Q:

Do dogs get colds and viral illnesses?

A:

Quick Answer

Dogs can get colds and viral illnesses such as flu, canine parvovirus infection, canine distemper, kennel cough and canine hepatitis. You can treat colds in dogs by keeping the pet in a warm area, exposing it to steam and using antibiotics. Medications and vaccinations are also available for treating and preventing canine viral illnesses.

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Do dogs get colds and viral illnesses?
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Full Answer

The symptoms of common cold in canines are coughing, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose and watering eyes. If not by a virus, the cold is likely to be caused by an allergic reaction or a parasite or fungus that has entered the lungs, trachea and/or the heart. The latter can lead to lung tissue scarring and pneumonia.

Providing the dog with healthy food, fresh and clean water and friendly temperatures to live in helps prevent bouts of cold. Consult a veterinarian if the cold symptoms do not improve after several days.

Symptoms of flu, caused by influenza virus, in dogs include fever with temperatures up to 104 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, fatigue and poor appetite. The best ways to treat canine flu are adequate rest, plenty of fluids, and antibiotics. If left untreated, dog flu might lead to more serious diseases.

Canine parvovirus infection is characterized by fever, dehydration, fatigue, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms of canine distemper include sneezing and discharge from the eye. It can lead to pneumonia and encephalopathy that can be fatal.

Kennel cough symptoms include fever, lethargy, poor appetite and deep cough. It can cause pneumonia if left untreated. Symptoms of canine hepatitis, caused by adenovirus, are diarrhea, vomiting and later jaundice.

Except for flu and kennel cough, other viral illnesses require hospitalization with IV fluids, antibiotics, respiratory medicines and other medications for treatment.

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