The Fall season typically means colds and flus for most people, and this is no different for your pets. Dogs and cats can have allergies, get colds and potentially even get serious infections if you are not keeping them healthy and are aware of the surroundings.
First let’s talk about cats. Feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus are responsible for 95% of cat colds. Cats have similar symptoms as humans when they contract colds, including runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and loss of appetite. It is important to note that you should never give your cat the same medicines you would take if you had a cold. However, there are a few things you can do to ease the symptoms of a cold and get your cat feeling better.
The first thing is to keep up on grooming. Just like you can get an itchy nose or watery eyes from excess fur, so can your cats. Also, keeping your cats warm can help. Placing a heating pad under their favorite sleeping spot or even letting them hang out in the bathroom while you shower can help their air ways stay wet and clear. If you find that your cat has completely stopped eating or is far more lethargic than usual, you should bring them in to see us.
Now for pups. Dogs can contract a few much more serious conditions during cold/flu season that you should be aware of. The most important being Kennel Cough and Dog Flu.
Kennel cough is a respiratory infection and is highly contagious. The most common symptom is coughing, but can also include nasal discharge. Dogs become exposed to this disease in high traffic dog areas such as vets, dog parks, daycares, or training groups. The best way to prevent this disease from spreading is to not expose your infected dog to other dogs.
Dog flu, again like the flu that humans get, can cause runny nose, cough, fatigue and even fever in severe cases. This virus is extremely contagious and is passed from infected sneezes/coughs. It also lives in objects, so toys that have been touched by infected dogs can transfer the virus as well.
If you feel your dog has been infected by either of these, the best treatment is rest, hydration and keeping them away from other dogs. In serious cases, medication can be prescribed by your vet. It is also important to note that there is a vaccine that can be given for both viruses mentioned to prevent your dog from catching them.
For more information on flu like symptoms this cold season, please contact us at 480.968.9275.