Respiratory tract infections in pets are comparable to the common cold in humans. Respiratory tract infections are characterized by coughing, sneezing, fever, and a runny nose. This infection is similar to a cold or the flu in humans. Cats and dogs are very prone to respiratory infections. Just the simple act of breathing can cause an infection. In the air there are many bacteria and viruses. If your pet’s immune system isn’t running strong, it is easy for your pet to be affected by these viruses.
The symptoms of this illness are laziness, sneezing, running nose, coughing, fever, and uneasiness. There are two different types of respiratory tract infections: upper respiratory tract infections, and lower respiratory tract infections. Upper respiratory tract infections are characterized by sneezing, oral ulcers, a discharge from the eye (called conjunctivitis), a runny nose, wheezing, and respiratory problems.
Respiratory tract infections can be either viral or bacterial. RI’s are very contagious and are most commonly contracted in places where lots of pets are found together; for example the park, the vet’s office, pet stores, grooming places, animal shelters, dog shows, and other places.
If you suspect your cat or dog has a cold, take your pet to the vet immediately for examination. Although respiratory tract infections are not serious they may make your cat more susceptible to secondary infections. These infections may lead to chronic illnesses so it is crucial for you to get your pet checked out even for something as simple as a cold. To lessen the chance of your pet contraction a RI, make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. If you have a young pet its immune system is not yet developed so be extra careful what conditions your pet is being exposed to.