Pet Respiratory Problem Tips

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Could my dog's bronchial problems be heartworms?

Are You Sure That's a Cough?

If your dog is coughing or wheezing, don't ignore it. Pet asthma is not something that should be taken lightly. If your dog is suffering from this affliction, it is likely that he is extremely uncomfortable, or suffering from an extreme health risk.

Bronchial and asthmatic conditions can hinder your dog's breathing and put stress on the heart. Don't put off treatment - bring him to the vet as soon as you begin to detect symptoms.

If your dog shows signs of asthma, don't be so sure of that diagnosis. Heartworms generally have many of the same symptoms as asthma. For this reason, it is imperative that you ask the vet to administer a heartworm test. Your dog is counting on you to take care of him and waiting too long could be jeopardizing his health or even his life—keep that in mind.

How can I tell if my pet has asthma?

Check Your Pet's Breathing

Want to know the secret to controlling pet asthma? Learn how to recognize it! You should check your pet's respiratory rate before you even notice a problem—while he's healthy (the average respiratory rate for a dog is 10 to 30 breaths per minute while a cat will have 20 to 30 breaths per minute). Follow the instructions below to check your furry pal's breathing:

• Get your pet to lie or stand still.
• Hold a stopwatch in one hand and either a Kleenex or a mirror in the other.
• Hold the mirror or Kleenex under your pet's snout to determine breathing (the mirror should fog with each breath while the tissue will move).
• Determine how many breaths your pet makes in a minute.
• If your pet's breathing is abnormal contact your vet immediately.

What causes pet asthma?

What, Exactly, is Pet Asthma?

Obstructive and allergic lung diseases often affect dogs. The conditions are often referred to as “asthma,” “bronchitis,” or “bronchial asthma.” These ailments are not detected easily and likely represent a wide range of lung disorders. They do, however, share a common finding of over-reactive airways.

The allergic agents are generally direct irritants to the airways or objects that are likely to induce allergic reactions within the respiratory tract. Regardless of cause, the after-effects are always similar :

• Muscle spasms in the bronchi
• Mucus Build-up
• Accumulation of cellular material

Discuss with you vet your dog's options for pet respiratory medications that can provide him with some relief.

How can I tell if my dog has a respiratory problem?

Air Repair for Fido

Let's face it, Fido isn't always able to tell you exactly how he feels—it's up to you to notice the sickly signs.

Symptoms of pet respiratory problems include: rapid or shallow breathing, fatigue, snoring, and basic symptoms of allergies, like runny nose and eyes or sneezing and runny eyes. Want to know the best way to make your pet feel more comfortable? Try cleaning the air in your home! Invest in an air purifier and dust regularly. Additionally, have your pet groomed often to reduce dander.

If grooming your pet and purifying the air doesn't do the trick, your pet might suffer from a more serious condition. If this is the case, bring your animal to the vet immediately to discuss treatment options. Pet respiratory medications can be expensive but here's a secret - you can save at online discounters if your vet faxes a prescription.

What should I keep in mind when giving my cat respiratory medications?

Know the Facts

Does your pet have respiratory problems? If you notice that your furry little friend is suffering from a respiratory condition, it's best to see a veterinarian immediately. A vet can prescribe a respiratory medication to soothe your animal's pain. Be alert, though – animals can suffer negative side effects to some medications. Here are some things to keep in mind:

• Certain drugs should not be used if the animal has a known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.

• If the pet is diabetic or suffers from hyperthyroidism, use the drug with extreme caution.

• During and after administration, the heart rate should be monitored carefully. A dog's heart rate shouldn't exceed 120 beats per minute and a cat's shouldn't exceed 150 beats per minute.

• Certain drugs (aminophylline, sodium bicarbonate, epinephrine, beta blockers, some anesthetics, and tricyclic antidepressants) interact with other medications so discuss this with your vet to be safe.

What can I do to relieve cat asthma?

Don't Let That Kitty Pant and Heave

Is Whiskers panting and heaving? Cat asthma can be a serious condition, especially if your kitty is overweight. The first thing you should do is to get your cat on a diet. Talk to your local veterinarian about special low fat foods that you can give to your special friend to help get him or her on the right track to healthiness. The next thing you should do is invest in a humidifier—this will help that kitty breathe with a little more ease.

Of course, if your sweet kitty suffers from severe asthma it's best to get your beloved feline to the vet.

Can my pet's asthma be cured?

Cures and Maintenance

Will my dog ever be free of asthma? It is not likely that your dog can be “cured” but you can make sure your canine remains comfortable and lives an active lifestyle.

Dogs with obstructive lung disease can generally be maintained with a variety of medications. And, in the end, you will likely find the disease quite manageable. In some cases, a “cure” may be found if the cause is specifically pinpointed. Unfortunately, this diagnosis is rare. The good news is that your dog can lead a normal life with the use of treatments. Keep in mind, however, that extreme signs of respiratory distress are considered an emergency—get that pooch to the vet, ASAP!

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Guru Spotlight
Sherril Steele-Carlin