Pet Symptom Checker

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Medical name: Bronchitis


  • Blue mucous or skin
  • Stressful breathing
  • Dry cough
  • Easily worn out
  • Gagging
  • Overweight
  • Distressed breathing
  • Fainting


Bronchitis in pets refers to an inflammation of the air passages to your pet’s lungs. This condition can be associated with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and can often be characterized by stressful breathing. Normally dogs breathe 10 to 30 times a minute, whereas the average cat takes 10 to 40 breaths. At rest, these should be silent, effortless breaths. The chest and abdomen rise and fall without signs of discomfort or distress and the animal is breathing through its nose. You may also notice that your pet has a dry, unproductive cough, as if as if the animal is trying to relieve some irritation or expel something more solid from his airway. Other symptoms of bronchitis may include gagging, fainting, or blue mucous membranes or skin. The easiest-to-find mucous membranes are the gums above the teeth or the lips. A nice, healthy pink is normal. If your pet normally has dark gums and lips, you need to find another lightly pigmented place, like the vulva in female animals or the prepuce (skin fold over the end of the penis) on male animals. Also, the inner eyelid (gently pull down on skin just below the eye) is another mucous membrane. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from bronchitis, your vet can help to confirm the diagnosis in order to determine the best course of action. In some cases, medication can ease your pet’s breathing. Weight loss and exercise can also help obese pets who suffer from COPD.

Zootoo does not provide veterinary medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition.
If you think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal care facility immediately.

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