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Dog Respiratory Problems

Dogs usually experience panting, which is a normal canine reflex as it helps in relaxation.

In some cases, however, the dog may be display certain changes in his breathing patterns such as excessive panting. This may be indicative of a problem of the respiratory system. Much like humans, canines too may experience dog breathing problems. These dog respiratory problems may either be acute such as sneezing or chronic such as asthma.

Therefore, breathing problems in dogs must never be neglected.

A problem occurring anywhere in the respiratory tract can result in canine breathing problems. These problems could be anything from sneezing to a severe condition in the lungs. As such any irregularity in the respiratory system of the dog can lead to changes in breathing.

Some of the most commonly occurring breathing problems in dogs include wheezing, sneezing, coughing, excessive panting, shallow breathing, breathlessness, nasal discharge and labored breathing. Coughing usually occurs due to inflammation or damage to the windpipe. Other causes could be swallowing of an irregular object, allergic reactions, pollution, ingestion of poison and infection. If the cough persists for more than a day, medical attention is required. Labored breathing may take place due to serious conditions such as lung disease, tearing of the diaphragm, tumors and pleural effusion. Wheezing occurs because of problems in the bronchi and lungs. This can be a serious condition and must be examined by a vet immediately. Sneezing by itself does not constitute a breathing problem, but occurs due to another problem of the nasal passage. Excessive sneezing can result in nasal bleeding.

Dog owners must keep in mind that normally dogs take between 10 to 20 breaths per minute. This is the normal breathing rate in canines. Also, irregular sounds such as rattling, choking or groaning should not normally emanate when they breathe. If such noises occur during breathing, it could indicate that a problem in the respiratory tract may be present. The causes of breathing problems in dogs are varied. These include lung infection, heart failure, collapse of the lungs, allergies, chest injuries and pneumonia. Some breeds of dogs are more vulnerable to breathing problems. Boston terriers, plugs and English bulldogs are some the dog breeds that are more prone to breathing difficulties. Dog health problems must always be addressed promptly as they can get aggravated. Pet owners must keep a close watch on the breathing pattern of their dogs, so that possible complications can be detected early and proper treatment can be administered.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010