Dog Breathing and Respiratory Problems
Dog breathing problems are a cause for concern. All dogs are susceptible, but Brachycephalic breeds are even more so. Brachycephalic breeds are the types of dogs with "snub" noses, such as the Pug, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Shih-Tzu, etc). These dogs should be monitored even more closely for any signs of breathing or respiratory problems, particularly in hot or humid conditions. Although some respiratory conditions may end up being harmless, it's still better to be safe than sorry - take your dog to the vet to ensure all is well.
- Panting is normal as it allows dogs to cool down. However, excessive panting can be a sign of heatstroke, especially if your dog has a bright red tongue and/or his eyes appear glazed. Dogs who are in pain may also pant more than usual.
- Gasping or coughing can have many causes.
Your dog may have swallowed an object that is blocking
his airflow. Dogs who cannot breathe may panic or fall
unconscious. If you notice that your dog is having
trouble breathing, don't wait - it's an emergency that
requires immediate vet care.
Coughing can have other causes as well, including asthma, a collapsed trachea or by kennel cough.
- Tumors in the nose can cause both a runny nose and sneezing. The dog might also paw at his nose or rub it against something. If your dog's nose bleeds, take him to the vet right away - nose bleeds are not a common occurrence for pets as they are for people.
- Reverse sneezing is caused when dogs quickly pull air into its nose (instead of pushing it out, like in a normal sneeze). The sound of this sneezing / snorting can be scary but the condition will not harm the dog.
Breathing or respiratory problems are not that uncommon of a dog health problem. But there are many causes of respiratory problems, some benign while others are serious. Not all can be easily diagnosed. Become familiar with your dog's normal breathing patterns, such as how many breaths he takes on average. This can help you determine whether you have an emergency health problem on hand. Get your dog to a vet immediately if he is having difficulties breathing.