Dogs, like people, can also suffer from diseases and discomfort. Respiratory disease affects the bronchi and lungs, or also those known as diseases that affect the respiratory system, are usually very diverse and can also vary quite a bit in how serious they can be.
Many times, a common cold will cause a respiratory infection in your furry friend and it can easily be cured in a few days with a simple course of antibiotics. However, on some occasions, respiratory disease can lead to chronic problems that are much more difficult to diagnose and involve treatment that is quite long. If you want to learn more bout respiratory disease in dogs, be sure to read the following information.
Symptoms of respiratory disease in dogs
Respiratory disease or respiratory infection presents clinical signs that vary widely depending on the type of respiratory disease and particular breed of dog. The only way to actually diagnosis the respiratory disease is to take your dog to a veterinarian where they will conduct the necessary testing and diagnostics. If you believe that your canine companion is suffering from a respiratory infection like a cold, it will present itself with symptoms like these which are much more mild:
- Respiratory distress
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
However, when it comes to more severe respiratory disease, your dog may present these symptoms:
- Low tolerance for physical activity
- Noisy breathing
- Anorexy leading to weight loss
- Persistent cough
- Loss of appetite
- Respiratory distress
- Constant Fever
Regardless of the clinical signs that appear, it is important that you be very attentive from day one. These are conditions that can develop just by being exposed to cold weather or drafts, having had flu that was not cured properly, or exposure to humidity, which is a huge nest for bacteria causing bacterial infections.
Also, very abrupt changes in temperature and exposure to rain are dangerous. If at any time you notice that your pet is experiencing any of these clinical signs, you should go as soon as possible to a veterinarian, especially if it is a puppy.
Common Cold and Flu in Dogs
Dogs, like humans, can also experience colds and the canine influenza virus. However, you should know that this can not be transmitted to human beings. Even though they have the same name and the same symptoms as the disease in humans, it is a totally different disease that is caused by a virus known as a filterable virus. If you observe your dog constantly rubbing its nose on anything that crosses its path it means that it likely has the flu and is experiencing nasal irritation.
To counteract this symptom, you can wash his nose very gently with warm water. After you wash his nose with warm water, dry it with a soft cloth and apply a small amount of olive oil. The flu in dogs can occur in the main respiratory tract and also affect the area of the broncho-pulmonary abdomen.
Normally, the common cold in dogs is cured within a few days and your furry friend will be back to acting like their normal self. It is important to ensure your dog is consuming a good amount of liquid while they are sick. In addition, offer them a lighter diet in a warm and fairly quiet place, away from cold weather and drafts as they may make their condition worse.
When it comes to sneezing in dogs it should not be ignored as it is totally different than when humans sneeze. In a dog, sneezing is one of the clinical signs of something that could be more serious. It is best to seek the help of a veterinarian if your dog constantly sneezes.
Bronchitis In Dogs
This can be considered the second phase of a flu that was not properly cured. If the mucosa that is responsible for lining the bronchi is inflamed, it leads to the presence of bronchitis that can also be related to other conditions of the respiratory system such as a cold, discomfort in the throat, pneumonia, or respiratory infection.
When bronchitis is in its early stages, it can be seen as a simple dry cough that you might think will pass in a few days and that would not permanently cause as much damage to the respiratory system.
However, when this pathology becomes much more serious by not receiving the most appropriate treatment, it can go from acute bronchitis that only lasts a couple of months, to chronic bronchitis that can last for years and cause numerous injuries to the respiratory system, in which the symptoms and also the discomfort will remain for quite a long time. It is best to seek medical treatment and medical therapy early to avoid chronic bronchitis.
It is a disease caused by viral infections, bacterial infections, the presence of allergies, certain types of fungi, and by the existence of a foreign object that has been inhaled as in the case of dust and smoke.
In the cases that are more acute, treatment with antibiotics is usually implemented, but it must also be taken into account where the disease originated and what has caused its presence in the first place.
When it comes to chronic phase bronchitis, combining the above treatment with bronchodilators, cough suppressants, and oxygen therapy. In addition, nebulization equipment may also be used to make the airways in the dog humid.
Pneumonia in dogs
This is a fairly serious disease that can attack the lower lungs and airways in a dog causing inflammation. The pathology usually attacks dogs that are very old or that are very young, but it is not so common that it occurs in dogs that have an adult age and also have a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, it affects the trachea, throat, and also the bronchi. Much like what happens with bronchitis, pneumonia can be caused by fungi, the presence of internal parasites, bacterial infection, and also viruses.
Diagnosis of this condition is made through blood tests and by taking several chest X-rays. In addition, bacteria cultures have to be done to know what kind of treatment has to be carried out, which in the same way will depend on what has caused the infection and what kind of pneumonia it is.
Bacterial pneumonia: For bacterial pneumonia, it will be necessary to administer specific antibiotics to be able to counteract the bacterial infection. This medicine is generally prescribed for at least 3 weeks.
Infectious pneumonia: This is caused by a virus, parasites, or fungi that have to be meticulously treated by specific medications.
Pneumonia caused by aspiration: This type of pneumonia occurs due to having inhaled some material that is solid or a toxic liquid into the lungs. For this condition, it is recommended that the toxic element that has lodged within the respiratory tract be removed or suctioned out. Supportive care is often needed to bring the dog back to optimal health.
Pulmonary Edema in Dogs
The presence of pulmonary edema is not the same as your dog going through pneumonia. Rather, it is fluid accumulated within the lungs, especially in the part of the pulmonary interstitium that frequently appears in the presence of congestive heart failure.
For dogs that suffer from a disease like this, it is often very difficult to breathe. They have to exert too much effort, which often causes them to cough up blood.
The most appropriate treatment for pulmonary edema is to improve the entry and also the exit of oxygen, which is done through the use of masks or using nasal tubes.
The best thing to do is intubate the dog and apply positive ventilation to prevent it from feeling too much stress. When it comes to medications, specialists generally prescribe diuretics as well as bronchodilators.
Asthma In Dogs
Among the diseases that affect the respiratory system in dogs, asthma is most common. It is well known that dogs can suffer from asthma if they have problems when breathing, especially when walking or carrying out any kind of exercise.
Asthma is usually marked by the presence of frequent coughing. In addition, asthma is usually inherited or caused by seasonal allergies within dogs. Dogs that suffer from asthma must be kept in fairly quiet places with sufficiently dry air and on a diet that keeps their asthma under control.
If a dog is having an asthma attack, you can identify it immediately, since his tongue and also his gums will turn a bluish tone caused by the loss of oxygen.
It is recommended that you take your pet immediately to a specialist, who will then perform physical tests, review the medical history as well as hereditary information, and will also do CT scans of his chest. Treatments generally used for dogs with asthma include the following:
Antiallergics: these are drugs that are administered to treat any kind of allergy that represents a threat to the respiratory system.
Bronchodilators: these are drugs that the veterinarian applies inside the inhalers to reduce the constriction of the bronchi which allows the dog to begin breathing normally.
Steroids: these medications are of great help to reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes and also to prevent asthma attacks in the future.
Canine Distemper Virus
Canine distemper virus is a condition caused by the presence of a viral infection, which is quite dangerous and can spread very easily. When the dog does not receive the necessary vaccinations, it is more likely to suffer distemper, apart from the fact that puppies and elderly dogs have a very high mortality rate.
The contagion of this disease can occur through the urine or feces of the dog that is infected leading to secondary infections. Laryngitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis happen when inflammation occurs in the larynx, tonsils, and pharynx, causing the animal to feel pain, have problems when swallowing, vomit, and have a chronic cough. Antibiotics are generally the recommended treatment and for no reason should you allow the situation to get worse as the consequences could be fatal.