Wheezing in dogs: everything you need to know

Why may dogs be wheezing? When is this normal and in what cases could it indicate a health problem? What to do if my dog ​​is panting too much? Are there any breeds that breathe faster or louder than others? The answers to these questions can be found in the following article.

What is breathlessness in dogs?

It is mainly an accelerated and shallow breathing  that allows the evaporation of water on the tongue, mouth and upper respiratory tract of animals. As this happens, your body temperature is regulated.

It is useful to know  that dogs do not sweat like people  and that wheezing helps them control the heat and cool down a little. This is why it is more common in the summer .

Although it may seem that a dog takes a lot of effort to breathe, what is certain is that this is not due to the elasticity of the lungs and airways.

Their normal breathing rate includes a maximum of 40 inhalations per minute. When they have breathlessness, this rises to 300. There are two types of breathlessness in dogs: normal and abnormal.

The first occurs when the body heats up, and is considered normal. The second may indicate that the animal has a health problem.

How to realize this? Because he has excessive breathing. It happens when his body is not hot or the ambient temperature is not high, he is panting very loud and he strains a lot to breathe.

On the other hand,  there are some breeds that are more likely to exhibit excessive panting  due to the shape of their muzzle. This is the case of the Bulldog , the Pug, the Boxer or the Boston Terrier, (in addition to other brachycephalic dogs). In addition, these suffer a lot from high temperatures and even car trips .

Abnormal causes of breathlessness in dogs

Wheezing could be a warning sign you need to pay attention to, as your dog’s life could be in danger. When can you get wheezing and not be normal? 

1. Heat stroke

It is one thing for the dog to feel a little short of breath because the temperature has risen in the summer, and another is for the animal to have been in the sun for several hours. When the body overheats, it will start breathing heavily.

If after a few minutes the situation does not improve, and furthermore you notice that he has glassy eyes and palpitations, it is because he has been suffering from heat stroke. You have to cool it with water, keep it in the shade or bring it close to an air conditioner or fan.

2. Pain

Wheezing could be a way your dog can show physical discomfort or pain. It is his way of communicating without using words. Be especially careful if you suddenly start panting for no apparent reason. Take him to the vet as soon as possible.

3. Obesity

A large portion of the dog population suffers from overweight due to an unbalanced diet or lack of exercise. Obesity can shorten an animal’s life expectancy and prevent it from sweating properly. This will cause breathlessness. If the dog exhibits forced breathing when walking or exercising (such as looking for a toy or climbing stairs), it can sometimes be due to excess weight. Change his  diet and take him for a walk every day.

4. Heart or lung disease

Canine dilated cardiomyopathy can cause breathlessness and more: distended  abdomen, heavy breathing, coughing , fainting, weakness and lack of energy.

5. Stress or fear

When a dog is nervous about some stressful situation, such as a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, he may start panting. In addition, he will behave differently than usual, shivering, trying to hide and even going to the toilet around the house.

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