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A Pet Parent's Guide To Asthma In Dogs

Asthma attacks in dogs can be alarming and should always be treated as a veterinary emergency. Below, our Englewood emergency vets explain the signs of asthma in dogs and how it can be treated.

Dog Asthma Symptoms

If your dog appears to be experiencing breathing difficulties, you may be wondering, 'What are the symptoms of asthma in dogs?'. Well, the truth is that dogs experience asthma attacks much like people, with attacks varying in severity from mild to life-threatening. If your dog is having an asthma attack one or more of the following signs may be evident:

  • Sudden difficulty breathing
  • Persistent cough 
  • Heavy panting with mouth open
  • Rapid breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Bluish gum color
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of energy 

Signs of asthma in dogs should always be taken seriously! Contact your vet right away if your pup is having breathing difficulties. 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. 

Asthma in Dogs Treatment

The severity and frequency of your dog's asthma attacks will influence how their condition will be treated. Anti-inflammatory steroids may be prescribed to help control symptoms and prevent long-term damage to your pup's lungs.

Inhalers For Dogs

'Can dogs use asthma inhalers?' is a common question we hear from pet parents. 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. 

How do I prevent my dog from having an asthma attack?

Some of the most common triggers of asthma attacks in dogs are cigarette smoke, cleaning products, pollen and mould. 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.

Are you concerned about your dog's breathing? Contact VRCC right away! Our Englewood emergency vets are available 24/7 to care for your canine companion.

New Patients Welcome

VRCC Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Englewood is always accepting new patients! Our board-certified specialists and emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to Denver Metro area pets.

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