December 13, 2010

Asthma in Dogs

Filed under: Asthma — Dr. Amber Reed @ 4:33 pm

Dog owners are often surprised to learn that their pet dogs can also suffer from asthma.  If you notice your dog suffering from labored breathing, including wheezing or coughing, your dog may actually have asthma.  While asthma is more common in certain species, like cats and humans, it is still a relatively common condition in dogs.  As a dog owner, take some time to try and recognize the symptoms of dog asthma and then consult a veterinarian about diagnosis and treatment options.

As a layperson, you will not be able to diagnose dog asthma on your own.  Nevertheless, if you suspect your dog is having some breathing problems, there are some common asthma symptoms that will become apparent.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Blue gums
  • Panting
  • Breathing with an open mouth
  • Respiratory distress

As in humans, asthma in dogs may be triggered by allergies, irritants, exercise, and dry air.  During an asthma attack, the bronchi start to spasm and excrete mucus; the airways become inflamed and narrow so that breathing becomes difficult.  In addition, dogs suffering from asthma may refuse to eat or drink during an attack.

Should you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll want to visit a veterinarian.  While these symptoms are normally related to a respiratory disorder, it will be difficult to determine the problem without a complete physical examination from your vet.  In order to diagnose asthma in dogs your vet will rule out respiratory infections and airway obstructions.  Further tests will likely include a chest x-ray and blood work to rule out infections, heartworms, and cardiac disorders.

Once asthma has been diagnosed, your veterinarian will recommend treatment.  Depending on the cause of the asthma, your vet will likely prescribe one of four treatment options: steroids, antihistamines, bronchodilators, or oxygen.  In most cases, your dog will continue to need treatment as asthma in dogs has no cure.  Nevertheless, the condition is easy to manage and your dog should be able to live a normal, happy life.

November 25, 2010

Feline Asthma

Filed under: Asthma — Dr. Amber Reed @ 3:27 pm

feline cough Asthma in cats is an increasingly common condition that currently affects about 1% of cats around the world.  Feline asthma is a chronic allergic respiratory disease that has no cure.  Marked by breathing problems such as wheezing, coughing, and labored breathing, feline asthma can actually be fatal when cats suffer from severe broncho-constriction.  Furthermore, as we are being exposed to more and more industrial chemicals, some researchers believe the incidence of feline asthma is actually on the rise.

Cat owners need to be wary of their cat’s breathing problems.  Labored breathing may be a symptom of other respiratory illnesses, but whether your cat is suffering from asthma or a different respiratory condition is of little consequence.  Clearly, respiration is a very important part of your cat’s health and any problems in this system should be addressed immediately.  Also, keep in mind that cat coughing sounds much the same as when your cat passes a hairball.  So, if you notice coughing for a prolonged period you should visit your veterinarian.

Your vet will first try to rule out other respiratory diseases or causes of infection.  During the diagnostic process, your veterinarian will likely take blood tests and a chest x-ray.  Respiratory distress can be caused by a wide range of factors including heartworm, lungworm, and heart disease.  Once your vet has ruled out these conditions and diagnosed asthma, you can begin to develop a treatment plan.

Feline asthma is incurable but there are a number of useful treatments to ameliorate the symptoms.  Typically, your cat will require asthma treatment for the course of her life.  Feline asthma is most commonly treated with bronchodilators, glucocorticosteroids, or both.  In mild asthma cases, bronchodilators are effective but as the symptoms progress, as they almost always do, your veterinarian will likely begin treatment with steroids.  Moreover, treatment options for feline asthma have improved over the years and it is possible to use inhaling devices as well as oral and injected medications to treat feline asthma.

Copyright © 2013 CritterCures. All rights reserved.

About us | How To Order | Privacy Notice | Safety
Secure Shopping | 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
FAQ | Shipping & Returns | New products | Blog
Newsletters | Testimonials | Sitemap | Contact us
Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.