Breathing Difficulties In Dogs

Does Your Dog Suffer From Breathing Difficulties?

Breathing difficulties in dogs come in a number of forms and can be caused by several factors, including acute and chronic diseases. If you know what to look for when your dog experiences difficulty breathing, you can help him get back on track to feeling better.

Breathing difficulty is characterized by trouble breathing, including gasping for air, choking, coughing, wheezing, heavily panting, and breathlessness. Dogs may show signs of distress, such as heavy panting, gasping or blue or pale tongue, and gums in the case of immediate emergencies. Other conditions may cause a dog to cough frequently or wheeze and choke. Other symptoms in addition to breathing problem can help narrow down the cause.

Breathing problems are often caused by viruses and bacteria, such as Bordetella (Kennel Cough). Sometimes, lung disease, such as asthma, bronchitis, or tumors, and heart diseases, such as heart worm or heart failure, may cause breathing difficulties. Allergies, allergic reactions, toxins, and even general pain can cause breathing difficulty.

How Can I Prevent Breathing Difficulty in My Dog

If you can keep your dog in shape, take steps to understand the signs and symptoms of common diseases, and practice preventive medicine, you can prevent a breathing problem in your furry friend.

Dogs with allergies can be treated with allergy medications to prevent allergic reactions or allergies from coughing, sneezing, or wheezing. Dogs with medical issues can be given medications to treat symptoms and prevent a breathing episode. Preventive medications, such as flea and tick treatments and heart worm drugs, can help prevent the transmission of parasites that can cause breathing problems. Timely vaccination of a dog that frequents dog parks, kennels, or dog daycares can help prevent Bordetella (Kennel Cough).

It is important to help keep your dog in shape through a regular exercise regimen in order to prevent breathing problems. Not pushing your dog too hard at once will allow him to regain fitness, strengthen both the heart and lungs. Pay special attention to an overheated dog and stopping your furry friend as soon as he shows signs of an acute breathing episode.

What Should I Do If I See Breathing Difficulty in My Dog

If your dog has been having episodes of breathing difficulty, it is best to schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian. Your vet can then examine your pooch from nose to tail and may recommend additional tests, such as blood work or an X-ray, to find the cause of the problem. These procedures will help narrow down the possible causes of breathing problems and make the treatment easier.

Minor concerns, such as allergies, parasites, and colds, can be treated with medication or rest to help improve symptoms. Dogs with cold or viruses, such as Bordetella (Kennel Cough), may need additional medications, such as a cough suppressant, to prevent damage to the lungs and throat and soothe sore tissues.

Dogs with a severe disease, such as a tumor, heart failure, or heart worm, may need a more aggressive treatment to help improve symptoms. This may include medications to treat the breathing problem in addition to other medications to treat the underlying condition. Additional therapies, such as physical therapy or chemotherapy, may help as well.

If your dog has had several episodes of breathing difficulty, keeping him calm, quiet, and inactive can help before medical help arrives. This will help prevent the problem from turning into an acute respiratory distress – an emergency situation. If an emergency does arise, knowing the numbers of local emergency vets as well as life-saving techniques, such as canine CPR, can help buy your dog extra time.

Natural Remedies for Treating Breathing Difficulties in Dogs

Natural remedies are a great way to treat some of the underlying conditions and symptoms that can cause breathing difficulty. Licorice and Wild Cherry Bark can provide help in coughing situations and may soothe inflamed tissues.  Echinacea and Garlic can boost the immune system, making the transmission of such conditions as Bordetella (Kennel Cough) less likely.  Homeopathic treatments include Bryonia 30C,  Drosera 9C,  and Rumex 6C, which can provide relief from cough symptoms and boost the immune system.  These can be used in addition to other natural remedies or may be helpful for boosting the function of traditional prescription medications.

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