6 common winter illnesses in pets and how to avoid them
Arthritis to cold and cough, here are some common winter ailments your furry companions are at risk of. A veterinary expert offers prevention tips.
Winters are here and as the temperature will further plummet in the coming days, your adorable furry friends need to be protected from a series of winter illnesses they might be at risk of. Like humans, pets too need to be prevented from bitter cold and should not be exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a long period of time. As you get their warm clothes out, you should also add layers to their beddings considering the floor in winter season tends to become colder. Also, one doesn't need to trim their pooch's hair so much during the season as their fur and hair offer a natural protection against cold. Dogs' skin and paws could be impacted by cold and it is important to invest in a pair of shoes or boots and moisture their skin if needed. Any signs of cold, cough, low body temperature, muscle pain shouldn't be avoided and a veterinary expert must be contacted at the earlier. (Also read: Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day: Warning signs of the common cancer in dogs)
Dr Narendra Pardeshi, Vet Surgeon from Small Animal Clinic, Pune talks about 5 common winter illnesses in pets and how to avoid them.
1. Hypothermia: This leads to low body temperature when your pet tends to spend a lot of time in chilly weather. The symptoms of hypothermia are shivering, weakness, tiredness, and even depression. If the dog or cat has a temperature below 94 then the pet will have hypothermia. Thus, it is best to consult the vet instead of ignoring the symptoms.
2. Frostbite: This happens when the pet’s body turns cold and forms ice crystals in the tissues. The formulation of these crystals can also damage the pet’s tissues. The symptoms of this condition are shivering, lethargy, unconsciousness, and drowsiness. In this case, the pet should be wrapped up in the blanket and taken to the clinic.
3. Sniffles: It is an upper respiratory infection leading to symptoms such as runny nose, cough, fatigue, sneezing, and watery eyes. There is a majority of pets tend to suffer from this condition. So, try to cover the dog with a blanket, give him/her hot beverages, make the pet drink plenty of water, and use a humidifier at home. It will be imperative for you to take him/her to the vet who may advise antibiotics.
4. Flu: It is also commonly seen in winter. The pets can get a fever, dry cough, runny nose, and even suffer from ear infections. Try to make sure to recognise these symptoms in the pets at the right time. Do not neglect these symptoms at all.
5. Cold: Just like humans, dogs and cats can also experience colds that can steal their peace of mind. So, make sure that your pet stays indoors when the weather outside is cold.
6. Arthritis: Winter or cold weather is synonymous with joint pain. Arthritis flares up during winter can lead to inflammation and joint swelling. So, make sure the pets maintain a healthy weight and walk daily.