Definition of Bronchitis
Bronchitis, sometimes called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, refers to inflammation of one or more of the upper airways that take air from the wind pipe to and from the lungs. In dogs, most troublesome cases of bronchitis are chronic, which means that they last for a long time. Some things that can trigger canine bronchitis are bacterial and viral infections, powdered feed products, airborne fumes, room deodorizers, household chemicals, cleaning products and dust. When the lining of the respiratory tract is irritated for a long time, the dog will develop a classic chronic dry, hacking cough and its airways will become thickened and narrowed, reducing its ability to breathe normally. Affected dogs often wheeze, gag and are reluctant to exercise or exert themselves. In severe cases, the coughing can cause broken ribs. Chronic bronchitis usually is progressive and non-reversible, unless it is caught and treated early in its course.