Cold Symptoms for Dogs

A cold is also known as a respiratory infection, and there are a few symptoms for dogs that can be identified. The cold may be caused by various bacteria and viruses and can be treated with medication or alternative treatments. However, the symptoms must be identified before applying any treatment.

Sneezing Symptoms in Dogs

When a dog is sneezing several times per hour, this can be a symptom of allergies, but the dog may also have a cold. It is difficult to differentiate between an allergic reaction and a respiratory infection, as both present similar symptoms such as:

However, the nasal and ocular discharges may have a different consistency and color if the dog is affected by a respiratory infection.

If the dog has an allergic reaction, the discharges from the nose and eyes will be invariably transparent, but in the case of a respiratory infection, the discharges may be thicker and vary in color from creamy white to pink or even green. The type of the nasal and ocular discharge will help identifying the agent that causes the respiratory infection.

Frequent Coughing in Dogs with Cold

If the pet is coughing frequently, this can be a symptom of a cold or respiratory infection. The cough may be dry or wet, depending on the type of infection. However, this symptom is only met if it involves the lungs, which happens if the infection is advanced.

Breathing Difficulties

A cold will cause blockage of the nasal passages and this can lead to breathing difficulties. Your dog may breathe with his mouth in an open position. If the dog sleeps on his chest, he may also have difficulties breathing.

Red Eyes

A dog that has a cold may also be affected by conjunctivitis, which involves the swelling of the conjunctiva tissue of the eyes. This condition causes red eyes and ocular discharges, that may have various consistencies. Conjunctivitis can be due to the fact that the viruses or bacteria migrate and affect the eyes.

Loss of Appetite

The loss of appetite is not a symptom that is specific for dogs with a respiratory infection, but may be one of the symptoms for dogs with colds. The refusal to eat may be due to the fact that the dog has an irritation of the esophagus caused by the viruses or bacteria. Lethargy may also be observed. It is important to notify the vet if you see your pet doesn't eat anything for more than 24 hours.

Colds in dogs can last between two and three weeks and may require antibiotic treatment. Some dogs may not need any medication, as the infection will clear on its own. However, the dog may benefit from a few steam baths and a warmer environment, which can relieve the discomfort and speed up the recovery time.