If your dog is having problems breathing, then it could be a sign of a serious health problems or even a health emergency. It's not always easy to tell if your dog has a serious problem breathing as many dogs naturally hide their health problems. Here are some of the common symptoms and causes of breathing problems in dogs.
Labored breathing means your dog is struggling to get enough oxygen. Signs of labored breathing include nostrils flaring, chest rising and falling more noticeably than usual, and extending the neck. Much of the time, labored breathing is caused by diseases including fluid buildup in the lungs, heart problems, or blockages such as tumors.
Shallow breathing is when your dog is taking fast, short breaths. It's different than panting in that the mouth isn't open very wide and it doesn't always include the tongue hanging out. The causes can range from anemia or low oxygen levels caused by other health issues such as allergies or infection.
While coughing can be a sign of a chronic lung disease like asthma, it can also be a sign that something is blocking the airway. Coughing may also be caused by parasites and other infectious respiratory diseases like acute bronchitis and pneumonia. If you have examined your dog's mouth for an obstruction and don't see anything, then have your dog examined by a veterinarian to make sure there isn't an internal obstruction and to rule out disease.
Blue or Pale Gums
Any time your dog's tissues around the mouth appear pale or blue, it means that your dog is not getting enough oxygen. Sometimes, there are no other signs of breathing problems except for the blue gums and tongue. Your dog may otherwise appear fine or have mild lethargy. Blue or pale gums may indicate an airway obstruction or disease and could get worse if not treated.
Panting is perfectly normal if your dog has been active in hot weather, but it should stop once the dog moves into a cooler area and cools down. Excessive panting may be a sign that your dog is in pain or having anxiety issues. High blood pressure and thyroid hormones also can cause more panting than usual.
Any time your dog has a sudden problem breathing should be considered an emergency. Your dog will need to see a veterinarian right away. That way treatment can begin and your dog can feel more comfortable. Whether your dog has breathing problems, or any other life-threatening issues, a 24-hour animal hospital and an emergency veterinarian can help you.
Contact a center like Metzger Animal Hospital to learn more.