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For the past few weeks he has been having a problem breathing and has been coughing. A dog with a fever can be suffering from some kind of bacterial or viral infections. As dog parents, we have to keep a close watch on any changes and symptoms, both physical and behavioral, that our aging dogs may exhibit. • Bronchitis -- Difficulty breathing, accompanied by phlegm and coughing, may be a sign of bronchitis. The dogs ranged in age from 6 to 14 years old, with an average age of 11 years. If the dog is showing other signs of anxiety or stress such as trembling, cowering, hiding, ears back, tail tucked, lip licking, pacing, or avoiding eye-contact, the reason for the heavy breathing could be anxiety or stress. Assessment of Breathing Rate and Breathing Effort: When looking for difficulty breathing, it is important to check both the breathing rate and the breathing effort (the amount of belly wall motion used for each breath).The breathing rate is how many breaths your pet takes in one minute, and this should be checked when your dog or cat is at rest or sleeping. This leads to fluid retention in the lung and body cavities. I love old dogs. Not only is the sound disturbing, the actions of our pets as they deal with uncomfortable breathing is a concern as well. If the vomiting or diarrhea lasts longer than four hours, take the dog to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. • Obesity -- As dogs age they tend to gain weight. It is always best to prevent heatstroke, rather than treat it, because once these symptoms are present, damage to the dog’s organs and cells has likely already began. Dogs can also suffer from asthma. Dogs with kennel cough can be lethargic and feverish. Those diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis underwent laryngeal tieback surgery, the most common corrective surgery for the disease. Anxiety / Stress. Preventative medications and methods are the best way to prevent a dog from getting heartworms and/or lungworms. If your dog suffers from motion sickness, there are a wide-variety of natural, and commercially-sold remedies available. Your dog may also appear lethargic. As our dogs age, they become more susceptible to disease and bounce back to good health less quickly than their younger counterparts. If your dog displays either of these symptoms and has been in an area that has ticks, take the dog to be examined by a vet, as soon as possible. Dogs do have sweat glands on the undersides of their paws and within their ears, but these glands really have only minimal cooling capabilities. Whatever the reason, blue eyes on a dog’s face captivate us. Labored breathing in dogs (dyspnea), rapid breathing (tachypnea), and abnormal panting are common types of breathing abnormalities that affect dogs. However, heavy panting is also a … It may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but microchipping has been around for almost a quarter of a century. This bacterial or viral infection is extremely contagious and easily passed between animals. You can read more about this topic in the Merck Veterinary Manual: Anemia in Dogs. As long as the hard breathing and panting behaviors stop shortly after the exciting event, your dog should be okay. In the world of veterinary medicine this condition is commonly called eosinophilic bronchopneumopathy. Constricted airways from asthma, allergies, mucus, foreign bodies, or infection can all result in wheezing. Keep an eye on the dog for a bit, in order to make sure that the hard breathing was due to the excitement, and ceases shortly after the event. As a dog ages, it naturally becomes more difficult for the dog to intake and absorb an adequate amount of oxygen into their lungs. In order for a dog’s organs to work properly, their blood has to maintain a certain pH balance (or acidity level). All dogs received esophageal radiographs, or esophagrams. When a dog is anxious or … As most dog owners are aware, dogs tend to pant because they do not have the same capacity to sweat as humans do. One disorder that can affect dog’s pH balance is metabolic acidosis, a condition that occurs when the dog’s body produces too much acid and/or can’t remove it normally. However, a dog should be able to cool down, fairly quickly. Dogs can contract long-term bacterial infections in their nostrils and sinuses, which is called rhinitis. However, excess pressure on a dog’s trachea can also be caused by a choke chain (and other forms of training collars). The best way to prevent this from occurring is to take as many measures as are necessary to keep ticks off of your dog. Cardiovascular disorders – An elderly dog that suddenly develops abnormal breathing or excessive panting could be suffering from cardiovascular problems, for example an infestation of heartworms, cardiomyopathy or congested heart failure which is common in older dogs, other symptoms you may notice include a dry cough worsening at night or after activity, lethargy, fainting spells and … Wheezing is caused when something blocks the normal flow of air in and out of the airway, resulting in a whistling sound as a dog breathes. Read more about various causes of and treatments for stress in dogs in this roundtable discussion among a multitude of highly qualified vets: Alleviating Anxiety. However, excessive panting, especially if the dog has not exercised or the weather is mild, is not normal and may be a sign of heatstroke or pain. Internal injuries may also be difficult to see signs of. Heavy breathing and panting is normal behavior for a dog to display when he or she is outside, on a hot day. One reason for heavy dog breathing is congestive heart failure. • Nasal Tumor -- A bloody nose is often a symptom of a nasal tumor. • Labored Breathing • Coughing /gagging • Sneezing -- Sneezing now and again is normal for dogs. If you suspect your dog might be suffering from canine cognitive disorder, please see a licensed veterinarian in order to discuss how you can help your dog. Signs of heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia, include elevated body temperatures of 104F or higher, drooling, weakness, and seizures. Regular veterinary checkups will help catch any issues that may lead to breathing difficulties. Although in older dogs it can also be a symptom of arthritis. Dogs pant and breathe hard in order to obtain more oxygen during and after exercise, and to cool themselves off. While this condition is not life-threatening, the sooner it is treated, the quicker it will be cleared up. One of the first warning signs that your dog has an acid-based disorder will be hard / heavy breathing. Read more about this topic in the following article, Brachycephalic Syndrome, published by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. If these body cooling behaviors do not calm down with a bit of rest time, and with moving the dog to a cooler location, the dog could be suffering from heatstroke, which is a very serious condition that must be treated immediately. If a dog is also vomiting or having diarrhea, do not offer the dog any food for a bit of time and offer small amounts of water or flavorless Pedialyte to help replace the dog’s electrolytes. If your dog’s pupils begin to cloud. Certain kinds of medications, especially pain medications and prednisone, are known to cause a dog’s respiratory rate (rate of breathing) to increase, causing the dog to pant and breathe harder than usual. Heart disease is also a major disease of older dogs. Heatstroke is a very serious condition in dogs. Panting can be a normal way for dogs to cool themselves in response to exercise or high temperatures, or it can be an indication of a breathing problem. Noisy breathing is described as stertor and stridor. Severity of asthma in dogs ranges from minor symptoms that appear occasionally, and are non-life threatening, to very serious, critical and life-threatening symptoms. Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows how difficult some dogs can be to train. Overview. Take your dog to a vet in order to discuss your options, one of which might be a surgery called the laryngeal tie-back operation. Older Dogs Panting Excessively Any time that a dog begins to pant, it's important that you pay attention; it's especially crucial that you be aware when older dogs begin to pant excessively. If you see signs of this condition in your dog, you should take the dog to an emergency vet clinic immediately, as a blood transfusion may be needed, to give the vet time to determine and treat the causes of the dog’s anemia. Problems breathing or going to the bathroom. His respiratory system tries to compensate for this by working overtime, leading to labored dog breath. If your dog has random occurrences of heavy-breathing, watch out for other signs that the dog is scared of something or someone, (such as cowering, ears back, tail tucked or pointed straight out, pacing, snarling, and any kind of abnormal behavior). Labored breathing (dyspnea) is characterized by the pet's breathing with an open mouth and with elbows that stick out from the dog’s body. Address the dog’s fear with a certified dog behaviorist, and/or veterinarian, in order to endure that the dog’s fear doesn’t become worse, which could cause the dog to become aggressive. Heart Problems. Also if a dog is more tired than usual, less interested in normal activities, gets out of breath easily, has a dry cough during or after exercise, eats less, pants a lot, and has a swollen abdominal area these can be signs of heart disease and congestive heart failure. • Kennel Cough -- If your dog has spent time in a kennel, or in close proximity to other dogs, it may be susceptible to kennel cough. They... French dogs occupy a space in more and more American hearts. Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart, damaged by poor diet or genetic abnormalities, fails to pump an adequate amount of blood through the body. It is very common for older dogs, of all breeds, to experience breathing issues. This is a dangerous condition that only effects nursing mothers of puppies, due to a sudden drop in blood calcium levels that causes heavy or hard breathing and panting in the mother dog, as well as tremors, weakness and/or an inability to walk or stand. If a dog is coughing and breathing hard, especially if it gets worse when the dog is sleeping (laying down), these are signs of a heart condition. Cloudy pupils are a classic sign of cataracts. … All rights reserved. It is especially stressful when it happens for unknown reasons. When that function is gone, the kidney cannot concentrate urine and so the dog urinates excessively dilute urine. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is a great hunting dog, specifically a gun dog, and is one of the best. Fast, heavy, or otherwise difficult breathing: This isn't just a result of the decreased space in the chest that's available for the lungs to expand; it's also because of the acid/base and other metabolic abnormalities that are occurring in your dog's body as a result of GDV/Bloat. Dear Doctor: We have a 13-year-old cocker spaniel that has started to pace at night when we are trying to sleep, and she is panting when it does not … It results in a snorting sound. A puppy is going to breathe heavily when they are between eight weeks old and 24 weeks old, especially when they are going through their growth spurt. This is a serious condition in dogs that can lead to blindness, kidney disease, kidney failure, and embolism, which are blood clots that can dislodge and lodge themselves into dangerous places, such as the dog’s brain, and cause death. And some dogs, like Boston terriers, bulldogs, and pugs, are prone to heavier breathing than other dogs because of their short snouts. There are numerous diseases that are associated with a dog having high blood pressure, as well as warning signs to watch out for, and treatments that can be administered. Also, some medications might make a dog feel nauseous, if your dog is taking any kind of medication, call your vet to see if it might be the cause of the nausea, and ask your dog’s vet what they recommend you do to help your pet. If a dog has a dry-cough that might also cause gagging and retching, this could be bronchitis, and if the dog has a wet-cough, is behaving differently, eating less, sleeping a lot, or running a fever, the dog could have pneumonia. There are a wide-variety of medical conditions that can disrupt a dog’s pH balance, making their blood too acidic or alkaline. I love their wizened, grey muzzles. Her writing has been published on eHow and several pet and travel websites. Exercise. If you notice the dog breathing heavy while sleeping check out this list of possible problems. When a dog’s heart is negatively impacted by heart disease, it stops pumping properly which causes a decreased amount of oxygen to all of the dog’s vital organs, and sometimes also causes fluid to build-up in the dog’s lungs, which inhibits the exchange of gases into oxygen, causing a dog to breathe hard. One sign of this condition can be a honking noise, similar to the sound that a goose makes, being emitted by a dog as he or she tries to breathe, and/or raspy panting. If caught soon enough, in the first and mild stages, antibiotics and limited exercise will often clear up kennel cough. The sooner the source of the pain is located and treated, the better the outcome will often be. If you believe your dog may have ingested something that is poisonous, rush the dog to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic to be treated, especially if the dog is behaving differently, seems nauseous, or is having diarrhea, and/or vomiting. Excessive sneezing is not normal. 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