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Winter ailments: Pets can catch cold, flu just as you do

THANE: It is not just people who are falling sick with the dip in temperature, but also pets that are suffering from respiratory infections and even flu, cough and cold, claimed veterinarians from the city.
City-based veterinarians have been getting a number of four-legged visitors, who are affected by respiratory problems owing to early morning fog, the fluctuating temperature during the day and night and dust particles in the air, etc. The symptoms of the respiratory problem are watery nose and eyes, which even turn yellow or red in the condition deteriorates.

Dr. Manohar Akole, a veterinarian from the city, said, “Since the past two weeks, there has been a 15 percent rise in the number of pets suffering from respiratory ailments. A few of them are down with flu, seen sneezing and have a dry cough. Most of these pets are foreign breeds like German Shepherd, Labrador, Golden Retriever, and Pomeranian. The Indian breeds, however, have a better immune system and they are accustomed to the weather here.”

The experts even said that when it comes to dogs aged above seven, even arthritis is common. Also, if puppies are not treated for cold in time, they can suffer from pneumonia.

Not just these animals, but birds too are suffering from respiratory problems.

“Pet owners do not understand that birds also need warmth and they should ideally be shutting their cage and covering it in bedsheet instead of keeping it open. The exotic birds are facing respiratory problems due to which then there is swelling in their eyes or discharge from their nose or eyes. Unlike humans, birds cannot adjust to the weather as they do not have enough insulation to protect themselves and struggle to maintain their body temperature,” said Dr. Hemant Thange, exotic specialist.

Experts added that when it comes to reptiles like turtles and tortoise, vitamin A and calcium deficiencies are common during this season. Veterinarians said that one of the main reasons for this is that the owners keep them only in water or on land while most of them need both. During winter the water is cooler and it becomes difficult for them to adjust to the body temperature, due to which they have calcium deficiency and their shells suffer a fracture and break.

Alok Deshpande, a resident of Kapurbawdi and a pet owner, said, “My Pomeranian has been down with respiratory problem since a week now. His appetite is low and he is under medication now.”

Date: 30 Dec 2018
Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thane/winter-ailments-pets-can-catch-cold-flu-just-as-you-do/articleshow/67306066.cms