Breathing Problems

Breathing Problems

Breathing problems can indicate more serious health problems for your pet. At Bixby Animal Clinic, our skilled veterinarians and staff will examine your pet and provide the right treatment to help your pet live a rich, healthy life.

Bixby Animal Clinic has helped pet owners across Southern California care for their pets. If you have concerns for your pet’s health and are seeking a committed and compassionate vet, contact our office today.

Does My Pet Have Breathing Problems?

When resting, a healthy pet takes an average of 10 to 30 breaths per minute. If your pet’s breathing seems labored or unusually fast, they may be dealing with anxiety, pain, fever, or a significant health issue. It is critical to bring your pet to us if these signs are present, as early detection may improve treatment options and outcomes for your pet.

Be careful not to confuse unusual breath patterns with panting, a normal behavior seen in dogs. Dogs use quick, short breaths through their open mouth to relax or cool themselves.

These symptoms may indicate a breathing problem:

  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shallow breathing
  • Labored/forced breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Snorting
  • Nasal or eye discharge
  • Difficulty during physical activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight Loss

What Causes Breathing Problems in Pets?

Breathing problems in pets vary in cause and severity, from simple allergies to serious health issues. Listed below are potential causes of breathing problems:

  • Allergies
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Fluid in lungs or chest cavity
  • Kennel cough
  • Heat stroke
  • Shock
  • Poisoning
  • Throat blockage/Foreign object in throat
  • Trauma
  • Swollen larynx
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Obesity
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pulmonary thromboembolism
  • Heartworm disease complications
  • Severe anemia
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Cancer
  • Nasal tumor

How Are Breathing Problems Treated?

Our veterinarians will examine your pet to gauge the nature of the breathing problem. If breathing is labored, the veterinarian will administer oxygen therapy or corticosteroids to stabilize breathing. 

Once your pet has regained normal breathing, the vet performs a thorough exam to explore and diagnose underlying causes. Pets with a more serious diagnosis may require hospital care until they can breathe on their own. Once returned home, your pet will require extended rest to ensure a full recovery, and a course of medication may also be prescribed.

Some health issues may require monitoring, limited activity, or management by medication for the rest of the pet’s life. Pets with ongoing breathing difficulties should be brought to the vet if a change in breathing occurs.

Compassionate Care 

At Bixby Animal Clinic, our vets and staff strive to better the lives of pets and their owners. Safeguard your pet’s health by scheduling a visit with our office today.