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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29749
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Our 9 year old lab, German, dingo mix is breathing hard

Customer Question

Hello our 9 year old lab, German, dingo mix is breathing hard IN thru her nose... Very weird like she can't get a breath in... What do you think is going on? Never heard her like that before... She is eating and drinking normally
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
You're quite observant. Inhalatory dyspnea (difficulty breathing) is most often associated with upper-airway obstruction. The severity of inhalatory dyspnea can vary from a mild inspiratory wheeze to extreme gasping actions. Ginger's vet will need to carefully observe Ginger because the sound of turbulent air at the level of the obstruction may suggest the site of obstruction (e.g., nasal vs. tracheal). If nasal obstruction is present, Ginger's dyspnea should disappear when she breathes with her mouth open. Other than potentially severe respiratory distress, dogs with upper-airway dyspnea are otherwise generally well - no weight loss and no other physical abnormalities.
A thorough physical exam including scoping of her nose, nasopharynx, and trachea is indicated unless Ginger remissed unaided which is possible if the obstruction is due to transient inflammation such as could be seen with allergies, infection or foreign bodies (such as foxtails if you live west of the Mississippi river) which would need to be extracted from her nose under anesthesia.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.