What happens when a dog gets Covid?

Answered by Edward Huber

When a dog gets Covid, it can be a concerning experience for both the pet and the owner. The first thing to note is that not all infected pets will show symptoms. Some may be asymptomatic carriers, meaning they have the virus but do not exhibit any signs of illness. However, if a dog does develop symptoms, they can vary in severity.

One of the common symptoms seen in infected dogs is a fever. Just like humans, dogs can develop an elevated body temperature as their immune system fights off the virus. A fever in dogs is typically defined as a rectal temperature above 103°F (39.4°C). It’s important to monitor your dog’s temperature and consult with a veterinarian if it remains consistently high or if your dog shows other concerning signs.

Coughing and difficulty breathing can also be observed in dogs with Covid. These respiratory symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual dog. Some dogs may have a persistent cough, similar to what you might hear in a human with a respiratory infection. Others may experience more severe respiratory distress, including shortness of breath or rapid breathing. If your dog is having difficulty breathing, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Lethargy is another common sign of illness in infected pets. Your dog may seem more tired or less interested in usual activities. They may sleep more than usual or lack their usual energy and enthusiasm. Keep an eye out for any significant changes in your dog’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian if they appear unusually lethargic for an extended period.

Sneezing, nasal or eye discharge can also be observed in dogs with Covid. Similar to how humans experience nasal congestion or a runny nose during respiratory infections, dogs may exhibit similar symptoms. You may notice your dog sneezing more frequently or having a runny nose or discharge from the eyes. These symptoms can be mild or more pronounced, depending on the individual dog.

Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea, have been reported in some infected dogs. It’s important to note that these symptoms may not be directly caused by the virus itself but can be a result of the dog’s overall illness or secondary infections. If your dog experiences vomiting or diarrhea, it’s essential to monitor their hydration levels and consult with a veterinarian if the symptoms persist or worsen.

It’s crucial to remember that every dog is unique, and their response to Covid can vary. While some may experience mild illness and recover fully, others may develop more severe symptoms and require veterinary care. If you suspect your dog may have Covid or if they are showing any signs of illness, it’s always best to reach out to your veterinarian for guidance. They can provide a proper diagnosis, recommend appropriate treatment, and offer advice on how to care for your furry friend during their recovery.