Bronchitis in Dogs – What You Need to Know!
28 September, 2017
Bronchitis in dogs, like humans, is a chronic condition where the bronchial airways become inflamed. When a dog has bronchitis, the symptoms are usually coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. Chronic bronchitis usually lasts over two months and affects middle-aged dogs, while acute bronchitis is characterized by severe, short-term symptoms that can appear in dogs of any age.
If you see the signs of bronchitis in your dog, it is important to go to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. If bronchitis goes untreated, it can lead to other illnesses including pneumonia.
The main symptom of bronchitis is a harsh dry cough
The main symptom of bronchitis in dogs is a harsh, dry, persistent cough that may get worse with physical activity. This is a symptom of other canine disease and conditions, which is why it is important to get to your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
The other symptoms of bronchitis include: fever, retching or gagging, spitting saliva, excessive mucus, difficulty breathing which gets even more difficult with exercise, sneezing, and lethargy.
The causes of bronchitis
The causes of bronchitis in dogs can vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is often caused by viral infections after contact with another infected animal. Sometimes bacterial infections can cause the condition, too. Kennel cough, the flu, and distemper are among the most common viral causes of acute bronchitis in dogs.
Other contributors include: physical or chemical inhaled atmospheric irritants, such as powdered feed products, chemical fumes, room deodorizers, irritating cleaning products and household dust, among others.
Chronic bronchitis in dogs is a condition that lasts for two months or longer. The cause of the condition is often unknown. If acute bronchitis is left untreated, it may become persistent and lead to chronic bronchitis.
Treatment for bronchitis in dogs
Treatment for acute bronchitis in dogs usually include antibiotics, bronchodilators, and anti-inflammatories to treat the infection and inflammation. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a cough suppressant. It is also important to remove any irritants from the affected dog’s environment, including smoke, chemicals, perfumes, allergens, or other inhalants that can contribute to the condition.
Chronic bronchitis is more difficult to successfully treat. Anti-inflammatories, cough suppressants, and bronchodilators can help keep affected dogs comfortable. Antibiotics can be used if there is a bacterial infection. Your vet might put your dog on a weight loss program. Obesity can greatly worsen symptoms of bronchitis, therefore maintaining a healthy weight is very important.
While most cases of bronchitis are considered treatable, it’s difficult to completely eliminate the dog’s cough. Chronic bronchitis is a progressive disease that causes physical and physiological changes in the dog’s airways. The good news is that it rarely is fatal or life-threatening. Most affected dogs can be well-managed medically and live happy lives with normal life spans.
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