by A. Grano on December 15th, 2010 at 7:00 am
While symptoms of cold and flu are distressful and a potential cause for concern there are a number of things you can do at home to nurse your pet back to health. Check out our tips for both cats and dogs.
How Do I Care for My Cat?
You will be required to address cat colds only if the underlying cause has been identified as a bacterial infection. Otherwise, a cat cold must run its course. Cats are likely to sneeze and sleep a lot during the course of the infection, which can last between 7 to 14 days, maximum. You can make use of some time-tested home remedies, herbal cures and homeopathic remedies to alleviate the symptoms.
You should aim to provide comfort to your cat as long as the symptoms persist.
- Keep your cat warm and dry.
- Do not let her out in the cold. Low temperatures tend to constrict the bronchial tubes and can make breathing difficult for an already troubled cat.
- Colds usually lead to loss of smell and the cat may refuse to eat. Your primary attention should be to ensure that your pet is properly fed, and in doing so, you may have to coax her to eat well to keep up energy levels and immunity.
If the cat is showing symptoms of a secondary infection like a yellowish-green discharge from the nose, it is time to take your cat to the veterinarian.
How Do I Care for My Dog?
Canine upper respiratory infections are common in young pets. Although inherently self-limiting by nature, home care remedies can make that extra difference to a fast recovery. To make your dog comfortable for the duration of the cold, you can try any or all of the following:
- Insulate the pet from the cold and keep him dry. Canine colds commonly occur during winters, as cold air tends to tighten the bronchial tubes, making breathing difficult for the dog. Respiratory problems can bring forth abnormal behaviors and become a source of discomfort for owners, as well.
- Loss of appetite can lead to loss of vital energy. You may have to coax eating by offering boiled chicken and brown rice, which will provide extra nutrition as well as strengthen his immune system. A healthy immune system is the best protection against canine colds and consequent opportunistic infections.
- Put a vaporizer near the place your pet sleeps. Moistened bronchial tubes will make breathing easier.
- Homeopathic remedies are safe and can ease the symptoms of canine colds. You may also use some children’s medicines meant for human colds, if you prefer.
When you spot the first signs of respiratory problems, take the young dog to a veterinarian to get the condition evaluated so that the seemingly mild symptoms do not aggravate and develop into a more serious disease. Like with cats, in most cases the veterinarian will prescribe medication only to minimize the risk of a secondary infection.
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