If you’re suffering from chronic asthma you know that it isn’t in any way fun. But what about our dogs? Can dogs have asthma too? Or are they lucky enough to not have to worry about it at all?
Unfortunately, just like us, our canine friends can get asthma too. It’s important to inform yourself about the signs and symptoms of this disease, and also about the possible treatments.
How do I know if my dog has asthma?
If you’re suspecting that your dog has asthma, be on the lookout for symptoms such as:
- Persistent coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Gums that appear blue
- Heavy panting with wide open mouth
If you noticed any of these symptoms in your dog, make sure to contact your vet immediately. Even though these symptoms can point to asthma, they can also be a sign of some other, more severe conditions.
How is canine asthma diagnosed?
You can’t diagnose your dog with asthma yourself. If you notice any of the symptoms above, take your dog to a professional. The vet will be the one running different tests to know what exactly is going on with your canine companion. Besides asthma, these symptoms could also point to diseases such as infections, heartworm disease, heart failure.
To diagnose asthma in dogs vets work to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms such as heart disease, bacterial infections, and heartworm disease. After a complete physical examination to determine your dog’s overall health, your vet may recommend other diagnostic tests such as x-rays or heartworm testing to provide further insights to your pet’s condition. Other possible tests are: bronchoscopy, urine or blood tests and heartworm testing. Before giving a definitive diagnosis, the vet will have to rule out some other conditions.
What treatments are available?
The treatment depends on the severity of your dog’s asthma attacks. The most common medications that are prescribed are anti-inflammatory steroid medications. These help to prevent long-term damage to the lungs.
Can dogs have asthma inhalers?
Yes, they can! Inhalers can help relax your dog’s airway muscles and improve breathing. However, you can’t give your dog any medication without talking to your vet first. Especially not human medications, as they can be toxic for canines.
What’s the prognosis for asthmatic dogs?
Thanks to all of the possible treatments, most dogs with asthma are able to live normally. You have to follow your vet’s guidelines when dealing with your dog’s treatment. Also take steps ti reduce asthma triggers. Don’t smoke in front of your dog and try using air purifiers. Also dust regularly. All of these steps can help reduce the symptoms of asthma tremendously.
Even though there is no definitive cure for canine asthma, there are plenty of ways to reduce the symptoms. Always be on the lookout for any warning signs or possible asthma symptoms. If you’re ever unsure as to what to do, contact your vet.