My dog ​​has trouble breathing: symptoms and causes - Toutoupourlechien

How to recognize dyspnea? What could be the causes? And how to react if necessary? We take stock together

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How do I know if my dog is breathing badly?

When a dog makes more effort to breathe than the circumstances warrant, it's called dyspnea. These breathing difficulties can appear suddenly or settle gradually.

Breathing difficulties can occur on inspiration (inspiratory dyspnea), on expiration (expiratory dyspnea) or both. The most common symptoms of dyspnea are then the following:

  • the dog's chest wall, and sometimes his abdomen, moves more than usual when breathing. These movements reflect greater muscular efforts at the level of his abdominal musculature to breathe,
  • his nostrils may deviate more than usual when breathing,
  • the dog breathes with its mouth open, but not necessarily panting,
  • the dog's neck and head are held low and extended and the dog may prefer to sit or stand rather than lying down to facilitate breathing,
  • his breathing may be noisy.

Why can a dog have trouble breathing?

A dog can have difficulty breathing for various reasons and in particular because:

  • his upper respiratory tract is obstructed, due to a malformation of his respiratory tract (case of brachycephalic dogs such as Bulldogs, Pugs etc.), a pathology or the presence of a foreign body inhaled or ingested,
  • he has a disease that affects his lower respiratory tract such as bronchitis, the presence of a tumor that develops in the bronchial walls, pneumonia, or pleural disease.
  • he suffers from a disease that affects his respiratory function such as damage to the nerves or respiratory muscles, for example.
  • the animal suffers from heart failure, which can cause breathing difficulties related to an accumulation of fluid inside the pulmonary alveoli (pulmonary oedema) or pleural effusion (accumulation fluid in the space between the pleura and the lungs).

Breathing difficulties can also occur in dogs if:

  • obesity,
  • anemia,
  • of intoxication or poisoning,
  • heat stroke,
  • of electrocution.

What to do if your dog is breathing badly?

The only thing to do, if your dog has breathing difficulties, is to consult your veterinarian without delay so as not to let the situation deteriorate.

Your veterinarian will work to determine the cause(s) of your dog's breathing difficulties and provide a solution with an appropriate treatment that will help your dog breathe more freely.

Even if your dog has always been breathing badly because of his morphology, it's not inevitable! It is never normal for a dog to have trouble breathing. In the case of breathing difficulties linked to a brachycephalic syndrome, there are effective surgical solutions that will provide lasting relief.

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