Does your dog suffer from wheezing or shortness of breath? Then Fido may have canine asthma, otherwise known as allergic bronchitis.
In dogs, this condition is almost always caused by an allergic reaction to something in the environment. Cigarette or fireplace smoke, carpet cleaners, room fresheners, fertilizers or home remodeling products are just a few of the many things that could cause Fido to hack and wheeze.
The symptoms of so-called “asthma attacks” can vary widely from occasional breathing problems to severe one that approach suffocation. By the time the condition is this severe, it usually has become chronic and irreversible. In very grave cases, a dog may resort to open-mouth breathing, and its gums and other mucous membranes may turn a purplish-blue from oxygen deprivation.
In general, canine allergic bronchitis tends to affect young to middle-aged dogs. The hallmark of this condition is a dry hacking cough, which can come on slowly or suddenly. Other common signs include:
- respiratory distress (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing)
- open-mouth breathing
- pale mucous membranes
- exercise intolerance
- lack of appetite
- weight loss
Depending on the severity of the asthma problem, an affected dog may need a drug regimen that includes glucocorticoids and bronchodilators. If a secondary infection is present, then antibiotics may also be needed.
The good news is that the prognosis for recovery from allergic bronchitis is very good. This is especially true if you are able to identify the allergen(s) causing the problem and remove it/them from the environment.
Repetitive coughing and wheezing are never healthy in a dog.
If you suspect Fido may have canine asthma, call the Pet and Bird for an appointment. Our vets will do a full nose-to-tail examination and make recommendations that can help your animal pal live asthma-free. For the best in pet healthcare, contact us today!