Can Dog’s Catch a Cold or Flu?

It’s Cold and Flu Season (Already?!). Many of us have already been stuck in bed by now nursing a bug. It is horrible for humans, but can your dog catch a cold or the flu too? Quite often we see pet owners expressing concern about symptoms that look an awful lot like the flu or cold in their pets. Here are a few facts to help explain what to expect and how to deal.

If your pet exhibits symptoms like nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing, watery sore eyes, or lethargy, your pet may be sick with the equivalent of a cold, often referred to as Kennel Cough or Canine Influenza. If this is the case, treat the symptoms. If your pet is still eating and drinking well, seems happy and alert, then chances are that home remedies, and care will do the trick. Encourage your pet to rest, and eat and drink well to help them fight off the virus. If your pet seems lethargic, is not eating or drinking, or appears to be in pain, please see your vet. The reality is that most pets are vaccinated against most common illnesses that cause recognizable cold-like symptoms. These are “canine adenovirus type 2, canine respiratory coronavirus, canine parainfluenza virus, and Bordetella bronchiseptica”. You have probably heard of ‘Kennel Cough’, this is another name for Bordetella, and it is very contagious to other dogs.

If you suspect that your dog has become infected with Kennel Cough, please stay away from populated areas where your dog can interact with other dogs. These areas would include popular dog walking trails, dog parks, walkways etc. It is relatively common for the symptoms associated with this virus to last up to 2 weeks.

Though the common cold or flu contracted by humans is not transferable to dogs, other viruses and diseases may present with the same relatable symptoms. If your dog seems off, pay particular attention to basic behaviour such as eating, drinking, breathing, eliminating, sleeping and playing. If any of these behaviours change drastically, contact your veterinarian for help.

From all of us at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital, Stay healthy this winter!

Resource: PetMD