why does my dog hyperventilate at night
Metabolic Acidosis Metabolic acidosis is characterized by increased acid production due to metabolism or the reduced excretion of acids. It is relatively common in dogs, and it is most often secondary to another more serious condition. Conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis, renal failure, or respiratory dysfunction and poisoning are primary conditions that contribute to metabolic acidosis, and each must be treated in order to restore the pH balance to appropriate levels. Treatments may include dialysis, medication, or the administration of oxygen. Getting Too Excited Does your dog seem to hyperventilate any time you have company? Does she pant irregularly when she knows you are going to the dog park or out for a walk (activities that she regularly enjoys)? It is possible that your dog hyperventilates simply because she gets overly excited at the thought of doing something she enjoys. There is no treatment for this type of hyperventilation; however, your vet can prescribe medication if the hyperventilation presents a significant problem.
Note that it is always best to rule out a respiratory ailment, heart problem, or other infection that could be causing the hyperventilation. Stress While dogs can hyperventilate because of sheer happiness, they can also hyperventilate because of fear and/or stress. Thunder, fireworks, loud noises all these can illicit hyperventilation in your dog. Usually, hyperventilation is not the only symptom your pet will exhibit when stressed. Dogs exhibiting stress will often whine or cry, yawn repetitively, pace, tremble, or hide in addition to hyperventilating. Rarely, dogs experiencing stress will break housebreaking habits and lose control of their bladder or bowels. Stress can be caused by the aforementioned situations, but trips to the vet or dog groomer or strange visitors can also frighten your dog. Your vet can prescribe medications to help them deal with anxiety. Other Breathing Difficulties If all other possibilities for hyperventilation have been ruled out, it is possible your dog is suffering from other ailments such as overheating, pain, Cushing s disease, anemia, or laryngeal paralysis.
Overheating due to heatstroke can cause a dog to pant rapidly, imitating hyperventilation. Pain, like stress or excitement, can also cause excessive panting. Cushing s disease causes the adrenal glands to excrete excessive cortisol, which can cause heart ailments. Brachycephalic dogs may also exhibit excessive panting or seem to be hyperventilating due to their elongated soft palate. Brachycephalic dogs should never be allowed to get overly hot or exercise excessively due to their abnormalities which already predispose them to breathing difficulties. No matter the cause of your dog s excessive panting, you should always have her examined by a vet to rule out possible life-threatening ailments.
The most common reason for your dog hyperventilating is a condition known as reverse sneezing.
It is so called because it sounds like the dog is inhaling sneezes. Alternative names are inspiratory paroxysmal respiration and pharyngeal gag reflex. Reverse sneezing makes your dog appear to fight for breath and may be accompanied by snorting, gasping and gagging noises. Despite its name, the condition has nothing to do with sneezing and is a spasm caused by an irritation of the soft palate: The fleshy, soft tissue extension off the roof of the mouth. It may be due to sinus, nasal or pharyngeal irritation. The condition is especially seen is small dogs and certain breeds, including Maltese and Yorkshire Terriers, are more predisposed to it than others. During a spasm, the dogвs neck will extend and the chest will expand as the dog tries to inhale. However, the trachea has narrowed and it is difficult to get the required amount of air into the lungs. Affected dogs appear to be completely normal both before and after the attack. An episode can be shortened by gently massaging the throat area and pinching the dogвs nostrils shut so that he has to breath through his mouth.
Taking him outside in the fresh air can also sometimes stop the spasm. The condition may start as the dog ages, or it may be present for its entire life. The spasm can be caused by a number of irritants, including pollen, dust and household chemicals. It can also come on after excitement, pulling on the lead, running around, eating or drinking, or following a sudden change in temperature. It also commonly occurs when the dog is asleep or following a long nap. Reverse sneezing generally carries no health threats but can be distressing for the owner. If your dog hyperventilates frequently, take him to the vets to make sure that there is no other cause. Antihistamines and/or steroids can be prescribed if the condition is serious, chronic or allergy-related. Other possible causes of your dog hyperventilating include polyps, viral infections, nasal mites and excessive soft palate tissue.
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