Breathing Difficulties in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

(Photo credit: Julia Christe / Getty Images)

Breathing difficulties can affect all dogs, regardless of age, gender or breed. They can involve a range of symptoms depending on the underlying cause of the disease.

If you see that your dog is having breathing problems, it is important to see a doctor immediately. Keep in mind, however, that increased levels of panting after vigorous exercise may simply return to normal with some time and rest.

If you see any signs that your dog might be having trouble breathing normally, then you must consult your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for breathing difficulties in dogs.

Symptoms of breathing difficulties in dogs

Breathing difficulties in dogs can lead to a number of symptoms depending on both the underlying cause of the problem and the breed of the dog.

Some of the more general symptoms include:

  • Labored breathing (called dyspnea)
  • Very rapid breathing (called tachypnea)
  • Breathe through an open mouth
  • Flared nostrils
  • Breathe loudly
  • Very shallow breathing

Causes of breathing difficulties in dogs

young veterinarian man examining a cute little dog using a stethoscope, isolated on white background.  Inside

(Photo credit: Eva Blanco / EyeEm / Getty Images)

Breathing difficulties in dogs can result from a number of underlying issues.

In dyspnea, the causes can include infection, tumors, lung disease, and heartworm.

If a dog is suffering from tachypnea, the cause could be low levels of red blood cells, lower than normal blood oxygen levels, and blood clots.

Finally, if a dog is panting excessively, there is an array of causes that can include fever, obesity, high blood pressure, and anxiety.

Veterinary treatments

If you notice that your dog has a tendency to breathing difficultiesconsult a veterinarian immediately. The condition is considered an emergency.

The vet will ask about the dog’s medical history as well as any recent circumstances or incidents that may have caused the illness. In addition, they will closely examine the dog’s chest and breathing, as well as its gums to see if any changes in color could indicate the cause of the problem.

Vets may also use chest x-rays, an electrocardiogram (ECG), and detailed blood tests when evaluating the dog and making a diagnosis.

When it comes to treatment, the precise course will depend on the underlying cause. In some cases, dogs may need a period of hospitalization to stabilize their condition.

If your vet is prescribing medication for your dog to help him breathe, then it is essential that you stick to the recommended dosage and frequency instructions and that you follow the full course of treatment.

Has your dog started to suffer from breathing difficulties? Did your vet find the cause of the problems? Tell us all in the comments below.

Comments are closed.