Is Panting an Emergency?

Most of the time, panting is not an emergency.

Most of the time, panting is not a medical problem at all. But it can be. A panting dog who becomes quiet, recumbent, and lethargic, is, in some cases, a dying dog.

Is Panting an Emergency?

How can you tell the difference?

How can you know whether your dog’s panting is normal, a medical issue or an actual emergency?

Firstly, assess the circumstances. Has your dog been running and playing? Is your dog excited? How warm is the weather or the environment? Knowing what is normal for your dog is very helpful.

Is there no obvious explanation or reason?

Are there any other concerning signs?

Medically significant reasons for excessive panting:

Medically significant reasons for excessive panting include

  • obesity
  • pain
  • fever
  • heatstroke
  • heart or respiratory diseases
  • heart failure
  • hormonal imbalances
  • even poisoning

Panting is an emergency if your dog is also:

  • showing signs of severe pain or distress
  • exposed to high temperatures
  • restless, unable to lie down comfortably, trying to vomit unsuccessfully
  • showing signs of weakness or lethargy
  • seems unresponsive or disoriented
  • your dog’s gums are any than normal color (normal gum color depends on the breed; typically it’s pink)

Always consider things in context and when in doubt seek veterinary care.

Related articles:
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Panting

Further reading:
Why Is My Dog Panting Heavily?

Categories: EmergenciesExcessive pantingSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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