WHY DOES MY DOG SNEEZE SO MUCH?
Sneezing from time to time is a reflex act, through which your pet expels irritating particles from the nasal cavity. But when this involuntary behavior does not cease or continues persistently over time, be observant as it could be a sign that it has been infected with a serious disease, which must be treated as soon as possible.
Symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, and constant gasping for air are all signs that may indicate that your dog may have trouble breathing.
How do you know if your dog has a breathing problem?
Normal breathing is of uttermost importance for the health of the dog because just like you, it is the way it gets oxygen. Hence, when the dog has rare, difficult, or very fast breathing or coughing for several days, you must consult your veterinarian.
Asthma is a condition characterized by frequent episodes of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. This allergic disorder is most noticeable in flat-faced pets. The most common asthma triggers in pets are inhaling substances such as grasses, pollen, aerosols, and smoke.
Symptoms of asthma in pets include wheezing, shortness of breath, and a dry cough.
Treatment for asthmatic dogs focuses on solving respiratory crisis immediately, if necessary, and working long-term to get rid of all likely triggers of the condition from the animal’s environment. It is also wise to work in conjunction with a holistic veterinarian who can prescribe a comprehensive solution along with, or instead of, mere asthma medications.
There are a lot of steps you can take as an owner of an asthmatic pet to lessen the rate of occurrence and the and seriousness of each incidence, such as purifying the air in your dog or cat’s environment and continuously changing its diet to an anti-inflammatory, suitable for the species.
Asthma, also known as allergic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, or chronic bronchitis, is a condition in which a pet experiences continuous wheezing, shortness of breath, and shortness of breath.
During an asthmatic attack, the airways that take air to the lungs are contracted or squeezed. Mucus blocks the pathways, resulting in inflammation and sometimes ulcers. In response, the muscles in your pet airways experience seizures that cause discomfort, making your pet breathing very difficult.
What are the most common causes and triggers?
Restriction in the airways of your pets can happen for no apparent reason, or it can be set off by something in the environment that the animal inhaled, or even something your pet ate. Many common triggers cause asthma in pets, such as:
- Grass, pollen, ragweed
- Fungus and mold
- Air pollution, including smog and smoke from fires or burning crops
- Household chemicals and cleaning products, such as carpet cleaners
- Fertilizers and pesticides
- Dust mites
- Home remodeling products such as paint
- Aerosols, such as space flavorings
- Dandruff on animals due to a new pet or a visit from another pet
- Cigars or smoke from the chimney
- Exposure to animal dandruff at a veterinary clinic or boarding locations.
Symptoms of asthma in your pet
Pets with asthma find it painful and difficult breathing deeply. Symptoms of asthma include a dry cough which often sounds like they’re drowning or wanting to throw up. Others include:
- Wheezing, which may sound like a sharp sigh or a hiss
- Paleness in mucous membranes, especially bluish gums
- Difficulty breathing
- Breathing with an open snout
- Lack of appetite
- Intolerance and exercise
- Weight loss
If the condition of the pet becomes chronic, it can result in irreversible damage to sensitive tissue lining the airways. An acute asthma attack can lead to suffocation in your pet. This is certainly a medical emergency that demands instant attention from a veterinarian.
Symptoms related to canine or feline asthma is usually noticeable in other diseases, so a successful diagnosis must be given.
Other disorders that show similar symptoms as those of asthma include systemic allergies, allergic reaction to certain foods, as well as infection of the heartworm. Seasonal parasitic infection is another common reason that causes asthma-like symptoms in dogs.
Sometimes it is quite clear that the pet has trouble breathing, just by merely looking at it. Its breathing might be fast and shallow, and the abdomen is seen working very hard to push the air out. Breathing may also occur with an open snout, which is certainly not normal in dogs or cats.
What to do when your dog starts wheezing?
X-rays are common practice, but they don’t always show differences in the lungs. A transtracheal wash is a process that eliminates cells from the lower airway and may help diagnose asthma in pets with symptoms, than common x-rays.
Another test that can aid the removal or ascertain the suspected causes of chronic or acute cough is bronchoscopy; which is a procedure that involves inserting a tiny low bronchial chamber to view the inside of the lungs and retrieve a tissue sample.
Another procedure could be to observe your pet’s heartworm and feces for inner parasites, echocardiography to observe heart function, and extensive blood and urine panels to ascertain your pet’s systemic health and organ performance.
Since testing for diagnosing asthma in a pet isn’t always the first line of action, any information you can provide will help. For instance;
- How long has the pet been coughing?
- Does it sound more like a gasp or a cough?
- Is it a dry or wet cough?
- Is the pet coughing snot, if it is, is it green or bloody?
- Do you observe wheezing, choking, or any other abnormal breathing signs?
- How regularly do you observe these signs in your pet? Every day? Weekly? Only at night?
- How long does each bout of cough last?
The accurate answers to these questions will go a long way in assisting your veterinarian to properly diagnose your dog.
If your pet has an asthma-related crisis, your veterinarian or animal emergency clinic will induce a minute dose of epinephrine to instantly end its asthma attack and save your pet’s life. Concurrently, it will also be given pure oxygen. In some instances, medications involving a spray or nebulizer that may or may not have additional medications are also required.
The objective of long-term asthma treatment is to identify and try as much as possible to remove all triggers in your pet’s environment. If the case is that of chronic asthma, it is rarely possible to completely cure the cough. In such cases, the goal is to lessen the frequency and seriousness of the cough, so your pet can become calm.
I advise you to talk to an experienced veterinarian about natural medications to regulate lung inflammation and improve respiratory health in your dog. The remedy may comprise sterols from anti-inflammatory and Steroline plants, homeopathy to take care of the specific symptoms, Anti-inflammatory Chinese herbs, and acupuncture.
There are several medications that standard veterinarians use to treat asthma, such as bronchodilators and specially designed steroid inhalers. Veterinarians often begin with one or more of these treatments to manage severe cases of asthma.
If your pet receives asthma medications, it would be wise to work with an experienced veterinarian to slowly remove or lessen the administration of some other treatments from the dog. It is likely to control pets with respiratory diseases using little or no treatments, but first, their reduction should be effected slowly and an effective replacement protocol should be in place.
Pets experiencing asthmatic symptoms that seem fatal need some medications to save their lives as a result of the seriousness of the attacks.
If you’re continuously trying to remove likely asthma triggers from your pet’s environment, while also working closely with an experienced veterinarian who can offer workable solutions, you will most likely be successful in lessening both the rate of occurrence and severity of the pet’s asthma symptoms, not to mention the number of treatments the puppy would need as well.
Tips to Prevent Pet Asthma
- Don’t smoke. Stop smoking altogether, or at least do not smoke around your pet nor let others smoke around it. Being a passive smoker easily triggers asthma in sensitive pets.
- Quit using the fireplace. Although this can be hard to do, the fact is, some of any kind triggers asthma in dogs. The smoke coming from the fireplace is much in lower areas of your home, which is where your dog stays most of the time.
- Lessen or remove all sprays from the home, anything that comes in sprays. Ensure that your pet is far away from any room where someone has sprayed something.
- Remove anything that oozes scents, such as candles, incense, and aromatic fruit shells, even if they are natural substances. This is because anything that expels a strong odor or releases particles into the air can serve as a trigger for pets (and for people too).
- Exchange household sanitizing chemicals for natural alternatives. Remember that even natural cleansers such as vinegar expel a smell, so ensure that your house is adequately ventilated. It would also help to bring your pet into the mood until all the smells have dissipated.
- If your pets already have pre-existing pest problems, ensure that you use safe, 100% natural flea and tick repellent.
- Consider purchasing an air purifier for your home and install it where your pet spends most of their time. Replace your HVAC’s air filters regularly as well.
- If your pet is overweight, consciously help it attain a healthy weight. Obesity puts a lot of stress on its lungs.
- Ensure that your pet maintains a consistent daily routine, particularly if you have a cat. Kittens rarely adapt well with changes in their environment, and stress of any kind can result in a likely trigger for asthma.
- Your pet must have a balanced diet, consisting of it’s the most suitable meal for its species.
- Asthma is occurring as a result of the inflammation of the airways in the lungs, therefore it is paramount to fight inflammation from all its sources, such as in foods. Avoid those foods that cause inflammation like carbohydrates, corn, wheat, and rice. Do not use grains and any foods or ingredients that are transgenic.
- Try changing your pet’s diet to raw or fresh foods with a good source of protein, if your pet’s asthmatic symptom is a sign of a systemic response to an allergy.