5 Common Winter Illnesses In Pets And How To Prevent Them

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Winter is already here and seasonal illnesses that affect us also affect our furry friends. Even our cute little fur balls are susceptible to illnesses in the winter season. Extreme exposure to cold might put the pets at risk and here are a few common illnesses that we need to know about.

Hypothermia

Exposing your pet to low temperatures can lead to hypothermia. If not treated properly it can be fatal. “Weakness, shivering, tiredness and depression are the common symptoms of hypothermia. If your pet’s body temperature drops drastically, you should ensure to wrap pets in a blanket or warm clothing and visiting the vet immediately is advised,” says Dr. Lalit Kenjale, Veterinary officer, Wiggles.

Sniffles

Majority of pets suffer from sniffles. It is a condition of upper respiratory infection. Sneezing, watery eyes, fatigue, runny nose, and cough are the prime symptoms that can be observed. “If your pet is showing these symptoms, giving them warm soup or something equivalent, covering them with a warm blanket, give him plenty of water. Your pet definitely needs a visit to the vet,” adds Kenjale.

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Frostbite

Formation of crystals in tissues due to pets’ body turning cold due to exposure to extremely low temperatures is called frostbite. “When the pet’s body gets too cold, it starts drawing blood from limbs and other areas as a mechanism to maintain the temperature which leads to formation of crystals in tissues and can damage them,” says Kenjale. Apply warm water to frostbitten areas and let the crystals melt. Also wrapping them in thick warm blankets might be helpful. Lethargy, shivering, drowsiness, and unconsciousness are the symptoms of frostbite. It is mostly observed in cold regions.

Flu and Pneumonia

Pneumonia is the inflammation of lungs whereas flu is an upper respiratory disorder that is highly contagious. Flu and pneumonia are generally observed in very young and senior pets. Extended exposure to cold temperatures can be the cause of flu and pneumonia in animals. Fever, loss of appetite, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, dry or moist cough are the basic symptoms of flu and pneumonia in pets. Visiting a vet is highly recommended if your pet is showing any of these symptoms, as timely treatment can be great for your pet.

Kennel cough

It is a respiratory infection that affects both dogs and cats. Though, it can occur anytime of the year, winter is the season when pets are most susceptible to kennel cough. “Kennel cough can be highly contagious and the pets suffering from it need to be isolated to avoid spreading the disease. Honking cough, rough voice, fever, loss of appetite, sneezing, discharge from eyes are the common observed symptoms,” signs off Kenjale.

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