Breathing problems in dogs | Daily News

Breathing problems in dogs

Through the respiratory system the dogs’ breathing activity happens. There are differences in the air way specially nose with the type of breed. Short faced breeds have short noses and more proven to upper respiratory diseases. Difficulty breathing occurs when a pet is having the feeling of shortness of breath or an increased respiratory rate.

Courses difficult breathing

Difficulty breathing can typically be linked to the anatomical changers in the respiratory tract, include severe pain, stress, hyperthermia, metabolic abnormalities, drugs, neurologic problems, shock, asthma, infectious diseases of respiratory system, heart failure, cancer, trauma (e.g. rib fractures, a diaphragmatic hernia) etc.


The pet may show signs including the constant coughing, especially at night, exercise intolerance (for example, and most notably, when you take them for a walk), an increased respiratory rate more than 40 breath per minute, a change in bark, where it sounds more hoarse, anxiety, restlessness, pacing, constant panting, stretching the neck out to breathe, sitting up to breathe, with the front legs/elbows spread out (like a English bulldog stance) to breathe, using the abdomen to breathe better (you’ll notice the sides of the belly heaving in and out more), blue-tinged gums, foam or froth coming out of the mouth, weight loss, fatigue etc. If you notice any of these signs, a visit to the veterinarian is a must.


The veterinarian should do a blood test of your pet to understand the course of the disease and the severity of it at present. Most of the veterinary clinic has facilities to perform blood work. Monitoring of the blood oxygen levels also help to understand the amount that should be helped by giving oxygen. Chest and abdominal x-rays and Ultrasound examination of the organs as well help the vet in diagnosing the real course underline.


One of the main treatments your pet may need is Oxygen therapy. The vet might decide to keep the pet at the ICU with the patient monitor or at the normal clinic. Other than oxygen the vet decide to give the pet life-saving stabilization, possible IV fluids and medicine to help your pet breath better & to reduce inflammation


Unfortunately, the prognosis for survival from difficulty breathing varies with what the under ling problem is, financial constraints (which may limit treatment options), and severity of the disease.

Home Care

Difficult breathing is usually an emergency. See your veterinarian immediately. When you first note that your pet is having trouble breathing, note his general activity, exercise capacity and interest in the family activities. Keep a record of your pet’s appetite, ability to breathe comfortably (or not), and note the presence of any symptoms such as coughing or severe tiring. Optimal treatment for difficult breathing requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical and may include the following:

q Never withhold water, even if your pet urinates more than normal, unless specifically instructed to do so.

q Administer all veterinary prescribed medication as directed and be certain to alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your pet.

q Schedule regular examinations with your veterinarian. This will include an interview regarding your pet’s clinical symptoms and quality of life. Be prepared to answer questions about your pet’s activity, appetite, ability to sleep comfortably, breathing rate and effort, coughing, exercise tolerance and overall quality of life.

q Bring your medications with you to show your veterinarian. Dosing is critical for heart medication your veterinarian may want to measure levels of that drug in the blood to make sure that the appropriate amount is being administered.

(The writer is a Veterinary Surgeon and holds B.V.Sc; M.Sc Poultry Science; Master of Public Administration and Management)


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