5 common winter illnesses for Dog
Deep into the woes of winter can be equally harsh on a dog’s health. There are no signs of warmer weather yet and just like their human friends, dogs are prone to getting sick in the cold weather. Pooches often contract illnesses during this season although extra warm hugs and some care can prevent these conditions in winters.
Here are the 5 most common winter illnesses to watch out for dogs:
Dogs are susceptible to extended periods in extreme cold. The change of weather and the combination of hot and cold causes hypothermia in dogs. Their fur goes soggy, they shiver and often become listless. Take them out for shorter excursions or daily walks in winter. Protect their paws with booties. A sweater or jacket can keep them warm and dry during this season. If you find them shivering or lethargic and the temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get in touch with your vet at once.
- Respiratory Infections
Pooches rely on their respiratory system to stay warm. When the air is icy, their bronchial tube can constrict and cause respiratory infections like pneumonia. You will often find them with a damp nose, slight fatigue and mild cough when you know that they have caught a cold in this weather. Also called sniffles, dogs need a warm spot to stay snug. Place a humidifier in their room or give them steam. Feed them warm chicken broth and keep them hydrated to keep sniffles at bay.
- Kennel Cough
Boarding facilities, stress, winter temps and inhaling smoke increases the risk of developing kennel cough. The primary symptom is a goose-like honking cough. Sneezing, runny nose and eye discharge are secondary symptoms. While kennel cough vaccines are also available, young dogs need to be protected from kennel cough. You can treat them with a home-steam treatment or visit your vet.
Frostbite is tissue damage that occurs in extreme cold and varies from minor to severe. Hypothermia and frostbite go hand in hand. You may want to limit their outdoor activities in winters to keep frostbites at bay. The primary symptoms include pale, hard skin at the extremities that turn scaly and swollen, when warmed. The other symptoms include skin darkening, blistering and gangrene development in some cases.
- Antifreeze Poisoning
Dogs often lick household chemicals from the garage floors or sidewalks as these substances give a sweet taste. Prevent antifreeze poisoning by storing them out of paws’ reach in latched cupboards. The common symptoms find them walking wobbly, nausea and seizures. If you spot any of these symptoms, reach out for your vet’s advice.