Common Causes of Difficulty Breathing in Dogs - Blog Feed Letters

Common Causes of Difficulty Breathing in Dogs

by Ethan More

Difficulty breathing in dogs is an all-too-common problem for pet owners to face. Though it can be a sign of something serious, breathing difficulties are often caused by simple and treatable issues. It’s essential to recognize the signs of respiratory problems in your pup and be familiar with the various causes so that you can get them the help they need as soon as possible. Here are some common causes of difficulty breathing in dogs:

1. Allergies: Dogs can experience allergic reactions like humans; one of the most common symptoms is difficulty breathing. Allergens could include pollen, dust mites, certain foods, or medications.

2. Congestive Heart Failure: When a dog’s heart cannot pump enough blood, fluid may build up in its lungs, causing difficulty breathing. Signs of congestive heart failure include coughing and lethargy.

3. Respiratory Infections: If your pup has been exposed to a virus or bacteria, it could suffer from a respiratory infection that can also lead to difficulty in breathing. 

4. Chronic Bronchitis: Dogs who suffer from chronic bronchitis may experience coughing fits and difficulty breathing due to excess mucus buildup in the lungs. 

5. Bronchial Obstruction: Bronchial Obstruction occurs when something obstructs the airways and prevents adequate airflow into the lungs; typically, this is caused by foreign bodies, such as grass awns or pieces of food that have become lodged in the airway passages. 

6. Tumors/Cancers: In some cases, tumors or cancers can form on or near organs involved with respiration which can cause difficulty breathing, among other symptoms like fatigue and weight loss. 

7. Tracheal Collapse: This condition occurs more commonly in toy breeds, but any breed can be affected; tracheal collapse happens when there is weakness within the cartilage that makes up the trachea which restricts airflow into the lungs causing wheezing or labored breathing for your pup. 

8. Anesthetic Complications: While rare, if your pet has recently undergone anesthesia, they may experience adverse reactions such as difficulty breathing if they were not appropriately monitored while under anesthesia or if their body reacts adversely to it due to pre-existing conditions that were not caught before surgery/procedure/dental cleaning/etc. 

9. Shock: Shock is a severe medical condition where there is inadequate circulation throughout the body leading to low blood pressure causing organs like your pup’s lungs to struggle for oxygen leading to labored respiration and other signs such as pale gums and collapse/weakness/lethargy depending on the severity of shock episode(s). 

10. Stress-Induced Dyspnea: Overly excited Dogs may pant excessively, which could lead to dyspnea (difficulty with normal respiration) due to lack of oxygen from panting excessively (even though it appears normal gasping at first glance). 

If you notice any signs of respiratory distress in your pup, such as difficulty breathing, coughing fits, pale gums, etc., take them straight away for assessment by your vet as soon as possible; these issues can quickly become more severe if left untreated, so it’s important to stay vigilant about monitoring your pup’s health regularly!

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