|“Do pets get colds?” Is often asked by many pet owners wanting to know if their pets can contract colds and/or whether they can transmit those colds to us. Pets do indeed get “colds.” However, in most cases of respiratory infections, pets are not contagious to people. Signs generally include eye and/or nasal discharge, sneezing, noisy breathing, coughing, and increased respiratory rate.|
Causes of these symptoms may include allergens, bacterial/viral infection, and nasal foreign bodies. Most of the time pets will remain happy and playful. However, if infection develops in the lungs, increased moist coughing, lethargy, and loss of appetite may occur. For simple upper respiratory inflammations where a pet is still energetic and eating normally, pet owners can try several at home remedies:
- Vetri-DMG liquid is a wonderful immune booster that can help enhance antibody production against common viruses and bacteria.
- Echinacea and goldenseal from health food stores can also boost immune system and help the pet fight off bacterial and viral causes of infection.
- Vitamin C in form of Ester C can be given at 500 to 2000 mg daily depending upon the size of the animal.
- Elderberry is another wonderful immune boosting herb available from health food stores.
- Antihistamines such as Chlorpheniramine or Benadryl can be used as well in case allergies are involved.
If symptoms worsen or persist, a veterinary exam and workup is always recommended.