Labored Breathing in Dogs


Labored breathing in Dogs is a disorder that is also medically known as Dyspnea. On the other side rapid breathing is medically called as tachypnea. The respiratory system of dogs consists of many parts like lungs, windpipe, nose and throat. The air enters through the nose and is then brought down to the lungs through a process that is called respiration. In the lungs, the oxygen gets transferred to the red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen to the various parts of the body. This is an integral part of the respiratory process in a healthy body.

When transfer of oxygen takes place through the red blood cells, then carbon-dioxide gets transferred from these cells to the lungs that is the principal respiratory organ. It is then carried through the nose through the process known as expiration. This respiratory cycle is controlled in the brain by respiratory center and can enable difficulties in breathing process. The same takes place in dogs.

Sponsored link

Symptoms of labored breathing


Following are the symptoms of labored breathing:-

  • Dogs might breathe with an open mouth, with elbows sticking out of the body
  • Movement of the chest and belly is seen at the time of breathing
  • Flaring of nostrils can be seen during the process of breathing
  • Dogs might make a noise at the time of breathing
  • The neck and head seem to peep out in an extended manner
  • Issues of breathing might be seen during inspiratory and expiratory dyspnea


Causes of labored breathing

labored breathing in dogs


Following are the main causes of labored breathing:-

Sponsored link
  • Cushing’s syndrome: Due to certain causes, the adrenal gland of your dog might start generating excess cortisol. This is known as Cushing’s syndrome. Due to such a syndrome, your dog will start breathing heavily and will display certain signs like excess hunger, hair loss and excess thirst.
  • Heart failure: Similar to human beings, dogs also have disease of heart failure. This disease is displayed by certain symptoms like difficulty in breathing, coughing and reduced tolerance of exercise.
  • Poison or heat stroke: These can be a prominent cause of labored breathing in dogs. These are commonly seen in some breeds like pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs and their main cause will be their short snouts. There may be some special cases where heavy panting may be one cause of heat stroke. After eating toxic food the dog might breathe heavily. In such case you should take your dear pet to a veterinarian.
  • Injury and pain: If you observe heavy panting in your dog then this is an indication of pain and injury. If your dog breaths suddenly in a heavenly pattern then this could be due to an internal injury. You may be also see other symptoms of pain and injury like enlarged pupils, reduced appetite, licking at the pain site, desire to lie down again and again, anxiety and restlessness. If you see the injury in your pet is internal. then you should take veterinary care and should do diagnosis to find the main cause of such troubles.


Nose disorders: You might witness signs like interrupted breathing in dogs due to certain disorders seen in the nose. Some dogs breathe heavily due to having small nose and other pets pant more due to bacterial and viral infections as well as bleeding.

Lungs disorders: Due to viral or bacterial infection like pneumonia your dog might suffer from heavy breathing. This might occur due to certain lung disorders like lungs bleedings, infections, tumors and heart worms.


At the time of diagnosis of labored breathing, you will have to investigate its underlying cause. You will have to give your vet all the information concerning the signs or symptoms of the ill- health of your dog. You will also have to tell about all the possible incidents that took place before occurrence of the disease in your dog. Your vet will do a casual physical test to notice the exact breathing pattern of your dog. He will also do his best to listen to the dog’s chest to trace the murmuring of its heart.

How to cure labored breathing in dogs


You can cure the disease by taking a home care measures. Just relax and don’t be nervous. If your dog has taken a foreign object inside its mouth you can put your hand in its mouth and take it out safely. However you should refrain from this activity if you are not confident. If you visit a vet with your dog then he will ask you a few questions about the breathing history of your dogs. Your dog will undergo a few blood and urine tests for finding the right cause of the disease.

Sponsored link

Filed in: Pet Care Tags:

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.