Can the pet have asthma? Yes! Just like humans, pets too can develop asthma. It’s more common in cats than in dogs, sometimes pets get asthma attacks too. As there is no cure for asthma, we can have successful treatments and therapies to ensure the pet lives a happy and healthy life.
Feline and canine asthma is very similar to asthma in humans. It is a chronic inflammation of the air passage in the lungs. It is assumed that asthma attacks in pets are caused due to allergic reactions. When the pet breathes in the allergens, this triggers an immune response causing an inflammation that results in swelling, irritation, and sometimes the production of mucus within the airways. When the reaction is severe, it is also known as an asthma attack, which causes suffocation, causing your pet difficulty breathing.
If the condition becomes chronic and is not treated on time, then the tissues within the respiratory system can be damaged permanently.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
There are a number of signs that indicate the pet has asthma ranging from mild to severe. The Common symptoms are:
*Loss of energy and appetite
*Pale or blue gums
*Extreme expansion and contraction of the chest
*Persistent dry hacking or coughing
*Shortness of breath
*Wide mouth breathing
If you notice any of the symptoms, visit your vet immediately.
There are several factors that cause asthma in pets, mostly through an allergic reaction. These reactions occur when airways become inflamed due to an inhaled allergen that activates the body’s immune system. The common allergens include:
-Heavy perfumes, air fresheners
-Airborne pesticides or fertilizers
-Cat litter dust or particles
-Pollen and mold spores
-Smoke from tobacco products, wood fire, or cooking
If you think that your pet has asthma, visit your vet for getting it diagnosed. Though there is no direct test in the case of pets, to confirm the diagnosis, there is a range of tests and physical examinations. X-rays, bronchial mucus samples, blood work, and more will help us diagnose a pet’s symptoms. As other health conditions such as obesity, heartworms, or respiratory infections sometimes also present similar symptoms like asthma.
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the vet will work on the treatment for your pet. Treatments will depend on the severity of the pet’s condition.
For mild symptoms, medication can be given through a nebulizer or inhaler that is specially designed for the pet. These medications will help in reducing the severity of attacks and relieve the symptoms.
In severe cases, a bronchodilator is used to open the airways. Steroids and antihistamines may also be prescribed by your vet in order to reduce allergy symptoms and inflammation within the airways.
Apart from medication, take preventative measures to remove the possible triggers and allergens from your home. Do not smoke when your pets are near and limit your use of wood fire. Use natural cleaners in your house and air filters within your home to keep the house from allergens.
Taking preventative measures and following the vet’s recommendations will help to give your pet life asthma free. For more details on Asthma in pets. Book the appointment today.