Pet Colds: Symptoms and Treatments

Posted on Feb 24, 2014

Pet Colds: Symptoms and Treatments

It’s that time of year again, it’s sniffling, sneezing, coughing and wheezing cold and flu season. You aren’t the only one who can catch a cold though; dogs and cats are also susceptible to this bug. In most cases, cats and dogs can’t catch a cold from you, but they are at risk of catching their own version of the common cold coming from species-specific bacteria and viruses. Indoor-only pets aren’t immune to “pet colds,” because dogs and cats can catch viruses at the vet, kennel, groomer, or even in your home from other dogs and cats, any time of the year. Here’s what to watch out for and how to help your furry friends:

Dogs

Symptoms

  • Runny nose and greenish yellow nasal discharge
  • Chronic cough and/or a hacking cough with phlegm
  • Continual sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Lethargy and sleepiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Treatment

Just like treating the human version, the canine “common cold” should be treated with plenty of rest, lots of liquids and a warm place to sleep. Avoid extremely cold and wet weather.  If you have more than one dog, keep them separate, but there is no need to worry about the illness passing to your family or other animals. The cold should pass in a few days, but if symptoms worsen, or if you have an extremely young or old dog, or if he’s had previous health concerns, visit the the vet as a course of antibiotics might be needed to help move the cold along.

Cats

Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Clear discharge from the nose and/or eyes
  • Wheezing

Treatment

Help your cat fight the cold off by watching for symptoms and ensuring that a more serious infection is not present. Help to alleviate discomfort by wiping the discharge from his eyes and nose, and by keeping him indoors or in a warm place. Colds can be contagious from one cat to another, so keep ill cats separate. Most symptoms should disappear within about a week. Symptoms of a serious upper respiratory infection include yellowish green discharge from the eyes and nose, loss of appetite, and less detectable symptoms like fever and enlarged lymph nodes. If your cat has any of these symptoms, a visit to the vet may help to fight the infection.

 Pet MD: Dog: Seasonal: Cold Germs and Your Dog

http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_dg_cold_germs_and_your_dog?page=2

Cat Care

http://www.catcare.com/publications/oc-register-112309.pdf

Your Special Cat: Cat Cold

http://www.yourspecialcat.com/cat-cold.html                                           

Kitty & Nikki

Kitty & Nikki

 

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