever microbes come his way.

Brenda Marchant

About Brenda Marchant

Brenda, a self proclaimed pack leader has been a lover of animals all her life. She has been providing services to the Muskoka area now for over 15 years She takes Pride in her attention to detail, and general love toward each and every animal.