Cats and dogs can certainly get colds. In cats, the most common "cold" is viral (herpes/calici virus) and more recently it has been demonstrated they often get a bacterial "cold" from Bordetella bacteria. The most common "cold" that dogs get is a combiantion of Bordetella and Flu virus. In cats, they usually sneeze in rapid succession and dogs usually manifest as a cough.
Can they pass on these colds to humans?
As far as I know, bacterial infections may be transmitted to humans who are immunocompromised such as cancer patients, AIDS positive, or those receiving immunosuppressive therapies for a variety of conditions. The intangible of course is the recent SARS scare that has researchers theorizing that the viral disease may have jumped from animals to people. It is also known that influenza stems from wildfowl and is a threat to the human population every year. The truth of the matter is that we really don't know.
What is the best conventional way to treat cats and dogs with colds?
If there is a bacterial component to the illness, antibiotics are a common choice for treating these problems. For cases of viral infection, supportive treatment is usually indicated such as good nutrition and hygene as well as fluids if need be. In the case of viral diseases, often there is a secondary bacterial component that may be treated with antibiotics
Is there a homeopathic remedy for cats and dogs with colds?
Homeopathic remedies that may be useful for common colds are: Allium cepa (onion)... just think of what happens to you when you cut into a juicy onion and those are the symptoms it treats.
Pulsatilla... for shiny pets, who desire fresh air and are worse indoors and have a yellow green discharge
Drosera... this is a good remedy for coughing which is worse as soon as the pet lays down and gets ready for sleep.
Rumex is another goood choice for cough, if Drosera fails.
Spongia is another excellent cough remedy.
©Michael Goldberg DVM
Michael Goldberg DVM
Hudson Place Veterinary Clinic
1300 West 73 Ave.
Vancouver, B.C. V6P 3E7