Can Your Dog Catch Your Cold?

If you’re sniffling and coughing your way through a winter cold and are worried that your dog might catch it, you have nothing to worry about according to petMD.

The common cold is not communicable between species, and dogs suffer from a different type of cold that the kind that afflicts humans, so your dog can’t catch a cold from you – or vice versa.  But while there are differences in the types of viruses that infect humans versus dogs, the symptoms are basically the same:  sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, andwatery eyes.

person sneezing

If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, but is in otherwise good health, petMD recommends that you treat the condition as you would a simple human cold — with lots of liquids, healthy foods, warmth, and maybe even some time in a warm and humid room. This can be done by placing a humidifier near his rest area or by filling the bathtub with steaming water and letting the dog hang out in the bathroom for a bit (not in the water), just to let the steam loosen up his sinuses and lungs. But if your dog’s condition doesn’t begin to improve in a few days, or if your dog is very young, very old, or suffers from other health issues, a visit to your veterinarian is in order.

sickdog 1

Read the full article on petMD here.

PetravelR™ wishes you and your pets good health! Gesundheit!

Dog Flu Alert!

PetravelR™ wants to pass on this important information about the current outbreak of canine influenza -

Influenza Type A (H3N8), commonly known as dog flu, is a new and highly contagious strain of the influenza virus which can cause respiratory illness in dogs.  There has been a major outbreak of canine influenza in Illinois.

The virus that canine influenza was first identified in Florida in 2004.  It primarily infects the respiratory system and is extremely contagious.  Some dogs can be exposed to the virus and fight off infection without showing clinical signs.  The illness only affects dogs and is harmless to humans.

The USDA licensed a canine flu vaccine in 2009 (Nobivac® Canine Flu H3N8).

Loki, a 4-year old border collie, was placed in the Step-Down Ward at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital for observation for suspected flu symptoms. He was doing well on Friday. (Linda Girardi, The Beacon-News)

Loki, a 4-year old border collie, was placed in the Step-Down Ward at VCA Aurora Animal Hospital for observation for suspected flu symptoms. He was doing well on Friday. (Linda Girardi, The Beacon-News)

The fatality rate for canine flu is  low if quickly diagnosed and treated.  Most deaths are actually the result of secondary complications from the flu, such as  pneumonia.

According to the ASPCA, these are the symptoms of canine flu that you should watch for:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other for 10-14 days from the onset of symptoms.  Dogs are most infectious before symptoms are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for around 10 days. This means that by the time symptoms are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.

For more information, please read these article from petMD and the ASPCA.

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from canine flu, see your veterinarian immediately!  

Sources: Aurora Beacon-News (IL);; ASPCA

Tips on Choosing a Veterinarian

Tuesday’s tip from PetravelR™ is about selecting the right veterinarian for your pet.  You may have a new family pet, or you may be moving to a new area.  Either way, you need to find a dependable vet who will take good care of your pet and with whom you, as a pet owner, will feel comfortable.


Here are some things you should consider when choosing a veterinarian or a veterinary hospital – and please note that this list is not exhaustive:

  • Is the practice AAHA-accredited?
  • Is the facility clean, comfortable and well-organized?
  • How many veterinarians are in the practice?
  • Does the practice have licensed veterinary technicians on staff?
  • Is the staff caring, calm, competent and courteous, and do they communicate effectively?
  • What sort of equipment does the practice use?
  • Are X-rays, ultrasound, bloodwork, EKG, endoscopy and other diagnostics done in-house or referred to a specialist?
  • Which emergency services are available?
  • What is the protocol for pain management?
  • How are patients evaluated before anesthesia and surgery?
  • How are overnight patients monitored?
  • Do the veterinarians have special interests such as geriatrics or behavior?
  • Does the vet refer patients to specialists?
  • Are appointments required?
  • Do fees fit your budget, and are discounts for senior citizens or multi-pet households available?
  • Is location and parking convenient?
  • Are dog and cat cages in separate areas?  Other types of animals (if not an exclusively dog and cat practice)?

Be sure to check back with PetravelR™ for future posts on choosing a good exotics veterinarian for your pet bird, reptile, or small mammal (rabbit, guinea pig, ferret, hamster, rat, etc.)!


Sources: ASPCA; Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).