Bronchitis occurs when the smaller bronchi becomes inflamed. This condition is quite common in humans; however, what you may not know is that it is a common pet health problem as well. On pets, it is characterized by a persistent cough, which irritates the tubes even more and spreads the infection to your pet's trachea.
How Bronchitis Affects Your Pet
As stated above, the main symptom of chronic bronchitis is a persistent, harsh cough, which is usually triggered by intense excitement or exercise. Coughing episodes often end with your pet gagging and/or salivating. However, this is not to be mistaken with vomiting. If left untreated, chronic bronchitis can lead to damaged airways, accumulation of mucus in the bronchi and/or infections. When this occurs, it is known as bronchiectasis. Chronic bronchitis can also lead to the enlargement of lung air sacs, or alveoli. This pet condition is known as emphysema. Both of these conditions are irreversible and can lead to lung disease and heart failure.
Common Symptoms of Bronchitis
The symptoms of Bronchitis in dogs and cats are quite simple to recognize and in most cases, they do not vary. If you notice your pet displaying any of the following warning signs, you will want to see a veterinarian as soon as possible: Persistent and Harsh Coughing, Rapid Breathing, Difficulty Breathing, Difficulty Catching Breath, Shortness of Breath, Gagging/Retching, Spitting Up Saliva or Foam, Wheezing, Lethargy and Fever.
Treatments for Bronchitis
Treatment for bronchitis is aimed at reducing bronchial inflammation. As such, your veterinarian will prescribe corticosteroids for your pet for up to two weeks. If it proves to be effective, your pet may be placed on a regular dosage. Bronchodilators can help relax the breathing passages as well. If an infection is present, antibiotics may be necessary. While cough suppressants can help relieve exhaustive coughing, they should only be used if absolutely necessary. This is because cough suppressants can prevent your pet from eliminating purulent secretions. Expectorants can help break up mucus. If your pet has bronchitis, it is also essential to try to reduce pollutants in your home. This can include dust, cigarette smoke and chemical vapors. You will need to minimize any excitement and fatigue as well. When pets are overweight, a special diet will be recommended. Finally, switching from a collar to a harness can help.
While bronchitis can occur in most any breed of dog or cat, it seems to be most common in felines, toy breed dogs and medium-sized canines. Additionally, pets that are overweight are more vulnerable to the condition. Some of the animals that seem to be most vulnerable to bronchitis are as follows: Siamese, Beagles, West Highland White Terriers, Toy and Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Pomeranians, Pekingese, Papillons, English Springer Spaniels and Other Small and Medium-Sized Breeds.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.