Emphysema is in no way exclusive to human beings, as dogs are occasionally susceptible to the condition. Emphysema involves the unusual buildup of air within a canine's physique, whether amidst tissue or in an organ. Problems with respiratory function are common in pooches with emphysema.
Dogs with emphysema generally experience excessive amounts of air in their respiratory systems. When they take in air, it travels to the lungs as usual, but after that, somewhere along the way, it gets caught up in all the wrong places. Dogs with this condition suffer problems with ejecting air out of their lungs, which leads to problematic respiratory woes.
Kinds of Emphysemas
Canine pulmonary emphysema exists in two prominent varieties: interstitial emphysema and alveolar emphysema. The former describes air inside of the lung's supportive tissues, while the latter refers to the increase in size of the alveoli, or miniscule air sacs. West Highland white terriers are particularly susceptible to emphysema. Congenital lobar emphysema is a condition that is a result of bronchiolar cartilage failing to come fully to fruition during growth. Pekingese dogs have a predisposition to this problem, although dogs of all breeds can experience emphysema. The disease also does not have any age preferences. Whether a doggie is youthful, elderly or somewhere in between, emphysema is a possibility.
A variety of factors can trigger emphysema in dogs, including injuries either internally or externally. If a wound exists, it can usher air over to the tissues. Apart from injuries, other things that can lead to emphysema are chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the animal world, emphysema is frequently a result of prior lung diseases.
Difficulty in breathing properly is a big indication of a possible health problem in dogs -- potentially emphysema. However, it is not uncommon for affected pooches to show absolutely zero signs of health abnormalities. Some typical signs of the respiratory ailment are coughing, loss of weight, reduced appetite, feebleness, fast breathing and heart rates and exhaustion. If you are worried that your precious pooch might be displaying even a single one of those symptoms, get him to the vet for urgent attention. Remember that emphysema symptoms frequently emerge rapidly and seemingly out of nowhere.
By Naomi Millburn
Black's Veterinary Dictionary; Edward Boden
The Merck Manual for Pet Health: Emphysema in Dogs
The Merck Veterinary Manual: Overview of Pulmonary Emphysema
Clinical Medicine of the Dog and Cat; Michael Schaer
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.