Dogs can have breathing problems for a variety of reasons. Dogs with brachycephalic or snub-nosed faces like bulldogs or Pekingese are especially susceptible to breathing difficulties because of the shape of their faces. These dogs need to stay out of heat and humidity in order to keep from breathing difficulties or heat stroke.
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But dogs with all nose lengths can develop breathing problems. Home remedies for a dog with difficulty breathing can be beneficial, if the condition is not serious or immediately life-threatening. Clearly, serious conditions such as choking require CPR and vet attention.
Home remedies for a dog with difficulty breathing
In cases where you know that the dog is suffering from asthma, allergies, hay fever, or other sinus problems that can make breathing difficult, try the steam treatment. Move the dog to the bathroom. Do not put the dog in the tub or shower. Shut the door. Adjust the shower water as hot as it can go. Turn on the shower.
The steam will help to gradually loosen up the dog's airways. Have someone stay with the dog so the dog does not faint. Afterwards, bring the dog into a room with a vaporizer. Once the dog is breathing a bit better, consult a veterinarian because the benefits of steam are likely temporary.
Please call a vet before using any over-the-counter products intended for people. Many medications safe for people are highly toxic to pets. For instance, do not use products containing alcohol or caffeine, as these can make the dog ill. However, some over-the-counter medications can be used for dogs. A vet or even pharmacist will be able to advise you.
For instance, sterile saline nose drops made for people can help loosen mucus-blocked nostrils in dogs. Place two drops in each dog nostril. For bee sting allergies, hay fever or inflamed airways, some vets recommend the human antihistamine diphenhydramine, found in the brand name Benadryl: Give 2 to 4 milligrams for every pound that the dog weighs two to three times daily. Again, call the vet before administer any medication to be safe and check for potential reactions with medication the dog might already be taking.
Choking or heart conditions
If the dog has other symptoms such as shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, or if the tongue is turning blue, do not try any home remedies and get the dog to the vet as son as possible. The dog could be poisoned or could be suffering from a heart problem. When a dog is choking, it will frantically paw at the mouth and scrape the side of the mouth on the ground. Open the dog's mouth to look for an object. If you cannot get it out or do not see the object, do not delay and get the dog to the vet.
If the dog goes unconscious, then perform artificial respiration. Never perform artificial respiration on a conscious or healthy dog. Just going limp can dislodge the object. Always check the dog's mouth for objects before administering artificial respiration or CPR. Lay your dog on its side. Straighten the neck and head so there's a direct passage of air. Cover your mouth completely over the dog's nose and blow 20 to 30 times per minute. Preforming CPR on a dog should also be accompanied by chest compressions. When the dog is breathing, get it to the vet immediately.