Treating a Dog Asthma Attack

Dog asthma is a respiratory disorder that occurs more often in young and middle age dogs. Because in some cases dog asthma attacks are fatal, it is very important to find a proper treatment, so the life of your dog is saved.

Causes of Dog Asthma

Dog asthma attacks and the health condition, in general, develop as a complication to an allergic reaction. A weak immune system may be responsible for the reaction to various allergens, such as:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Dust
  • Household cleaners
  • Paint
  • Perfume
  • Pollen  

Besides allergens, other possible causes of dog asthma include:

Knowing the causes of the disease may help you to find a proper treatment. In many situations, if the cause is taken care of, the effect disappears shortly.

Symptoms of Dog Asthma

There are certain symptoms that can help you tell if your dog suffers from asthma. The most common signs include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Blue colored tongue and gums
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Panting
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

The last 3 symptoms are also observed in the beginning of dog asthma attacks. Once these symptoms are noticed, you have to take your dog to a veterinarian, so an adequate diagnosis can be performed. After that, the veterinarian will be able to prescribe a proper treatment.

Treatment of Dog Asthma

Instead of finding a treatment just for the asthma attacks, it is better to focus on treating the entire problem. As mentioned before, you have to take care of the factors that cause dog asthma so that attacks are prevented.

If the conclusion of the veterinarian is that an allergy is causing asthma, you need to remove the allergens from the environment. If you move him in a cooler area, the need for extra oxygen will disappear. In addition, you can use a fan for bringing fresh air into his room. Using a humidifier is also a good idea, as it can substantially increase the humidity of your home, thus reducing the severity and the frequency of dog asthma attacks.

Aminophylline is one of the most frequently used drugs for dog asthma. After administering it to your dog, he will start to breathe easier. This becomes possible as the chest and lung muscles begin to relax. However, Aminophylline has one more beneficial effect. It increases the resistance to airborne allergens. The active substances of Aminophylline are called theophylline and ethylenediamine, and are generally found in a 2 to 1 ratio. If this drug is chosen as the treatment for dog asthma attacks, you have to respect the prescription as several side effects can be observed when exceeding the recommended dosage. Some of these include:

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excitement
  • Increased appetite
  • Vomiting

Antihistamines and steroids represent another efficient treatment for dog asthma attacks. These are also meant for calming the allergic reaction and for improving the symptoms of asthma. Antihistamines and steroids are often combined with bronchial dilation drugs. The latter act to relax the muscles in the airways and will allow the dog to breathe easier. This combination of medication can be found in numerous metered-dose inhalers. However, the form of these devices is specially adapted to fit over the muzzle of your dog.

As dog asthma attacks occur when the oxygen intake is lower than required, oxygen treatments can also help your dog to recover faster after such an attack.