Dogs And Cats Do Not Get Colds

“Dr. Randolph, I think my cat has a cold.”

Actually, despite the way we throw the term around, a “cold” is really a very specific disease caused by the Rhinoviridae family of viruses. From the Latin, “rhino” refers to nose and “viridae” is the plural of virus.   The term is plural because there are at least 120 viruses in the Rhinoviridae family.

Rhinoviridae infect only primates. Dogs and cats cannot get colds.

Dogs and cats can, however, become infected with a variety of infectious diseases, both viral and bacterial, that cause the same clinical signs as colds in people, yet the causative agents of those diseases are not in the Rhinoviridae family.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.


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