Asthma isn't a condition that can only affect humans, did you know that our canine companions can also experience this life-altering condition? Today our Orange vets explain the most common signs and symptoms of asthma in dogs and what you can do to help your dog breathe easier.
What are the signs & symptoms of asthma in dogs?
The most common signs and symptoms of asthma in dogs are:
- Heavy panting with mouth wide open
- Rapid breathing
- Persistent cough
- Difficulty breathing (often sudden)
- Loss of energy
- Bluish gum color (caused by lack of oxygen)
- Loss of appetite
If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms contact your vet immediately. While asthma may be the root of the issue, there are a number of other serious conditions that can cause similar symptoms.
How does my vet diagnose asthma in dogs?
The key to diagnosing asthma in dogs is primarily ruling out other possible causes such as heart disease, bacterial infections, and heartworm disease. After a thorough physical examination to determine your dog's overall health, your vet may recommend x-rays or heartworm testing to provide further insights into your pet's condition.
What might my vet recommend as treatment for asthma in dogs?
Depending on the severity and frequency of your dog's asthma attacks, anti-inflammatory steroid medications may be prescribed for your dog to help to control the symptoms and prevent long-term damage to the lungs. Permanent damage can result from asthma in dogs, which is why you should always take symptoms seriously and contact your vet if your dog shows signs of having an asthma attack.
Will my dog be prescribed an inhaler for their asthma?
In some cases, your vet will prescribe inhalers for a dog with asthma. Albuterol sulfate, (Common brands include Proventil and Ventolin) may be prescribed for dogs to help relax airway muscles to improve breathing. Never give your dog medications without consulting your veterinarian. Many human medications are toxic to dogs.
What are some ways that I can help make breathing easier for my dog?
Cigarette smoke, cleaning products, mold, and pollen are a few of the most common triggers of dog asthma. If you and your vet are able to determine the cause of your dog's asthma attacks, avoiding the allergen entirely is the best thing you can do to help your dog. The less exposure your dog has to the irritant, the fewer attacks your dog should experience.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.