Certain canine colds can prove to be serious, since the symptoms that are manifested are similar to those of severe infections. If the dog’s immune system is weak, canine colds can lead to secondary infections that may even prove to be fatal. It is possible that your dog does not have a natural immunity to certain viruses or bacteria due to the absence of previous exposure. Such an outbreak occurred in 2004, when a disease that showed signs of common cold was later found to be an infection caused by the canine influenza virus. Until this time, the virus was known to affect only horses.
The symptoms of canine cold are similar to those seen in the human cold. However, unlike in humans, canine colds are more likely to be a result of a problem in the canine respiratory system. Treatment of respiratory problems in dogs requires a fair amount of home care along with veterinary treatment.
- At the first signs of cough and cold you may try one fourth of a Vitamin C tablet for four days. You can also try giving zinc, rosehip and garlic along with Vitamin C. If you do not see any improvement in about four days, you should consult a veterinarian.
- Colloidal silver can sometimes make even a full blown canine cold disappear. The dosage should depend on the age and weight of the dog and should vary between a half to a full teaspoon.
- Elderberry extract is also known to reduce symptoms of the common cold in humans. This can be used for dogs as well. If given early enough, it can prove to be a preventive remedy that suppressed the cold from surfacing completely.
- You may safely give children’s cold medicine to your dog if the veterinarian approves.
In addition, your efforts in providing supportive home care will give comfort to your dog. Such care can also alleviate the symptoms of cough, runny nose and watery eyes.
- Protect your dog from cold air and limit the time he spends outdoors. Cold air tends to constrict bronchial tubes that may make breathing difficult for the dog. Sinus and other respiratory problems tend to aggravate in cold weather.
- A mist vaporizer in the place where the dog sleeps will keep the bronchial tubes moist. You may add some eucalyptus oil to the water. This is very effective in providing relief to stuffy dog noses.
- Make sure that you provide support to your dog’s immune system. During a full blown cold, the dog is unlikely to smell his food and may refuse to eat. In addition to his regular meals, try to feed him extra boiled chicken and brown rice.