Respiratory Noise in Dogs

Overview of Respiratory Noises in Dogs

Dogs can have respiratory problems that cause respiratory noises. A respiratory noise is an abnormally loud sound that results from air passing through an abnormally narrowed pharynx (throat) or larynx (the upper part of the windpipe) as a result of increased resistance arising from a partial blockage to these regions.

The most common respiratory noises described are:

General Causes of Canine Respiratory Noises

What to Watch For

Diagnosis of Respiratory Noise

A thorough history and physical examination can help determine the underlying cause of the respiratory noise and help decide which tests are necessary. Some tests may include:

Treatment of Respiratory Noise

Your veterinarian might recommend several things to treat the patient with respiratory noise symptomatically, prior to instituting a full diagnostic work up. Medical approaches to individuals with respiratory noise are only appropriate for the cases that are secondary to infection, inflammation, edema or hemorrhage. Anatomic (structural) or neurologic causes are usually not amenable to symptomatic medical treatment.

Home Care and Prevention

A patient with respiratory noise can make the transition from a noisy breather to a patient who has a blocked airway and warrants emergency therapy in seconds. Some of these patients must be monitored continually.

Remove any possible exacerbating (worsening) circumstances to include excessive exercise, high environmental temperatures, and extreme stress or excitement.