You may be surprised to learn that asthma is a relatively common condition in dogs. At Banning Veterinary Hospital, our Riverside County vets diagnose and treat a range of respiratory conditions in dogs. Does your dog have asthma? Below are some common symptoms of asthma in dogs.
What are the symptoms 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 pup is having an asthma attack you may notice one or more of the following signs:
- Sudden difficulty breathing
- Persistent cough
- Heavy panting with mouth open
- Rapid breathing
- Bluish gum color
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy
Asthma attacks can cause permanent lung damage, which is why you should always take your dog's symptoms seriously and consult 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!
Diagnosing Asthma in Dogs
If your veterinarian suspects that your dog is suffering from asthma attacks, they will work to rule out other possible causes of your pet's symptoms. Heart disease, bacterial infections, and parasites are all conditions that can cause breathing difficulties similar to asthma. Following a physical examination, your veterinarian may suggest additional 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
The severity and frequency of your dog's asthma attacks will heavily influence treatment. Anti-inflammatory steroids may be prescribed by your veterinarian to help control symptoms and prevent long-term lung damage in your dog.
Canine Specific Inhalers
Albuterol sulfate (Proventil and Ventolin are two common brands) can help to relax the dog's airway muscles and improve breathing. To help administer your dog's asthma medications, inhalers with dog-specific masks may be prescribed.
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.
Helping Your Dog Avoid Asthma Attacks
Cigarette smoke, cleaning products, pollen, and mold are some of the most common causes of asthma attacks in dogs. If you know what is causing your dog's asthma attacks, avoiding the allergen is the best thing you can do to help prevent attacks. The less your dog is exposed to the irritant, the fewer attacks he or she 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.