Hyperventilation in dogs can be scary. When your dog is panting or breathing quickly, it may appear hyperventilating. They might have exhausted themselves or become too excited, but generally, they have a hyperactive mind that can result in panting.
If your dog is hyperventilating, it is likely to be anxious. Maybe your dog makes funny noises, pants excessively to show anxiety, or seeks help from you without saying a word.
Hyperventilation can be a severe problem for your dog if you ignore it. Have you ever thought about how it occurs in dogs? Why does it happen? And how can we keep our dogs from hyperventilating? If you’re searching for the answer, you’re at the right place! Let’s understand this better, along with the reasons and treatments.
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What Is Hyperventilating?
Hyperventilating is when your dog breathes faster and harder than usual. It inhales a high amount of air. Various reasons cause your dog hyperventilation, including fear, separation, overexcitement, etc.
But how can you figure out that your dog is hyperventilating? If your dog becomes short of breath, has rapid heartbeats, has a reverse seizure, or feels dizzy or lightheaded, it is time to be more cautious and seek professional help.
Symptoms Of Hyperventilation In Dogs
Hyperventilating dogs may show increased and shallow breathing, coughing, or panting symptoms. Their chests will heave as they try to inhale more air, and their gums and tongues may look blue and pale. In the case of hyperventilation, they may seem restless or unable to settle down.
If you observe their hyperventilating condition, it’s crucial to take them to the veterinarian for the proper treatment because it might be a potentially fatal condition.
Causes And Treatment Of Dog Hyperventilation
Hyperventilation is a common problem in humans and animals, and dogs are no exception. Exposure to high temperatures, anxiety, pain, and respiratory infection are all potential causes of hyperventilation in dogs. Treatment may vary based on the underlying cause of your dog.
Here are a few causes and treatments of hyperventilation in dogs: Let’s take a look.
1. Fear or Anxiety
If your dog is panting excessively and faster than usual, it is probably showing signs of anxious behavior. If dogs are afraid of something, they may start breathing heavily to calm themselves down, which can lead to hyperventilation, which can be a terrible experience for your dog.
You can do a few things to calm your anxious and frightened dog. You should first try to discover the cause of your dog’s anxiety and fear. For example, if your dog is afraid of loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms, bring them inside and provide them with a safe space. If your dog is still panting continuously, it’s important to seek a veterinarian that can best help your dog.
When it comes to excitement, dogs can be prone to hyperventilation like humans. Their breathing increases and they start to pant. If your dog is excessively excited, it can have difficulty breathing, which could signify a more serious problem.
But why does excitement cause dogs to hyperventilate?
It is because they are not used to handling high excitement levels, leading to hyperventilation. Their bodies try to take in more oxygen to deal with the situation, but because they are already breathing rapidly, they are unable to do so and begin to show signs of low oxygen levels.
If your dog is suffering from hyperventilation due to over-excitement, try to engage them in other activities and games or take them for a walk to help them burn some energy. If they become overly excited about something, try calming them down and making them feel relaxed and comfortable.
3. Heart Disease
Heart disease is a common cause of hyperventilation in dogs. Many factors, including infection, genetics, and trauma, can cause it. If your dog has heart disease, its heart may not be able to pump blood properly, causing them to breathe faster.
If you notice your dog is suffering from heart disease and hyperventilation, you should go to the vet to get them diagnosed and treated. They may give them medication or improve their dietary plans and lifestyle.
Pain is one of the most common reasons for hyperventilating in dogs, and if your dog is heavily breathing and panting, it may be in pain from any injury or illness. It may also indicate severe pain if your dog is whimpering or crying out while gasping.
In this case, you should give him immediate pain medications and apply a heating pad or ice pack to the area. If the case worsens, seek veterinary attention immediately for further assessment and treatment.
5. Respiratory Disease
When a dog hyperventilates, it means that they are taking in more oxygen than exhaling. Respiratory disease can cause many problems for your dog, like infections, allergies, and cancer. It can also make your dog’s heart pump less efficiently.
If your dog is suffering from hyperventilation, it is important to comfort them and slow down their breathing. Please put them in a quiet place and gently rub their chest and back. Due to respiratory disease, if they are still panting heavily or seem to be having trouble breathing, it’s essential to take them to the veterinary hospital as soon as possible.
6. Metabolic Disease
Metabolic diseases affect the way the body uses energy. It can occur when the body cannot function properly and use nutrients, leading to the development of toxins in the blood and causing significant problems to the body. Metabolic diseases include Thyroid, Diabetes, and Cushing disease in dogs.
If your dog is diagnosed with metabolic disease, the treatment will depend on the particular situation. It would be best if you also cared for your dog at home to reduce some of its pain. You can keep them healthy food to maintain their healthy weight and monitor their blood sugar level. Metabolic disease is treatable if you give your dog the right treatment early.
How To Help If Your Dog Is Suffering From Hyperventilation?
Dogs can sense when their owners are worried, and they repeat the gesture you are showing them, so staying calm can be a great help in front of your dog. Once your dog is calm, you can start helping them by slowly and gently rubbing their chest and back. This will slow down their breathing and anxiety.
If your dog is still struggling to breathe and the hyperventilation is severe, consult with the veterinarian as soon as possible. In certain scenarios, the veterinary doctor might even prescribe sedatives or medicines that relax your muscles and help them breathe a little easier. However, if the condition deteriorates further, they might also give additional oxygen to open up the airways.
There are many potential causes of a dog panting while resting, and it is essential to consult a veterinarian to figure out any serious health problems. However, some common reasons for this behavior include anxiety, heat exhaustion, and pain.
The average respiratory rate for a healthy dog is between 20 and 30 breaths per minute. However, this can vary depending on the dog’s size, age, and overall health. For example, smaller dogs have higher respiratory rates than larger dogs, and puppies typically have higher rates than adult dogs. Additionally, sick or anxious dogs may have an increased respiration rate.
If your dog has a history of hyperventilation, it is crucial to visit the vet regularly. If your dog shows signs of hyperventilation, such as excessive panting or difficulty breathing, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. The vet will be able to determine if the problem is serious and will recommend a course of treatment.
If your dog is hyperventilating, a few home remedies can help them calm down and breathe more evenly. Make sure that they breathe fresh air and are not in a confined space. Try gently massaging their chest and sides to help relax the muscles. If your dog is panting heavily, you can try to cool them down by wetting a towel with cool water and placing it on its neck or chest.
A dog will generally stop panting within 15 to 20 minutes after ceasing physical activity. If a dog is panting excessively, however, it may indicate a more serious underlying condition, and medical attention should be sought.
There are many potential causes of hyperventilation in dogs, and only a professional can determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment. In some cases, hyperventilation may be a symptom of a more severe underlying condition, so it is always best to choose the path of caution.
However, there are several things that you can do at home to help your dog if it is hyperventilating, like calming it down. If your dog is panting heavily, you can offer it water. You can also try placing a cool cloth on your dog’s head or neck. If your dog is still struggling to breathe, call your vet right away for further advice.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.