You may be surprised to learn that asthma is a relatively common condition in dogs. Our Pico Rivera vets diagnose and treat a range of respiratory conditions in dogs. Does your dog have asthma? What are the symptoms of asthma in dogs? Below are some common symptoms of asthma in dogs.
Common Signs of Asthma in Dogs
Asthma attacks can strike dogs in varying degrees of severity, ranging from mild to life-threatening. You may notice one or more of the following symptoms if your dog is having an asthma attack:
- Sudden difficulty breathing
- Persistent cough
- Heavy panting with mouth open
- Rapid breathing
- Bluish gum color
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy
Permanent lung damage can result from asthma attacks, which is why you should always take your dog's symptoms seriously and contact 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 your dog is suffering from asthma attacks, they will first 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 exam, 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
Treatment for your dog's asthma will largely depend upon the severity and frequency of the attacks. Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory steroids to help control symptoms and prevent long-term damage to your pup's lungs.
Canine Specific Inhalers
Albuterol sulfate (brand names include Proventil and Ventolin) can help dogs breathe better by relaxing their airway muscles. To help administer your dog's asthma medications, inhalers with masks designed specifically for dogs 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 asthma triggers in dogs. If you know what causes your dog's asthma attacks, avoiding the allergen is the best way 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.