Can dogs have asthma? Like people, dogs can sometimes have health problems, and one of them is asthma. Asthma is when the tubes that help dogs breathe get narrow, making it hard for them to catch their breath.
Even though it’s not very common, some dogs can get asthma too. It happens when they have allergies that make their breathing tubes swell up. This swelling makes it tough for them to breathe.
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Asthma can affect dogs that are not too old, especially smaller dogs. It’s not their fault; some dogs are more likely to have it because of their family history or the things around them, like pollen or dust.
In this article, we’ve learned about why dogs get asthma, what signs to look for (like coughing and trouble breathing), how vets figure out if a dog has asthma, and how they treat it. Knowing all this helps dog owners take care of their furry pals and keep them happy and healthy!
Causes of Asthma in dogs?
Asthma in dogs can be caused by things called allergens. These are tiny things in the air that can make a dog’s breathing tubes swell up, causing asthma attacks. Some of these allergens include:
- Mold spores (tiny mold particles)
- Dust and tiny bugs called mold mites
- Dust from cat litter
- Cat hair
- Pollen from flowers and plants
- Cleaners we use at home
- Air pollution (bad stuff in the air)
- Perfumes and air fresheners that smell nice
- Things we use to make plants grow, like pesticides and fertilizers
- Smoke from cigarettes, pipes, and e-cigarettes
These things can make some dogs feel unwell. So, it’s important to keep our furry friends away from these triggers to help them breathe easier!
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma in dogs.
Recognizing Asthma in Dogs
Dogs with asthma can show some signs that something’s wrong. They might cough a lot, breathe fast with their mouth wide open, or have trouble catching their breath. Sometimes, they make too much slimy stuff in their throat.
If it’s bad, their gums, which are the pink parts in their mouths, might turn blue because they’re not getting enough air. When dogs feel this way, they might get scared and find it hard to calm down.
It’s important to be gentle and kind to a dog having trouble breathing. We should never try to close their mouth because it could make them bite, and we don’t want that. Instead, we should help them stay calm and get to the vet so they can feel better soon!
How is asthma diagnosed in dogs?
Getting Help for Asthmatic Dogs
It’s not easy for doctors to know if a dog has asthma when they are not having a breathing problem. That’s why if you see your dog coughing a lot, having trouble breathing, or showing other signs we talked about earlier, it’s super important to take them to the vet right away.
The vet will ask questions about how the dog is feeling and will check them. Sometimes, they might even take pictures of the inside of the dog’s body using X-rays. X-rays are like special photos that show the bones and organs inside.
But here’s the thing: if the dog is feeling okay when they go for the X-rays, these pictures might look normal. So, the vet might need to wait and take more pictures later when the dog is not feeling well. This helps the vet understand what’s happening inside and how to help the dog feel better.
What options are available for treating asthma in dogs?
When dogs have asthma, how the doctors help them depends on how bad their breathing problem is and whether they are having trouble right at that moment or if we want to stop it from happening again.
If a dog is having a hard time breathing right now, doctors will give them special medicine to help them feel better. This medicine helps the dog breathe easier and calms down their lungs.
But sometimes, doctors also give dogs medicine even when they are not having trouble. This medicine is like a shield that protects them from getting sick. It’s like when we wear a raincoat to stay dry even if it’s not raining right now. This way, we make sure our furry friends stay healthy and happy!
How to help dogs during severe asthma attacks.
If a dog has a bad breathing problem and it becomes an emergency, the vet might need to keep the dog in the animal hospital. They put the dog in a special cage with oxygen to help them breathe better. Sometimes, they even put a tiny tube in the dog’s vein to give them medicine and water if the dog can’t eat or drink.
Three kinds of medicine can help dogs with breathing problems:
- Bronchodilators: These medicines relax the muscles in their lungs, making it easier for them to breathe.
- Antihistamines: These medicines reduce allergic reactions, which can be one of the causes of breathing issues.
- Steroids: These medicines reduce swelling in the breathing tubes, making it easier for dogs to breathe.
To get these special medicines, the dog’s owner needs a note from the vet. This way, the dog can feel better and breathe again!
How to care for dogs with mild asthma attacks and continue their treatment.
Using Special Machines to Help Dogs Breathe
Sometimes, when dogs are not feeling well, the vet can give them special medicine using a machine called a nebulizer. A nebulizer turns the medicine into a mist that dogs can breathe in. It’s like when we use a cool mist humidifier at home when we’re feeling sick.
Breathing in this mist helps dogs feel better fast. Plus, it also adds moisture to the air, which makes it easier for dogs to clear their breathing tubes. This is like when we take a warm shower to help with stuffy noses!
Nebulizer treatments can be done at the vet’s office, or some pet parents even have their nebulizers at home. The vet will decide if this is a good option and can show dog owners how to help their furry friends use the nebulizer. It’s like a special superhero tool that helps dogs breathe better and feel good again!
How to help dogs with asthma at home?
like avoiding things that make us sick, it’s important to keep dogs away from things that worsen their breathing problems. Here are some ways to help prevent dogs from having asthma attacks:
- No Smoking or Vaping: Smoke and vaping are not good for dogs. We should keep these things away from them.
- Special Filters: Using special filters in our home’s heating system or having a purifier in a room can help clean the air, making it easier for dogs to breathe.
- Wiping Paws: When dogs go outside, they can pick up stuff that makes them sick. Wiping their paws with baby wipes can help remove these things.
- No Fireplace or Wood Burning: Smoke from fires can be harmful. So, we should avoid using fireplaces or burning wood near dogs.
- Special Bedding: Washing the dog’s bedding helps remove allergens.
- Clean Home: Hard floors are better than carpets because they trap fewer things that dogs might be allergic to.
- Special Covers: Using covers for mattresses and pillows can help keep allergens away.
- No Incense or Candles: Smoke from these things can be bad for dogs too.
By making these changes, we can create a safe and healthy environment for our furry friends!