Asthma in Pets

Dog Cough

Asthma, also known as allergic bronchitis, is more common in cats than dogs, but occurs in both. It is also more common in young or middle-aged pets. Asthma sufferers respond the same whether human or animal. Siamese and Himalayan cats appear to be more prone to asthma.

Some of the causes of asthma can be tobacco smoke, pollution, pollen, dust, mold spores, commercial or other foods, compromised immune systems, vaccines.

Symptoms to look for are coughing, wheezing, problem breathing,. loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy. Check you pet’s gums and tongue. If they appear to be purple, it’s a sign of a lack of oxygen to the blood. Your pet should be taken to the vet immediately.

Your vet will take x-rays and other tests to determine if it is asthma and to rule out any other respiratory problems. Asthma responds well to medications and your vet will prescribe one or a combination of the following meds. Steroids and cortisone will reduce inflammation; an antihistamine to open the airways; bronchodilators; immune system strengtheners; an epinephrine injection in case of a severe attack.

Your pet will have to take medications for the rest of his/her life. But the prognosis is good for living a normal life.

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