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.
Bronchitis in dogs can be either an acute (sudden-onset) or a chronic (slow onset) condition. Acute canine bronchitis often comes at the tail end of a respiratory tract infection, which can be either bacterial or, more commonly, viral in nature. Other contributors to bronchitis in dogs can include physical or chemical inhaled atmospheric irritants, such as powdered feed products, chemical fumes, room deodorizers, irritating cleaning products and household dust, among others. However, a definitive cause
A harsh, dry cough that may or may not be productive is the classic sign of bronchitis. Dogs with chronic bronchitis have a cough that lasts more than two months and is not attributable to any identifiable source or cause. The cough usually is not more or less prevalent during the day or at night and often is triggered by exercise, activity, stress or physical pressure on the trachea (sometimes called the “wind pipe”), such
When presented with a dog whose primary clinical sign is coughing, a veterinarian will take a complete history from the owner and conduct a thorough physical examination. She usually will be able to elicit a cough on palpation of the trachea and may hear characteristic lung sounds, such as crackles and wheezes at the end of inspiration, when listening to the chest through a stethoscope. The veterinarian also will probably recommend thoracic radiographs (chest X-rays),
The goals of treating canine bronchitis are to relieve inflammation of the sensitive lining of the airways, remove any physical airway obstructions, alleviate the frequency and severity of the dog’s cough and cure any secondary respiratory tract infections.The attending veterinarian has a number of pharmaceutical medications at her disposal to manage dogs with bronchitis. In acute cases, antibiotics, bronchodilators, anti-inflammatory drugs and/or cough suppressants may be appropriate. Cough suppressants should not be used if the