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Dr. Drew
Dr. Drew, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16846
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
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What causes my dog to hyperventilate

Customer Question

What causes my dog to hyperventilate?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.

Is your dog in distress?
How old is your dog?
What breed is it?
How long has this problem been going on for?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't think he is in distress. He is 9 years old, a black lab, and it has just happenen twice in the last 3 nights
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
Can you describe this hyperventilation behavior to me? Does he inhale repeatedly with the corners of his mouth pulled back?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.

OK, thanks. Most likely, what you are seeing, is "Reverse Sneezing", this is a common occurrence in dogs, and is usually due to irritation of the nasal passages and/or throat area. It is generally not something to be concerned about unless it is continuous or occurs very frequently (many times a day). If so, then there may be a foreign object stuck in the nasal passage or throat ( a blade of grass, or a plant seed, or some other small item that may have been inhaled or eaten). Polyps can also cause this problem, so it may be necessary to have a scope procedure performed to look for polyps or other problems if this issue persists.

Antihistamines are sometimes useful, such as Benadryl (1mg per pound, every 12 hours), but if the problem persists, you'll likely need to see a veterinarian for further evaluation.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is it typical that he shakes during after this happens? It's like when he hears thunder. Gets the shakes bad.
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
That's not really that common, but I have seen some dogs get a little nervous because they don't understand why they are experiencing this reverse sneeze episode. I have a little XXXXX XXXXX who sometimes seems scared or worried after such episodes occur.
Dr. Drew and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks so much for the information, he is like our child and I tend to over react when somethings bothering him.
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 6 years ago.
You're welcome - if the antihistamines don't seem to help, or the problem persists or worsens, be sure to have your veterinarian take a look! :)