Does Your Pet Have a Fever? Here's How to Know — and What to Do About It If He Does

Article Featured on Vetstreet.com

Remember when you would feel sick and your mom would place her hand on your forehead to see if you had a fever? It’s not as easy to do that with pets, thanks to their fur coats. But knowing if your pet has a fever can help ensure that he gets needed veterinary care. A high temperature can be a sign of serious illness. Here’s what you should know about fevers in dogs and cats.

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By Sarah Wooten, DVM | Found on PetMD

How Dogs Use Their Nose

Dog noses are fascinating little structures. Not only do dogs use their noses for breathing, dog noses also drain excessive tears from the eyes through tear ducts. In addition, they have sweat glands, which help to cool the body through sweating.

Dog noses are also involved in collecting information about the environment. They do this through sniffing, but not all of the “information” is carried through the nasal passage. When a dog licks her nose, she transfers all sorts of scents to specialized scent detection olfactory glands located on the roof the mouth. This allows the dog to process her environment. Read more

Found on PetMD | Article Written by Jennifer Coates, DVM

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, there are millions of cases of the common cold. The CDC states that adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more. So, with human colds being so common, it’s natural to wonder whether our dogs can catch colds too. Read more

Article by Eloise Porter | Medically Reviewed by Steve Kim, MD | Featured on Health Line

When to Worry About Your Pet

Your dog is part of the family: He’s your best friend, eats your leftovers, and accompanies you on morning walks. But your dog can’t complain, so how do you know when to seek medical help? How can you tell if that limp signifies a sprain, or that sneeze requires an antibiotic?

Learn the warning signs that mean you should take your pet to the vet.

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Your Dog and the Cold Germ - Laurelwood Animal Hospital

Can My Dog ‘Catch’ a Cold?

Winter isn’t the only time of year we have to worry about “catching” a cold, but it is the primary time for it. We’re spending more time in closed quarters, with windows and doors shut tight and no way to escape the germs. It is only a matter of time before someone in the house becomes sick. It could be you, but did you know that it could also be your dog that comes down with this common respiratory infection?

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, watery eyes. What can you do to protect your dog from catching cold, or if your dog does come down with a case of the cold, what can you do to treat it?

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UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION IN CATS

Cats sneeze for many reasons. If sneezing is the only symptom your cat displays — i.e., no discharge from eyes or nose, good appetite, no change in behavior or activity level — then it is probably of no concern. However, when ocular or nasal discharge is seen, the cat may have a cold or upper respiratory infection.

An upper respiratory infection in a cat is more like influenza in people than like a cold because it can be very difficult to get rid of without medical help, especially in the young, the old, and those with chronic health problems. In some cases, it can prove fatal.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  1. Sneezing, especially occurring as “spasms” over the course of a few hours, or frequently over several days.
  2. Discharge from the eyes or nose; this may be watery, bloody, or thick and colored clear, yellow or green.
  3. Coughing or excessive swallowing (if there is drainage into the back of the mouth and throat).
  4. Lethargy (with or without hiding)
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Fever
  7. Dehydration
  8. Raised third eyelid

PRIMARY CAUSE

As with people, most colds start as a viral infection, followed by a bacterial infection.

IMMEDIATE CARE

  1. Keep the eyes and nose free of discharge using cotton moistened with warm water.
  2. Warm canned cat food or meat flavored baby food to encourage your cat to eat.
  3. Provide plenty of fresh water for drinking.
  4. Any kitten, no matter how active, should be seen by a veterinarian at the first sign of a cold. However, if your cat refuses to eat or even move, it is urgent you bring the cat to a veterinarian immediately.

VETERINARY CARE

Diagnosis

Usually a thorough physical exam is sufficient to diagnose an upper respiratory infection. If your cat has become anorectic (refuses to eat), blood tests and possibly X-rays may be taken to see if there are complications developing.

Treatment

Using a vaporizer that produces warm moist air will help the nasal passages and sinuses to drain. To treat the bacterial component of the cold, your cat will require antibiotics. A viral infection, meanwhile, will usually be dealt with by the cat’s own immune system.

If your cat is not eating or is dehydrated, your cat will be hospitalized and put on intravenous fluids until he is eating on his own. B vitamins and appetite stimulants may also be used to help his appetite to return. If neither of these methods help with your cat’s appetite, he may need to be force fed for a while.

OTHER CAUSES

Polyps and foreign objects like grass awns can cause symptoms similar to a cold, although the symptoms often start on one side and then spread to the other. Fungal infections such as aspergillosis can also cause similar symptoms.

LIVING AND MANAGEMENT

Once your cat is discharged from the hospital, continue the antibiotics and vaporizer therapy as directed by your veterinarian. Also keep his face clean of discharge.

Making certain that your cat eats is just as important as complying with the antibiotic regimen. Cats that go without eating for even a short period are at risk for developing hepatic lipidosis, a condition involving the liver that is very difficult to reverse.

If the symptoms resolve only to return a few weeks later, chances are the cat does not have a cold. The symptoms may be related to one of the other possible causes listed above. Additional diagnostic work will be needed.

If your cat’s cold is due to a herpes virus infection (feline rhinotracheitis), he may have occasional recurrences of the symptoms. As with people, you cannot get rid of a herpes virus; all you can do is treat the symptoms when they appear.

PREVENTION

There are many viruses that can cause colds in cats. Two of these viruses can be very hard on your cat, even without the bacterial component: feline herpes virus, as already discussed, and feline calicivirus. Fortunately, there are vaccines available for these viruses. Be sure your cat receives the initial series of injections followed by regular boosters, as recommended by your veterinarian.

https://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/common-emergencies/e_ct_excessive_sneezing_nasal_discharge

INFECTIOUS CANINE TRACHEOBRONCHITIS

Kennel cough, the common name that is given to infectious canine tracheobronchitis, is a very highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs. As the name of the disease suggests, it is typified by inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. This disease is found throughout the world and is known to infect a very high percentage of dogs at least once during their lifetime. It is also medically referred to as tracheobronchitis and Bordetella.

Young puppies can suffer the most severe complications that can result from this disease, since they have an underdeveloped immune system that is still strengthening. Also at increased risk are older dogs, which have decreased immune capabilities, and pregnant bitches, which also have lowered immunity to infections.

SYMPTOMS

  1. Dry hacking cough is the most common symptom
  2. Cough may sound like honking
  3. Retching
  4. Watery nasal discharge
  5. In mild cases, dogs would likely be active and eating normally
  6. In severe cases, symptoms progress and can include pneumonia, inappetence, fever, lethargy and even death
  7. Unvaccinated puppies and young dogs, or immunocompromised dogs might experience the most severe symptoms of the disease

CAUSES

Most of the time there has been a recent boarding that has placed the dog in contact with a number of other dogs.

Some of the most common causes that contribute to the infectious canine tracheobronchitis disease areBordetella bronchisepticaparainfluenza virus, and mycoplasma. Apart from the canine herpes virus, reovirusand the canine adenovirus can also cause this disease. As any one of these organisms can cause the symptoms of this disease, in most of the cases, the result of the disease is thought to be more than one organism combined. However, the most common and important organism that causes tracheobronchitis is the parainfluenza virus. This particular virus causes gentle symptoms that last less than a week, unless there is an involvement with other bacteria.

The Bordetella bronchiseptica is also a common type of bacteria that is often isolated from this disorder. According to the clinical signs the visible onset of infection usually occurs three to four days after initial exposure, but when it is combiend with other organisms – such as a combination parinfluenza-bordatella infection – the symptoms may last for up to three weeks.

 DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis for this disease is largely based upon the type of symptoms that are being presented and your dog’s history with regards to exposure to other dogs. You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health and onset of symptoms. A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. These blood tests, along with viral isolation and bacterial cultures, will be performed in order to verify individual agents that are causing the kennel cough.

TREATMENT

Depending on the severity of the infection and the severity of the symptoms, there are two main types of treatments that can be given for canine tracheobronchitis disease. In the most common and uncomplicated type of disease, there is generally no need for antibiotics.

If your dog is alert, but has only minor symptoms along with the recurrent cough, then it is often left alone to go through the course of the disease, just like the common cold in humans. Most of the time an anti-inflammatory agent will be given to your dog in order to reduce the severity and frequency of coughing episodes and to make the dog more comfortable. Antibiotics will be used if your dog is not eating, is running a fever, and is showing signs of severe respiratory troubles, as this may indicate pneumonia.

While your dog is recovering from the infection, allow it to breath without anything that might irritate or constrict its throat – such as collars or scarves/bandannas. For walks and outings, you can substitute the collar with a body harness.

LIVING AND MANAGEMENT

In order to prevent this disease, it is recommended that you not expose your dog to kennel like or boarding conditions, where large populations of dogs are contained and mixed together. However, if you cannot avoid this, then a proper vaccination would be the best option. Talk to your veterinarian about what is available for your dog, since there are certain vaccines that can have worrisome side effects. Therefore, vaccines to prevent tracheobronchitis are generally only given to dogs that are at high risk.

Even with precautions, a large number of dogs acquire this respiratory infection. It is best to be observant and prepared.

Although this infection usually does not cross over to humans, there are instances where young children and adults with compromised immune systems are at risk for infection. In these cases, care must be taken to protect those at risk from coming into contact with the sick dog until it has fully recovered. If contact cannot be avoided, extra care will need to be taken with hygiene.

Original Article https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/respiratory/c_dg_canine_tracheobronchitis

From Medical News Today
Article Date: 08 Oct 2012 – 0:00 PDT

As flu season approaches, people who get sick may not realize they can pass the flu not only to other humans, but possibly to other animals, including pets such as cats, dogs and ferrets.

This concept, called “reverse zoonosis,” is still poorly understood but has raised concern among some scientists and veterinarians, who want to raise awareness and prevent further flu transmission to pets. About 80-100 million households in the United States have a cat or dog.

It’s well known that new strains of influenza can evolve from animal populations such as pigs and birds and ultimately move into human populations, including the most recent influenza pandemic strain, H1N1. It’s less appreciated, experts say, that humans appear to have passed the H1N1 flu to cats and other animals, some of which have died of respiratory illness.

There are only a handful of known cases of this phenomenon and the public health implications of reverse zoonosis of flu remain to be determined. But as a concern for veterinarians, it has raised troubling questions and so far, few answers.

Veterinary researchers at Oregon State University and Iowa State University are working to find more cases of this type of disease transmission and better understand any risks they pose to people and pets.

“We worry a lot about zoonoses, the transmission of diseases from animals to people,” said Christiane Loehr, an associate professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “But most people don’t realize that humans can also pass diseases to animals, and this raises questions and concerns about mutations, new viral forms and evolving diseases that may potentially be zoonotic. And, of course, there is concern about the health of the animals.”

The researchers are surveying flu transmission to household cat and dog populations, and suggest that people with influenza-like illness distance themselves from their pets. If a pet experiences respiratory disease or other illness following household exposure to someone with the influenza-like illness, the scientists encourage them to take the pet to a veterinarian for testing and treatment.

The first recorded, probable case of fatal human-to-cat transmission of the pandemic H1N1 flu virus occurred in Oregon in 2009, Loehr said. Details were published in Veterinary Pathology, a professional journal. In that instance, a pet owner became severely ill with the flu and had to be hospitalized. While she was still in the hospital, her cat – an indoor cat with no exposure to other sick people, homes or wildlife – also died of pneumonia caused by an H1N1 infection.

Since then, researchers have identified a total of 13 cats and one dog with pandemic H1N1 infection in 2011 and 2012 that appeared to have come from humans. Pet ferrets have also been shown to be infected, and some died. All of the animals’ symptoms were similar to that of humans – they rapidly develop severe respiratory disease, stop eating and some die. Serological studies suggest there is far more exposure to flu virus in cats and dogs than previously known.

“It’s reasonable to assume there are many more cases of this than we know about, and we want to learn more,” Loehr said. “Any time you have infection of a virus into a new species, it’s a concern, a black box of uncertainty. We don’t know for sure what the implications might be, but we do think this deserves more attention.”

Natural and experimental transmission of the H3N2 influenza virus from dogs to cats in South Korea showed the potential for flu viruses to be transmitted among various animal species, Loehr said. It’s unknown if an infected cat or other pet could pass influenza back to humans.

The primary concern in “reverse zoonosis,” as in evolving flu viruses in more traditional hosts such as birds and swine, is that in any new movement of a virus from one species to another, the virus might mutate into a more virulent, harmful or easily transmissible form.

“All viruses can mutate, but the influenza virus raises special concern because it can change whole segments of its viral sequence fairly easily,” Loehr said. “In terms of hosts and mutations, who’s to say that the cat couldn’t be the new pig? We’d just like to know more about this.”

Veterinarians who encounter possible cases of this phenomenon can obtain more information from Loehr or Jessie Trujillo at Iowa State University. They are doing ongoing research to predict, prevent or curtail emergent events.

 

References:

Oregon State University

Medical News Today

n.p. (2012, October 8). “Human-To-Pet Transmission A Concern At The Onset Of Flu Season.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/251146.php.