Canine Asthma

Think asthma is something that only affects us humans? Think again! Canine asthma is relatively common in dogs. As part of Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, your Southport veterinarian tells you more below.

What Causes Asthma in Dogs?

Asthma is commonly caused by allergens in your dog’s environment. Allergies accompany asthma in dogs quite often. When your dog inhales the allergen, an asthmatic response is triggered. Potential allergens in your dog’s immediate environment include mold spores, pollen, dust, dander from other animals, cat litter particles, smoke, sprays, cleaning products, air fresheners, and perfumes. Work with your vet to discover what exactly may be triggering asthma attacks in your dog.

What Are the Signs of an Asthma Attack?

The signs of an asthma attack in dogs are quite similar to those in humans—shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing are common. Intense panting may also occur. When an attack is especially severe, your dog’s gums may appear blue due to lack of oxygen. Call your veterinary professional immediately while you’re rushing your dog to the hospital if you see this.

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

Your veterinarian will take your pet’s medical history and examine your dog to rule out any injuries or other infections that could be causing the symptoms. Your vet may ask you about possible triggers at home or in your dog’s environment that could be causing the asthma. You may need to keep a sort of “allergen journal,” documenting potential triggers that your dog comes in contact with.

How is Asthma Managed?

Since asthma can’t be cured, it must be managed. Luckily, it’s not hard! Canine inhalers use medication to reduce the severity of attacks, just like in humans. Ask your veterinarian about the proper usage of these devices. Removing allergens from your dog’s environment will go a long way towards reducing attacks as well. Keep your dog’s living area clean and sanitary, free of pollen, dust, mold, and dander. Air filters can work wonders for keeping your dog’s area clean. Also remember to wash your dog’s bedding and blankets regularly.

Consult your Southport vet for more advice on caring for an asthmatic dog. Working closely with your veterinarian is the best way to manage the disorder and allow your dog to live a normal, healthy life!

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