February 26, 2014

Can Dogs and Cats Get the Flu?

Filed under: Cats,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons — Tags: , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 7:13 pm

flu_dog_catThe pain and agony of flu season is not just reserved for humans. Our furry friends can also experience the same grey cloud over their heads, that the flu and cold bring to us. What makes it worse for them is that cats and dogs are unable to tell us how they are feeling. Our furry friend’s rely on us, their owners, to look after their health. For this reason it is very important to be aware of flu and cold symptoms in pets and to know how to treat the cold and flu in pets.

Dog Flu Symptoms

Does it seem like your pooch is feeling under the weather? Look out for the following symptoms as an indication that your dog might have the flu:

  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Red eyes

Cat Flu Symptoms

Cats will generally show the same symptoms for the flu as a dog would. However, when these cold and flu symptoms occur, cats could also be infected with either the herpes virus or calicvirus.  Both viruses affect a feline’s respiratory health. These  viruses can causes symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Fatigue

How to Treat the Flu and Cold in Dogs and Cats

Conventional Flu Treatment for Pets

A vet may prescribe the following treatments for your pet depending on the severity of their symptoms:

  • Cough supressants
  • Rest
  • Antibiotics
  • Fluids to stay hydrated

Natural Remedies

A holistic vet may prescribe the following treatments for your pet:

  • Echinacea for stimulating the immune system
  • Osha root for sore throat and cough
  • Eucalyptus for reducing inflammation in the respiratory tract

Homeopathic remedies may include aconitum, arsenicum album, and gelsemium.

Preventing Cold and Flu in Cats and Dogs

It is important to keep an eye out on your pet’s health. As a pet owner, you are the primary care taker that your furry friend relies on to be healthy and strong. The first step you can take towards preventing the cold and flu in cats and dogs is by providing your pet with a nutritious, species appropriate diet. Such a diet would include high quality animal protein and no grains.

You can also supplement your pet’s diet with vitamins. I recommend finding a  pet-friendly, quality mulit-vitamin. I also recommend supplementing with Vitamins C and E for antioxidant support.

Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.