Asthma in dogs: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention


Asthma affects small dogs more frequently than large breeds. However, the proportion of dogs with asthma is much lower than that of cats. Obese dogs and brachycephalic dogs are more susceptible to this pathology. However, it is recognized that no dog breed is more predisposed to it than another. Asthma is a sneaky condition that may be asymptomatic at least initially in some dogs, but its symptoms always show up eventually. Let’s see how asthma manifests itself, what are the possible treatments and the solutions to prevent this health problem.

Asthma in dogs: possible symptoms and consequences

Asthma is an inflammation of the airways that mainly affects the bronchi. It is neither a hereditary disease, nor a crippling vice. It can follow a allergy to dust, mites, pollens, and even cigarette smoke when the dog is hypersensitive to an allergen of any type.

The symptoms that should alert are the following:

  • Shortness of breath that is not systematically linked to physical exertion,
  • Wheezing,
  • Breathing difficulties,
  • The separated position of the front legs when the dog is standing: he adopts this posture in order to breathe more easily,
  • A dry and persistent cough,
  • Great fatigue,
  • Vomiting after exertion.

These symptoms are not just related to asthma. They are also seen in dogs that have a tumor or even a lung worm (parasite), or even a disease. Kennel cough, for example, can lead to same manifestations as asthma. We must therefore not let the situation settle. A consultation with the veterinarian is essential as soon as possible.

It is found that brachycephalic dogs are more prone to this disease but it should be noted that a obese dog is also more exposed to the risk of suffering from asthma, and if he is already asthmatic, a worsening of the disease is to be feared with the gain of weight, whether he is brachycephalic or not. In all cases, in the absence of treatment, asthma worsens and over time leads to serious breathing problems. An animal strongly affected by this disease can be very handicapped on a daily basis.

Asthma in dogs: diagnosis and treatment

The veterinarian should make sure that the dog has asthma and that the symptoms he is exhibiting are not related to other health problem. This is essential in order to be able to set up the appropriate treatment protocol. In order to rule out a disease, the practitioner can perform numerous additional examinations such as a blood test, an imaging test, etc. It is also necessary to perform a skin test in order toidentify the allergen at the origin of asthma when it does.

The asthma treatment in dogs is based on:

  • Epinephrine in injectable dose in case of asthma attack,
  • Antihistamines,
  • Asthma medication.

We generally obtain from good results, especially if the asthmatic dog is treated quickly. The treatment can be more or less long, but the animal regains a certain comfort of life once it is taken care of. When he is much better, he can even run again without being too short of breath. To promote the recovery of a dog who suffers from asthma, do not hesitate to install a humidifier in rooms or premises frequented by animals on a daily basis.

Can we prevent asthma in dogs?

Knowing that there are factors that promote asthma, it is enough to avoid them to limit the risk of seeing your animal suffer from this disease.

So a master should not never smoke in the presence of your animal because it can be a victim of passive smoking. Likewise, it is essential to clean your home with great regularity in order toeliminate allergens of all kinds. Finally, it is recommended to ensure that your dog enjoys a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet and maintaining a physical activity on a daily basis are among the best solutions to avoid obesity in dogs. All of these precautions are essential, as is regular monitoring of the animal’s health by a veterinarian.

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