27 April 2020
Today marks the start of Love your lungs week which raises awareness of lung conditions in humans. Lungs conditions are not something that just affect humans, they can affect dogs too. Some of the lung problems dogs can suffer with are:
• Kennel cough can develop when dogs are in close contact with each other in places such as kennels and dog shows. Please be aware that it can also be found in dogs that have had no contact with large groups of dogs.
A very dry, harsh cough is the main sign of kennel cough and is likely to worsen during and after exercise so this should be restricted until your dog is completely clear of Kennel cough. Dogs can be vaccinated against kennel cough by your vet, this is no guarantee but is good protection.
• Lungworm is an illness caused by parasites often from eating snails or slug Common symptoms of Lungworm is persistent coughing often ending with retching, reluctance to exercise and difficulty breathing. There and many easy treatments which can be prescribed by your vet and keeping an eye on them while outside to avoid eating things they shouldn’t will help reduce risk.
• Lung tumors can be common secondary cancers. These can present in shortness of breath, lethargy etc. If your dog is suffering for cancer it is important to report any changes as soon as possible to your vet. Although some cancers cannot be treated, there are great advances in canine chemotherapy treatments so please discuss all options with your vet.
• Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs and airways that causes breathing difficulties. Common symptoms to look out for are coughing, increased heart rate. Fever, tiredness and more which you can find out about from your vet.
If your dog is diagnosed with pneumonia your vet may use an x-ray, blood test or bronchoscopy to find out the underlying cause. Your vet will have different treatment options such as antibiotics.
If you are worried about any of the lung problems or see unusual symptoms, please contact your vet immediately and they will be able to discuss the next steps with you.