Common Symptoms of Asthma in Dogs
It might surprise you to learn that dogs can suffer from asthma attacks similar to people can. These attacks can range in severity from mild to life-threatening. If your pup is having an asthma attack you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Persistent cough
- Sudden difficulty breathing
- Heavy panting with mouth open
- Rapid breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Bluish gum color
- Loss of energy
Permanent lung damage can result from asthma attacks, which is why you should always take your dog's symptoms seriously and contact a veterinarian if your pup is having breathing difficulties.
If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms listed above contact your vet immediately, or visit your nearest animal emergency hospital for urgent care!
How To Diagnose Asthma in Dogs
If your vet has determined that your dog sufferers from asthma, they will start looking into the possible causes of your dog's symptoms. Conditions that can cause breathing difficulties similar to asthma include heart disease, bacterial infections, and parasites.
Following a physical examination of your pup, 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 Vets Can Treat Asthma in Dogs
The treatment that your dog will receive largely depends on the cause as well as the severity and frequency of attacks. Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory steroids to help control symptoms and prevent long-term damage to your pup'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.
Do not give your dog any medications without first talking to your vet. There are a number of human medications that are toxic to dogs and the dosages used in each human inhaler can differ.
Helping Your Dog Avoid Asthma Attacks
Some of the most common triggers of asthma attacks in dogs are cigarette smoke, cleaning products, pollen and mold. If the actual cause of your dog's asthma is known, you will need to keep your dog from being exposed to those specific allergens 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.