Asthma is a common and sometimes debilitating condition that affects millions of humans every day. You may not know, however, that it is also a common problem for many of our pets. The month of May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Asthma can be a scary condition and, if left untreated, can cause life-threatening complications. It is important to know the symptoms of asthma and to contact Arrowhead Veterinary Clinic if you suspect that your dog, cat, or other pet may be suffering from the condition. Below are some of the signs that your pet may have asthma.
1. Excessive Panting
Many animals pant when they are hot or fatigued because they do not have many sweat glands. This is perfectly normal and shouldn’t be cause for concern if it is only happening when expected, such as in hot weather or after exercise. But if you notice your pet panting heavily and for long periods of time, even with little exercise and in normal conditions, you should contact Dr. Erin Haxton or Dr. Elizabeth Hine. Look for wide-mouth breathing as well as heavy chest movement.
2. Loss of Appetite
Complications of asthma can cause the lungs to become hyperinflated, pushing down on the animal’s stomach. These complications may lead to stomach pains or a feeling of fullness, despite the fact that the animal has not eaten a sufficient amount of food. This is dangerous as it can lead to poor nutrition, further exacerbating the symptoms of your pet’s asthma. Pay attention to your animal’s eating habits if you suspect that they may have the condition.
3. Decreased Energy
Due to a lack of oxygen, your pet may suffer from an overall lack of energy. This can include becoming lethargic and exhibiting intolerance to any significant amount of exercise. They may be unable to handle long walks or might even resist going for walks at all. If you notice that your pet has become unwilling to exercise as much as they used to, it may be time to talk to Dr. Haxton or Dr. Hine.
4. Respiratory Distress
Symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and constantly being out of breath are strong indicators of asthma. These things can come with certain colds and flus, but if they are chronic then your animal may have the condition. In any case, if your pet is showing these signs, even in the short-term, you should see your vet. They can help with the diagnosis and treatment.
5. Pale Gums
If your pet’s gums appear to be pale or blue colored, you should seek help immediately. This is a sign of a severe asthma attack and it can lead to major complications including death if not properly treated. If your pet has been exhibiting other symptoms of asthma, it is important to check their gums regularly for this condition.
Asthma is an uncomfortable and dangerous condition that affects many animals. Cats are more susceptible to asthma, but dogs are also known to develop the disorder. Pay attention to the signs for asthma, and if you suspect that your animal may be suffering from it, the best thing you can do is consult with Dr. Haxton or Dr. Hine.