Rapid Breathing in Dogs at Rest or While Sleeping: Causes and Symptoms

November 1, 2010 | Dog Health | Leave a Comment |

Symptoms of rapid breathing in dogs are wheezing, snorting and high-pitched raspy sound. Common causes of rapid breathing in dogs are kidney failure, poisoning and congestive heart failure.

The dog’s respiratory system might be suffering from a condition as manifested through rapid breathing in dogs. Fast excessive breathing is known in medical circles as tachypnea and/or polypnea. It may affect canines of any age or breed with life-threatening results.

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Symptoms of Rapid Breathing in Dogs

A regular adult dog at rest can take 10 to 30 breaths per minute. Rapid breathing in dogs at rest can appear labored. The dog makes so much effort than the necessary amount of inhaling and exhaling. It should be remembered that this is different from panting where the dog’s mouth is open in an attempt to cool down. The dog owner should also observe any differences with rapid breathing in dogs while sleeping. Also read common heart problems in dogs

Rapid breathing is also characterized with any of these symptoms:

  • Wheezing – A whistling sound is emitted that can indicate spasm or enclosed windpipes.
  • Snorting – An obstruction in the nasal passages can create noisy breathing typical of snorting or snoring dogs.
  • High-pitched raspy sound – The voice box might be obstructed if a raspy high-pitched sound emanates from the dog’s breathing.
  • Shallow – A dog with chest cavity problems tends to breathe rapidly.

Possible Reasons of Rapid Breathing in Dogs

Reasons of fast breathing depend on many factors. Here are some reasons on why dogs suddenly encounter breathing problems:

  • Kidney failure
  • Poisoning
  • Congestive heart failure (Read more about heart murmur in dogs )
  • Tumors in lungs, larynx or trachea
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Broken ribs with presence of pus or blood
  • Laryngeal paralysis
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Consulting a veterinarian can help find a better diagnosis and treatment for the ailing dog. Urine tests and analysis, complete blood count and biochemical profiling are standard procedures for the diagnosis. The blood tests are crucial in discerning the type of illness affecting the dog. Confinement in the hospital is necessary for severe cases.

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