Signs and Symptoms of Asthma in Dogs and Cats

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma in Dogs and Cats

Cat and canine sitting collectively on meadow. Freindship between tabby home cat and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.

Asthma is a power decrease respiratory situation that impacts not solely people but additionally canine and cats. Understanding the indicators, causes, and coverings for bronchial asthma in animals can assist pet dad and mom present the very best care doable.

Causes and Triggers

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An allergic response to inhaled environmental irritants is usually the reason for bronchial asthma in canine and cats. Once contained in the decrease airways, these allergens can work together with the immune system, inflicting irritation, airway constriction, and problem respiratory. Common allergens and triggers embrace:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Mold spores
  • Smoke
  • Strong chemical substances
  • Perfumes or fragrances
  • Dusty cat litter
  • Cleaning merchandise

In some circumstances, stress or anxiousness can exacerbate bronchial asthma signs.

Clinical Signs

Cats are extra liable to bronchial asthma than canine, with 1 to five% of cats identified with the situation. Asthma in canine is much less frequent however can nonetheless happen. The indicators of bronchial asthma in canine and cats can fluctuate relying on the animal, the severity of the irritation, and the severity of every episode, however indicators embrace:

  • Diminished exercise degree/lack of power
  • Elevated resting respiratory charge
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing/persistent cough
  • Hacking and even vomiting (which may be mistaken for hacking up a hairball)
  • Open-mouthed inhaling cats
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Loss of urge for food
  • Heavy, wide-mouth panting in canine, particularly when at relaxation and at a cushty temperature

Cats don’t usually pant, so a cat respiratory with their mouth open must be assessed by a veterinarian.

In canine, cyanotic gums which might be blue because of lack of oxygen is one other signal. This is a medical emergency that requires instant consideration from a veterinarian.

Diagnosing Asthma in Dogs and Cats

There isn’t any single check for bronchial asthma in companion animals. The first step towards a prognosis is giving your veterinarian an intensive medical historical past and permitting them to carry out a bodily examination. The vet will rule out different potential causes of respiratory misery, akin to coronary heart illness, viral or bacterial infections, parasites, and airway malformation. They could advocate diagnostic exams like heartworm testing, blood counts, X-rays, and bronchoscopy (passing a scope into the bronchi) to get a clearer image and look intently on the cells of the decrease airway.


Conventional therapies for bronchial asthma in canine and cats embrace corticosteroids to scale back irritation, with or with out bronchodilators to open the airways. These medicines may be administered orally, by injection, or inhaled.

Other medicines that will profit asthmatic pets embrace leukotriene modifiers that block the consequences of sure chemical substances that slim the airways, antihistamines, and antibiotics when a secondary bacterial an infection is current.

Additional therapies that will increase the standard care of a canine or cat with bronchial asthma embrace:

  • Acupuncture
  • Eliminating meals that set off allergic reactions
  • Removing triggers from the setting
  • Stress discount measures
  • Regular gentle train to take care of optimum weight and physique situation
  • Allergy pictures or immunotherapy


Asthma assaults may be gentle or extreme and even life threatening. And whereas not curable, bronchial asthma in canine and cats may be manageable. Recognizing the indicators can result in well timed intervention, bettering your canine’s or cat’s end result considerably. Always seek the advice of together with your veterinarian for an correct prognosis, tailor-made remedy protocols, and a plan of motion for when an episode happens.

Dr. Bethany Hsia is a veterinarian and co-founder of CodaPet.

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