- Panting is normal in otherwise healthy dogs who pant to regulate their body temperature
- Abnormal panting could be a sign of illness or emotional distress
- There Are Lots of causes of abnormal panting, some of which contain heatstroke, pain, Cushing’s disease, and stress or phobias
By Dr. Becker
If you have spent some time around dogs, then you understand they pant. In fact, lots of dogs pant lots.
Panting describes a kind of quick, shallow breathing that increases flow of water out of your dog’s tongue and in his mouth and upper respiratory tract. As the water evaporates, it will help your dog regulate his body temperature.
This is necessary because as his body temp rises, his skin does not sweat like a human’s does. He’s able to sweat a bit however it is panting that enables air to be circulated by him throughout his body most efficiently.
The standard (non-panting) breathing rate for dogs would be 30 to 40 inhalations and exhalations a minute, but a panting dog may take 10 times that lots of breaths per second (300 to 400). You’d think uses up a great deal of energy, but it actually doesn’t demand much effort as a result of the natural elasticity of the lungs and airways.
Normal and Abnormal Panting
Normal panting typically happens when your pet’s body is overheating and is considered a natural, wholesome response. Abnormal panting, on the other hand, may be a sign your dog has a physical or emotional problem that requires further investigation.
You can tell the difference between the 2 types by looking for these signs of panting:
- Abnormal panting is excessive compared to a dog’s regular panting behavior
- It occurs during times as Soon as Your dog is warm and doesn’t need to cool down her body
- It doesn’t sound quite like panting that is regular — it could be louder or harsher, for example
- Your dog is currently exerting more effort
The panting seems heavier than usual or if your dog begins panting at improper times, you should be concerned, but there’s no need to panic.
Reasons for Abnormal Panting
• Overheating leading to heatstroke. The more overheated a puppy becomes the more heavy he will pant. A number of the other indications of overheating include thirst, elevated body temperature eyes reddish tongue or gums, and increased pulse and heartbeat.
If your pet’s body temperature reaches 109°F or higher, heatstroke is the outcome. The body’s cells rapidly start to die. The brain swells, causing seizures. And all these events take place within a matter of minutes.
It’s important for pet owners to take every precaution to reduce overheating. From the time a dog is displaying symptoms of heatstroke, it is often too late to rescue him.
• Breed predisposition. Brachycephalic breeds, dogs with short or “pushed in” faces (e.g., Pugs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, and Bulldogs) are inclined to pant a good deal because most have lifelong breathing problems. On account of the airway difficulties suffered by these dogs, they often don’t pant efficiently and are at increased risk for heatstroke.
It’s very important to take precautions if your brachy has to travel by airplane or even by car. A pet will have trouble in a popular vehicle than other pets.
In case you have a brachy, it’s important to be acquainted with her breathing patterns so you can take action if the pattern changes. “Normal” for her is not the same as it is for dogs with longer duration.
If you notice an increase, amplification, or some change in your pet sounds, then it’s important to be aware of it.
• Pain. If your dog is feeling discomfort or is coping with a illness, heavy or frequent panting can be one of the first signs of trouble. If your dog is panting for no discernible reason or at times, as an example, at night when she’s normally resting, then you must make an appointment.
Keep in mind that your canine companion can’t tell you she’s hurting, so it is up to you to notice changes in behavior that signal she could be in pain.
• Diseases of the heart and lungs. Among the symptoms of a heart condition such as dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs is excessive panting.
Other signs include reluctance or decreased ability to use, tiring quickly, increased respiration, and coughing. There might also be episodes of weakness or fainting. Many dogs with heart disease have abdomens and breathing because of fluid accumulation.
A diseased heart can not effectively pump blood around the entire body, therefore the tissues become deprived of oxygen. Your dog’s body will increase its rate of respiration to try to compensate for the shortage of oxygen, and the outcome is panting.
As the heart’s capacity to pump declines, blood pressure in the veins behind the heart may increase. Congestion of the lungs and fluid accumulation are common, and when the lungs can transfer oxygen to the bloodstream, oxygen deprivation causes the dog to breathe faster and with greater power. The effect is excessive panting.
Cortisol is a diverse hormone that in excess amounts can create wide-ranging symptoms, one of the first of that is increased panting.
• Anemia. When a dog has an abnormally low volume of red blood cells and inadequate hemoglobin to carry oxygen he encounters oxygen starvation. As in the case of heart and lung disease, one of the signs of oxygen deprivation is currently panting.
Other symptoms of anemia include weakness, lethargy, exercise intolerance, an elevated heartbeat, pale mucous membranes (usually noticed in the mouth — the gums and/or tongue become pale pink to white), mental confusion, loss of appetite, and rapid breathing, and collapse. If the animal is passing a large amount of blood from the GI tract, there will be a black tarry stool also.
This is a disease in which the muscles and cartilage open and shut the larynx malfunction. When a dog with the condition breathes in, the cartilages don’t open correctly, making breathing difficult. Restricted airflow and loudpanting is the outcome.
Anxiety, stress, fear, and migraines. Dogs who are nervous, stressed, or have sound phobias.
Short-term reactions to stressful or unfamiliar occasions allow your dog to prepare to fight or take flight if needed, and are normal. However, a chronic and fear response may lead to both physical and psychological disorders that can potentially shorten your pet’s own life and negatively impact his quality of life.
If you notice abnormal panting in your dog, even if she looks fine it’s important to generate an appointment with your veterinarian. Like all health issues, the sooner the problem is diagnosed and treated if needed, the better the outcome for your four-legged companion.
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