Yes, Your Dog Can Have Asthma Problems

Your Labrador retriever Cooper has been panting up a storm lately. While Cooper often pants after a vigorous trot around the neighborhood or a high-energy game of fetch, he’s been a little off his exercise routine lately. Cooper has also been wheezing a bit, and he’s been breathing with a wide-open mouth. Even more strangely, Cooper’s chest muscles expand and contract each time he breathes. Something is clearly wrong with your buddy Cooper, and you’ve decided to get him to your Hutchinson Island veterinarian right away.

Panting, Wheezing, and More Symptoms

Believe it or not, Cooper might have a case of canine asthma. If so, you’ll see him pant more obviously and for a longer time than he does after exercise. Cooper will seem to have trouble getting enough air, and he’ll likely also wheeze and cough. He might even look completely exhausted and/or lose his generally bottomless appetite. Here’s the biggest red flag: If you see Cooper’s gums become pale or even blue, pack him in the car and quickly get him to the vet (or emergency hospital during off hours), as he might be in the midst of a life-threatening emergency.

Multiple Asthma Triggers

Cooper’s asthma is actually an allergic reaction to an environmental allergen. When Cooper’s body reacts to this allergen, he likely accumulates large amounts of mucus in his airways, narrowing the airways and making it harder to breathe. Household cleaners, air fresheners, perfumes, pollen or mold spores, pesticides, and even kitty litter can cause Cooper’s asthma attacks. If Cooper inhales fireplace, wood stove, or tobacco smoke, that can also trigger his asthma. While all dogs can suffer from asthma, smaller dogs are at an increased risk for attacks.

Straightforward Diagnosis and Treatment

Just by looking at Cooper, your vet will probably conclude that your pooch has asthma problems; however, your vet will likely use an X-ray to confirm that diagnosis. He’ll likely treat Cooper with a combination of medications, depending on the severity of Cooper’s attacks.

Eliminate the Asthma Triggers

Minimize the chances of more asthma attacks by removing all sources of smoke from your home. Ditch your chemical-laden carpet if possible; and clean your tile or hardwood floors with white vinegar instead of chemicals. An air purifier and/or air conditioner containing a HEPA filter removes many airborne allergens. If you also own a cat, dust-free cat litter will decrease Cooper’s asthma risk and also make your cat’s respiratory system healthier.

Since Cooper’s asthma problems can evolve over time, take him to your Hutchinson Island vet for regular checkups. By periodically tweaking Cooper’s treatment plan, your vet can better manage Cooper’s asthma over the long term.

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