Cause and Symptoms of Asthma in Pets
Watching your pet have an asthma attack is a scary experience for both you and your pet. Pets having an asthma attack may initially start wheezing and coughing, but if the attack is severe, they may have difficulty breathing as a result of their airway being obstructed. Although it may occur in pets of any age, it is more common in middle-aged to older pets and those with a weakened immune system. If you suspect your pet’s wheezing and coughing is due to asthma, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your vet in Collierville as soon as possible.
Cause of Asthma in Pets
It’s important to note that asthma isn’t a disease and it’s not contagious. It is a symptom that occurs as a part of a severe allergic reaction. Pets whose immune system is weak or compromised have a greater risk of developing allergies as well as allergic reactions. For instance, your cat or dog may have an asthma attack because they are allergic to an airborne irritant, such as dust, pollen, or cleaning products. Other underlying problems may also induce an asthma attack, such as parasites, viral or bacterial infection, and some cancers. Certain breeds may also be more prone to asthma, such as pugs or Maltese’s, because the anatomy of their airway is smaller or more squished.
Symptoms of Asthma in Pets
There are two primary symptoms that may be an indication that your pet has asthma: coughing and wheezing. Their cough may be dry, but they may still cough up phlegm. The coughing is often triggered by exercise, excitement, or strenuous playing. In addition to coughing and wheezing, the symptoms of asthma may also include:
- Appetite loss
- Weight loss
- Tongue and/or gums that turn blue
If your pet has any of the above symptoms, it’s important that they be examined by their vet in Collierville as soon as possible. During the exam, your veterinarian will typically do chest x-rays and blood tests in order to ensure the asthma attacks aren’t secondary to another underlying problem.
Determining what the exact cause of your pet’s asthma attacks are may be difficult. However, once your vet has determined that there are no underlying problems, there are some things you can do at home to reduce the risk of your pet’s asthma attacks, such as routinely changing the air filters in your HVAC system, using natural cleaning products, and vacuuming regularly. Your vet may also prescribe medications to help counter allergic reactions, reduce inflammation and swelling in the lungs, and to help your pet breathe easier.
To schedule an examination for your pet, contact the Collierville Animal Clinic.