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.
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
- 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.
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Panting
Why Is My Dog Panting Heavily?