The dog can be affected by the common cold, a viral disease which weakens his body and which should not be taken lightly. Indeed, if the cold may seem harmless, it can degenerate and worsen towards bronchitis or pneumonia. Moreover, it can also mask a pathology of any other form, such as an allergy, or be confused with a kennel cough. In this file, let’s discover the causes of colds in dogs, the symptoms to watch out for and the possible treatments.
What is the common cold in dogs? What are the causes ?
In dogs, the common cold is a viral disease that affects the respiratory system, causes nasal congestion and mucus production, but also possible bacterial superinfections.
The common cold can be confused with other illnesses that have similar symptoms, but it can also resemble or evolve into these more serious pathologies.
- infectious diseases : the common cold is a viral pathology which belongs to the family of infectious diseases, of viral or bacterial origin. In particular, kennel cough is very common and is similar to the common cold.
- Cardiorespiratory diseases : certain cardiorespiratory diseases lead to a secretion of liquid which can be reminiscent of a cold. Nevertheless, it is an absolute emergency to avoid asphyxiation of the animal.
- The allergies : certain allergic reactions can evoke the common cold. Repeated colds can also raise suspicion of an allergy.
What causes colds in dogs?
The common cold is very contagious and can be transmitted easily between two doggies. In addition, the cold, humidity and wind favor the occurrence of colds and refresh the dog’s body to the point of weakening it.
What are the symptoms of the common cold in dogs?
A dog suffering from a cold may show the following symptoms:
- He has a more or less severe cough,
- his nose is wet, it runs,
- animal sneezes,
- he may have a slight fever,
- the dog’s breathing is wheezing,
- he snores more or less loudly,
- he is tired, dejected,
- his appetite is reduced due to his affected sense of smell.
The veterinarian can establish a diagnosis by carrying out various additional examinations, such as a blood test or a chest X-ray. The common cold is not to be taken lightly in dogs, as its consequences can be serious. Moreover, it can hide a more serious pathology that is important to identify if necessary.
What treatment to treat colds in dogs?
If you notice the symptoms of a cold in your dog, it is recommended to adopt a few actions to limit its development and aggravation:
- encourage your pet to drink water, pour it into their mash or kibble;
- take your dog’s temperature and go to the vet immediately if it exceeds 39°C;
- keep your pet warm to prevent it from getting cold;
- avoid contact with other dogs so that it does not contaminate them.
The cold virus in dogs is not transmitted to humans, so you do not risk anything in contact with your animal. On the other hand, it can contaminate other doggies, which is why it is recommended to isolate it from its congeners.
Be careful, never give human medicine to your dog. Most are deadly for him, including paracetamol or aspirin.
Then consult the veterinarian to rule out other pathologies (including kennel cough) and to put in place an appropriate treatment before it turns into bronchitis or pneumonia.
The veterinarian will be able to set up an appropriate treatment. These are usually antibiotics that will help the pooch’s body fight off the infection. At the same time, keep your pet warm, hydrate it well and allow it to rest in a warm, comfortable and calm bed so as not to weaken it and to help it heal more quickly.
Your dog may lose his appetite a bit when he has a cold. It is normal for him to be less hungry due to his loss of sense of smell and fatigue. On the other hand, if he does not eat for more than 24 to 48 hours, consult the veterinarian without delay to avoid complications.
Can colds in dogs be prevented?
Most healthy dogs have no reason to catch a cold. If they are not in contact with a sick animal, they are strong enough to resist these affections.
However, some more fragile dogs, such as puppies, already sick dogs or older doggies are more likely to be affected. As a preventive measure, be sure to shorten walks in cold weather and to dry your pet when it gets wet.