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Heavy panting? Check this out. Your best friend just may be
It's normal for dogs to pant, especially when they're hot, excited, or energetic.
But heavy panting is different. It may be a sign your dog is dangerously overheated, coping with a chronic health problem, or has just experienced a life-threatening trauma.
Here are the answers
Why dogs pant heavily
Panting helps dogs cool off when they’re hot or engaged in vigorous exercise. Dogs take between ten and thirty breaths a minute, depending on their size. Get to know what your dog’s everyday breathing and panting looks and sounds like. This way you’ll notice any suspicious changes straight away, and be able to get him or her to your vet quickly.
Common causes why dogs pant heavily
Some dogs, like Boston terriers, bulldogs, and pugs, are prone to heavier breathing than other breeds, simply because of their short snouts.
Chronic illness are a leading cause of heavy breathing or panting, and the main ones are:
Heavy panting is also a sign a dog may have consumed a toxic substance or be suffering from heatstroke. If you can’t find any obvious reason for a sudden change in your dog’s breathing, take him or her to your vet immediately.
Caution, if you suspect heatstroke, first follow the steps at the end of this article to help cool your dog quickly and safely.
Like people, dogs can suffer from heart failure. And just like people, dogs may show some of the same symptoms, including breathing difficulty, reduced exercise tolerance, and coughing. How your dog's heart failure is treated depends on the cause. Treatment may include medications such as, ACE inhibitors (pharmaceutical drugs used primarily for the treatment of hypertension commonly called elevated blood pressure), and diuretics.
Several respiratory disorders, such as laryngeal paralysis, pneumonia, and lung tumors, may all lead to heavy breathing or panting. Treatment depends on the condition and how far it has progressed
Injury and pain. Dogs can't tell us with words when they’re in pain. So, it's up to us to know what to look for. Heavy panting is one sign your dog may have suffered an injury.
Other signs of pain or trauma in pets include enlarged pupils, reduced appetite, a reluctance to lie down, restlessness, anxiety, and licking or biting at the pain site.
Dogs may mask their pain with normal behaviors, such as wagging their tail. And an injury may be internal - for example, as a result of being hit by a car. So if you suspect your pet may be in pain, don’t delay. Seek vet care right away.
This occurs when a dog's adrenal glands produce too much cortisol. Along with heavy panting, symptoms can include excessive hunger and thirst, hair loss, and a pot-bellied appearance. Treatment varies but may include adrenal-suppressing drugs or surgery.
Some medications, such as prednisone, may also lead to heavy panting in dogs. Talk to your vet if you think your dog's medication is causing heavy panting.
Other causes of heavy panting in dogs
Heavy breathing or deep, intense panting can also be a symptom of:
Heatstroke and your dog - emergency response
Overheating is a medical emergency - and one of the most serious reasons for heavy panting in dogs. If you suspect your dog has heatstroke, a quick response can be lifesaving.
Symptoms of heatstroke include:
If you think your dog may have heatstroke, here’s what to do to help:
Caution, don’t spray your dog with a yard hose - on hot days the water inside a hose can reach near boiling temperatures.
The best way to manage heatstroke is to avoid it. Never leave your pet in a parked car. It’s better to leave your pet at home than to risk him or her getting heatstroke. At home, be sure to provide all pets with shade and water or a way to get inside during the hottest part of the day.
When to see a vet
Remember, panting is normal for a dog after exercise, excitement, or when it's hot. Call your vet immediately if any of the following signs or symptons occur:
This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Library and is presented for informational purposes only and not intended as an endorsement of any product. The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com
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A special tip from Carole -
I have used Rescue Remedy (shown below) for the past 24 years (actually, lets be specific - I have used it for my darling doggie Poppie and her predecessors) and found it absolutely marvelous! If you need to calm your pet down at any time, give it a go, you won't regret it (Poppie usually uses it before her bath time). Each bottle lasts her for ages!
Rescue Remedy Pet
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