Is it Necessary to see the Vet for a Dog Cold?

by Bitzi's Mom
(Las Vegas, Nv)

Bitzi - A Dog With A Cold

Bitzi - A Dog With A Cold

Reader Question: Do You Need To Visit The Veterinarian for a Dog Cold?

I do not know whether or not to take my Chihuahua to the Vet or not. She seems to have a cold. It started with a 'honking' type cough that kept us both up all of one night.

The following day, I did make an appointment with the Vet for the following day, but by then she had gotten 85-90% better, with just short periods of honking/choking coughing. I cancelled the appointment, thinking she would get better on her own.

Each day the 'attacks' have been less and further apart, but yesterday she started sneezing. She has been acting normal otherwise. Eating, going out to pee/poop, drinking water, etc.

Another reason I changed my mind on taking her to the Vet was that she has seizures due to hypoglycemia and I did not want to 'stress' her out and cause a seizure, unless it was absolutely necessary. Plus, I am only on Social Security and the Vet can run up a very large bill, but she is more important to me, of course.

That is my it necessary that she see a Vet? Or will this subside on its own? Or is there something I can do to ease her symptoms? She is a full Chihuahua, will be 7yrs in Aug.


We live in a guest house. People in main house have 6 dogs, we all share a patio, all dogs are out together. Those 6 dogs are caged when indoors (together), one of them had been doing that 'honking' before my dog started it. Could it be something she caught?

Veterinarian Response: Advice for Treating a Dog Cold

Hi Bitzi's Mom,

Dogs with clinical signs like you describe (coughing and/or sneezing but otherwise fine) can be handled in the same way you would treat yourself or a child with similar symptoms. In other words, it is okay to keep an eye on things for a while and not rush immediately to the doctor’s office as long as the situation gets better and not worse.

If this is a simple upper respiratory infection, your dog’s condition should return to normal over the course of a couple of weeks, if not sooner. On the other hand, if she becomes sicker in any way (particularly if she stops eating, given her episodes of hypoglycemia) she should see a veterinarian immediately.

It is possible that a contagious infection is starting to move through the dogs in your residence. I recommend separating the dogs who are coughing from those who are apparently still healthy.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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