The sound of a dog wheezing can be scary. If your dog is wheezing, it means their airway is partially blocked and air has trouble passing through the trachea and into the lungs. The causes for this can range from mild to serious, so keep reading to learn more about why dogs wheeze, what you should do in case of illness or injury, and what treatments are available for dogs with asthma or other breathing disorders.
Wheezing is an abnormal breathing pattern that is caused by a narrowing of the airway.
Wheezing is an abnormal breathing pattern that is caused by a narrowing of the airway. When air rushes through this narrowed area, it makes a sound like the hissing or whistling you hear when opening and closing a bottle of soda. Wheezing can be caused by different things, including:
- A heart condition
- A lung infection like pneumonia or bronchitis
A dog that is wheezing may have a heart condition, a lung infection, or asthma.
If your dog starts to wheeze, you may have a few different concerns on your mind. The first thing to think about is whether or not this is a sign of something serious, like heart disease or lung infection. If your dog has a heart condition or lung infection, they will need specialized treatment from their vet.
If we’re talking about asthma, then it’s important to know that there are two different types of asthma in dogs: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic asthma occurs when an allergen (like pollen) triggers the inflammation process within the bronchial tubes that causes swelling and fluid buildup, which can lead to wheezing symptoms. Intrinsic asthma is rare in dogs but still possible—it happens because of an allergic reaction triggered by something inside their own bodies (such as dust mites).
Some dogs may have trouble breathing when they are excited or stressed.
Some dogs may have trouble breathing when they are excited or stressed. This can happen with healthy dogs, but it’s especially common in brachycephalic breeds (dogs with flat faces). For example, a pug’s short muzzle makes it harder for him to breathe when he tries to run fast.
If your dog is wheezing when he gets excited, try not to let him run around too much until you’ve determined what’s causing the problem. If your pup is wheezing while running or playing, take some time off from exercise and see if that helps. Also keep an eye on whether other factors could be contributing to his wheezing: has he recently been exposed to something new? Dogs can develop allergies as they age—another potential cause of wheezing.
Dogs with lung disease often have labored breathing, chronic coughing, and weight loss.
Lung disease is the most common cause of wheezing in dogs. It can be caused by infections, allergies, tumors, heart disease, or a genetic disorder. Lung disease may be chronic or acute and is usually progressive. Dogs with lung disease often have labored breathing, chronic coughing and weight loss.
Your vet may give your dog oxygen to help their breathing.
If your dog is wheezing, your vet may recommend oxygen therapy. Oxygen can help dogs with lung disease by increasing the amount of oxygen their bodies are able to take in.
Oxygen is a safe treatment and it’s easy to administer at home, making it an excellent option for dogs who have trouble breathing. Oxygen treatments are not a cure, but they do make it easier for your dog to breathe while they heal from other conditions like cancer or heart disease.
Some dogs may need chest x-rays if the cause of their wheezing is not obvious.
If your dog’s wheezing doesn’t resolve within a few days, some dogs may need chest x-rays to determine the cause of their symptoms. Chest x-rays can show if there is fluid in the lungs (called pulmonary edema), which is common with heart or lung problems. They can also detect tumors and other masses on your pet’s lungs, as well as heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy or enlarged heart chambers. Some dogs have an allergic reaction to pollen and are at risk for asthma attacks, which could require emergency treatment in severe cases.
Steroid medication can be helpful for some dogs with asthma.
Steroid medication can be helpful for some dogs with asthma. Steroids reduce inflammation and can reduce the severity of an asthma attack. They may also reduce the need for other medications and decrease how often you need to give those medications.
If steroids are used, they should be given regularly in small doses (one pill or injection per day). Your veterinarian will tell you how much to give your dog and how often to give it.
Steroids are dangerous if given incorrectly, so make sure that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions exactly when giving this medication to your pet!
If your dog starts wheezing, you should get them to the vet as soon as possible.
If your dog begins wheezing, you should get them to the vet as soon as possible. And by “as soon as possible,” I mean right away. Don’t wait until they are in pain or distress; don’t wait until they can’t walk anymore; and most importantly, do not wait until they can no longer breathe on their own!
Wheezing can be a serious condition in dogs, and if your dog is having trouble breathing you should call your vet or go to an emergency clinic as soon as possible. Your vet will examine them carefully and may give them oxygen treatment to help their breathing. They may need further tests and medications, depending on the cause of the wheezing, but in most cases wheezing can be treated successfully.