Fruit Valley Veterinary Clinic

Breathing Problems in Dogs

Suddenly Stops Breathing:

Owners have been able to save their dog’s life if the dog is suddenly unable to breath from having an object stuck in the airway, or they have been unable to dislodge it, and their dog dies, Do not let your dog play with balls that are just small enough to almost swallow. A 90 pound German Shepherd died while playing with a tennis ball. As the dog gets weaker from being unable to breath, your chances increase at being able to dislodge the object-so keep trying!! Pulling out the object is safer than a Heimlich maneuver, so save that for last.

Dogs can cough for several reasons. They can have a very contagious infection like kennel cough. Small breed dogs can have collapsing tracheas. Old dogs can have heart failure, pneumonia, or cancer, Any dog could have parasites, allergies or just irritated airways. Coughing dogs should be seen unless you suspect kennel cough and your dog is breathing OK between coughing episodes. We prefer coughing dogs wait outside or in their cars until we are ready to see them for their appointment. Please let us know if they need to come in right away because they have trouble walking or breathing or the environment is unsuitable outside.

Cough prevention: Use a harness while walking your dog. it will prevent pressure on the trachea which can cause a cough. Barking, getting excited, eating too fast, eating dry food can sometimes cause coughing as well. Avoid activities that lead to coughing. Soak any dry food until soggy. Run a humidifier if possible. Avoid strong fragrances, perfumes, smoke, dust, molds, etc. Generally cough prevention is needed for a month to recover from an infection but may be needed for the rest of a dog's life that has a collapsing trachea.