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Bronchitis Overview

Bronchitis Overview

Bronchitis is an inflammation or infection of the lower air passages and their smaller branches. These structures carry air from the windpipe (trachea) and distribute it to the lungs.

Bronchitis may exist alone, or be a sign of a general problem such as heart disease, allergies, parasites, or bacterial and viral infections. The actual lung tissue may become involved as well, leading to pneumonia.

Causes include bacterial or viral infections, allergies, and inhalation of irritants or pollutants.

Common signs include:

  • Wheezing
  • Spasmodic coughing
  • Difficulty breathing

Diagnosis is based on symptoms, examination findings, blood and other laboratory tests, x-rays, and response to treatment.

Treatment usually consists of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories or antihistamines. Medications to expand the airways may also be necessary.

Important Points

  • Use all medications as directed by your veterinarian.
  • Coughing should decrease over the next few days if your pet is responding to treatment as expected.
  • Monitor your pet's progress carefully and have him/her rechecked as directed by your veterinarian.If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your Banfield hospital today.