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At a Glance
Helps relax the respiratory system and clear mucus build up
Helps strengthen the diaphragm
Effective and affordable


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At a Glance
Helps relax the respiratory system and clear mucus build up
Helps strengthen the diaphragm
Effective and affordable

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Theophylline is a widely used, effective bronchodilator that can be prescribed by your veterinarian. This medication treats a variety of pulmonary disorders and may also be used to treat heart disease in animals. This medication works to open and relax airways in a variety of ways. Constricted airways and mucus build up are two of the main culprits behind difficult breathing.

Theophylline aids in relaxing the muscles surrounding the airway so that breathing becomes less difficult. It also increases the movement of cilia in the airway, which helps clear out mucus. This medication is also helpful in strengthening the diaphragm to aid your pet in combating such constrictions in the future and contains caffeine, which acts to stimulate your pet's central nervous system.

The medication has certain side effects such as irritation in the stomach, nervous system excitement etc. Other side effects that are likely to occur are vomiting, diarrhea, increased palpitation, a rise in body temperature, increased heart rate, skin rashes etc. However, alter the dosage to control much of these symptoms.

Theophylline is the Generic Alternative to Theolair.

  • Heart & Blood Pressure Pharmacy
  • Asthma & Respiratory Pharmacy
  • Oral Application
  • Cat Pet Type
  • Dog Pet Type

Is Theophylline Safe for Dogs?

Theophylline is one of the most effective ways that can help dogs that face difficulty in breathing. The action of the Theophylline is guided by the relaxation of the muscles that surround the airways of the pets and clears out the mucus that gets built up inside them. The action of the Theophylline extended-release tablets helps increase the movement of the cilia that are present within the airway. This in turn helps in the movement of the mucus that often builds up inside the airways. The administration of this oral drug is advised to be carried under the recommendation and guidance of a practicing veterinarian. Depending on the varying conditions of your pet, be it cats or dogs, the dosage can vary. Also, another important aspect pertaining to the dosages is the particular prevailing conditions like the body weight of the pet under which it is currently dwelling.

Why Do Dogs Take Theophylline?

The administration of the drug Theophylline can happen to tackle the various issues related to the respiratory system of the pets. The most common ones among them being the usage for the treatment of dogs that face difficulty in breathing. Theophylline may also help those pets that have asthma. It is found to be very beneficial for the treatment of various bronchitic conditions among pets. The action of Theophylline in the relaxation of the muscles that surround the airways of the pets helps in the functioning of the lungs. The dilated conditions of the airways help in better respiration and hence helps the lungs to relax. It can guide the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases or COPD. Theophylline also benefits in the treatment of the collapsing trachea or heart failure.

Does Theophylline Help Dogs With Collapsed Trachea?

Theophylline extended-release tablets function as bronchodilators for dogs. The usage of any bronchodilator for dogs can often accompany the administration of corticosteroids. The bronchodilators facilitate the lower usage of corticosteroids. The action of Theophylline tablets helps treat various issues like pulmonary edema, collapsing trachea, and intrathoracic airway collapse. It is found to be equally useful in dogs and cats. If you find any of the common symptoms that can lead to the above ailments make sure to contact your veterinarian or any veterinary facility in the vicinity. Prompt action during such scenarios can be beneficial in a speedy recovery.

Why Does My Dog Keep Coughing Gagging Like Heโ€™s Choking?

Dogs by nature are very inquisitive in nature and are always on the lookout to find anything adventurous or meaningful for themself. They at times can inhale any of the foreign materials and objects that they can find in and around the house. These foreign materials can sometimes get lodged into their airways. The sudden coughing or any violent form of coughing that may sound like gagging is primarily in these scenarios. They try to throw out the foreign materials and during these attempts of theirs they start coughing. These can also include the possible attempts of swallowing the objects completely to get rid of the irritation that the pet faces. Another sign that can help you identify the choking is the frequent lip-licking by the pets. If you see anything like these you should understand that there is something stuck in their throats. Be cautious about such instances, as choking can be very dangerous for pets. It can be life-threatening for the pets if you do not take steps when it aggravates. You can contact your veterinarian if you are unable to control the same by yourself.

What Can I Give My Dog for Breathing Problems?

The initial stages of such conditions when your dog faces any kind of breathing trouble can be addressed by the use of medications. These medications generally include the use of steroidal anti-inflammatories or bronchodilators. The action of the bronchodilators like Theophylline is to aid in the relaxation of the muscles that surround the airways of the pets and clears out the mucus that gets built up inside them. Theophylline extended-release tablets help increase the movement of the cilia that are present within the airway. This in turn helps in the movement of the mucus that often builds up inside the airways. If the conditions are beyond the control of the medications, the need for administration of emergency supplemental oxygen can be required. This will be particularly aided by a practicing veterinarian. The adverse effects of such conditions can warrant the pets to be treated at a veterinary facility. Dogs with heart conditions may need the additional administration of other heart medications.

What bronchodilators are safe for dogs?

Bronchodilators are medications that help to relax the muscles in the airways, making it easier for dogs to breathe. There are several types of bronchodilators that may be safe for dogs. Beta-2 agonists like Albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil) or Terbutaline (Brethine, Bricanyl) work by relaxing the muscles in the airways, which can help to relieve coughing and wheezing. Examples of beta-2 agonists that may be used in dogs include albuterol and terbutaline. Methylxanthines like Theophylline (Theo-Dur, Slo-Bid) and Aminophylline (Phyllocontin) work by relaxing the smooth muscles of the airways and also helping to reduce inflammation in the lungs. Examples of methylxanthines that may be used in dogs include theophylline and aminophylline. Anticholinergics, such as Ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) and Tiotropium (Spiriva), work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, which can help to relax the muscles in the airways. Examples of anticholinergics that may be used in dogs include ipratropium bromide and tiotropium.

How does a bronchodilator work in dogs?

Bronchodilators work by relaxing the smooth muscles that line the airways in the lungs of dogs, which allows the airways to open up and expand. This relaxation of the muscles can help to improve breathing and decrease coughing and wheezing in dogs that are experiencing respiratory distress. In particular, beta-2 agonists work by binding to beta-2 adrenergic receptors located in the airway smooth muscles, which triggers a relaxation response. Methylxanthines work by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase, which can increase the levels of a chemical called cyclic AMP (cAMP) in the airway smooth muscles, leading to relaxation. Anticholinergics work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that can cause the airway's smooth muscles to contract.

Can I use salbutamol for dogs?

Salbutamol is a type of beta-2 agonist bronchodilator that is commonly used to treat respiratory conditions in humans. While salbutamol may be used in certain situations in dogs, it is generally not the first choice of bronchodilator medication for dogs. This is because dogs may not respond as well to salbutamol as humans do, and there are other bronchodilator medications that are more effective for use in dogs.

How do you give a dog a bronchodilator?

Most bronchodilator medications come in pill or tablet form and can be administered orally. Your veterinarian will provide instructions on the appropriate dosage and frequency of administration. You may need to give the medication with food or at a specific time of day to ensure proper absorption and effectiveness. Inhalation therapy may be recommended for certain types of bronchodilators, such as beta-2 agonists or anticholinergics. This method involves using a specialized inhaler device that allows the medication to be inhaled directly into the lungs. Your veterinarian will provide instructions on how to use the inhaler device and how often to administer the medication. In some cases, bronchodilators may be administered by injection. This method is typically reserved for more severe respiratory conditions and is usually performed by a veterinarian in a clinical setting.

Can you nebulize a dog?

Yes, nebulization therapy can be used in dogs to deliver medication directly to their lungs. Nebulization involves using a specialized machine called a nebulizer to convert liquid medication into a fine mist or aerosol, which can be inhaled by the dog. Nebulization therapy may be recommended for certain types of respiratory conditions, such as asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia. It can be particularly helpful for delivering bronchodilator medications directly to the airways, which can help to open them up and improve breathing. If your veterinarian recommends nebulization therapy for your dog, they will provide instructions on the specific medication to be used, the appropriate dosage, and how often the therapy should be administered.


Theophylline is a bronchodilator used in veterinary therapy that is effective in the management of congestive heart failure, asthmatic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in animals. Included in the drug classification as a smooth muscle relaxant, the medication is active against conditions affecting the respiratory muscles of dogs and cats. Theophylline, the active ingredient contained in the medication helps in relaxing the muscles in and around the windpipe, thereby dealing with the breathing complications due to asthma. The medication effectively works as an airway dilator by widening bronchitis tubes to facilitate easy breathing. Theophylline is available only by prescription and comes as tablets, long active capsules, and liquid.ย 

Side effects when using theophylline include vomiting, central nervous system excitement, fever, rash and palpitations. Side effects usually subside with dosage adjustments and/or continued therapy. Theophylline should not be used in patients allergic to this class of medication. Do not use in pregnant or lactating animals.

Theophylline should be used with caution in patients with severe heart disease, liver or kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, hypertension or stomach ulcers.

The medication is safe to be used in dogs and cats. The suggested dosage of theophylline for dogs is 4.5 to 6.8mg per pound by mouth every 12 hours and for cats 2mg/lbs in every 8-12 hours. In case of long active tablets, the prescribed dosage for dogs is 10mg/lbs. Give the medicine on an empty stomach, which is an hour before or 2 hours after food intake. Also, when giving long active tablets, the medicine must be swallowed whole and must not be crushed or broken for convenience.ย 

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website. Our medications are FDA approved and/or EPA regulated when and as required by law.

Theophylline is administered orally as a tablet, capsule, or syrup. It usually is taken every 6, 8, 12, or 24 hours. The tablets must be swallowed whole, and must be taken on an empty stomach. Follow the dosage size prescribed by your veterinarian.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat and light.

How to Order Prescriptions Online

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2. Add to Cart

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Answer some questions during checkout and weโ€™ll contact your vet and verify the prescription for you. You can also mail us the written prescription.

4. Thatโ€™s It!

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Works well for collapsing trachea

This product, given together with hydrocodone, has been a miracle for our Pomeranian's severely collapsing trachea. The two medications together took him from a state of constant respiratory distress to a relatively normal life with low to moderate activity. The hydrocodone was only moderately effective, but when the Theophylline was added by our vet, the results were amazing. He weighs 12 pounds and takes 50mg twice a day. We had tried several other drug combinations and regimens before finally achieving the desired results with this one.

Neo64 recommends this item.
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Reduces our dog's wheezing and coughing related to his allergies.

We have used Theophylline with our dog Zippy since we adopted him from a rescue organization in 2005. His allergy problems have been greatly reduced since we started giving him a 100mg tablet twice a day.

Katherine953 recommends this item.
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