December 10


What Causes Dogs To Pant Excessively

Dogs normally pant to cool themselves. They don’t have a system of sweat gland like people. Instead they cool themselves through the evaporation of moisture from their mouth and tongues. Their blood vessels carry warmer blood to their mouth area to be cooled  which is then circulated back around their body. Panting just enables this process to happen faster. Some of the body heat is carried out by the air from their lungs as they exhale.

Related Article: Heatstroke in Dogs

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Why Do Do Dogs Pant Excessively?

While panting is a normal part of the cooling process, abnormal panting can be a sign that something is wrong.

Abnormal panting means that:

Your dog’s panting is more rapid than his usual panting pattern.

He is panting at times when he is not overly hot. He doesn’t need to cool down.

He is panting louder or more harshly than normal.

Your dog is having to expend more effort when panting.

If your dog is panting excessively, this is a cause for concern

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Heatstroke in Dogs

A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 and 102.5 F. If his temperature reaches 109 F, he is suffering heatstroke.

Other symptoms include bright red tongue and gums, excessive thirst, glazed eyes, increased heart rate and elevated body temperature.

It is an extremely dangerous condition and can lead to death.

On hot days, be very careful how and when you exercise your dog.

Related Article: Heatstroke in Dogs

Pain can cause excessive panting in dogs. Dogs will pant heavily is they are feeling discomfort of any sort. This can include stress or fear.

Keep an eye on him, if you notice that he is panting more heavily than normal, especially if he is lying down or at night, he could possibly be feeling pain. Remember, it is up to you to look out for him – he can’t tell you what he’s feeling.

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Brachycephalatic Breeds Of Dogs

Brachycephalatic dogs are breeds which have a pushed in face. Examples are English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers and Pugs. Many of them have trouble breeding all their lives. They are at a higher risk of heatstroke.

They are more prone to overheating in cars and you should think carefully before taking one on a plane trip.

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Poisoning is another reason your dog could be panting heavily. Other symptoms of poisoning include drooling and vomiting.

If you suspect poisoning, take your dog to the vet immediately.  If your dog has been vomiting, try to take a sample to the vet with you.

When you get back, search your yard to find what your dog has eaten. It is important that it doesn’t happen again. Watch out for toxic plants.

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Heart and Lung Disease.

Heavy panting can be a symptom of several different heart or lung diseases. These include Cushing’s Disease, dilated cardialmyopathy or laryngeal paralysis.

Get a diagnosis from a veterinarian. The earlier any of these diseases is discovered, the sooner he will start his recovery. Recovery time is likely to be shorter after an early diagnosis.

You are in the best position to know when your dog’s panting has become excessive. It is always best to be on the safe side and take your dog to a vet as soon as his breathing pattern changes.

About the author 

Stan Jones

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