I’ve had my Jack Russel, Fifi, for 2years now and she’s always been very active and so would always be breathing heavily from running around getting up to. But I started to notice that she was breathing heavier than normal and it seemed like she was not breathing through her nose.
It was hard for me to decipher if this was any different from the way she usually pants but this along with drooling more than usual and making weird noises and also not wanting to play as much worried me. A quick trip to the vet saved her
What are the signs of respiratory distress in a dog?
You must know what to look out for to keep your dog healthy. Being observant can help you spot potentially problematic issues early on. Certain signs show that your dog may be experiencing respiratory distress. Like my Fifi, your dog may be drooling a little more than usual and this may be accompanied by choking.
Dogs pant as a way to regulate their body temperature after exercising. If you see your dog panting incessantly without having exercised at all, then you may be dealing with respiratory distress.
You may notice that your dog has a fever or nasal discharge you will also notice that he or she probably is not warm. Another sign to watch out for is a wide drawn mouth where it almost looks like a grin and you can see the nostrils. You may notice that your dog is coughing and noises of a crackling noise when breathing.
This is not a good sign and you need to get to the vet as soon as possible. You may also notice your dog standing or lying with his or her neck stretched out and elbows apart. The dog may also be irritated and not want to play much. Your dog may also be showing extreme difficulty in breathing
You can also check to see if the dog’s tummy is moving rapidly, more than usual. Take a look at the dog’s gums as well, and see if they are a normal color or if they are a shade of blue. Any unusual color should also get you and your dog to the vet straight away. This is known as cyanosis.
Watch your dog closely and avoid this condition getting worse.
What’s normal breathing in dogs?
It is not always easy to spot if your dog is breathing abnormally but it is necessary. One of the important things is knowing what constitutes normal breathing and what doesn’t. Breathing should not be a struggle, whether it is in dogs or people or anything else. If all is well, breathing should be no task at all.
A dog’s normal breathing rate is between 15 and 60 breaths per minute. Rapid breathing is quite normal after exercise or when your dog is excited but not if the dog has been doing none of this. If your dog’s breathing is abnormal, then it will have a higher heart rate and it is easy to notice how the physical appearance changes.
A dog that is resting will have a lower breathing rate. Just like with pulse rates, the size and age of the dog play a factor. Find out from your vet what rate is normal for your breed and size of the dog.
Normal breathing for your dog is more or less silent unless the dog is excited or has been exercising. Looking at the dog, his or her chest should be moving rhythmically, in and out, and with no effort. This is a sign of normal breathing. The dog’s body should move almost in the same way with each breath.
How do you unclog a dog’s nose?
A runny or stuffy nose can be pretty irritating for you, and you only have 5 million receptors in your nose. A nose is much more sensitive, with more than 220million smell receptors in your nose.
When your dog has a stuffy nose, the irritation is many levels higher than you can imagine. Don’t ignore your dog’s stuffy nose. In some cases, it is a sign of cancer, and so you have to be diligent in making sure that your dog stays healthy by spotting any signs and symptoms of potentially life-threatening illnesses.
Your dog’s nose may be clogged by a physical object. If this is the cause and if you can see it, then carefully remove it using tweezers. This is only if you are sure. Otherwise, you should go to the vet, who can sedate your dog and remove the foreign object.
Recognizing abnormal breathing
There are several ways to diagnose abnormal breathing. There are physical signs that can help you tell if the breathing is labored and out of the ordinary. Check on the dog’s chest and see if it is moving abnormally fast. The breathing movement should be rhythmic and not fastpaced.
Your dog may also seem like he or she is in distress. Your dog’s nostrils may flare when breathing and the chest and stomach may move simultaneously. You may also notice that your pet is standing with his or her elbows sticking out. The noise your dog makes may also be indicative of abnormal breathing.
Common Causes of Difficult or Labored Breathing
The cause for labored breathing in your dog is also linked to your pet’s age. If your pet is older, then labored breathing may be caused by fluid in the lungs or chest cavity. A lot of times, this is due to heart or lung disease, hence the reason why you should never ignore signs and symptoms that pertain to your dog’s breathing.
Your dog may also have lung cancer or pneumonia and this can also cause labored breathing. However, this is not the more common cause. Any injuries to the chest wall or allergies or infections can also cause your dog to have breathing problems. When it comes to health issues, never just go by hearsay, make sure to always consult your vet.