Jan 9, What Causes Excessive Panting in Dogs?
Why Does My Dog Pant So Much? Overview
As we all know, dogs pant when they are hot because they do not have as many sweat glands as we do. (The only few sweat glands that they have are on the pads of their feet.)
Instead of sweating bullets like humans do, dogs cool themselves by breathing and panting. Therefore, it is absolutely normal that dogs pant when it is hot, or after chasing the ball several times in the park.
But if a dog suddenly starts panting all the time, for no reason at all, we need to pay attention. The excessive panting may be caused by some issues or underlying health problems that need to be looked at and treated. Common Causes of Panting in Dogs
Here are some possible answers to the question, “Why is my dog panting constantly?” Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is perhaps one of the most common causes of heavy excessively panting in dogs. As you know, heat stroke can lead to devastating damage to a dog’s physical health.
If a dog is left in a parked car on a hot summer day, or has been out playing or running for a long time in the heat, he can easily get heat stroke. His body temperature can rise rapidly to over 104°F, when he will start panting heavily.
If no action is being taken to cool him down, his body temperature can rise up to 107°F, when heat stroke occurs and brain damage (sometimes death) may occur rapidly as well.
Besides heavy panting, other signs of heat stroke include: excessive drooling; deep red gums and tongue; nausea and/or vomiting; weakness and lethargy; seizure.
Visit this page to see how to give first aid treatment to a dog with heat stroke. Obesity
Another common cause of dog panting is obesity .
When a dog is too fat, he may literally feel crushed by his weight and as such breathing is difficult, resulting in heavy panting all the time. If your dog pants and if he is obese, be sure to help him lose weight! Stress and Anxiety
Dogs also tend to pant excessively when they are anxious or under stress.
Sometimes if you get a new puppy, you may find that she pants constantly for the first few days, or even the first week or two. That is because the new environment is causing her to feel stressed, thus the panting. As she starts getting used to the environment, the panting should go away.
If there are changes in your dog’s environment (e.g. a new family member, or you have just moved), your dog may pant more heavily than normal for the first few days. Try to calm your dog and spend more quality time with her. Use some natural calming remedies if necessary.
Some dogs may also pant when they are scared. For example, if your dog has noise phobia, she may pant heavily during a thunderstorm or firework display. Pain
Another possible reason why a dog pants is that she is in pain. Look for other signs that may suggest pain, e.g. restlessness, limping, constant licking or biting at one specific site, whimpering, reluctance to lie down, etc. Check out this page for different signs of a dog in pain. Characteristics of Certain Breeds
The brachycephalic breeds (dogs with a pushed-in face such as the pugs, bulldogs, shih tzu, Boston terriers, etc.) are prone to excessive panting because of their small nasal passages and short windpipes.
On a hot day, or after exercise, these dogs usually pant rather heavily as They need to work harder for heat reduction. Other Possible Causes of Dog Panting
In addition to the above common causes, here are some more possible reasons to consider: Cognitive Dysfunction
Panting can be associated with canine cognitive dysfunction .
If you have an older dog, and he suddenly starts panting more, watch for other symptoms accompanying CCD, such as pacing and circling; walking into doors and furniture; a reduction in social interaction; “accidents” in the house; failure to recognize family members, etc. Side Effect of Some Drugs
Some medications can cause panting as a side effect, such as corticosteroids (e.g. Prednisone), pain killers (e.g. Tramadol, Fentanyl), and excess thyroxine supplementation (thyroid medication for hypothyroidism). Other Health Issues