You may be surprised to learn that dogs can have asthma. Does your dog have asthma? Below, our Kinston vet will go over some common signs, symptoms, and treatments for asthma in dogs.
Common Signs of Asthma in Dogs
Dogs can experience asthma attacks much like people and in varying degrees of severity from mild to life-threatening. If your dog is having an asthma attack you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sudden difficulty breathing
- Persistent cough
- Heavy panting with mouth open
- Rapid breathing
- Bluish gum color
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy
Permanent lung damage can result from asthma attacks. Contact your veterinarian if your dog is having breathing difficulties.
Diagnosing Asthma in Dogs
The vet will first focus on ruling out other possible causes for your dog's symptoms because conditions that can cause breathing difficulties similar to asthma include heart disease, bacterial infections, and parasites.
Following a physical examination of your dog, your vet may recommend other diagnostic tests such as X-rays or heartworm testing to help determine the cause of your dog's symptoms.
How To Treat Asthma in Dogs
Treatment for your dog's asthma will largely depend upon the severity and frequency of their asthma attacks. Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory steroids to help control symptoms and prevent long-term damage to your dog's lungs.
Canine Specific Inhalers
Albuterol sulfate, (common brands include Proventil and Ventolin) can help to relax the dog's airway muscles to improve breathing. Inhalers fitted with masks designed specifically for dogs may be prescribed to help administer your dog's asthma meds.
Never give your dog medications without consulting your veterinarian first. Many human medications are toxic to dogs, and the dosages provided in each use of an inhaler can vary greatly.
Avoiding Asthma Attacks in Dogs
Some of the most common triggers of asthma attacks in dogs are cigarette smoke, cleaning products, pollen and mold. If the cause of your dog's asthma attacks is known, avoiding the allergen is the best thing you can do to help prevent attacks. The less exposure your dog has to the irritant, the fewer attacks your canine companion is likely to have.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.