Pet Asthma

Asthma Treatment from Your Veterinarian in Johnston, IA

Many owners with pets that are coughing or wheezing are surprised to learn that these animals are suffering from asthma.  Difficulty breathing can be frightening for an affected pet.  Our vet offers a number of treatment options for pets with this problem that visit our Rush Animal Care Clinic P.C. practice in Johnston.

Asthma Treatment

Asthma in Pets

A veterinarian might refer to pet asthma using a number of names:  chronic bronchitis, allergic bronchitis, or bronchial asthma.  All of them refer to a disorder in which the animal suffers from repeated episodes of wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing.

Our vet notes that cats are significantly more susceptible to this condition than dogs are and that small dogs have greater vulnerability than larger breeds do.  The disorder is most prevalent in pets with flat faces, such as Persian cats and Pugs.

During an attack, a constriction develops in airways that lead to the pet’s lungs.  As a mucus buildup develops, these airways become inflamed and might eventually ulcerate.  As a result, airway muscles spasm and constrict, making it hard for the animal to breathe.

There are many causes and triggers of this disorder.  Often the irritant is something inhaled or eaten.  Exposure to dust mites, mold, and mildew is a common trigger.  Even dust from cat litter or dander from other animals can set off an attack.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Wheezing that might sound like a whistle or a high-pitched sigh
  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Labored breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Pale mucous membranes or bluish gums

Treatment Options

Diagnosing asthma in pets can be difficult because of the number of conditions that mimic it.  Keeping a weekly log of a pet’s symptoms can be extremely helpful, according to our vet.

When an animal is experiencing an asthmatic crisis, administering epinephrine can save its life.  Acute situations also require administration of pure oxygen, sometimes accompanied by inhalants and other medications.

Our long-term goal for asthmatic pets is identification and elimination of all triggers in their environment.  For chronic cases, we strive to reduce the severity and the frequency of the pet’s cough to provide as much comfort as possible.

Schedule an Exam with Our Johnston Vet

Does your pet have asthmatic symptoms?  The staff at our Rush Animal Care Clinic P.C. in Johnston provides comprehensive scheduled and emergency treatment.  Pet owners in the Greater Des Moines area can count on us for one-on-one medical and surgical care.  Be sure to take a moment to call us today at 515-270-2240 to schedule an appointment with our vet, Dr. Barb Rush, or to learn more about the services we offer.

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