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Panting is something that all dogs do. However, it can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, pain, or other discomforts in your pet. Let us take a look at what qualifies as normal panting, and when you should be worried about your dog's panting.
Why Do Dogs Pant?
Dogs cool off like when we sweat to cool off after exercise. Unlike humans, dogs have fewer sweat glands on their bodies so they can't sweat it out to cool down. Dogs' paws may sweat to cool down, but panting is how they allow air to circulate through the body and cool down. Dogs also pant when they are excited, anxious, or scared.
When Should You Be Concerned?
If your dog's panting is longer, more frequent, or more intense, you should be concerned. Worry if your dog is panting for no reason, such as heat, training, or exercise.
What Does Excessive Panting Mean?
If your dog experiences excessive panting, you want to check the color of his gums and tongue. If your dog has turned a shade of white or blue, then it means that enough oxygen in the body has been circulated. Seek a professional's help immediately. Here are some conditions that could be leading to it:
- Pain: Your dog may be experiencing pain due to a physical injury or underlying medical condition like pancreatitis. Watch out for other symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety, unusual food habits, wounds, enlarged pupils for the same.
- Heartworm: If a heartworm infection is not adequately treated and has escalated, it could be causing your dog to pant. Seek the assistance of a vet so he/she can prescribe medication and treatment for the same.
- Obesity: Obese dogs tend to tire out much faster and tend to pant excessively when they engage in any physical activity. Make sure that your dog is fit and gets sufficient exercise, so he/she does not turn obese or it can lead to other health conditions down the line.
- Poisoning: If the panting is accompanied by convulsions, vomiting, drooling, and/or lethargy, it could be due to poisoning. This demands immediate medical intervention so the poisonous substance is immediately removed.
- Heatstroke: If your dog starts panting heavily while playing or exercising, it could be due to heatstroke. Take him/her indoors or to a cooler place immediately and call the vet. Seizures, vomiting, drooling, increased body temperature, and heart rate are other signs that point to heatstroke.