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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2818
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My golden has pneumonia and has what sounds like me with an

Customer Question

My golden has pneumonia and has what sounds like me with an asthma attack. Can she use my rescue inhaler?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.


I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about Kali. I'm so sorry she isn't doing well, but glad you're looking for the information you need.

You may join the conversation at any time by typing in what you want to say then clicking REPLY or SEND. Then we can chat back and forth until you're satisfied with the information I've provided.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.

Please let me start by saying this is a serious symptom and if Kali were in my care, I'd want to have her in the hospital so I could administer appropriate medications and (most likely) provide her with supplemental oxygen. Please understand I make this recommendation only because I want to recommend the best level of care for Kali.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.

Pneumonia in an 11-year-old golden is a very serious condition, and - especially when you consider the high incidence of other underlying illnesses, the mortality can be very high. That's why I think it's so important she be in the hospital.

That being said, if having her hospitalized absolutely is not an option, here's the scoop on using your albuterol inhaler for her...

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.

While it would be illegal and unethical for me to recommend you use any prescription product in any manner other than exactly as it was prescribed (and for whom it was prescribed), I *can* tell you the following...

  • Albuterol works to open the airways in dogs the same way as it does for people.
  • Albuterol is not without risks or safety issues. It can cause hypertension and hyperexcitability.
  • Albuterol can interact with other prescription drugs.
  • Delivery of albuterol via a human inhaler is extremely difficult to accomplish. It's nearly impossible to get the dog to inhale any of the drug in deeply enough.
  • Without inhaling the drug down deep into the lungs, it is not likely to provide any benefit.

When we veterinarians use albuterol for our canine patients, we don't tend to use inhalers for all of the above reasons. We tend to use oral medications that work to open the airways instead.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.

In summary, my answer to you is that while you can certainly make a decision to try to do this yourself, it is not likely to be effective. Her symptoms are serious enough to warrant professional medical care, and pursuing that is a much more appropriate course of action.

Does this help to answer your question tonight?

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.

My goal is to be as helpful as possible, even if that means telling you something you don't necessarily want to hear. Rest assured my primary motivation is to address what's in Kali's best interests.

If you are satisfied with the information I've provided, please take a moment to rate my response so I may receive credit for helping you. If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.

Your satisfaction is my goal.

Thank you for using our website.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.


Just checking to ask how Kali is doing today. Is she any better?

Thank you.

-Dr. Jo

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 2 years ago.


Just one final check to ask how things are going with Kali. I've been worried about her.

Thank you,

Dr. Jo