Is your dog breathing fast when he at rest? Is it OK or it’s a signal of something being wrong? How to distinguish between normal and abnormal panting? You’ll find the answers in the text below.
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If you’re a responsible pet owner, you’ll definitely notice any unusual condition of your canine. Sometimes, fast breathing is a normal reaction to natural processes and is not dangerous for dogs, but in some cases, it can be a symptom of a serious health problem. That’s why it’s so essential to find the causes of your dog’s fast breathing ASAP.
10-30 breaths per minute is normal for canines, it depends on a puppy’s sex, age, weight, and even the breed. Like people do, our little friends also breath fast because of heat, when running or being worried, so before asking “why is my dog breathing so hard?” check if it isn’t connected with some natural processes:
1. Psycho-Emotional State
Fast breathing can be a result of fright, aggression, joy, nervous excitement. For example, when travelling in a public transport for the first time, being checked by a vet, or in any other unfamiliar and strange place/situation.
2. Physical Activity
Long-term running, playing, and any other physical activity also naturally leads to temporary boost of a dog’s breathing rate.
3. Natural Physiological Conditions
Such natural conditions like pregnancy, oestrus, puppy birth can also affect active ponding in dogs. During the lactating period, female dogs often breathe fast too.
4. Increased Air Temperatures
When it’s hot and sunny, dewatering of a canine’s body is happening, so they obviously react it by breathing fast.
5. Breed Predisposition
Remember that different breeds have different normal breathing rhythms. For example, French Bulldogs and Pugs have inborn breathing difficulties, eventually, they’re prone to fast breathing.
However there are lots of cases when dog breathing fast when he at rest means some serious disease, disability, illness, or pathological condition. So, if your dog is breathing so hard for a long time, it’s better to visit a vet to make sure that the panting pattern is normal.
Here are the most common reasons for abnormally fast breathing in dogs:
6. Overheating & Heatstroke
In summer, most dogs spend time in the sun and eventually overheat. As a result, their breathing becomes heavy and fast. In this case, you need to give the pet some water, put it in the shade.
It's normal if the dog refuses food after the overheat. With a heatstroke, the dog may be disoriented too. If so, wipe off it with cool water, and put a wet towel on the head.
7. Heart & Lungs Disorders
Fast breathing in dogs can be a consequence of heart diseases, high blood pressure, and congestion of the lungs lead to a lack of oxygen in a dog’s body. Thus, through breathing fast canines try to compensate that lack.
If your dog also has such symptoms as coughing, increased respiration, tiring along with fast panting, it’s time to have your pet examined by a professional.
Any discomfort and painful condition experienced by a dog can cause heavy and frequent panting. Bear it in mind that your small friend can’t speak and you have to be attentive to such signals if you don’t want to be late with diagnostics and treatment.
9. Allergy & Asthma
Sometimes the body temperature is normal, but the dog keeps coughing and suffering from shortness of breath. This can signal about asthma or allergy, especially during the plants flowering periods.
If the case is not severe, the dog will get over fast without a reinforced therapy, but in especially severe cases, professional treatment and taking the medicines are needed.
10. Cushing's Disease
The Cushing's disease (hyperadrenocorticism) is the endocrine disease meaning that the adrenal glands release too much cortisol. Increased panting can be one of its symptoms (among thirst, bruising, hair loss, restlessness, change in skin color, thinning skin and many other).
This problem requires a surgery or taking medicines that control the cortisol levels.
How to Distinguish Normal & Abnormal Panting?
Keep asking why your dog is breathing so hard? The first thing to do is to distinguish if it’s a normal or abnormal panting. That’s how you can see the difference:
- Abnormal panting is more excessive, harsher, louder, and occurs even when the dog isn't overly warm and doesn't need to cool down.
- Normal panting is directly connected with external factors: air temperature, weather, stress, untypical situations.
If you’re not sure, you should take your dog to the vet and get a check-up. If you can’t ask for a professional’s help right now, the first thing to do is to provide first aid:
- remove the dog collar
- open the windows
- reduce the impact of any stressing factors
- calm down the pet
- isolate the dog from external noise
And, definitely, consult a vet as soon as possible!
Written by Andrew Guerra https://catspurfection.com/