What You Should Know About Asthma in Pets


What You Should Know About Asthma in Pets

Many pet owners do not realize that their pets could suffer from asthma and allergies – just like people can. May is Asthma Awareness Month, and at Companion Animal Health & Rehabilitation Center, we like to take the opportunity to raise awareness by talking with pet owners about asthma in pets.

What Is Asthma in Pets?

Asthma is characterized by the inflammation of the tissues inside a pet’s airways that results in constricted breathing. Signs and symptoms of asthma in pets include wheezing, coughing, poor appetite, weakness or lethargy, and pale gums.

What Causes Asthma in Pets?

Asthma in pets is most commonly caused by allergies. While pets can have allergies to several different things, including foods or flea saliva, asthma is typically caused by allergies that enter the body through the respiratory system. These are called environmental allergens and include things like dust, pollen, mold, mites, dander, smoke, perfume or fragrances, and household chemicals.
When these allergens are breathed in and enter a pet’s respiratory system, the pet’s immune system mistakenly recognizes them as harmful substances (like a virus or bacterium) and attacks. This strong immune response is what causes the inflammation associated with asthma.

How to Treat Asthma in Pets?

Asthma in pets can be treated in a variety of ways. Our veterinarians might recommend taking steps to minimize the allergens your pet is exposed to with regular grooming to keep their coat clean, regular changing of HVAC filters, and the addition of air purifiers to your home.
We might also prescribe medications such as steroids to mitigate the immune response, antihistamines to control the inflammation, allergy shots to retrain your pet’s immune system, or even a nebulizer to deliver medications in an aerosol form directly to your pet’s lungs.

Asthma and Allergy Care for Pets in Escondido

If your pet suffers from allergies and has asthma, too, it’s incredibly important to start working with a veterinarian to manage your pet’s condition. Left untreated and unaddressed, asthma can be dangerous and even fatal in pets. At Companion Animal Health & Rehabilitation Center, our veterinarians have a variety of resources to diagnose your pet’s allergies and provide them with treatment to address and mitigate asthma symptoms at the source.
To learn more about asthma and allergies in pets or to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, we welcome you to contact our veterinary center in Escondido today.

How to Tell if Your Pet Has Allergies

Our pets can suffer from allergies just like people. When the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance (an allergen) as a threat and attacks it, this causes the symptoms we associate with allergies.

How to Tell If Your Pet Has Allergies: Signs and Symptoms

Pets sometimes get allergy symptoms that look similar to a person’s – i.e. runny nose, itchy, red, and watery eyes, nasal congestion, and sneezing.
However, most commonly, allergies in pets cause symptoms that differ from the symptoms of allergies in humans. These common symptoms of allergies in pets include:

Types of Allergies in Pets

Different types of allergies affect pets, and the treatment or lifestyle adjustments needed to address the allergies differ depending on what’s affecting your pet.

Environmental Allergies

Some pets suffer from allergies to allergens in the environment such as pollen, dust, mold, smoke, or perfume.

Flea Allergies

Pets are commonly allergic to the saliva of fleas. If your pet has fleas, a simple medicated bath and parasite preventative can help.

Food Allergies

Pets also can be allergic to certain proteins or other ingredients in their food. An elimination diet can help determine the ingredient that’s affecting your pet and feeding your pet a special pet food formulated for allergies in the future can help.

Acute Allergies

Acute allergies are fairly rare and include those that induce a more serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. This reaction might include a rash, swelling, and difficulty breathing and requires immediate emergency veterinary attention.

Pet Allergy Treatment With Our Woodland Park Veterinarian

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs or symptoms of allergies in your pet, we strongly encourage you to schedule an examination with Dr. Cooper at Compassion Animal Hospital. Dr. Cooper can talk with you about your pet’s symptoms, environment, and diet while performing a thorough physical examination.
After determining the underlying cause of your pet’s allergy symptoms, we’ll work with you to determine the most appropriate course of treatment. There are a variety of treatments available for pets with allergies including both strategies to relieve symptoms and help address allergies at their root cause.
To learn more about pet allergies or to schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact Compassion Animal Hospital today.