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Dog bronchitis

Dog Bronchitis

Dog bronchitis is an inflammation of a dog’s lungs and bronchial tubes which causes difficult breathing and persistent cough.

Bronchitis in dog leads to the secretion of extra mucus from the lungs, causing considerable discomfort. Mucus plugs obstruct air flow and these changes can predispose the dog to certain respiratory infections.

The condition may also cause changes in the pulmonary tract and lungs of your dog, which in turn disturbs the airflow in his respiratory system. These changes then lead to dog breathings problems.

Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. When a dog has a persistent, harsh cough for over two months, he may have chronic bronchitis. Unlike acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis is an infectious disease and needs specific and long-term medical treatment.

Dog Bronchitis Causes

  • Pollutants such as cigarette smoke, urban pollution, and dust.
  • Viral or bacterial infection.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Ciliary dyskinesia, a congenital abnormality of respiratory cilia.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions.
Dog Bronchitis Symptoms:
  • Persistent coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Gagging
  • Retching
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Depression

There are chances when the dog exhibits the above listed symptoms, it could be an indication of another serious underlying disease. For example, dog breathing problems and shortness of breath may be associated with pneumonia or the symptoms may be indicative of lung tumors, collapse of the wind pipe, and lungworm or heartworm infections. Hence, it is vital that when your dog displays any such symptoms. You must immediately visit your vet to secure a proper diagnosis and discuss the various medical options to start effective treatment on time.

Dog Bronchitis Treatments

Here are a few effective treatments that work to ease discomfort in dogs with bronchitis.

  • Administer cough suppressants such as hydrocone and butorphanolas prescribed by your vet. Cough suppressant are effective, especially in dogs with non-bacterial bronchitis.
  • If it is a case of chronic bronchitis, you may have to put your dog through bronchodilator therapy. Bronchodilators increase the vigor of contraction of the respiratory muscles. This is extremely helpful in case of dog breathing problems.
  • If dog bronchitis is caused due to a complicating bacterial infection, antibacterial therapy is highly recommended by the vet. The type of antibiotics is again chosen based on the results of the culture and sensitivity.
  • You must ensure that your dog is involved in moderate but regular exercise.
  • If your dog is overweight or obese you must employ a weight reduction program over a two to three month period using a special diet. This is important as obesity can accentuate respiratory problems because diaphragmatic function is impaired and ventilation may be impeded.
  • You must try minimizing your pet’s exposure to environmental irritants and stresses such house dust, vapors, and tobacco smoke.
  • You must replace the restraint collar worn by your dog with a harness to decrease airway irritation.
  Submitted on May 20, 2010  

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