Dog breathing: learn all about this part of the canine anatomy, dog flu and caregiving

 Dog breathing: learn all about this part of the canine anatomy, dog flu and caregiving

Tracy Wilkins

Knowing canine anatomy and animal physiology is fundamental to better understand how your pet's body works. Just like humans, dogs also have several systems and perform numerous processes all the time in order to keep the animal alive and healthy. Dog breathing is one of these processes, being considered one of the most essential for maintaining life.

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The way canine breathing works is very similar to human breathing and, just like us, the pet can suffer respiratory complications. Did you know that there is flu in dogs, for example? That a dog with short and fast breathing can have a heart problem? Or that it is more common to see the dog with the flu in winter? The Paws of the House tells you everything about dog breathing, from its evolution to its development.anatomy to the health problems that can arise related to it. check out!

The dog's breathing is a fundamental process for the maintenance of the animal's life

In canine anatomy, dog respiration is the process responsible for gas exchange. Through respiration, dog inhales oxygen, a gas that is present in the air. Without it, cells do not breathe and consequently the body dies. In addition to inhaling oxygen in respiration, dog exhales carbon dioxide, a gas that is produced by cellular respiration and that helps regulate balanceWhen it is in excess, however, it becomes harmful to the body and must therefore be eliminated. In addition to these functions, the dog's breathing also controls body temperature, assists in the canine sense of smell and filters, heats, cools and humidifies the air.

Canine anatomy: what are the organs that perform the dog's breathing

The dog's breathing only happens because there are several organs working together. When we talk about the canine respiratory system, we can divide the organs into two groups. The first is the upper respiratory tract, which is responsible for conducting the air. In canine anatomy, organs of the respiratory system that are part of this group are: nose (more specifically nostrils and nasal cavities), pharynx, larynxThe second group is the lower respiratory tract, which is responsible for carrying out the dog's breathing itself. The participating organs are: lower trachea, bronchi, bronchioles and pulmonary alveoli (which are found in the lungs).

How does the dog's breathing process work?

The respiratory tract is like a big tube that routes air from the nose to the lungs. All of a dog's breathing begins with oxygen-filled air passing through the nostrils and into the nasal passages, where it begins to be filtered. Soon after, the air goes into the pharynx, a tube that is part of both the dog's respiratory and digestive systems. In the digestive system, the pharynxtakes food from the mouth to the esophagus, while in the respiratory tract it takes air from the nasal cavities to the larynx.

The larynx, in turn, has vocal cords that vibrate when air passes through them. Thus, vocalization occurs and we hear the dog bark. From the larynx, the air goes to the trachea and then reaches the bronchi. There are two bronchi that, when they bifurcate, take the air to each dog lung. Inside the lung, the bronchi divide into several bronchioles, which are small bronchi.At the tip of each bronchiole, we have the pulmonary alveoli, where gas exchange actually takes place.

The gas exchange performed by dog breathing allows all organs to function

All this pathway that the air travels in the canine anatomy ends in gas exchange. The respiratory system is related to the cardiovascular system, because the dog's lung, in addition to receiving the air that comes from outside, receives the venous blood rich in carbon dioxide present in the capillaries. As we explained, carbon dioxide needs to be eliminated. So, this gas is removed from the venous blood and is releasedAt the same time, the oxygen that the lung has received from the air enters the venous blood, which becomes arterial blood. This oxygen-rich arterial blood is transported to all the cells of the body, so that they receive this gas and can carry out cellular respiration. This whole process of gas exchange is scientifically called haematosis.

Brachycephalic dogs: breathing of dogs with this condition changes

Some dog breeds naturally have a harder time breathing, such as brachycephalic puppies. The canine anatomy of brachycephalic dog breeds (such as Shih Tzu, Pug and Bulldog) has some differences as a result of the various crossbreeding they have undergone in the past. Brachycephalic dogs have a shorter skull and a flatter muzzle with nostrils.In addition, they have tracheal hypoplasia, a condition that causes the organ to be poorly developed.

With these changes in the canine anatomy, air has difficulty passing through the narrow nostrils and the little space available in the poorly developed trachea. Thus, the brachycephalic dog's breathing is impaired and he naturally has breathing problems more often. Therefore, it is very common to see brachycephalic dogs panting and with their tongue out. These areclassic signs of a dog with difficulty breathing.

Frequency of breathing: small dogs tend to breathe faster

The rate of a dog's breathing says a lot about its health. Typically, a dog's breathing rate is between 10 and 35 breaths per minute. However, this average is not the same for all dogs: small dogs tend to have a naturally higher rate than large dogs. Also, it is important to note that this is the average for dog breathingOn very hot days or after physical activity, for example, it is normal for the animal to show a faster rhythm. We can say that the dog's breathing is out of normal when it shows a rhythm of less than 10 (bradypnea) or more than 35 (tachypnea) breaths per minute when it is at rest.

Dogs with short, rapid breathing, trembling, tongue hanging out... understand the causes of each type of breathing difficulty

It is very important to keep an eye on breathing. Dogs with an unusual breathing rate may have a health problem that should be investigated and treated. Shortness of breath is dangerous because without oxygen, all organs are compromised. Check out some types of dog breathing that deserve special attention:

Puppy with short, rapid breathing: This is a symptom of a dog hyperventilating. A dog with short, rapid breathing is short of breath and breathes this way in an attempt to better capture oxygen from the environment. Common causes are stress, anxiety and respiratory illnesses in general. Whenever you see your dog with short, rapid breathing, try to calm him down and take him to the vet.

Puppy breathing very fast and heart racing: As we have explained, the respiratory and cardiovascular systems are interconnected, which is why dogs with heart problems also have shortness of breath as a symptom. Heart disease ends up compromising circulation and, consequently, the flow of oxygen. Thus, respiratory complications arise that lead to rapid breathing. The dog has a very fast heartbeat and more breathing.panting at night.

Dog's breath panting and body shaking: a panting dog is common to several respiratory diseases. When this sign comes with a body tremor, it may indicate that the dog has a fever. Another possibility is poisoning. The poisoned dog is panting and its body shakes, as well as showing disorientation, excessive salivation and sometimes seizure. Finally, panting dog breathing with shaking body can also besign of anxiety.

Dog with its tongue hanging out: This behavior is common after physical exercise or on hot days. When receiving affection and in the euphoria of meeting the owner, it is also normal to see the dog with its tongue out. Outside of these situations, however, it may indicate that the animal has a respiratory problem. In addition, the dog breathing too fast with its tongue out may be thirsty, so offer water.

Puppy flu is one of the most common respiratory illnesses a dog can get

Sinusitis, rhinitis, canine bronchitis, dog pneumonia... there are many respiratory problems in dogs that need attention, especially in winter. Dog flu - which can also be called kennel cough or canine cough - is caused by the Influenza A virus. Its transmission happens by the contact of a healthy pet with a contaminated animal, object or environment. There are many different ways to treat it.Similarities between human flu and dog flu. Symptoms are similar and the popular name is the same. However, they are not the same disease because the viruses that cause each are different. Therefore, dog flu is not transmitted to humans and vice versa.

Flu symptoms in dogs: coughing and runny nose are the most frequent ones

In dog flu, symptoms are not usually intense. Most of the time, they are just reminiscent of a cold. However, even if the dog flu is mild, it is important to treat it. As simple as the disease is at first, it can evolve and result in pneumonia. The symptoms of dog flu that the guardian should be aware of are: dry cough, sneezing, runny nose, runny eye, etc.watering, apathy, lack of appetite, difficulty breathing and fever. It is worth mentioning that not all these indications of flu in dogs always appear. Symptoms can appear gradually and, therefore, it is always important to be vigilant.

Influenza in dogs: how to treat it?

When you see symptoms of dog flu, take your dog to the vet for evaluation. But after diagnosing your pet with dog flu, how do you treat the disease? Since the flu does not usually progress to a serious condition so quickly, it is common to treat it with plenty of rest, hydration and good nutrition. In some cases, the veterinarian may prescribe some dog flu medicationMedications are chosen according to the symptoms presented. Among the most prescribed types of dog flu remedies, we can highlight antipyretics to relieve fever and antibiotics for the most advanced cases, where there is potential to turn into dog pneumonia.

To avoid dog breathing problems in winter, keep your pet warm and vaccinated

Throughout the year, your pet may suffer from respiratory problems, but they are more frequent in the colder months, since the body's defenses naturally tend to weaken when the animal is exposed to lower temperatures. Among the most common diseases in winter, dog flu and canine bronchitis deserve to be highlighted. To avoid these problems, it is important to warm the dog.Put extra blankets in the doghouse and bed to keep your pet warm. Also, invest in doggie cold weather clothing. Your doggie will be stylish and warm.

Another fundamental care, not only in winter, but at any time of the year, is to keep the dog's vaccination up to date. The flu in dogs can be prevented with the canine flu vaccine, applied from two months and with annual reinforcement. In addition to vaccinating the pet, remember to keep the animal hydrated and with a quality diet to ensure that its immunity is always strengthened.

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Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.