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Home page Useful advices Respiratory spasms in dwarf breeds

Respiratory spasms in dwarf breeds

This is a fairly common problem with dwarf breeds - the dog suddenly spreads its paws wide, stretches out his neck and tries unsuccessfully to inhale. The attack lasts 10-20 seconds, and usually happens at times when he or she is very excited such as when his or her family is coming home or when it’s time for a walk.

Why is this happening?

It is connected to the fact that small dogs have a short muzzle and a relatively large diaphragm. The mechanism of spasms is not fully understood, but it is clear that this is not a manifestation of a disease or a defect - even a thorough examination of the respiratory system does not identify any issues.

What to do?

At the time of spasm, you should pinch your pet’s nose with your fingers, you can even press your fingers together a little bit (only gently!) - the dog will have to open its mouth and breathe in air. The spasm will immediately pass. There is no point in pressing on the neck at the moment of a spastic stricture - it does not help.

Do I have to contact the vet

Contacting a vet about recurrent respiratory spasms is practically useless - this is not a disease, only an anatomically conditioned feature. However, if this problem occurs often because your pet is particularly excitable, the veterinarian will be able to recommend the use of sedatives.

If your dog often experiences difficulty breathing on a level surface, and the described method of solving the problem does not help, you should contact a veterinarian to find out the reasons - it may be allergic rhinitis, an infectious disease ("cold"), the presence of tumours or a number of other causes. 

Good health to you and your pets!

Elena Gaynulina, vet and breeder of the kennel "Ot Pandy Sharm"

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