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Dog Breathing Oddly

The causes and treatments of a dog’s odd breathing.

Odd breathing may or may not be an emergency. Tamara528/iStock/Thinkstock

Causes Of Panting

Normal: Play or exercise.

Miscellaneous disorders: Heat stroke.

Drug reaction: Corticosteroids or illegal drugs (cocaine, amphetamine).

Toxicity: Aspirin or metaldehyde (slug bait).

What to do:

Odd breathing may or may not be an emergency, depending on the severity, cause, other signs of illness, and rate of worsening. Contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately for specific advice about your dog’s situation.

Causes Of Reverse Sneezing (Aspiration Reflex)

Foreign bodies: In nasal passages.

Irritation/inflammation: Due to smoke inhalation or inhalation of irritant vapors.

Allergic reactions: Atopy (allergy to inhaled substances).

Infectious disease: Distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, aspergillosis, or secondary bacterial infections causing rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passages).

What to do:

Odd breathing may or may not be an emergency, depending on the severity, cause, other signs of illness, and rate of worsening. Contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately for specific advice about your dog’s situation.

Causes Of Noisy Breathing (Snoring, Whistling)

Congenital abnormality: Tracheal collapse, laryngeal paralysis, or elongated soft palate.

Foreign body: In nasal passages.

Allergic reactions: Atopy (allergy to inhaled substances) or anaphylaxis.

Tumors: In nasal passages, larynx, or trachea.

Infectious disease: Distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, aspergillosis, or secondary bacterial infections causing rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal passages).

Irritation/Inflammation: Due to smoke inhalation or inhalation of irritant vapors.

Non-infectious/Acquired disease: Laryngeal paralysis.

What to do:

Odd breathing may or may not be an emergency, depending on the severity, cause, other signs of illness, and rate of worsening. Contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately for specific advice about your dog’s situation.

Causes Of Labored Or Rapid Breathing

Infectious disease: Distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, aspergillosis, or secondary bacterial infections.

Non-infectious/Acquired disease: Heart disease (mitral valve disease, cardiomyopathy) or laryngeal paralysis.

Trauma: Thorax (diaphragmatic hernia, tension pneumothorax, flail chest) or snakebite (coral snake).

Allergic reactions: Pneumonitis/ pulmonary hypersensitivity (due to bacteria, fungi, heartworms), atopy (allergy to inhaled substances), or anaphylaxis.

Foreign bodies: In nasal passages or trachea. Foreign material causing bronchial obstruction.

Miscellaneous disorders: Gastric dilatation/volvulus or pulmonary thrombosis (secondary to trauma or surgery).

Irritation/Inflammation: Due to smoke inhalation or inhalation of irritant vapors.

Toxicity: Ethylene glycol (antifreeze), aspirin, or metaldehyde (slug bait).

Tumors: In the larynx, trachea, lungs, or heart.

Parasites: Heartworms or tick paralysis.

Congenital abnormality: Laryngeal paralysis.

Immune disorders: Pulmonary thrombosis (secondary to immune-mediated hemolytic anemia).

What to do:

Odd breathing may or may not be an emergency, depending on the severity, cause, other signs of illness, and rate of worsening. Contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately for specific advice about your dog’s situation.

Disclaimer: Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Article Categories:
Dogs · Health and Care