It’s normal for dogs to pant, and it’s a common scene you witness whenever playing with the dog, out for a walk when it’s happy and engaged in other activities. Due to these familiar scenes, you will hardly notice anything wrong whenever the dog pants; therefore, the concept of abnormal panting becomes foreign and new. Abnormal panting refers to when the dog pants in abnormal circumstances when it ought to be relaxed and probably silent.
Unlike cats, dogs are good at expressing things and hardly hide any issues or abnormalities. and one way they express themselves is by panting. Panting could mean the dog is happy, exhausted, feeling hot, lively, or, in other instances, it could mean something else also. A signal to indicate a problem that you can hardly notice unless you have a lot of interest in the dog.
When is Panting Abnormal?
Panting is an inefficient yet effective way for dogs to eliminate heat from their body. Dogs sweat, but you will hardly notice they sweat because they do it through their noses and pores; hence, a wet nose could symbolize sweating.
However, these excretion methods are inefficient and hardly help; hence, the need to pant and the hotter it gets, or the more active the dog is, the more likely it is to pant. When running, out in the sun, and playing, the painting rate increases due to the need to eliminate excess heat and can sometimes be loud.
If you are keen enough, you will notice that dogs tend to pant more and louder in the summers than in the winters or other seasons. Hence, it is normal, but there are a few cases when seeing a dog panting loudly and fast is not normal. These are abnormal cases and a pointer to something else, especially when they are panting at night or sleeping.
Abnormal panting is when the dog pants fast and loudly under a perfectly air-conditioned house, especially when sleeping. Another way to notice is when the dog pants too much at night despite the favorable temperatures, i.e., panting on winter nights or during the day while not engaged in any activity.
If you are close and know your dog well, you will notice when the painting is abnormal. Normally, the berating rate for dogs should be about 10 to 45 breaths per minute; anything more or less could be worse and a sign of other complications. All you have to do is be keen and silent, then try counting the breaths and noticing the loudness.
What Does Abnormal Panting Mean?
Abnormal panting, especially at night when the dog is asleep, could signify the following conditions:
1. Mental Health Issues
Dogs are good at expressing mental health complications, and unlike cats, you can easily notice the signals from the dog, and one of them is breathing and panting fast when sleeping. This could signify anxiety, dementia, and stress caused by various conditions.
Like humans, dogs produce cortisol, the stress management hormone that balances the body’s stress levels to avoid adverse effects. The body should produce a normal amount of cortisol to balance the metabolic systems; however, the cortisol hormone is produced in large amounts, and the metabolic processes are intensified and increased. This leads to high body temperatures; hence, the dog is likely to pant while sleeping to release the excess heat.
In such instances, observe the dog’s pores and nose for wetness; if dry, it indicates execs cortisol, meaning the dog is stressed due to excess cortisol. The next process is to observe its action; for instance, lip licking, wagging tail and moving away from you, hiding or sleeping too much could indicate signs of anxiety. Hence, there is a need for anxiety or stress treatment using some of the best organic treatment methodologies.
When your dog is older, this could indicate a sign of dementia, which is likely to affect the physiological processes in the dog’s body. Dementia affects the hormonal processes, leading to various challenges, such as abnormal hormonal production and excess panting. The condition is commonly referred to as canine cognitive disorder, which affects the hormonal functions, dog’s behaviors, and motor function and can sometimes cause memory issues.
2. Acute or Chronic Pain
Dogs can pant to deal with pain from wounds, inflammations, and other issues. Whenever the dog pants abnormally during the day, especially on cold days, pay attention to the movement, behaviors, and other actions which could symbolize pain. Also, observe for other signs of pain, such as restlessness, to help you diagnose the right condition and then take the necessary actions.
3. Respiratory and Cardiovascular Illnesses
Panting could signal certain illnesses, and there are many potential illnesses to diagnose; hence, you should contact a vet for help. One of the illnesses is anemia due to limited blood levels, leading to reduced red blood cells in the body.
As the red blood cell levels decline, the oxygen supply in the body is limited; hence, the dog compensates by panting to take in more oxygen for body support rather than breathing.
Secondly, it could signify a cardiovascular issue like the inability of the heart to pump more blood and oxygen throughout the body. Other issues, such as valve disorder, heartworm disease, and cardiomyopathies could also speed up panting in dogs.
The vet could also diagnose potential respiratory issues which affect air intake through the nostril; hence, the dog relies on its mouth to increase the uptake. Some of the known respiratory illnesses that cause abnormal panting include tracheal collapse and laryngeal paralysis.
You can only notice abnormal breathing when you are keen enough; however, it may not signify an issue if it occurs frequently, loudly, and faster than the normal rates; take the necessary precaution. First, examine for any signs of mental health issues, then pain, after which you can take the dog to your vet for further diagnosis.