Defintion of Asthma
Asthma, which in dogs is called allergic bronchitis, is a condition marked by recurrent attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath and general difficulty breathing. Dogs with asthma almost always have an allergic reaction to something they inhale from the environment, which causes their upper airways to spasm and constrict. Often, the exact trigger is never identified. Acute asthma attacks can be so bad that the animal almost suffocates. If the condition becomes chronic, it can permanently damage the sensitive tissue lining the respiratory passageways. In extremely grave cases, the dog will have to breathe through its mouth to get enough air, and its gums will turn blue from oxygen deprivation. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Fortunately, a number of therapies and techniques are available to manage asthma in dogs. If your dog develops difficulty breathing and a dry, raspy cough, take it to your veterinarian right away.