Dogs cannot get cold sores from humans. However, dogs have their own version of cold sores that can easily be passed from one dog to another. So if you have a cold sore, there’s no need to worry. You will not pass it along to your dog.
Cold sores, we know of them, and some of us even get them. They are annoyingly contagious mouth blisters that can be passed from person to person.
Normally, they are passed by sharing drinks or kissing. If you’ve ever had one, you know how aggravating it can be.
They are not always incredibly unpleasant, but can be a nuisance and sometimes quite painful. They might make us feel self-conscious about our looks or the state of our cleanliness.
Most people will have a cold sore or a fever blister at least once in their lives. While cold sores can be passed from one person to another, you may wonder if dogs can get cold sores from humans.
The answer is no, but that doesn’t mean dogs don’t get cold sores. Dogs have their own version of cold sores, which can easily be passed from one dog to another.
Doggy cold sores affect dogs in the same way that they affect humans. It’s known as the canine herpes virus in the veterinary world.
In most cases, the virus will not result in the death of your pup. However, snout sores could indicate a more serious underlying problem, such as CHV, which is why it’s important for your pet’s health and your peace of mind to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to get an exact diagnosis.
Keep in mind that doggy cold sores are much more dangerous for puppies, so if you notice sores on your puppy, give the vet a call ASAP.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has a Cold Sore
Cold sores in dogs are usually pretty easy to spot. Their appearance is sudden, and they are easily seen on your dog’s lip or snout.
Sometimes it can look like a reddish pimple. Other times it might be an open-looking wound with lesions or scabs.
Symptoms of a Cold Sore
Keep an eye on your dog for any changes in behavior or physical appearance. These changes can be very subtle at first. It can be easily overlooked and left untreated if not looked at carefully. Untreated cold sores will take much longer to heal.
Here are some symptoms to keep an eye out for if you think your pup has a cold sore:
Persistent Licking of Their Snout and Lips
This is a clear sign that something is bothering them. Cold sores can be painful, so this is a good indicator of discomfort.
Persistent licking can also cause the wound to become irritated and open further. If your dog continues to scratch and lick at its cold sore, the wound can become bigger, and the condition will worsen.
Discoloration of the Tongue, Gums, or Lips
Cold sores are a virus that invades the body. A sudden change in your dog’s oral health is a red flag. Check daily for black gums, stinky breath, dry, cracked lips, or a dry tongue. These all might be indicators of a cold sore virus invading your dog’s body.
Loss of Appetite
If your dog has suddenly lost their appetite, this is a good indicator that something is wrong. Cold sores are uncomfortable blisters. If it is in an area where chewing aggravates it, the dog will simply stop eating to relieve the pain.
How Do Dogs Get Cold Sores?
Doggie cold sores are passed from dog to dog. When your dog interacts with another dog with a cold sore, there’s a good chance they will become infected. Cold sores are most contagious when your dog has been exposed to oral fluids and secretions.
Adult dogs with canine herpes will usually recover on their own without any significant interruption to their health or daily routine.
If you discover sores on or around a puppy’s nose, consult with a veterinarian right away, as cold sores are much more dangerous for puppies.
How to Treat Your Dogs Cold Sore
After you have taken your dog to the vet and gotten a proper diagnosis, it’s time to prepare for treating your dog’s cold sore.
In most cases, cold sores in adult dogs will clear on their own. However, puppies have a higher chance of becoming seriously ill if not treated properly.
Fortunately, treating a cold sore on your dog is simple since all it takes is some well-needed rest. Common cold sores normally get worse when irritated. This is why it’s important to keep your pup from licking or scratching the affected area. This will cause excess bacteria to infiltrate the open wound and cause bigger problems.
Rest & Recovery
It’s important to make sure your dog is well-rested, fed, and cared for when a cold sore pops up.
Keep them from interacting with other dogs, as they might infect other canines. Even if you are not sure if it’s a cold sore before you take them to the vet, air on the side of caution and quarantine your dog.
Cold sores are highly transmissible, and it is easy to overlook what might seem like a mild bump or lesion.
With the help of your vet, rest, and antibiotics or cream, your dog will be well on its way to a quick recovery.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.