Normally, a healthy dog makes from 10 to 30 breathing movements, that is, breaths in and out, per minute. Not always rapid breathing means the development of the disease, since the dog can breathe faster for another reason. In order not to miss dangerous symptoms, the owner of the animal needs to know in which cases this condition is a variant of the norm, and when it is necessary to urgently contact a veterinary clinic.
Physiological causes of rapid breathing
The dog may breathe frequently in the following cases:
- After active games, running, long walks, or training. Like a human, a dog gets tired and needs rest. Frequent breathing not only allows you to saturate the blood with oxygen, but also helps to cool down.
- With emotional overexcitation. This may not necessarily be a negative reaction, such as fright, anxiety, aggression, or stress. Frequent breathing also accompanies positive emotions – fun, joy, pleasure. The condition is caused by the release of neurotransmitters: the “stress hormones” – cortisol and adrenaline, as well as the “happiness hormone” – dopamine.
- Changes in the state of the body that are not related to injuries, diseases or pathologies. This can be a period of estrus, bearing offspring, giving birth and feeding puppies.
- Hot Sunny weather, spending long periods on the street, it’s overheating.
In all these cases, the dog by frequent inhalation of air tends to increase the flow of oxygen to the internal organs that need it because of the increased load. When the balance is restored, the dog stops breathing frequently, no outside intervention is required. The maximum that can be done is to offer your pet clean drinking water and move it to a shaded place (without drafts). If the dog is very hot, you need to cool it by putting a damp cloth on its head.
Pathological causes of frequent breathing
The main pathological causes of rapid breathing in dogs are the following:
- Inflammation of the respiratory system caused by infectious or other diseases.
- Neoplasms of a malignant or benign nature that interfere with the passage of air, metastases.
- Presence of a foreign body in the respiratory tract. Allergic reaction, Quincke’s edema.
- Injuries to the respiratory organs of mechanical, chemical or thermal origin.
- Impossibility of normal movement of the diaphragm and/or chest, damage to the ribs.
- Pathology of innervation of the respiratory system.
- High body temperature, feverish state.
- Violations of the normal functioning of the cardiovascular, urinary, endocrine systems, digestive problems.
- Pain of any origin.
In addition to these reasons, the dog may breathe rapidly due to certain other diseases and disorders, for example, in the presence of intestinal spasms, pain in the ears or teeth, internal bleeding, helminthiasis, obesity or overeating, being in a state of chronic stress, due to hormonal changes in the body, poisoning, the use of certain types of medications.
Since there are a lot of reasons, attempts to self-treatment can lead to disastrous results, exacerbate the disease or provoke a transition to a chronic course. In the worst case, the pet may die. Therefore, if you find serious problems accompanied by respiratory disorders and there are no natural causes of this condition, the only way to save your pet is an emergency visit to the veterinarian.
Methods of treatment
Judging by the number of causes of rapid breathing in a dog, there is simply no single treatment method. It is always selected depending on the type of pathology. It is important to detect the underlying disease and treat it. Rapid breathing is just a symptom.
In a veterinary clinic, a specialist will conduct an external examination, exclude injuries and other injuries, and prescribe the necessary tests. Only after receiving the results and making the correct diagnosis will adequate treatment be selected.
In a severe case, the dog will be left in the clinic, in a light case, it will be sent home and treated on an outpatient basis. The owner will receive a list of medications and necessary procedures. He will need to strictly adhere to the recommendations of the veterinarian and avoid any Amateur activity. You can not arbitrarily remove or add drugs, shorten or extend the period of therapy. Only then will you be able to cure your pet, restore its health, vigor and normal breathing.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.