Autumn is the time for long walks on the yellow leaves, cozy evenings by the fireplace, warm tea with lemon, and viruses. With seasonal cooling, immunity is weakened, chronic diseases are exacerbated, and insidious viruses are easier to invade. Unfortunately, not only people are sick in autumn and winter, but also pets catch colds, it is important to know the first signs of a cold and start treatment on time. We will talk about how to understand that a dog has caught a cold and how to keep your pet healthy in our article.
The common cold in the form in which we know it is not found in dogs. Animals are not susceptible to human viruses, and vice versa. Therefore, if you see such standard symptoms of a cold in your pets as a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and fever, do not rush to conclude that he has a cold. It is quite possible that we are talking about completely different diseases, and treatment will be also a completely different one.
Can dogs get colds or flu?
Сan a dog catch a common cold? If a dog is kept in the right conditions and eats well, if it has good genetics, strong immunity, and no health problems, then pets are not afraid of colds. The body confidently confronts them, and in case of infection, quickly copes with them. However, there are factors that reduce immunity, and then the dog becomes vulnerable to a cold. This, for example, stress, parasite infection, allergies, or old age. Often the cause of the disease is hypothermia on the street or drafts at home. A dog who is poorly wiped away after bathing and who soon afterward got under the air conditioner will easily fall ill. In a word, you cannot foresee all situations. Therefore, dogs, like people, get sick.
Can you transmit illness?
When people are sick with flu or other viral diseases, a reasonable question arises - can a dog catch a cold from you? After all, the pet is always nearby, licks the patient, lies near him. Is there a danger to our friends?
The term 'cold' can cover diseases caused by various infections or hypothermia of the body
Accordingly, there are two scenarios:
-The animal becomes infected with viruses, fungi, bacteria from another organism and gets sick;
-The animal is supercooled (swims in ice water, drinks very cold water, lives in a cold booth in winter, etc.), the body's immune system weakens and the bacteria that used to live peacefully on mucous membranes start an attack and win.
Veterinarians claim that human influenza viruses or another respiratory viral disease (ARVI, ARI) are not transmitted from owners to their pets.
Dogs have their own viruses. One of them is the canine flu virus, which was detected in 2004 in Russia among the greyhound breed. Symptoms are similar to human flu:
It is transmitted by airborne droplets and a person can serve as a carrier of the disease. But the person will not get sick, but the pet has such a probability.
Despite the fact that a person is not able to infect a pet with flu, he may be guilty of a cold due to hypothermia.
How do dogs catch a cold? It’s impossible to make a complete list of environmental factors. There are numerous chemicals and pathogenic microorganisms in the environment, but not all of them cause negative consequences for pet`s health, and, if you make some generalization, you can get the following list of groups of factors:
1) Microbiological factors-water, food, and organic materials may contain pathogens and your pet can be easily infected.
2) Physical factors (e.g. noise, ultraviolet radiation, radioactivity)- can be a source of irritation over a wide range of levels of exposure, and can also cause negative health effects such as disturbance in sleep.
3) Chemical factors- Natural substances and compounds can be both organic and inorganic. Plants, animals, and fungi can produce biologically active substances, and some of them can be extremely toxic or cause other critical consequences, such as sensitization or carcinogenicity.
Symptoms and treating
If the dog becomes ill, dog illness symptoms and treatment depend on what caused the disease. But there are a number of common signs that allow you to determine ill health and start treating a cold in time:
-Dry and hot nose. With this symptom, it is necessary to exclude overheating and the dog's stay in a hot room. In these cases, her nose may become dry and hot, but for a short time.
-Body temperature increase. The dog sneezes a lot, she has snot and cough. If at the same time her body temperature does not rise, but she is actively itching, it may not be a cold, but an allergic reaction.
-The eyes of the animal can redden, become inflamed, transparent contents resembling tears or liquid transparent mucus can flow from them.
-The dog becomes passive, can sleep a lot, refuses to play, does not respond to habitual irritants, for example, to the “Walk!” Command.
-The dog's appetite disappears, but he drinks a lot and eagerly.
-Dry agonizing cough can cause vomiting in the animal.
-At too high a temperature, the dog suffers from a fever, it freezes and tries to be as close to the heat source as possible.
-When a dog becomes ill, this affects the condition of its coat, which it can no longer care for so that the suddenly changed state of the coat can indicate the presence of a disease.
Pet owners should be aware of dog flu treatment at home and understand that serious problems are work for experienced veterinarians. It is strictly forbidden to use paracetamol products that are common in humans for dogs and cats - this substance is deadly for them. It is advisable to get accurate treatment recommendations from your veterinarian. If the dog is severely tormented by coughing, care must be taken to keep the air in the room moist. Also, cough syrup can be given, for small breeds - in a children's dosage or as directed by a doctor. Severe cold in a dog is treated with antibiotics, which have to be injected. If the animal resists, growls, and tries to bite, give the pill in a piece of food. Also, the doctor may prescribe drugs to lower the temperature, painkillers and sedatives, antihistamines. It is dangerous to use such drugs on your own without consulting a veterinarian. In case of fever, the animal needs to be well covered, to provide it with the quietest and warm place, to give plenty of warm drink, light but high-calorie food. A gentle massage and a heating pad placed under the bench help. If the condition worsens or additional symptoms appear, you should immediately go to the clinic or call a doctor at home.
The best protection against dangerous viruses is timely vaccination. But you cannot ensure a dog from all ailments. As a rule, animals are vaccinated only against the most dangerous and incurable diseases. Many viruses in certain regions arise completely unexpectedly for both animal owners and veterinarians, it is impossible to predict such an outcome. A completely healthy body is able to resist and carry pathogenic bacteria in transit through the body.
Dogs that live exclusively in greenhouse conditions from a puppy's age are more likely to have seasonal illnesses. The immune system, which is not used to having contact with the simplest microbes, perceives any carrier of pathogenic flora as a nuclear explosion. A violent reaction occurs, in the form of vivid symptoms of the disease. Pets, who often visit different places, constantly communicate with other dogs, have stronger immunity.
Here are some tips to keep your pet healthy:
1) The dog must eat fully and variably. This contributes to full strong immunity.
2) Keeping the animal clean, timely grooming helps maintain the respiratory tract in a normal condition and prevent wool from entering them and into the stomach. If the dog lives in the mud, the risk of getting sick is much higher - numerous bacteria and fungi breed in dusty litter and clogged wool
3) Hypothermia is the main cause of respiratory diseases, so it must be avoided with all its might. Small dogs that find it difficult to regulate their body temperature in the cold, “naked” and shorthair breeds need special warm clothing in the cool season. At home, their rug or bedding should be sufficiently dense and warm, placed in a dry place, protected from drafts, and a direct stream of cold air when opening windows or doors.
4) Drafts are dangerous not only to people. Dogs can easily catch a cold if they lie in the drafts or are in their way, sweating from active running, or hitting them immediately after swimming.
5) Overheating can also cause illness. Very “shaggy” breeds, severely affected by heat, should be cut for the summer to avoid dangerous overheating.
The sleep of full value- is the key to a productive day. For a good sleep of your four-legged friend, you need silence, fresh air in the room, and a good pet blanket. It’s important for dog owners to choose the blanket of the correct size and good quality, which may prevent dog allergies.
Can a dog catch a cold from being cold? It is a well-known fact that an adult in the United States of America has a cold about two to three times a season, and children — even more so. Dogs are no exception to the rule! Our four-legged friends are at risk of getting sick no less than ours!