Acute Respiratory Distress In Dogs

Acute Respiratory Distress in dogs is the sudden inability to breathe, exercise, or inhale enough oxygen. It is often an emergency situation which can worry many owners. Respiratory distress can occur for a number of reasons, however acute distress is sudden and not caused by any underlying health conditions.

What is Acute Respiratory Distress in Dogs

Dogs with acute respiratory distress may collapse, pant heavily, stop breathing completely, or gasp for air. Their gums, tongue, and other sensitive tissues may appear pale or blue due to the lack of oxygen. These symptoms may be caused by a sudden blockage of the lungs or blood vessels from a clot or foreign object. These may the result of a side effect of a poison or allergic reaction or may be due to intense exercise, injury, or heat stress, leading to respiratory failure.

How Can I Prevent Acute Respiratory Distress in My Dog


It is important to closely monitor your dog’s breathing rate and take into account his exercise and activity levels to prevent respiratory distress. If you are in an area where there may be foreign objects, toxic plants, or venomous animals, making sure to recognize and be alert to these causes can help prevent injury and distress.

It is important to understand that exercising in extreme heat or for too long of a period can lead to respiratory distress. Understand your dog’s health and fitness levels to determine how much exercise is appropriate. You should try to ensure an adequate supply of water, shade, and cooling materials on hot days to prevent a respiratory episode caused by heat. A short, less intense exercise regimen can help build your dog’s fitness levels prior to taking him or her for a long walk, hike, or jog.

What Should I Do If I Suspect Acute Respiratory Distress in Dog


Acute Respiratory Distress is a medical emergency. In an emergency, you should not wait for too long before taking your furry friend to a local veterinarian or emergency clinic. However, sometimes you might be in an area where emergency care is not possible. So what should you do in such situations?

Dogs with problems in breathing from too hot conditions or too much exercise should be brought to a cool, shaded area and given cool water. Instead of dousing the dog or submerging them in water, providing a rub down with wet towels or mist from a spray bottle will help cool them slowly. Some dogs may just need a few minutes in a shaded area to return back to normal. However if signs of distress continue, emergency care should be sought.

Rotten Teeth in Dogs: Effects and Treatment

Many veterinary clinics have oxygen chambers and tanks to provide extra oxygen for dogs in distress. This can be very beneficial when you are trying to determine the cause of distress in your dog. Your vet can then run a series of tests, including blood work and X-rays, to check for causes of the respiratory distress. The vet can then provide treatment options as needed to stabilize your furry pal.

If a foreign object in the mouth or throat is blocking the airway and impeding breathing, you should try to remove it. However, if the object is lodged deeply, does not budge, or your dog is in too much distress to have it safely removed, he should be brought to a vet for emergency treatment. The situation demands emergency care, and vet clinics can provide additional oxygen for your pooch and try to sedate him to safely remove the object.

It is important to learn canine CPR technique and other life-saving procedures. CPR is usually given as rescue breaths if your dog’s heart is still beating, and breathing plus compressions if there is no heart beat. By cupping your dog’s mouth shut and blowing into his nose, you can supply oxygen if your dog cannot breathe on his own. This can be done anywhere, including in a car on the way to the hospital. You never know providing CPR for a pet in distress may be just enough to allow them to get to care in time.

Natural Remedies for Acute Respiratory Distress in Dogs

While there aren’t really many good remedies that can be given in an emergency situation, providing natural remedies for minor ailments, exercising caution in unknown areas or situations, and learning natural techniques, such as CPR, can help in a distressed situation, such as Acute Respiratory Distress. You should bring along a first-aid kit with any medications to prevent this type of situation.

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