How Do I Care for a Dog with Asthma?

dog asthmaDid you know that asthma can be fatal to humans and dogs alike?  It’s a serious disease yet, quite manageable if you know what to look out for and put in place a proper treatment plan.  As a professional pet sitter, I’m trained in asthma symptoms.  So, I want to pass along our knowledge to you.  Keep reading to learn more about signs of asthma in dogs, diagnosis, and common treatment plans.  It could save your dog’s life.

Know the triggers of Asthma in your dog!

Asthma is an allergic reaction to something in your dog’s environment. Some of those triggers may include dry air and exercise or other irritants such as pollen, dust, smoke, or fragrances from perfume or flowers.

Often times it is not clearly evident what your dog’s trigger to asthma may be.  Once you find the trigger, working to reduce or eliminate your dog’s exposure to the irritant is key.  However, we understand that is easier said than done.

Know the signs of Asthma in your dog!

  • Wheezing
  • Rapid and/or shallow breathing
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Bluish gums
  • Struggles during short bouts of exercise
  • Chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite

Know how to treat Asthma in your dog!

If your dog displays any signs of asthma, a prompt visit to the veterinary doctor should be at the top of your list.  As always, an early diagnosis of this disease will result in the best prognosis for your dog. Your veterinary doctor will, of course, do a full examination of your dog, take note of your dog’s health history and administer some tests to properly diagnose your dog.  Often times, symptoms for one disease may also be symptoms of another disease so your vet will have to work to diagnose and rule out some things at the same time.

 Conventional Methods of Treatment may consist of:

  • Antihistamines
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Steroids
  • Bronchodilators

Herbal Alternatives may consist of:

  • Mullein and licorice root are cough suppressants.
  • Marshmallow root and Coltsfoot soothe dry coughs and eliminate mucous membrances.
  • Echinacea, Oregon Grape and Astragalus all promote a strong immune system.
  • Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Cod Liver Oil all promote overall lung health.

You will need to work closely to work with your veterinary doctor to monitor your dog’s progress on his treatment plan.  Finding the best plan for your dog may be a frustrating and arduous journey as it will require many adjustments along the way but don’t’ give up, your dog’s depending on you.

And, no need to worry about your dog’s continuation of treatment, while you’re away.  Your professional pet sitter will keep the dosage and routine as prescribed by your vet.  And, at no additional cost for the pet visit!

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