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Symptoms of Asthma in Dogs

Asthma in dogs is an allergic condition often triggered by inhaling allergens or irritants. In today's post our Orange County emergency vets share some of the most common signs and symptoms of asthma in dogs, and how this condition can be treated. 

What are the symptoms of asthma in dogs?

Some of the most common signs of asthma in dogs include, heavy panting, wheezing, rapid breathing, persistent coughing, difficulty breathing (often sudden), and loss of energy, and bluish gums (caused by lack of oxygen).

If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms listed above contact your vet immediately. While asthma may be the cause, there are a number of other serious conditions which can cause similar symptoms.

How is asthma in dogs diagnosed?

To diagnose asthma in dogs, your vet will primarily concentrate eliminating the possibility of other diseases being the cause of your dog's symptoms. Heart disease, bacterial infections, and heartworm disease can cause similar symptoms as asthma in dogs. After conducting a thorough physical examination to determine your dog's overall health, your vet may recommend x-rays or heartworm testing to provide further insights to your pet's health. 

How is asthma in dogs treated?

If your dog is diagnosed with asthma, treatment will largely depend upon the severity and frequency of your dog's asthma attacks. Medications such as anti-inflammatory steroids may be prescribed for your dog to help to control the symptoms and prevent long-term damage to the lungs. Permanent lung damage can result from frequent or severe asthma attacks in dogs. Always take your dog's symptoms seriously and contact your vet if your dog shows signs of breathing difficulties

Can dogs have asthma inhalers?

Yes, your vet may prescribe inhalers to help manage your dog's asthma symptoms. Albuterol sulfate, (Common brands include Proventil and Ventolin) may be recommended for your pet to help relax airway muscles and improve breathing. Never give your dog medications formulated for humans without first consulting your veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for people, are toxic to dogs.

How can I help my dog breathe better?

Taking the time to determine the cause of your dog's asthma attacks, and keeping your pet away from the allergen, and may help you to prevent asthma attacks from occurring or reduce the frequency of the attacks.

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.

If your dog is having difficulties breathing, or showing signs of an asthma attack, visit our emergency department at Veterinary Medical And Surgical Group–OC (VMSG-OC) in Orange County for urgent veterinary care.

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Veterinary Medical And Surgical Group–OC (VMSG-OC) accepts new clients to our specialty services and 24/7 emergency services.

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