Panting means rapid shallow breaths with an open mouth and when it comes to dogs they are accompanies by the protrusion of the tongue. Dog panting is their way of cooling and they increase air flow this way, but it might also be a symptom of stress, pain or fear. If you notice the dog breathing heavy while sleeping check out this list of possible problems.
If your dog is panting this might be a sign that there are some health problems you need to take care of. There are neurological, respiratory and heart disorders that might cause panting and if this condition continues for a few days and you see other symptoms appearing then a visit to the vet is a really good idea.
If you don’t see any other signs of disease then you should still keep a close watch on your dog and try to figure out what is the reason for the heavy breathing. Here are the most important problems that could cause the panting.
Heatstroke or Poisoning
There are many substances that might be toxic for your dog and if he spends a lot of time outdoors then all the panting might come from the ingestion of something that is harmful. If you suspect this to be the case then it will help a lot if you find out exactly what the substance is because then the treatment for it will be clear.
Heart failure is the most common cause for breathing difficulties and other symptoms might include coughing or low exercise tolerance. The treatment in this case should be determined by your vet because there are many things to consider, depending on the cause.
Cushing’s syndrome is another condition where heavy panting is common and along with it the dog will experience hair loss, excessive hunger and thirst along with a pot-bellied look. Surgery might be needed in this case. Respiratory disorders like pneumonia, lung tumors and laryngeal paralysis lead to panting as well.
Look for any signs of injury which might lead to the pain and panting. Dogs that are in pain might have larger pupils, appetite loss and will probably lie down more than is common to them. The good thing is that they usually lick the wounds so it should be easy to spot them.
You probably know about the symptoms of a drug before giving it to your dog, but if your pet is under any kind of medication check if the problem doesn’t come from there.