Did you know that household cats and dogs can develop asthma? Some pet cats and dogs similarly experience this debilitating condition as humans. You’d do well to understand the signs and symptoms of pet asthma and potential treatment options. 


Signs Your Pet May Have Asthma

  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing
  • Labored shallow breathing
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite 
  • Runny nose 
  • Breathing with the mouth open
  • Gums and/or tongue turning purple or blue indicates a lack of oxygen in the blood and you should reach out to their veterinarian right away

Diagnosing Asthma

Our veterinarian will observe your cat or dog for symptoms. Our veterinarian may also conduct a chest x-ray on your pet to see if there’s airway inflammation. Blood analysis may also be performed. Our vet will rule out any other respiratory issues by running an examination for parasites and heartworms along with a blood count and culture to determine if the animal has a bacterial infection. They’ll use the results from this to determine the best course of treatment for your pet. 

Asthma Treatment Options 

There are a few types of asthma treatments for pets. The goal is to control their secretions, open their airways for an improvement in airflow, and reduce their symptoms. 

A cat or dog with this condition may be given one of several medications. This includes inhaled and oral steroids that help reduce inflammation, antihistamines that open airways and reduce the pet’s sensitivity to certain allergic triggers, aerosol chamber/spacer that helps deliver steroids like albuterol (a bronchodilator). Your pet will need to adapt slowly to a spacer and inhaler, so you should use the mask portion over your pet’s nose for a few seconds without any medication in it, then give them a treat right afterward. This will help them have a positive association with this device. 

Be sure to provide the dog or cat with an adequate amount of water to have after their bronchodilator treatment. Antibiotics may be necessary if asthma is related to a respiratory infection. Always keep in mind that if your pet has a severe asthma attack, you’ll need to bring them to an animal hospital. 

Contact Our Animal Hospital in Franklin Today

Pet asthma can be overwhelming, but with the right medical care, you can be confident that your pet will see an improvement in its health. For more information or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian, call KKM Veterinary Clinic today at

KKM Veterinary Clinic