Canine Bronchitis | Bronchitis in Dogs

Canine Bronchitis | Bronchitis in Dogs

Chronic bronchitis in dogs
refers to long-term airway inflammation. There is generally a component of irreversible damage. Histologic changes of the airways include fibrosis, epithelial hyperplasia, glandular hypertrophy, and inflammatory infiltrates. Excessive mucus is present within the airways, and small airway obstruction and airway collapse occur. The cause is often not discovered, but long-standing inflammatory processes resulting from infections, allergies, or inhaled irritants can be at fault. Infections can also occur secondary to canine chronic bronchitis, making a cause-and-effect relationship difficult to determine.
Chronic bronchitis in dogs occurs in middle-aged or older, small breeds. These breeds are also predisposed to the development of collapsing trachea and mitral insufficiency with left atrial enlargement causing compression of the mainstream bronchi. These diseases must be differentiated and their contribution to the development of the current clinical features determined for appropriate management to be implemented.

Dogs with bronchitis are evaluated because of cough, which can be productive or non-productive. The cough has usually slowly progressed over months to years, with no systemic signs of illness such as anorexia, weight loss or lethargy. As the disease progresses, exercise intolerance becomes evident; then incessant coughing or overt respiratory distress is seen. Dogs with respiratory distress show marked expiratory efforts because of the narrowing and collapse of the intrathoracic airways.

Increased breath sounds, wheezes, or crackles, are auscultated in dogs with chronic bronchitis. end-expiratory clicks caused by mainstream bronchial or intrathoracic tracheal collapse may be heard in dogs with advanced bronchitis. A prominent or split second heart sound occurs in animals with secondary pulmonary hypertension.

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