Why is my dog panting for no reason?
If you own a pet, you’ve often noticed your canine panting excessively during summer spikes or in hot weather. The number of panting dogs rises with a rise in temperature. Therefore, more often than not, we take panting for granted and don’t bother with it that much. But it can sometimes imply an underlying disorder or disease that certainly shouldn’t be ignored.
However, sometimes off-the-way and excessive panting may make you think, “Why is my dog panting for no reason? Have you often found your furry friend panting abnormally and excessively? Are you concerned about his well-being? If your answer is yes, keep reading so that you may be aware of all the reasons that can make a dog pant unduly.
When the panting is normal?
Panting is a normal heat dissipation process. It occurs not only in dogs but in many other mammals as well. Just like humans release their body heat via sweating, dogs’ homeostasis releases their heat by panting. So after any strenuous exercise or during sweltering heat, panting is entirely physiological. Painting is the primary cooling method for dogs. Other systems, like sweat glands, offer very little cooling.
So panting is quite normal during hot, sunny days. In addition to heat, strenuous exercise may stimulate excessive panting. However, there is nothing to worry about in these situations.
When should you bother with excessive panting?
If the temperature is quite normal outside and you still find your dog panting heavily, then you need to ponder all possible causes. When dogs pant in other than normal patterns, there is usually some underlying pathology. Moreover, panting at odd times is also commonly due to some ailment.
If you want to know “Why is my dog panting for no reason while sleeping?”, continue reading till the end.
Symptoms of Abnormal Panting
There are a few symptoms that indicate abnormal and diseased panting. By being mindful of that, you can keep your pup’s health in check. Let’s see which signs dogs show up with when they pant abnormally:
- Abnormal panting sounds
- Sudden and abnormal panting
- Panting at night or during sleep
- Lethargy and reluctance to eat
- Breathing with exertion
Why is my dog panting for no reason? 10 Causes
Let’s look at some ailments and pathologies that can make dogs pant heavily. Hopefully, they will help you get some ideas about your concern, “Why is my dog panting when it’s not hot?”
- Anxiety and stress
- Respiratory infections
- Laryngeal paralysis
- Tracheal pathologies
- Kennel cough
- Cushing’s disease
- Cortisone therapy
- Congestive Heart Failure
Let’s have a broader overview of how all these reasons stimulate excessive panting in dogs.
1. Anxiety and Stress:
Besides heat and temperature spikes, some other factors lead to heavy and excessive panting in dogs. Anxiety, or stress, is one of them. Dogs pant excessively when they experience anxiety and stress. Their sympathetic system stimulates rapid breathing to release stress. Shaking and licking lips are common observations, along with panting in stressful situations.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, make sure to get him out of all the potent stress stimuli. Furthermore, try to provide him with a relaxed and cozy environment.
A severe type of anemia called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia is very common among dogs. Studies show it to be an autoimmune disorder. In this situation, a dog’s immune system attacks his or her RBCs, the oxygen-carrying cells.
How does anemia cause panting?
Once the RBCs are destroyed, the oxygen supply in the whole body diminishes. Dogs tend to compensate for this decreased oxygen delivery through exhaustion and panting.
So if you see labored breathing in your dog during walks, turn back around immediately and let it relax. Visit a veterinarian. So that he may check your canine thoroughly and treat him or her accordingly.
3: Respiratory infections:
Upper respiratory infections often lead to heavy panting in dogs. But a question arises here: how do you know that your dog’s respiratory system is going through an infection? Certain symptoms are present that imply upper respiratory infections. Some of them are:
- Rhinitis(Runny nose)
- A sudden and harsh cough
- Throwing up foam
- Loss of appetite
Why do respiratory infections stimulate panting?
Upper respiratory infections, whether viral or bacterial, disturb the dog’s natural breathing system. It becomes difficult to respire normally, and labored breathing leaves the dog exhausted. So excessive breathing is a common observation in URIs.
4: Laryngeal paralysis:
Have you been thinking, “Why is my dog panting while resting?”. Laryngeal paralysis might be the cause of panting while sleeping. Panting is often accompanied by snoring in this condition.
What is laryngeal paralysis? What does it have to do with pants?
Laryngeal paralysis is an abnormality of the larynx, also known as the voice box. The muscles of the larynx undergo paralysis. In this situation, breathing with exertion occurs in dogs. Commonly, the nerves of the laryngeal cartilage cease their normal functioning in this disorder. In contrast to normal breathing, this type of respiration is accompanied by harsh and raspy noises. The windpipe is narrowed, as in other respiratory disorders. Along with all the other symptoms, snoring is also a sign of laryngeal paralysis.
Breathing difficulties consequently lead to excessive and heavy panting. This is one of the reasons dogs pant excessively during sleep.
5: Tracheal pathologies:
The trachea is commonly called the windpipe. It carries oxygen-rich air into the lungs. Side by side, it pushes carbon dioxide out of them. Tracheal collapse is the most common abnormality of the windpipe in dogs. It occurs when tracheal cartilage collapses.
Dogs with tracheal collapse exhibit harsh, noisy coughs, often termed “goose-honking” coughs. Wheezing and difficulty breathing occur along with mild to severe panting.
6. Kennel cough:
A persistent cough that accompanies panting and sneezing is often a sign of kennel cough. Kennel’s cough occurs in infectious bronchitis. The cough often sounds like something is stuck in the dog’s throat. In this situation, gag or mucus production often follows a dry and hoarse cough.
If you notice your dog coughing with a hacking sound, get them treated immediately. Otherwise, the condition may worsen, leading to pneumonia.
If you observe an increased temperature or fever and a cough that often goes hand in hand with lethargy in your furry friend, it is a powerful indication of pneumonia. Since it’s a lung infection, dogs can’t help breathing, and they pant a lot without any physical exertion.
8: Cushing’s disease:
Have you often noticed your canine panting during sleep? Are you curious to know, “Why is my dog panting at night?”
Cushing’s disease may be one of the reasons for excessive panting at night. It occurs when cortisol is overproduced. Some studies have shown the direct influence of cortisol on the brain’s respiratory centers. In addition to panting, polydipsia and polyuria also occur commonly. Dogs with Cushing’s disease show up with recurrent skin infections, hair loss, and a pot belly.
9: Cortisone therapy:
Is your dog going through any steroid treatment? Is he taking prednisone or prednisolone? If the answer is yes, you’ll often see him panting heavily. Because steroids mimic the action of cortisol, cortisone therapy manifests symptoms like those of Cushing’s disease. Restlessness is a common symptom in dogs on prednisone.
10: Congestive Heart Failure:
Congestive heart failure, in its last stages, exhibits symptoms such as rapid breathing and panting. It commonly occurs because the heart expands and the heart valves cause fluid leakage into other body systems. Lungs become overburdened, causing heavy and excessive panting.
In this article, we had a thorough discussion about all the potential reasons that lead to panting in dogs. Hopefully, you’d have gotten your answer to “Why is my dog panting for no reason? Dogs commonly use panting as a cooling mechanism for their bodies.
But when panting occurs at odd times and accompanies strange sounds, it’s mostly an indication of some pathology. So if you observe strange breathing patterns in your dog, consult a good veterinarian. If the treatment begins beforehand, it may prevent some serious diseases, which later might become difficult to treat.