How to Treat Respiratory Infections in Dogs


Respiratory infections in dogs are common and most dogs will develop a respiratory infection at some point in their lifetime. Some dogs will also have recurring respiratory infections throughout their lifetimes. These facts make it important that pet owners learn how to treat respiratory infections in a dog.

Most respiratory infections are caused by cold viruses and the most common types of respiratory infections are dog influenza and kennel cough. If not detected and treated early, these minor infections can develop into full blown pneumonia.

Symptoms of respiratory infections include the following:

* A nasal discharge which is usually yellow but may also be transparent depending on the cause and type of infection.
* Discharges of clear fluid from the eyes, often accompanied by swelling of the eyes. A dog may also develop conjunctivitis (pink eye).
* Coughing which becomes more severe at night.
* High fever.
* Sneezing or wheezing.
* Lack of appetite.
* Salivating excessively.
* Dehydration.
* Lethargy.

These symptoms are usually more severe in puppies and senior dogs.

A respiratory infection can be diagnosed by a veterinarian based on the dog’s symptoms and testing to determine if the infection is bacterial, viral, or fungal.

Minor respiratory infections in dogs usually last between 5 to 10 days and require no treatment. During this time it is important to keep the dog hydrated and well fed. If the dog is severely dehydrated and undernourished, the vet may need to administer IV fluids and/or antibiotics.

Care must be taken with your pet because respiratory infections in dogs are highly contagious and can easily be transmitted through the air or through saliva from dog to dog. These infections are not transmittable to humans so you needn’t worry about infecting yourself or your family.

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