Who Has Dog Asthma - You Or Your Dog?
When you come across an article on dog asthma, it can either be about a human condition, the result of a human who is allergic to dogs in general or at least to certain breeds of dogs, or the discussion could be about the dog itself, and its chances of suffering form asthma. We'll touch on both topics a little as both are important, especially if you're a dog lover. Whether we're talking about dogs or people, asthma is the same for both. It's an obstruction of the breathing passages which occurs when these passages fill with mucous. Spasms and difficulty in breathing is the result.
Asthma In Dogs - Let's look at the dog first. Cats have asthma attacks too, in fact far more frequently that dogs do. Cases of dogs having asthma are actually rather rare, but it does happen. Of course your dog, being unable to talk, can't tell you it has an asthma attack coming on, or is sensitive to certain things, so you have to be on the lookout for the symptoms. It also helps to be aware of some of the things which can trigger an asthma attack, which in many cases are the same things which affect people. These include tobacco smoke, dust, food additives, different kinds of pollution, and stress. Often you may be totally unaware that your dog has asthma, but the first sign to watch for is coughing. Dogs generally don't cough very often, so when they do it pays to take notice. A coughing spell doesn't necessarily mean that the animal is having an asthma attack; it could be kennel cough, or some other problem such as infection or heartworms. These of course can also be serious, so if you've been able to rule dog asthma out it doesn't necessarily mean that the dog is 100% fit. A more severe asthma attack may include a wheezing sound, and the dog may appear to be gasping for air.
The veterinarian may need to take some tests and possibly an x-ray to diagnose the problem, and confirm asthma is the problem. In that case, an asthma medication will usually be prescribed. It may take a combination of antihistamines, bronchodilators, or other medications to successfully treat a case of dog asthma. Some medications are to be ingested, others inhaled. In more severe cases, injections to reduce air passage swelling may be needed. Given instruction by the vet, you can usually administer any of these treatments yourself.
Dog Asthma In People - What about dog asthma as a human condition? A fairly sizable percentage of the human population, some say up to 30%, can have an allergic reaction to household pets, which can in some cases bring on an asthma attack. More people are allergic to cats than to dogs, but some may suffer discomfort in your home if you have a dog that spends at least a part of the time in the house. The dog doesn't necessarily have to be in the house at the time, as pet dander is usually the culprit, but it can be a good idea when possible, to stick puppy outside, in a back room, or in the garage when you have company.
You generally don't choose a breed of dog that is considered hypoallergenic just in case a person who happens to be allergic to dogs might happen to drop in for a visit. If you have allergies, or a member of your family does, selecting a specific breed of dog as a household pet can make good sense. There is no absolute guarantee that the puppy you bring home won't cause a problem, no matter how careful you are in your selection, and it can be heartbreaking to have to return a puppy you've fallen in love with, because things just aren't working out. You have to choose between a relative and the dog, usually (though not always) an easy choice.
Consider A Hypoallergenic Pooch - When looking for a hypoallergenic dog, many of the terriers fall into this classification, as do the poodles, both the standard poodle and the miniature poodle. Many of the poodle hybrids, like the larbradoodle, fit nicely into a household having an allergy or asthma sufferer. The schnauzers (giant, standard, and miniature) are considered hypoallergenic, as is the Doberman pinscher and the Irish water spaniel.
In summary, if it's your dog who has dog asthma, the best thing to do is to watch for symptoms, and if at all severe, see the veterinarian for a prescribed course of treatment. As far as a person having dog asthma is concerned, be thankful that many more people are allergic to cats than are to dogs, and you might have success in trying one of the hypoallergenic breeds or hybrid breeds of dogs as your family pet.