Colds in dogs: causes, symptoms and treatment


A dog with a strong immune system can live a lifetime without any disease. Colds in dogs are a common occurrence for pets who “work” or are leading a life so turbulent that they do not have time to restore their strength.

Wars, famine, and after the progress taught people generations to survive, live even in the most impossible conditions. Unfortunately, pets do not have such physiological resources and a harmless catarrhal disease can lead to serious, sometimes, fatal consequences.

Why do dogs colds?

  • A pet with a strong immunity colds are not terrible, he can get sick, but all that the owner will notice is a bored dog, which came back to normal within 2-3 days. Alas, in dog diseases there are three “roots”: heredity, irresponsibility of owners and uncontrolled confluence of circumstances. A short list of reasons that contribute to the suppression of immunity:
  • Hereditary predisposition rocks – decorative and breeds that are amenable to mass breeding, have a weak gene pool, which is accompanied by a tendency to pathological and catarrhal diseases.
  • Dogs of advanced age experience a natural weakening of the protective functions of the body. Older dogs need a more careful attitude, quality nutrition and care.
  • Overcooling – recently bought out and drenched in the rain, the dog loses its ability for quality thermoregulation temporarily. Low air temperature or drafts are guaranteed to lead to freezing. Dogs of small breeds have a higher base body temperature, so subcooling for them is more dangerous than for medium and large animals.
  • Violation of the standards of content – for a full life of the dog it is necessary to provide full nutrition, to equip a lounger in a dry ventilated room, to maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity. Violation of one or more conditions of detention, lack of vaccinations and preventive therapy lead to a decline in strength and disease.
  • Contact with infected individuals – group walks bring a lot of pleasure to pets and owners. If you know that a dog from the “company” is not vaccinated or ill – ask the owner to leave the group and take action or leave it yourself.
  • Fleas, worms and other parasites constantly test the immunity of the dog for strength, endure dangerous infections, actively multiplying, depressing the body. Preventive measures will save the pet from possible problems. If you picked up a puppy or a dog on the street, taken from a shelter or from the breeders “from the side” – show the pet to the vet and give a general blood test.

Important! A separate category of hypothermia is a pet that has failed under the ice at sea or in a pond. In the event of such an incident, the animal must be immediately delivered to a veterinary clinic. The dog not only freezes, but swallows and inhales ice water, which can damage the lungs.

The owners often wonder whether a dog can catch a cold from a person and there is no definite answer. The cold, most often, is caused by a virus. The virus is a “reasonable” parasite that attacks only “suitable” organisms. Strains of a person’s acute respiratory infections are not dangerous to dogs and cats. However, the common cold can be caused by bacterial pathogens, fungal respiratory infections also have symptoms similar to those of SARS. In this case, the pet can get sick, but the infection does not occur from a person, but from a source of bacteria.

First signs

Successful treatment and normal transfer of any disease depends on the correctness of the diagnosis. Catarrhal disease has clear and at the same time vague symptoms that may indicate more serious ailments of the pet.

The main signs of a cold in dogs:

  • A hot and dry nose is a sign of malaise and fever. The first signal, after the detection of which the dog needs to look and measure the temperature with a thermometer.
  • The increase in body temperature is normal, depending on the constitution of the body, ranges from 37.5 to 39 ° C.
  • Deterioration of the condition of the coat – a faded, shattered “coat” is also one of the signs of a dog’s discomfort.
  • Behavioral changes and weakness – the dog sleeps a lot, behaves passively, quickly gets tired for a walk, refuses to play.
  • Sneezing and coughing is a reflex attempt to free the airways. Even if the dog sneezes, it should have a clean muzzle, and the secretions should not form crusts. Coughing is a more serious symptom, it can be a sign of progression of the virus to the bronchi and lungs.
  • A fever and a tremor – at a high temperature the dog “freezes”, it trembles and searches for sources of heat. This behavior indicates an acute course of the viral disease and requires medical intervention.

Closely monitor the dynamics of the condition, if the pet becomes worse, the symptoms become more aggressive, the dog becomes too weak or exhibits aggression, most likely, the cause is not in the cold, but in activating the virus against the background of a pathological disease. Before treating a dog for a cold, you need to accurately exclude the errors of the diagnosis, improper treatment will lead to worsening of the condition.

Important! If the discharge from the nose and eyes acquired purulent character, the dog had vomiting, wheezing and severe coughing – this is one of the signs of the pulmonary form of the plague. The disease requires immediate relief and emergency veterinary care, otherwise the dog will quickly die.


If you are sure of the diagnosis, and the general condition of the dog is not a concern, you need to take priority measures. So, what to do if the dog gets a cold:

  • Provide peace, warm drink, high-calorie, high-quality food.
  • Eliminate possible drafts, dampness and provide a comfortable temperature in the home.
  • Limit walks to 10-15 minutes.
  • Additionally, place the dog’s place with a cloth that keeps warm. Miniature dogs may need a blanket.
  • If the dog freezes – replace the warmers. Suitable chemical self-heating or plastic bottles with moderately hot water.
  • To iron or scratch the pet with a soft brush – massage will help “disperse” the blood and activate the body’s forces.

Drug treatment at home is permissible only at the initial stages, if the dog retains normal activity and does not refuse to drink. During home therapy closely monitor the dog, if the medication does not help or the dog becomes worse – check with your doctor. Specify what to treat and what symptoms to track.

The appearance of a strong cough, phlegm, wheezing – an occasion to prescribe antibiotics for dogs for colds. If it is impossible to visit a doctor, a wide-spectrum preparation is used. Time and after treatment with antibiotics must give drugs to restore the intestinal microflora.

There is a folk emergency means of “pumping out” pets – an infusion of vodka with honey or warm wine, to dilute blood. Most likely, this method of therapy was invented at a time when Freud was treating his patients with cocaine, not suspecting that he was killing them. As for dogs, such a maneuver is possible only at the entrance to the vet clinic. If you see that the pet is “underdiagnosed.” Keep in mind that after “pumping” the dog, she will need a detoxification that can not be done on her own.

Important! Do not give the dog antipyretics containing paracetamol! The substance is toxic to dogs.


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