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4 winter illnesses in dogs



With low temperatures and humidity, dogs are more sensitive to contracting some diseases typical of autumn and winter. Sudden changes in temperature affect the immune system and increase the propensity to contract some viral diseases that affect the respiratory system. Giving them some extra care and preventing these risky situations can avoid these complications, which are usually aggravated in the case of brachycephalic dogs, puppies, or older dogs.

1 Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi (which are part of the dog’s respiratory tract) and although it can affect any dog exposed to cold and humidity, it is more common in small breed dogs and in those with brachycephalic morphology. , due to the special conformation of their respiratory system; Often in this group of dogs, bronchitis tends to be concomitant with other conditions such as tracheal collapse or heart problems.

Bronchitis can be acute (a specific episode, which, treated correctly and on time, reverses in a few weeks and does not leave sequelae in the dog) or chronic, which is usually one of the most frequent respiratory disorders in dogs.


2 The ‘flu’ canine

The dog can contract the so-called canine influenza, a viral disease suffered exclusively by canids. Not only can this make them feel bad, but it can also even be dangerous for them.

It usually manifests itself in the form of sneezing, mucus, or coughing. Other symptoms can be tiredness, lack of appetite, or fever, although up to 20% of dogs that suffer from this disease do not show any symptoms.

Canine influenza is a highly contagious viral disease among dogs. The dog can contract it when an infected dog coughs or sneezes near him. Since the virus can also live on objects, sharing toys could also be a form of contagion. It is also possible that we act as reservoirs or vectors as well, since the virus can survive for more than 24 hours on our clothes, for example.

Most dogs improve within two to three weeks. In principle, symptomatic treatment will be established. Like humans, dogs need rest and fluids, as well as a quiet place and a constant temperature to recover. If, in addition to the viral infection, our dog contracts a bacterial infection, our veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics as part of the treatment.


3 Kennel cough

Infectious tracheobronchitis, popularly known as kennel cough, is most often caused by a bacterium called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Most dogs that become infected with Bordetella are affected by a virus at the same time, which makes dogs more likely to get the infection. Included in this group are, for example, canine adenovirus, canine distemper virus, canine herpes virus, or canine parainfluenza virus. Usually, the virus that concurs with Bordetella in most cases is canine parainfluenza.

The classic symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, forceful, dry cough.

Some dogs with kennel cough may show other symptoms of the disease, including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge. Secondary bacterial infections may develop, resulting in a productive cough and other respiratory symptoms, fever, and eye discharge. If so, the general condition of the dog will be depressed, with loss of appetite and a decreased energy level.

Infectious tracheobronchitis is highly contagious between dogs. We must keep our dog away from those who are sick or suspect that they are, in the same way, that we will isolate it to prevent it from infecting others. To prevent it, annual vaccination is important, either by inoculation of the vaccine or by intranasal application.


4 Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs that can be caused by various agents such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, foreign bodies, or allergens. It is usually more common in dogs that are still young and in older ones, it also affects immunosuppressed dogs more frequently.

It can be a high-risk disease for dogs if it is not treated in time.

Some of its most common symptoms are:

-Sneezing, mucus, phlegm, and wet cough (due to the presence of fluid in the lungs) and continued

-Difficulty breathing (dyspnea): the dog’s breathing is rapid as if it were short of breath, and it makes sounds while it does so.

– dehydration

– Fever, apathy, and loss of appetite.

Precautions to take in winter with your dog
-Avoid exposing the dog to low temperatures, drafts, and humidity for long periods of time.

-Keep him warm during walks if he is in a risk group (very short hair, puppy or old age, or suffers from any pathology that predisposes him to these winter diseases).

– Have your vaccinations up to date.

-Don’t expose it to sudden changes in temperature.

– If he gets wet during the walk, dry him off completely when you get home.

-In the event of any symptoms such as cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, or dejection, take him to the vet.

This article is informative, only veterinary professionals have the power to establish diagnoses and prescribe treatments. We recommend that you take your pet to the vet in the event of any symptoms.

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