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What are Allergic Bronchitis?

Allergies are caused by the aggressive response of specialized immune cells to an allergen. When an allergen activates the immune system, it manufactures a protein that causes the immune cells to release histamine, a naturally occurring compound that has an inflammatory effect on the tissues it comes into contact with. When the histamine causes inflammation to the bronchial tubes, the swelling can make it difficult to breathe and causes wheezing and shortness of breath. It is also referred to as canine asthma and can be either chronic or acute.

Allergic bronchitis is the narrowing of the airways due to inflammation and swelling of the bronchi caused by exposure to an allergen. This disorder can be either chronic or acute.

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Allergic Bronchitis Average Cost

From 389 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Allergic Bronchitis in Dogs

Dogs tend to be more susceptible to an attack of allergic bronchitis after exertion. The wheezing that is the distinguishing symptom of this disorder is usually followed by a dry, hacking cough. Although mucus may be present in the bronchial tubes, the cough is non-productive. The continuing cough often causes the airways to constrict further, which restricts the amount of air entering the lungs, causing exhaustion and loss of appetite. If the lack of oxygen continues long enough, the gums will turn blue. When this occurs, the situation is life-threatening, and your pet needs emergency intervention.

Types 

Chronic allergic bronchitis is allergic bronchitis that lasts or reoccurs over several months. The most common environmental allergies, like pollens, molds, and dust, usually cause chronic allergic bronchitis. Several circumstances can trigger episodes of chronic allergic bronchitis such as obesity in the patient, long-term exposure to cold temperatures, and changes in  exertion levels. 

Acute allergic bronchitis is an allergic reaction that occurs either just once or over a period of just a few days or weeks. This may take place as a result of being triggered by an allergen that just isn’t encountered often, or it may be that a particular condition is triggering an allergic reaction that otherwise is too mild to detect like a bacterial or viral illness, or cross-reactive allergies.

 

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Causes of Allergic Bronchitis in Dogs

When allergic bronchitis arises, the histamine that is released by the immune system, attacks the bronchial tubes, causing inflammation and swelling that can cause serious health concerns.There are several types of common environmental allergens that can trigger bronchitis. Common causes of allergic bronchitis can include:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Aerosol sprays 
  • Dust mites
  • Grain mites
  • Dust
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Diagnosis of Allergic Bronchitis in Dogs

Bronchitis in canines can be caused by a number of disorders, including allergies. During the physical exam to diagnose your canine, special attention will be paid to the respiratory sounds and the color of your canine’s gums. In order to diagnose an ongoing cough, with or without attendant bronchitis, chest x-rays are often recommended to determine the condition of the lungs.

Blood and fecal tests may be run at this time as well. These tests can reveal a number of disorders with similar symptoms, such as kennel cough, fungal infections, or pneumonia. The blood work, as well as any analysis of other secretions, should show elevated levels of a particular type of cell called an eosinophil. Eosinophils are often elevated in response to fungal and parasitic diseases as well as during allergic reactions. A bronchoscopy may also be employed in order in order to look directly into the airway to check for parasites, foreign bodies, and tumors that may otherwise remain hidden.

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Treatment of Allergic Bronchitis in Dogs

The most effective treatment for allergic bronchitis is avoidance of the allergen. Because many allergens that cause bronchitis are airborne, it can be challenging to avoid the allergen so other methods may need to be employed. Your veterinarian may want to prescribe antihistamines to reduce the reactions to the histamine that has been released into the bloodstream. Antihistamines are not as effective in canines as they are in humans, however, and are successful in less than half the cases.

Bronchodilators and corticosteroids may also be used to allow the bronchial tubes to open by relaxing the muscles around the airway walls. Bronchodilators can be administered from a specially made canine inhaler, or as a pill, capsule, or syrup. Bronchodilators can lead to an increased heart rate, nervousness, or tremors in dogs and are not recommended for animals with high blood pressure or heart conditions. Antibiotics may also be recommended in the event that a concurrent bacterial infection also affects the patient.

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Recovery of Allergic Bronchitis in Dogs

Asthma inhalers may be recommended for dogs with allergic bronchitis that have attacks once a week or more. Inhalers for dogs are built on the same principle as human inhalers for similar disorders, but more closely resemble the asthma inhalers designed for small children. The asthma inhaler has a mask to place over the dog’s muzzle, which should be kept in place for at least 10 seconds per dose. The inhaler targets the respiratory system directly rather than having to be transported through the digestive system like pills or syrups will have to and are metered to help prevent cases of overdose.

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Allergic Bronchitis Average Cost

From 389 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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Allergic Bronchitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Murcia

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West Highland White Terrier

dog-age-icon

7 Years

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Critical severity

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3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Disorientation
Fatigue
Vision Problems
Sleepiness
Coughing
Walking Tenderly

Please help! I was walking my 7 years old westy 10 days ago and suddenly she had a tremendous neck pain. I took her to the vet and she prescribed her Metacan 10 ML and Tramadol 50 MG, I gave her these medications for only 2 days because they made her way to sleepy and nauseous. Right after I stoped the medication she develops this severe cough, I take her to a different Dr., they did radiographies and blood work, her blood work was fine. They diagnosed her with Allergic Bronchitis, they prescribed her with Diphenhydramine and Doxycycline. She has been in this treatment for 3 days, her cough has reduced but she has no energy whatsoever, she can barely walk, she is also suddenly not well, she cried yesterday for no apparent reason, she is dissoriented and has extreme fatigue, she can barely climb steps and can no longer jump in the couch. This is a nightmare, I feel that she is slowly dying on me, please help.

Feb. 10, 2018

Murcia's Owner

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3 Recommendations

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may cause lethargy (or sedation) in dogs when used so a lack of activity isn’t a surprise; but make sure that you’re not exceeding the dosage of 1mg/lb two to three times per day. Without examining Murcia I cannot really comment on her symptoms or treatment, but if you have concerns you should return to the prescribing Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 10, 2018

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Sophia

dog-breed-icon

Shepherd

dog-age-icon

16 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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4 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Cough

Have rescued a 14-16 months old mixed Shepherd dog from Iran. 2-3 days after her arrival, she started coughing. Initially Vet thought it was Kennel cough. Treated her with antibiotics. After no response to treatment, we had x-ray and CT scan, that showed Bulla of Right upper lob. Bronchial wash showed many eosinophil. My question is does Bulla causes cough? Do we need to take care of her cough before having surgery done?

Feb. 6, 2018

Sophia's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

4 Recommendations

Bullae may cause a dog to cough, but bullae may be secondary to another cause like fungal infections, parasites or other causes. As for a treatment plan, you should discuss with your Veterinarian, but surgery may be indicated to do if the bronchial wash didn’t show any signs of infection. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 6, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

Allergic Bronchitis Average Cost

From 389 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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