WHY DO DOGS PANT?
Dogs pant as a natural way to cool off, as they do not sweat the same way people do. Panting is about 300-400 quick, short breaths a minute, and is relatively unlabored and natural.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY DOG IS PANTING ABNORMALLY?
If your dog is panting unnaturally, he may be doing one of the following:
Occuring when there is no need to cool down
Panting is louder, harsher, or faster than normal
Your dog is spending a lot of energy panting, can’t seem to catch their breath
WHAT DOES EXCESSIVE PANTING MEAN ABOUT MY DOG’S HEALTH?
Heatstroke is a very serious possibility when it comes to your dog’s excessive panting. The warmer your dog becomes, the heavier the panting. You may consider heatstroke is the cause if the symptoms are accompanied by excessive thirst, bright or dark red tongue and gums, glazed eyes, high body temperature and elevated heart-rate. Heatstroke has extremely serious and often fatal effects on a dog, so be sure to call your vet immediately if your dog is showing any of these symptoms listed above.
Pain, anxiety, and stress are often causes of excessive, deep panting. Dogs have no way to verbally communicate, so it is up to us to read their body language. If your dog is displaying very bizarre actions such as panting at random, unnecessary times, this can be considered “behavioral panting” and there are usually other signs of discomfort associated with this such as yawning repetitively, crying, whimpering, pacing, licking lips frequently, trembling, hiding, and in some extreme cases, loss of bladder or bowel control. Again, it is important to schedule a time to have your dog examined by your vet if any of this activity persists.
Anemia is when a dog has an unusually low amount of red blood cells and insufficient hemoglobin levels to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, so he experiences oxygen starvation. Similar to lung and heart disease, anemia’s deprivation of oxygen does cause excessive panting.
Laryngeal paralysis is a disorder in where the cartilage and muscles used to open and close your dog’s larynx are not working properly. When a dog has this condition and takes a breath in, the cartilages do not open correctly, and breathing becomes very difficult and labored. The restricted airflow creates a loud, raspy panting.
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