A surge in cases of Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is going on alongside high flu activity and continuing cases of COVID-19, making a respiratory infection trifecta that is threatening local healthcare. Hospitals, especially children’s facilities, are having trouble keeping up, and local pharmacies are seeing supply chain disruptions that leave them with empty spaces on their shelves of over the counter medications.
Now — should you also worry about your Goldendoodle?
Can dogs get respiratory infections?
Yes, dogs can get respiratory infections. Just like people, your Goldendoodle may cough, sneeze and run a fever. Just like humans, dogs can catch a respiratory infection from a virus or bacteria.
A bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics and clear up quickly, but antibiotics don’t help with viruses. Rest and fluids are the usual treatment for a virus in dogs. Visit your vet if you are not sure. Knowing just what your dog is infected with makes a big difference in treatment.
Bacterial or viral infections are contagious in dogs just as they are in humans, so you should keep your dog apart from other animals when he or she is sick. However, viruses are usually species-specific. Your dog can’t usually catch a human virus from a human being, or spread a dog virus to a human being.
So you can cuddle up to your Goldendoodle when you have a bug if it makes you feel better.
There have been a few cases of dogs with COVID-19. It appears that these cases have been cases of contagion from humans to dogs. That is, the dogs’ owners have had COVID-19 and shared it with their pets. It is extremely rare, but it can happen.
Dogs can also get the flu, but it is canine flu, not human flu. Flu is not a disease that humans and dogs can share.
There are other diseases that can travel between species, but they are once again very unusual.
In general, you do not need to worry about your Goldendoodle catching a virus from you or your family.
With that saiid, it is a good plan to keep washing your hands and cleaning high-touch surfaces during cold and flu season. If you or your child feels sick, stay home and get plenty of rest and fluids. RSV is something we don’t want to share!