Chronic Bronchitis in Dogs
Follow-up Care for Dogs with Chronic Bronchitis
Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical and may include the following: Administer prescribed medications as directed and be certain to contact your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your dog. Treatment with bronchodilators, cough suppressants and antibiotics are additional measures that can be taken to reduce the need for continuous or high dosages of corticosteroids. Some dogs develop secondary infection and prednisone therapy may need to be discontinued. The response to treatment varies with some pets making near-recoveries and others requiring relatively high doses and varying combinations of medication throughout their life. Obesity can accentuate respiratory problems because diaphragmatic function is impaired, small airways close earlier than normal and ventilation may be impeded. Therefore, recommend weight reduction over a two to three month period using dietary restriction or a special diet. If your dog wears a restraint collar, replace it with a harness to decrease airway irritation. Avoid exposing your dog to environmental stresses including house dust, vapors, chemical fumes and tobacco smoke. Inhalation of humidified air, via a vaporizer or nebulizer, may liquefy secretions, hydrate the airways and reduce your pet’s cough. Exercise your pet lightly following these procedures and to encourage cough. Treatment of dental disease and oral cavity infections is prudent in dogs with chronic bronchitis. At the time of the dentistry, tracheal wash can be obtained during induction of anesthesia, thereby permitting examination of tracheobronchial secretions. Serum concentrations of theophylline, obtained after one week of therapy, can be used to guide dosage. Serial blood gas determinations and bronchoalveolar lavage cytology can be used to monitor your pet’s therapy and the clinical course of the disease.