Do Dogs Get Headaches and Colds?

We all know that feeling – head pounding, just wanting everyone to stop talking – a headache.  Headaches affect nearly 45 million people in the United Sates alone, according to the National Headache Foundation. So it makes sense for the inquisitive person to ask “Can dogs get headaches?” No, it’s not weird to care about your lovable companion enough to ask the question. Though the medical or veterinary communities have not published many studies on the topic, the assumption can be made that because a dog has a brain with pain nerves like humans do that they too can get headaches.

Dog Headaches

So yes, that furry canine does get a headache from time to time or could even be a chronic sufferer. Pain is unfortunately universal and the first step to recovery is recognition.  A study conducted out of the “Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine” found that there was evidence to suggest the existence of migraines in those four-legged family members.

The study examined a multitude of different pets and found that the pets which showed sensitivity to light and sound as well as a vocalization of pain and other symptoms common to headaches suffered by humans could be treated with topiramate, a commonly prescribed drug for treating human headaches. The veterinaries concluded with considerations of many other factors that the topiramate was helping headaches in dogs.

Many of the same reasons that humans get headaches can lead to dogs developing headaches. This pain can also radiate around the head or be focused in specific areas like the front or left just as it could for humans. Consistent loud noises, sinus pressure, panic attacks, and dehydration are all reasons a headache may develop in a pooch.

There are many signs and symptoms that could indicate your dog suffers from migraines or chronic headaches. If you notice these signs often or lasting longer than a day, it may be time to contact the local vet and ask for your dog to be examined for head pains. Some symptoms are sensitivity to light and sound, vocalization of pain, hyperactive to touch or other stimuli, loss of appetite, trembling, and nasal congestion. All of these things can be seen in humans too just to provide a baseline and also be sure to never ignore a change of behavior in your pet. So, if your dog is acting out of the ordinary and is exhibiting one or more of these signs, your dog may have a headache.

The best way to help your hurting friend at home is to pay attention and recognize the signs. No one wants to suffer through chronic migraines and headaches and your pet is even more restricted when trying to make it better. It is important to note that professional care will always be better than an at home remedy, but before you slide a few Tylenol into your dog’s kibble, consider these other at home treatments first. Acupuncture also can work wonders for canines as well as it can for humans. Massages also can lead to a reduction in headaches as they allow for more adequately and even blood flow throughout the body.

Can Dogs Get a Cold?

Headaches are not the only ailment that a pup can go through. Just like humans, dogs can get a cold. Similarly again, it is not weird for the caring pet owner to ask the question “Can dogs get colds?” The difference is that unlike headaches, the colds that your dog experiences are very different that the illness that humans contract. Illnesses do not cross species. So you as the owner cannot give your dog a cold even if the signs and symptoms seem to be similar to your own.

Much like all the different ways to infect a human (viruses, bacteria, and fungus to name a few) there are just as many ways to infect a dog. Some common ailments for your pooch are kennel cough, like the name suggests produces a loud cough and is usually spread in a kennel, Influenza, a different strain than the human version dogs too can be infected by the flu, and parasites, these buggers can grow anywhere just like in humans and can really do some damage to your pet.

If you suspect that your dog is sick always call the vet. With a much larger background and understanding of animal illnesses, they will be able to properly diagnose your pet and start them on the right regimen for speedy recovery.  But if that is not an option right now, here are some at home remedies to bide time until you can get in to see the vet.

A steam inhaler or hot bath can open up those pores and help your canine sweat out the illness or at the very least help in clear up his airways.

Drinking and eating to ensure that your dog is getting a healthy diet to better fight off the illness. A healthy diet will keep his white blood cells in the best shape to fight off that disease.

Try adding vitamin C to your pup’s diet to increase his immune system’s ability to fight off diseases. This could be adding citrus to their diet as well as eucalyptus or mullein flowers. Always check with a vet first though before changing your dog’s diet to ensure he still gets all the right nutrients.

At the end of the day, dogs can suffer from many of the same things that slow down us as human. Whether it’s an illness, disease, or even just a headache, dogs suffer from all of them too. Be sure to talk to the vet and seek the professional care your animal deserves to ensure a speed return to health and happiness. Recognizing the fact that animals can suffer too enables them to be given the care they need to be the same old happy-go-lucky selves that made you fall in love with them in the first place.

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