It may surprise you to learn that asthma is a relatively common condition in dogs, and something that pet parents should know to watch for. Today our Orange County emergency vets share some common symptoms of asthma in dogs and what to do if your dog has an asthma attack.
Symptoms of Asthma in Dogs
Dogs experience asthma attacks much like people, with attacks varying severity from mild to life-threatening. The following are some of the most common signs of asthma in dogs:
- Sudden difficulty breathing
- Persistent cough
- Heavy panting with mouth open
- Rapid breathing
- Bluish gum color
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy
Symptoms of asthma in dogs should always be taken seriously. Contact your vet if your pup is having breathing difficulties since severe attacks could lead to long-term lung damage.
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 vet believes that your dog is having asthma attacks, they will focus on ruling out other possible causes for your pet'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 To Treat Asthma in Dogs
The severity and frequency of your dog's asthma attacks will influence the treatment your vet prescribes. Anti-inflammatory steroids may be prescribed to help control symptoms and prevent long-term damage to your pup's lungs.
Dogs & Asthma 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.
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.
Prevent Dogs From Having Asthma Attacks
The most common triggers of asthma attacks in dogs tend to be cigarette smoke, cleaning products, pollen and mold. If the cause of your dog's asthma attacks is known, avoiding the allergen is the best thing you can do to help prevent attacks. The less exposure your dog has to the irritant, the fewer attacks your four-legged friend 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.