Just like people, dogs and cats can suffer from asthma and/or bronchitis. Owners will often notice their pet having a persistent productive or nonproductive cough, maybe exercise intolerance, difficult or prolonged exhalation, and wheezing.
Asthma and bronchitis result when something causes inflammation of the airways and the air sacs that make up the lung tissue. Causes of inflammation include allergies as well as inhalation of smoke, perfumes, and other chemical irritants. The condition tends to worsen when your pet is excited, stressed, or when a complicating factor like pneumonia occurs.
When a patient at Orchard Hills Animal Hospital is suspected of having bronchitis or asthma, the doctor will listen to the patient’s heart and lungs and will recommend X-rays and bloodwork. If the pet is severely affected, we will often recommend more advanced testing like bronchoscopy and airway lavage.
There are many treatments available if your pet is diagnosed with asthma or bronchitis.
If it can be identified, the first step is to eliminate the underlying cause. Additionally, pets are often placed on medications like steroids, bronchodilators, and cough suppressants.
Believe it or not, pets can also be treated with inhalers like people use and they can have their lungs and airways nebulized as well. Pictured below is Gertrude Langer and her dad Dustin. Gertrude is being nebulized to help her better cough up mucus and debris from her lungs!
If your pet is experiencing chronic coughing, wheezing, or other breathing difficulty, don’t hesitate to contact us at 360-835-2184 for an appointment.