Bronchitis in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment
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Bronchitis in dogs is an inflammation of the bronchi, which are the branches of the trachea responsible for the entry and exit of air into and out of the lungs. If your dog has been suffering from bronchitis lately and you are worried and want to know more about what's going on, you have come to the right place.
At AnimalWised, we provide easy-to-understand information about bronchitis in dogs, its symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Types of bronchitis in dogs
Dogs can suffer from acute or chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis usually lasts only a short time, and respiratory tract injury is usually reversible, unlike chronic bronchitis.
Canine chronic bronchitis
The most common respiratory disease in dogs is chronic bronchitis, which has a long duration of at least 2 or 3 months and is associated with excessive mucus production and chronic cough.
The breeds most susceptible to this type of disease are:
- Yorkshire Terrier
These small dog breeds are prone to other conditions that aggravate bronchitis, such as collapsed trachea and mitral regurgitation of the heart.
If you notice that your dog is having difficulties breathing or dry cough, keep reading this article on my dog has dry cough and gags.
Symptoms of bronchitis in dogs
The most common symptoms of bronchitis in dogs are the following:
- Moderate to severe cough.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Altered lung sounds (that your veterinarian can detect when listening to the animal).
- Tachypnea (rapid breathing).
- Purple mucous membranes, in the most severe cases.
The main reasons that bring pet owners to the veterinarian are severe coughing or heavy mucus production. Since these clinical signs are typical of other pathologies, we always recommend seeing a specialist to perform the appropriate tests and determine the treatment you need to perform.
It is important to remember that in chronic cases the cough may increase over the years and therefore occur more frequently.
Most of these symptoms are also present in dogs that are suffering from other respiratory diseases, to know more, keep reading our article on respiratory infections on dogs.
Diagnosis of canine bronchitis
The veterinarian usually relies on clinical signs and coughing fits to diagnose bronchitis. In addition, the specialist will try to determine the cause, which may be idiopathic, i.e. unknown, or a consequence of diseases that require immediate treatment, such as:
- Allergic bronchitis.
- Bacterial infection.
- Mycoplasma infection.
The veterinarian may perform an x-ray to inspect the airways. However, not all cases of bronchitis in dogs have such changes, so the test may not be conclusive. Other tests may be necessary in more severe cases to rule out other differential diagnoses. Some of the possible tests are therefore:
- Bronchopulmonary cytology.
- Tracheobronchial lavage culture.
Treatment of bronchitis in dogs
The treatment of bronchitis in dogs is non-specific, that is, it is suitable for each case individually, since it consists mainly in relieving the symptoms. So, if you want to know how to treat bronchitis in dogs, the first thing you should learn is that there is not only one way and therefore it depends entirely on the specific case of your dog.
Generally, the treatment prescribed by the specialist includes bronchodilators, corticosteroids and sometimes an antibiotic for canine bronchitis. In the most severe cases, oxygenation via a mask and even intravenous administration of medication, i.e. via a catheter directly into the dog's veins, may be required.
Steroids are used to reduce the inflammatory process that is the main cause of thickening of the mucous membranes in the airways, causing coughing and mucus production. However, you must be very careful and follow your veterinarian's instructions carefully, as these medications have various side effects. On the other hand, the vet can also prescribe their own sprays for dog bronchitis, which are very useful for clearing the airways.
Bronchodilators are indicated when there is bronchial constriction. These can be administered by inhalation, as mentioned above, as they have fewer risks and side effects than oral ingestion.
Home remedies for canine bronchitis
To supplement the treatment prescribed by your trusted veterinarian, you can help your dog with a number of home remedies for canine bronchitis. These natural treatments are mainly intended to relieve the coughing fits, which are the main and most annoying symptom of this disease. Of course, we recommend that you consult a specialist before using any of these remedies.
Mint is one of the most suitable plants to relieve the symptoms of respiratory diseases, as it helps to clear the airways thanks to its decongestant and expectorant properties. So, simply prepare a homemade mint tea and put a few drops of the solution directly into your dog's mouth with the help of a syringe or an eyedropper.
Tea tree oil
Undoubtedly another of the plants with the greatest expectorant properties. Tea tree oil favors the liberation of the respiratory tract, fighting the mucus accumulated there. To apply this home remedy for canine bronchitis, it is ideal to create mist or steam. To do this, for example, you can lock yourself in the bathroom with your dog, fill the bathtub with very hot water to create steam and add a few drops, being careful not to overdo it and constantly watching the animal. Another option is to heat water in a pot, add a few drops of tea tree oil, leave the pot in a closed room and bring the dog inside to breathe the steam.
It is very important that you are present during the process for several reasons. First, to prevent the animal from getting burned by the hot water; second, so as not to create stress in the dog by leaving him confined and alone; and third, to monitor his condition at all times. It is not necessary to put the animal right next to the hot water. It is enough if you place it in an area of the room where it can easily inhale the steam.
This natural product strengthens the immune system, relieves the cough caused by canine bronchitis and helps the animal gradually regain its energy and vitality. To benefit from this home remedy, all you have to do is dilute one or two tablespoons of coconut oil in a bowl of water and let your pet drink at its own pace.
How many times have you taken honey to relieve a sore throat, cough or runny nose? Just as it is an excellent natural remedy for us, it offers the same medicinal properties for dogs. Of course, it's important that the honey is natural or organic and contains no preservatives or added sugars. Simply give your dog a teaspoon of honey every four to five hours without overdoing it to avoid stomach damage. However, if your dog with bronchitis is younger than a year, you should not use this remedy, as it is completely contraindicated in puppies.
Prevention of canine bronchitis
Although this disease is often genetic, there are some things you could avoid as they may be the cause of this or other respiratory problems:
- Smoke from the chimney
- Aerosol sprays
- Air fresheners
Basically, you should avoid anything that can irritate your dog's respiratory system, especially if you have observed that your dog coughs or sneezes, because, as we said, this can be the cause of canine bronchitis.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Bronchitis in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Breathing diseases category.
- Ford, R.B. Chronic Cough in Dogs . LAVC.
- Nelson, R.W., Couto, C.G. (2001). Small Animal Internal Medicine . 2nd Ed. Rio de Janeiro. PP-230-232.