Canine Chronic Bronchitis
Canine Chronic Bronchitis, also simply known as Chronic Bronchitis, is a progressive and inflammatory condition which requires medical management. When diagnosed early, dogs with Chronic Bronchitis can live long and happy lives.
Symptoms of Canine Chronic Bronchitis
Early symptoms of Canine Chronic Bronchitis are similar to other conditions, including tracheal collapse, kennel cough and even heart disease.
The most prominent symptom of Chronic Bronchitis is a retching or hacking cough which persists for longer than two months. Typically, a cough is described as spasmodic or having a gagging reflex. Additionally, the cough will be continuous, obvious, and worsening as time goes by.
The take home: When your dog is coughing persistently over a period of time, an examination by a veterinarian is key to determine whether an infection may be causing the coughing and whether medical intervention for exclusion or diagnosis of Chronic Bronchitis is needed.
Diagnosing Chronic Bronchitis
Methods of diagnosis may include:
With chest radiographs, inflammation in the airways, possible tracheal collapse and changes in the lungs can be seen. A chest X-Ray is therefore an important diagnostic tool to exclude other possible causes for the persistent coughing.
An airway endoscopy is considered invasive as it requires the use of anesthesia. Your vet can, however, provide a confirmed diagnosis with this procedure as samples are collected from the lower airways of the lungs for culture and analysis purposes. As chronic bronchitis is an exclusionary diagnosis, an X-Ray and thorough medical history may be enough for diagnosis and future medical management.
This non-invasive analysis will rule out the possibility of parasitic infection.
Treatment of Canine Chronic Bronchitis
The treatment for Chronic Bronchitis focuses on reducing the severity of the coughing episodes, relaxing the airways and reducing airway inflammation.
For this reason, long-term management of this condition includes the use of steroids, cough suppressants and bronchodilators
When left untreated, Canine Chronic Bronchitis may lead to pneumonia which is a serious condition causing fluid build-up in the lungs. Early medical management is therefore key for a good prognosis and outlook. Overall, dogs with chronic bronchitis generally live full and happy lives.