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Asthma in Dogs and Cats

Asthma can cause serious health problems for your pet, and some animals are more susceptible than others. Here’s what you need to know about asthma in dogs and cats.

Asthma is often associated with humans being allergic to pets, but in reality dogs and cats can also suffer from asthma, also known as respiratory bronchitis. The cause of this kind of irritation varies and often is based on specific allergies of each animal.

Your cat or dogs lungs will become inflamed at the time an allergen becomes present, producing extra mucous and can constrict airways in serious cases. This makes it difficult or impossible for your pet to breath.

Here’s what you need to know to keep a lookout for asthma in your pets.


Asthma in cats and dogs begins with an allergic reaction to an irritant, just like in humans. This could be anything from a type of food, to pollen, to a chemical used in the household, or a virus/infection. Dogs are less prone to asthma than cats and even more likely to have a severe case. Overweight animals are also more prone to asthma attacks.


Coughing is the most common and easiest to spot symptom of asthma. The excess mucous from the allergic reaction often causes the animal to cough as they attempt to clear their airways. For cats, it may seem they are trying to cough up a hairball. When a cat leans forward with legs and neck extended to cough, but there is no sign of a hairball, this could be an asthmatic reaction. For both dogs and cats, any type of wheezing along with weight loss and loss of appetite could be signs of asthma.


The good news is that asthma is largely preventable and treatable. Inhalants and oral medications can reduce or clear up the allergic reaction that’s causing asthma. If you can pinpoint the irritant, keeping your pet away from it, or eliminating it from your home, will get rid of your pet’s problem. Be sure to treat your pet’s asthma at the first signs, as chronic or recurring asthma can result in damage to the lungs, or disease.

Thankfully, there are preventative measures you can take to treat your pet’s asthma. There are oral medications and inhalants that can clear up or at least reduce the allergic reaction causing asthma in your pet. Pinpointing the irritant is the most important part. This way you can keep your pet away from it or eliminate it from your home. Be sure to treat your pet at the first signs of asthma as to avoid permanent damage to lungs or disease.

Have questions about asthma in your pet? Call us today to schedule a check-up for your pet!

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Thank you for considering the North Orange Animal Hospital your Vet. In order to best serve our existing and new clients, we are now requiring deposits for appointments booked by new clients or previous clients that have not been seen in the last 3 years. We hope you understand and appreciate your cooperation.

North Orange Animal Hospital