Humans are not the only ones who suffer from wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and similar problems caused by asthma and other pulmonary diseases. Dogs experience these problems too. When your dog has trouble breathing, your veterinarian may recommend a bronchodilator to relieve the condition, so it's important to know what they are and how to use them.
Sometimes the muscles around a dog's airways constrict, narrowing the airways and making breathing difficult. Bronchodilators are medications that relax these muscles to allow air to move freely in and out of the lungs. They also can remove mucous clogging the passages to the lungs and relieve inflammation.
Bronchodilators are categorized into two main types: short acting and long acting. Short-acting bronchodilators are for quick relief of asthma flare-ups. Long-acting bronchodilators are for prevention. Short-acting medications, such as albuterol and epinephrine, typically are given via injection or inhalation so they can go to work quickly. Long-acting bronchodilators, such as theophylline or prednisone, often are given orally for an extended period of time. See your veterinarian if your furry friend displays any asthma-like symptoms. The condition can be serious, even life-threatening. Your doctor can recommend the proper treatment and let you know about any potential side effects to watch out for.
- Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images