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Understanding Canine Asthma

May 1, 2014

Did you know that dogs can suffer from asthma just like we can? Canine asthma is actually relatively common in dogs. Learn more below as your Rapid City veterinarian discusses the disorder as part of Asthma and Allergy Awareness month.

What Causes Canine Asthma?

Most cases of canine asthma are caused by allergies, which often accompany asthma. When your dog inhales allergens, his respiratory system triggers an asthmatic response. Potential allergens that your dog is reacting to include pollen, mold, dust, dander, cat litter particles, sprays, air fresheners, or even perfume. Your vet will be able to narrow down exactly what substance your dog is reacting to.

What are the Signs of an Attack?

The common symptoms of a dog’s asthma attack are quite like a human’s: shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing often occur. A dog may also pant heavily, and the gums may appear blue because of lack of oxygen in severe attacks.

How Does a Vet Diagnose Canine Asthma?

Your vet will first examine your pet’s medical history and rule out any other infections or injuries that could be causing the symptoms your dog is experiencing. You may need to tell your vet about possible allergens in your home or your dog’s usual environment. Some pet owners even keep a sort of “allergy log” in which they write down everything their pet comes in contact with on a daily basis. From there, you and your vet can work together to determine what’s causing your dog’s reactions.

How Do I Manage My Dog’s Asthma?

Asthma in dogs can’t be cured, but it can be successfully managed. Often times, inhalers are prescribed just like they would be to humans. Keep this device nearby at all times if your dog is diagnosed with asthma, and administer the medication promptly and properly when your dog experiences an attack.

Keeping your dog’s environment clean and sanitary is another great way to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. Many pet owners use air filters, dust and vacuum regularly, and groom their dogs daily to reduce allergen counts. Talk to your Rapid City veterinarian for more information and to find out more ways to manage your dog’s condition at home.

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