Dog wheezing is a health issue that you should never brush aside.
While this condition can be triggered by your canine family member simply being exposed to everyday allergens and will disappear just after a few minutes, dog wheezing can also result in potentially life-threatening situations in some cases.
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Apart from walking you through the possible factors that could set off wheezing in dogs, this blog post will also give you a rundown of the proper home remedies for dog wheezing you should use when this problem strikes.
Let’s start the discussion by touching on the likely reasons why your dog is wheezing…
Why is my dog wheezing?
Wheezing in dogs occurs when something partially impedes the flow of air in or out of your canine family member’s airway. The source of this blockage could either be in the bronchi—the main tubes of the lungs—or the windpipe.
The high-pitched “wheezing” sound is basically created when the air moving from the lungs to the windpipe brushes against the said blockage during exhalation.
However, it is crucial to take note that there are several possible reasons why this wheezing sound is created, which can be anywhere from mild irritation to an underlying health issue.
Now we’ve got that out of the bag, let’s touch on the causes of dog wheezing that you need to keep in mind…
What causes wheezing in dogs?
There are eight (8) common causes of dog wheezing, namely genetics, foreign bodies, cardiovascular ailments, allergies, bronchitis, infections and inflammations, as well as kennel cough and collapsed windpipe. We’ll go through each one of these in detail below:
Interestingly, genetics play a key role in dog wheezing. Should either of both of your canine family member’s parents—the biological ones, in this case—be predisposed or have actually suffered from wheezing in dogs due to some underlying condition, then it’s also likely that he will be susceptible to this health issue as well.
If your precious pet is anything like most dogs, chances are he loves to chew on anything that he finds fascinating like toys, sticks, various foodstuffs, plastic lids, and even chunks of wood. It is not uncommon that some of these things may splinter or break into pieces, which can get lodged inside his airway, leading to coughing and wheezing.
Canine cardiovascular illnesses such as mitral valve disease, congestive heart failure, as well as cardiomyopathy, can cause the accumulation of fluid inside the lungs. This fluid can eventually spread out in and around a dog’s airway, which results in wheezing.
Just to emphasize, while this factor is mostly observed among senior dogs, it can also occasionally be noted in younger pooches that are suffering from a heart condition.
Akin to human beings, your canine family member can also be prone to allergy attacks. These can be triggered by dust, mold, certain types of food, pollen, industrial chemicals, as well as cigarette smoke and vapors from vapes, resulting in dog wheezing.
As these allergens make their way inside your dog’s respiratory system, they tend to set off an immune response that causes his airway to constrict, which can make breathing a bit difficult. Moreover, insect bites and stings can also lead to similar consequences.
Bronchitis is a respiratory illness that is characterized by the irritation of the main tubes of the lungs called “bronchi.” As this disease progresses, the lining of the bronchi gets inflamed and eventually swells, hindering the air to freely flow from the windpipe to the lungs and vice versa.
The more pronounced this swelling becomes, the harder it is for the air to move to and fro the lungs and windpipe, causing the high-pitched wheezing sound.
Infections and Inflammations
When your dog is suffering from an infection and or inflammation affecting the respiratory system, the most prominent immune responses that his body sets off are nasal discharge, bouts of coughing and sneezing, as well as a constricted airway.
This can also be accompanied by the buildup of phlegm in your canine family member’s sinuses and throat, which can hamper the flow of air in his windpipe and lungs, causing dog wheezing sooner or later.
Characterized by persistent bouts of dry coughing, kennel cough is a type of respiratory infection that irritates the lining of a dog’s airway making it difficult for him to breathe. This illness also causes parts of the throat and windpipe to swell, which can lead to dog wheezing.
A collapsed windpipe, also referred to as tracheal collapse, involves the unexpected falling in of cartilage that hold the trachea together. Depending on the severity of the collapse, a dog may experience bouts of coughing that have a distinctive honking sound as well as intermittent wheezing spells.
Next, let’s find out if dog wheezing can be deemed as an emergency situation or not…
Is dog wheezing an emergency?
More often than not, dog wheezing is not to be deemed as an emergency situation. This condition can be simply your dog’s body’s response to everyday allergens like dust and pollen, as well as contact with blades of grass and twigs that could give him quite a ticklish sensation.
But the thing is this doesn’t mean that wheezing in dogs should be just shrugged off altogether. Here are the crucial indicators that you need to keep an eye on to determine if this condition is potentially life-threatening for your pet already:
- He is visibly having a difficult time inhaling and exhaling
- His breathing is really shallow yet at a very fast pace
- His heart rate is significantly (and abnormally) high
- His gums and tongue have a noticeable bluish or purplish tinge
- He breathes with his mouth open with intermittent gagging and coughing
- He will exhibit signs of severe anxiety like aimless movement and prolonged whining
Make sure you immediately seek medical attention or provide emergency care for your canine family member as soon as you notice these signs. Paying no heed to the same could lead to extremely serious or even fatal consequences for your animal companion.
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s check out the dog wheezing natural remedies that you need to include in your home pet care kit to deal with this health issue the right way…
Dog wheezing home remedies
Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, over-the-counter bronchodilators and antibiotics are not just your only options when it comes to properly supporting your canine family member during wheezing in dogs.
The next time your beloved pet goes through this condition, make sure you give him these all-natural dog wheezing home remedies. What’s really interesting is that the following natural remedies can also be used as a preventive measure for this health issue:
Brew up some elecampane tea.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), elecampane—also known as elf wort, elfdock, and horse-heal—contains ample amounts of the organic compound alantolactone, which has been seen to help relax constricted airways in cases of respiratory inflammation.
Moreover, follow up studies on elecampane reveal that alantolactone has a noticeable therapeutic effect to airways that were suppressed or impeded by cigarette smoke exposure.
To use elecampane as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this dried root herb in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely. You can either give this elecampane tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.
Infuse your dog’s water with a bit of echinacea.
Another study published in the NCBI reveals that echinacea is abundant in a starch-like chemical called arabinogalactan, which showed noticeable therapeutic effects when used to deal with upper respiratory tract infections and inflammations.
Arabinogalactan has also been seen to help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by health issues like otitis media and pharyngotonsillitis that are often set off by infections and inflammations in the upper respiratory tract.
To use echinacea as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of dried echinacea flowers in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Stir it gently with a spoon to make sure that all of the bits are really soaked.
Once the mixture has cooled down completely, you can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of echinacea tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of echinacea tea to his water.
Keep respiratory inflammations at bay with licorice root.
The NCBI highlights another study where licorice root has been seen to inhibit the accumulation of 11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, which staves off the onset of allergic responses, particularly in the respiratory system.
To use licorice root as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of it in a cup of hot water for at least fifteen (15) minutes. Let the mixture linger for a few minutes after it has cooled down completely.
You can give your dog two (2) teaspoons of licorice root tea straight twice per day. Alternatively, you can also add the same amount of the same to his water.
Since licorice root is naturally slightly bitter, you can add a bit of honey to this concoction to make the whole thing sweeter and easier for your pet to consume.
Mullein leaves can hold back respiratory infections.
Another study published in the NCBI stresses that extracts derived from mullein leaves show the ability to “inhibit the growth of bacteria involved in respiratory infections,” which can trigger dog wheezing.
To use mullein leaves as a home remedy for dog wheezing, steep a teaspoon of this herb—you can go for either the fresh or dried variety—in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. Let the mixture cool down completely.
You can either give this mullein tea to your dog straight, one teaspoon at a time twice a day, or add in a couple of teaspoons of the same to his water.
Quercetin can help stabilize your dog’s respiratory rate.
According to MDPI, foods rich in quercetin such as dark cherries, unpeeled apples, and blueberries have been seen to help promote stabilized respiratory rates when consumed on a regular basis.
Additional studies note that animals previously often exposed to cigarette smoke have a higher chance of normalizing their respiratory rates as compared to those that did not.
To use quercetin as a home remedy for dog wheezing, integrate foods rich in this antioxidant into your canine family member’s regular diet.
In the next part of our discussion, I’d like to share a natural and high-quality product you can go for if your dog is going through a bout of wheezing…
A high-quality natural product you should check out
HomeoAnimal’s BRONCHIAL CLEAR is designed to support respiratory capacity and promote better lung health.
Besides being made with natural homeopathic ingredients, my team and I at HomeoAnimal have also ensured that each of the components that make up BRONCHIAL CLEAR are also first-rate to only give your pet the best like you would have also wanted.
To use BRONCHIAL CLEAR to support your canine family member during dog wheezing, you only need to give him a single spray of this product in his mouth once a day. You can also mix it with his water as an alternative application.
Moreover, make sure you stop administering BRONCHIAL CLEAR once the symptoms have disappeared. It is also important to take note that this product is not to be used as a preventive measure.
This brings our walkthrough on the home remedies you can use for dog wheezing to a close.
I hope that you learned a lot from our discussion, especially the part where I emphasized that wheezing in dogs should not be left to chance. Rather it should be given immediate and proper care and attention like having BRONCHIAL CLEAR in your dog home care checklist.
In case you’re looking to learn more about keeping your canine family member happy and healthy using natural means, make sure you sign up for our FREE HEALTH ADVISOR GUIDANCE right now to get the lowdown on the products and treatment options that best fit your animal's health needs.
Naturally with you and your pet, every step of the way!