Struggling to Breathe: When Your Pet Has Asthma
Have you noticed that your pet is having trouble breathing? They may cough or wheeze. They may even want to sleep more than normal, or don’t have any interest in exercise. Respiratory issues in pets can be caused by a number of conditions, but if your pet already struggles with allergies, these symptoms may point to asthma.
When your pet has asthma, you may wonder what you can do to help them. The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here to explain this condition, its treatment, and at home care.
What Is Asthma in Pets?
Asthma is an inflammation of the lungs and is a part of an allergic condition. Asthma occurs when the airways become constricted, making it difficult for a pet to breathe. Asthma is diagnosed in both dogs and cats, but cats develop asthma more often than dogs. Toy and small breed dogs are also more susceptible.
Asthma is a result of an allergic reaction that manifests as respiratory difficulties. The symptoms of asthma in pets include:
- Wide, open mouth
- Unusual snoring
- Excessive panting
- Loss of appetite
- Pale or blue gums
If your pet is struggling to get air, this is a veterinary emergency. Please contact us right away so we can start treatment.
Treatment for the Asthmatic Pet
After your pet has been examined and health conditions that are underlying have been ruled out, there are several options in treatment. Your veterinarian may prescribe steroids as a way to regulate the allergy symptoms. Oxygen therapy is also an option for more serious cases of asthma.
You can be instrumental in helping your pet at home through the following recommendations.
- Don’t expose your pet to cigarette smoke
- Consider not using the fireplace
- Use odorless household cleaners
- Avoid wearing perfume and body sprays
- Use better quality air filters for your furnace
- Standalone air filters can do a good job in managing allergens
- Use a HEPA filter on your vacuum
- Bathe your pet weekly with a hypoallergenic shampoo
When Your Pet Has Asthma
An asthma attack can be scary for you to witness and your pet to experience. Allergies and asthma are unfortunately a burden some pets have to deal with, but there are some excellent ways to improve health and quality of life.
If you would like more information on treatment options when your pet has asthma, please do not hesitate to call us.
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