Monday, August 8, 2022

Pay Attention To How Your Dog Breathes


I have experienced scary incidences with two different dogs and wanted to share their stories. Tessie was an older rescue dog who had an occasional slight cough when we got her. She was lively and happy but after a few years the cough became more frequent. It took THREE ultrasounds to finally find the tumor (hemangiosarcoma) on her heart. 

In the second case, it’s our big boy Legend. He always breathed really hard after exercise, even as a young dog. We found out that he had lung scarring from a possible untreated case of pneumonia.  Later as he got older he would pant excessively every night. This was due to pain from reflux and when we give him a little food with tummy supplements, it goes away. 

Seeing your dog breathing heavy, coughing and gagging, panting at night or wheezing is alarming, and often, quick action on the part of the pet owner is needed. Did you know? Panting excessively can be a sign of pain? It is also a classic sign of Canine Cushing’s. Dogs can have a variety of breathing problems with causes ranging from allergies to cancer What’s important is to get your dog’s lungs and heart checked out. If you notice your dog having any difficulty breathing, especially if your dog is a senior, please contact your veterinarian as some dog breathing problems can be life-threatening. 

Vets can often diagnose breathing problems with a simple XRAY. The X-RAYs can be carefully screened by specialist radiologists (often without extra charge) to make sure your vet didn’t miss anything. These specialists see all kinds of nuances in chest X-RAYs and provide very meaningful analysis. Chest X-Rays are also a great quick screening for cancer as it often metastasizes to the lungs from other organs. Once you have a diagnosis, conventional veterinary treatments can be combined with home remedies to help your pet feel better. Please click here to learn more about dog breathing problems.