Asthma doesn't just affect people. Our pets can experience asthma as well. While it's more common in cats than dogs, any animal may experience asthma. Smaller dogs breeds are more at risk for asthma, and animals with flat faces are more likely to have breathing problems. Asthma makes it difficult for your pet to breath and is caused by certain triggers in their environment. Our staff at Greenfield Veterinary Clinic wants you to know how to detect asthma in your pet and what you can do to provide care for them.
Some substances commonly cause asthma. The list includes:
- Smoke from tobacco, fireplaces, or stoves
- Household cleaners
- Air fresheners
- Dust from cat litter
- Cooking odors
Unfortunately, symptoms can be more difficult to detect in cats.
You'll notice that pets can be particularly sensitive to allergens such as cooking odors while other allergens are less common.
When your pet comes into contact with allergens, it may have trouble breathing. In dogs, this means panting, coughing or wheezing, and gums that turn blue in extreme asthma attacks. Asthma may also accompany a loss of appetite and energy.
A veterinarian can diagnose asthma after taking an X-ray of your pet. The vet may also perform a bronchoscopy, where a small camera enters the lungs and a tissue sample is collected. Your vet may perform several tests to rule out other conditions.
There are various medicines available to treat asthma. However, you may be able to help your pet by reducing allergens. For example, you might stop smoking or burning candles indoors, open a window when you cook or switch to white vinegar to clean your home rather than using cleaning chemicals and use boric acid if you have a pest problem. You can also remove odors from your home with baking soda rather than using air fresheners. Try essential oils instead of perfumes.
An air purifier can remove allergens from the air, making it easy for all of your family members to breathe cleanly. Furthermore, removing carpets means allergens and dust don't have a place to hide in your home. You might even find that your asthma clears up! Finally, look for low or no-dust cat litters to help your furry friends avoid asthma attacks.
Changing your pet's diet may also have a positive effect on their asthma. Some foods have anti-inflammatory properties.
Get Help Today
If your pet has trouble breathing, it might be due to asthma or another condition. Call Greenfield Veterinary Clinic today at (414) 282-5230 to make an appointment.