Berks County dog with asthma

From allergies to environmental pollution, asthma is something that impacts hundreds of thousands, but did you know it can also be diagnosed in pets. Asthma in pets causes health problems and can decrease both the quality and longevity of life for cats and dogs. For some pets, asthma can become life-threatening without treatment.

If you suspect your pet is dealing with asthma or allergies that lead to asthma, we hope this overview will help clarify this condition. Our goal at Conrad Weiser Animal Hospital is to identify the symptoms of asthma in pets and helps to manage the condition for a better quality of life for our fur friends. Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Asthma in Pets?

Asthma is triggered by an allergen that causes chronic and more serious symptoms than a simple allergy attack. Cats are more susceptible to asthma than dogs, and females are more likely to have it than males. There are some breeds that are more at risk, including Siamese and Himalayan cats. In dogs, small breeds are more often diagnosed with the condition. Older pets and overweight cats and dogs are also more at risk.

The primary cause, however, of asthma are allergens that trigger the symptoms. These allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Fleas
  • Mold spores
  • Dander
  • Cat litter dust
  • Pollen
  • Grass
  • Household cleaners
  • Air fresheners and perfumes
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Pollution

Some pets experience seasonal allergies while others contend with them year-round, depending on the allergens that most affect them.

Symptoms of Pet Asthma

  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing up foamy saliva and mucus
  • Keeping mouth open to breath
  • Gagging
  • Blue lips
  • Weakness

Asthma in pets is a serious condition that can stop a pet from being able to get enough oxygen. If your pet is having trouble breathing, this is an emergency situation. Call us for instructions, if these symptoms are present.

Treating Asthma in Pets

The key focus of treating asthma in pets is by keeping the more serious symptoms to a minimum. This is done through a number of ways, but we first must do a thorough exam to determine what your pet is allergic to, the condition of the lungs and airways, and the severity of the asthma. 

Antihistamines, steroids, and anti-inflammatories are often prescribed, depending on the age and health of the pet and the severity of symptoms. In addition, at home care includes decreasing allergens in the air through the use of air filters and purifiers, as well as regular vacuuming and laundering your pet’s bed and other fabrics. 

Many pets can live long and happy lives with this condition, as long as the allergens that trigger the attack are decreased in the home. For more information about asthma in pets, please call our team to schedule a checkup for your lovable furry one.