Pet asthma is a medical condition that’s easy to diagnose in dogs and there are several different asthma treatments for dogs that can control the symptoms of this disease.
Asthma in dogs is defined as the sudden narrowing of a dog’s airways that causes breathing difficulties. Asthma can be triggered when a pet inhales something it’s allergic to. When this happens, the lower parts of the lungs begin to tighten and the dog will begin to wheeze or cough. Its gums may turn blue, and heavy panting ensues.
In extreme cases a dog will collapse from a lack of oxygen. This is why it’s important to consider every asthma attack as a medical emergency. Too much exercise or exertion can also trigger an asthma attack.
Some pets with asthma may have only occasional mild attacks, while others can have repeated attacks ranging from moderate to severe.
Diagnosing Asthma in Your Dog
A veterinarian will use a combination of tests which include x-rays and blood assessments as a way to diagnose asthma. This will help rule out other ailments or illnesses like airway obstructions, infections or heartworms that can cause the same symptoms as asthma.
Your veterinarian may have you keep a record of your dog’s asthma attacks in order to establish what triggers are causing the attacks. If your dog has a problem breathing after an energetic exercise period or when pollen counts are high where you live, keeping track of the attacks can help your veterinarian formulate the best treatment plan for your dog.
Traditional asthma treatments for dogs include administering steroids and antihistamines to help reduce swelling and control the allergic reactions.
In more serious asthma cases, it may be necessary to inject epinephrine during an attack to allow the dog to breathe easier. Your veterinarian will teach you how to give your dog injections of epinephrine if it has a very serious case of asthma.
Asthma treatments for dogs may also include alternative medical treatments, such as dietary supplements, herbal remedies or acupuncture.
Regardless of the type of medical treatment you choose for your dog, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to control the circumstances that trigger the asthma attacks. For example, if dust triggers the asthma attacks, you’ll need to find a way to filter out dust from the air inside your house. If you’re a smoker and your dog’s asthma attacks are triggered by cigarette smoke, you may need to quit smoking or only smoke in areas well away from your dog.