Bronchitis affects middle-aged dogs of both sexes. It is characterized by an acute inflammatory reaction of the inner layer of small airways. The diagnosis of chronic bronchitis should be considered in any case in the presence of a cough for more than two months.
Causes of bronchitis in dogs
In most cases, the cause of chronic bronchitis remains unknown. Although some cases are preceded by nursing cough, infectious agents usually, if they play a role, only as secondary agents. Their contribution to the development of inflammation in the bronchi makes household dust, cigarette smoke and other atmospheric irritants.
Symptoms of bronchitis in dogs
A sign of chronic bronchitis is a hard dry cough, which can be either productive or not. The appearance of cough is provoked by physical exercises and excitement. Episodes of a cough often end with vomiting movements, urge for vomiting and expectoration of a foamy saliva. This can be falsely mistaken for vomiting. Appetite and weight of the dog do not change.
An untreated chronic bronchitis damages the respiratory tract and leads to the accumulation of infected sputum and pus in the enlarged bronchi. This phenomenon is called bronchoectatic disease. Chronic coughing can also lead to an increase in alveoli (pulmonary air sacs) - this condition is called emphysema. These two diseases are irreversible and progressively progressing to chronic lung disease and congestive heart failure.
Treatment of bronchitis in dogs
General medical measures include the exclusion of atmospheric pollutants, such as dust and cigarette smoke. Minimize stress, fatigue and excitement. Dogs that are overweight should be transferred to a weight loss diet. Walking on a leash is a good exercise, but do not overdo it. To avoid squeezing the pharynx, go from the collar to the breast harness or muzzle-bridle.
Medication is aimed at reducing bronchial inflammation. Your veterinarian may prescribe a course of corticosteroids for 10-14 days. If this gives a positive effect, your dog can be transferred to a maintenance dose, which you will give every day or every other day. The bronchodilators, such as theophylline or albuterol, facilitate the passage of air and reduce respiratory failure. They are well suited to dogs with breathy breathing and respiratory tract spasms.
If the cough worsens, a secondary bacterial infection is likely. In this case, you need to seek help from a veterinarian, because antibiotics should be used. In episodes of persistent cough, drugs that depress cough may be useful, but they should be used only for a short period of time, as these drugs depress the immune system and prevent the removal of purulent sputum. Expectorants can be used frequently, as soon as there is a need for them.
The effectiveness of treatment can vary. Some dogs achieve almost complete recovery with conventional treatment, while others require careful individual selection of medicines.