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Can dogs get asthma?

By Daniel Mar Journalist

Updated on the

Asthma is a term used to define a difficulty to breathe. It has many symptoms which are easily recognized. But, can dogs have asthma? Can dogs have asthma?

You may be surprised but, dogs, like people, can get asthma. However, in dogs, this term is usually called allergic bronchitis. This is the appropriate name because when it comes to dogs, this disorder is always caused by an allergic reaction to elements in the environment. This causes an inflammatory response in the canine respiratory airways which can lead to a shortage of breath among other symptoms later discussed.

Can dogs get asthma? Reasons behind it

Dogs can be very susceptible to allergens in their environment. So, how can dogs get asthma? The answer is simple! Pets inhale allergens which in turn cause allergic bronchitis/asthma. Some dog owners believe that asthma is a human disease but it can be quite harmful to dogs as well. In fact, if it is not treated in time, long-standing allergic bronchitis can damage the tissues of the respiratory tract thus causing permanent damage.

Can dogs have asthma attacks? Of course, they can! Maybe these are not so visible as with humans, but your pet can experience occasional breathing problems and sometimes suffocation. By all means, you need to avoid this condition to evolve and turn into a severe/chronic disease, because damages are irreversible. If you believe that your dog has asthma, you need to learn all about it.

Symptoms of asthma in dogs

Canine asthma attacks are very easy to detect because they differ greatly from regular breathing or even panting. How can you tell if your dog has asthma? Well, here you have a list of the most common symptoms:

  1. Heavy panting
  2. Coughing
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Wheezing
  5. Open-mouth breathing
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Pale/blue gums (lack of oxygen)
  8. Lethargy
  9. Weight loss
  10. Dyspnoea

Nonetheless, always look for a dry cough which tends to come on slowly or even suddenly. Dogs don’t usually get asthma, but it can’t be ignored. According to vets, canine asthma ranges from mild to severe according to the frequency and quantity of these symptoms. This disease is very mysterious in dogs. For example, sometimes, vets can’t actually identify the exact allergen that caused it in the first place! However, don’t forget that it is important to identify asthma quickly because it turns chronic in a matter of days.

How do you help a dog with asthma? You must take him to the emergency veterinary care. Only a professional can know exactly what your pet needs.

When does your dog have higher chances of getting asthma?

Asthma is usually more common in older and small dog breeds of either gender. This doesn’t mean that you should overlook large dogs. Furthermore, dogs exposed to a particular environment like construction, crops or garbage disposal are at an increased risk of getting this disease. Remember that allergens are the cause!

Prevention is always the best manoeuvre

You can create a safe space for your dog. Asthma is not very common hence it can be prevented. Follow the next list of steps:

  • Don’t smoke near your pet
  • Avoid using a real fireplace or wood-burning stoves. Switch to a decorative fireplace and don’t burn wood. The same thing goes for candles and glowing logs.
  • Eliminate any toxic plant from dogs which may be inside your house.
  • Try to ditch carpets if you can! When these are manufactured, this process loads them up with toxic chemicals that can harm your pet.
  • Stop the use of air fresheners and deodorisers. Consider the use of baking soda to absorb unpleasant odours.
  • Perfumes can be dangerous too. Essential oils are healthier because they don’t have chemicals or allergens.
  • Use air-purifying machines. These are great to fight air pollution at home. You can also use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in your air conditioner.
  • Do not use artificial pesticides. Switch to natural ones and make sure to use them in areas where your dog has no access.
  • Cats can get asthma more often than dogs. So, if you have both pets, make sure to use a dust-free cat litter.
  • Bathe your dog regularly. Groom him every time it is due. Avoid leaving him wet.

Can dogs get asthma? Most definitely. That is why you must make sure that your dog doesn’t get it. This disorder can be very serious and harmful for your pet. Follow these prevention tips and make your house is a safe environment for these animals.

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