Dog Asthma Treatment Options

Dog asthma is a disease that affects dogs of any age, but occurs more frequently in younger and middle-aged canines. Asthma occurs when the airways of the dog are obstructed. It's caused by an inflammation of the lungs or excess mucous matter accumulated in the lungs and bronchi. During asthma attacks, the dog cannot breathe properly.

Symptoms of Canine Asthma

The most common symptom of canine asthma is coughing, followed by the dog having difficulty in breathing. The dog might also be wheezing and breathing with the mouth open. A dog with asthma is often sleepy and lethargic and lacks appetite. In severe cases, the tongue and gums of the dog will turn purple.

Causes of Asthma

The cause of asthma may be either genetic or environmental. A polluted environment can lead to the development of asthma.

Asthma Treatment

The symptoms of asthma can be mistaken for other respiratory problems, so a proper diagnosis is needed before starting any type of treatment. An x-ray analysis is needed to diagnose asthma.

The treatment may consist of steroids, antihistamines, antibiotics or bronchodilators. Sometimes several of these treatments are administered. Oxygen therapy is needed when the asthma attacks are severe.

  • Bronchodilators are used as an anti-inflammatory remedy, and will also reduce the swelling that causes the asthma attacks.
  • Steroids may work to reduce the inflammation of the lungs.
  • Antihistamines are used to treat the allergies that often occur in cases of dog asthma. Antihistamines dry the excess mucous matter accumulated in the lungs and bronchi.
  • The most severe asthma attacks will need a shot of epinephrine, which will instantly reduce the swelling of the lungs and will clear the air passages.
  • The vet can determine the treatment that is the most suitable for your pet. Some experimentation might be needed to find the right formula for your dog.

The asthma medications can be administrated orally or inhaled. If your dog needs an inhaler, you will need to learn how to use it when your dog suffers an asthma attack. The inhaler is a mask that you will need to place on your dog's mouth and nose. The mask contains a tube where you need to put a puff of the dog's medication, and allow the dog to breathe in the medication for a few seconds.


Asthma attacks can be prevented by reducing the dog's exposure to the factors that trigger the attacks. Asthma symptoms are triggered by smoke, dust, pollen, mold, food allergies, intensive exercise, stress, hormonal imbalance, pollution, chemicals or fragrances.

The condition is completely manageable if the medication is administered properly. The quality of life of the asthmatic dogs is good and their life expectancy is not lower due to the disease.