Asthma in Dogs – Signs and Symptoms
Dog asthma is one problem our four-legged friends share with us. Dogs can suffer from all kinds of health problems that are similar to what people suffer.
The good news about asthma in dogs is that it presents fairly similarly to what people experience when they have asthma.
Dogs hack, cough, and experience difficulty breathing, just like people do.
Another important sign of asthma in a dog is if the animals gums turn purple or blue, which indicates that the dog is not getting enough oxygen.
Dogs that have asthma also may have a very poor appetite and actually not be interested in eating. This is because breathing comes before eating, and eating can be very strenuous on a dog that is suffering from asthma. They may experience extreme weight loss as a result.
Of course if your dog has never had a history of asthma before and he starts experiencing some of these same symptoms, then it is possible that the dogs breathing problems are caused by another issue, like something blocking its airway.
Bacterial infections and heartworms can also cause symptoms that are similar to asthma, so be sure to check with your vet if your dog suddenly starts having breathing problems.
Asthma in Dogs – Treatment
Dog asthma is very easily treated with the right medications as long as you take the dog in to get a diagnosis.
There are many different things that can cause your dog to have an asthmatic attack, and the type of treatment your pet will receive will depend largely on what triggers the attacks.
For example, some dogs have asthma attacks after being exposed to something they are allergic to. The course of treatment for this would be to help the dog avoid allergens as much as possible.
Asthma in dogs is often triggered by allergens like dust mites, pollen, ragweed, and other common things people are also allergic to. The vet can prescribe an antihistamine during especially troublesome times of the year if seasonal allergies are the root of the asthma.
If the dogs asthma triggers are severe or antihistamines do not help, then the vet will likely prescribe a steroid medication, which will open up the animal’s airways and allow him to breathe normally.
The vet may also recommend a bronchodilator, which will allow you to open the dog’s bronchial tubes so that it can breathe more easily.
Dogs that have severe asthma attacks may even need oxygen treatment for dog asthma.
Additionally, sometimes weight can be a cause for asthma, so sometimes relieving your dog’s asthma symptoms is as simple as helping him lose weight. Many overweight dogs suffer from asthma, so ask your vet if your pet’s weight could be contributing to his asthma.
If it is, then you may want to put your dog on a strict diet and help him get plenty of exercise.
A cool mist humidifier is also a good treatment option for dog owners who prefer a more natural course of treatment. Just run the humidifier at night in the room where your dog sleeps.
Peppermint and eucalyptus oils can also help open up the animal’s airways if you have an aromatherapy diffuser.