In this article, we will answer the following question: Why is my Yorkie panting? A dog’s panting is a really exciting event in which we do not usually delve too much; we just take it for granted. But what is it for?
Why is my Yorkie panting?
Your Yorkie is panting because he wants to cool his body and maintain optimal body temperature. This rapid, shallow breathing allows him to control his body temperature and replaces the sweat glands a dog’s body lacks.
The answer is simple: Dogs don’t have sweat glands, so they don’t sweat. The pads and the nose of a dog – which do sweat and are therefore always wet – are not enough to release all the excess heat from your Yorkie’s body. Hence, he has developed another way to cool himself: panting.
If the dog’s body reaches 38 or 39 degrees, it is very likely that he will start panting. Your Yorkie will stick out his tongue and will start to take in and out air very quickly. Thanks to this mechanism, the water in the dog’s mouth evaporates and the air will begin to circulate throughout its body more efficiently. This entire cycle favors the release of excess heat and the well-being of the animal.
Therefore, the hotter the environment, the more your dog will need to pant to thermoregulate. Now, in addition to this normal and physiological cause for which your dog is panting excessively, there is another pathological one. This is not to say that if your dog is panting a lot, you should automatically think something is wrong.
It is common for your dog to pant if he performs an intense exercise, for example. To balance your temperature, he will increase the number and frequency of panting. As his body temperature drops, his panting frequency will also decrease. However, if after a while this does not happen, we recommend consulting with a veterinarian to rule out any of the causes why your dog is panting a lot.
Why is my Yorkie panting a lot?
We can distinguish two types of panting in dogs: normal and excessive. Normal panting is the physiological response that we have already described and that can be triggered by an increase in temperature in the environment, intense exercise, or intense emotion.
However, there are also many reasons why you may think, “My dog is panting a lot, something is wrong.” So that you take them into account, you can relate them to an intense panting and act accordingly, we explain them below:
Pain – Your dog can be in pain for many reasons. What you should be clear about is that a heavy panting that does not subside can be an indication of trauma or another condition that causes pain.
Fever – As in other mammals, fever is a defense mechanism that your dog can have as a defense against illness. As his body temperature rises, your dog will start panting more to control cooling.
Heatstroke – This condition requires you to act urgently. It is important to know the symptoms caused by heatstroke in dogs and see the vet immediately. In addition to the increase in temperature accompanied by intense panting, other symptoms are fever, vomiting, shortness of breath, dehydration, bleeding, or shock.
Intoxication – There are several substances that are dangerous for your dog. One of the symptoms of poisoning is loud gasping accompanied by bleeding, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and weakness
Another condition to consider is being overweight or obese. A dog with extra pounds will tire faster under any physical demand and will pant much more.
When should I be worried that my Yorkie is panting a lot?
Outside of the physiological situations in which panting appears, if it does not remit or we perceive signs in our dog that make us suspect that it is not well, we must seek veterinary assistance since we could be in such serious situations as the following:
Shock: with this term, we refer to a state of insufficient blood supply and low oxygen. It can be caused by bleeding, heart failure, anaphylaxis, dehydration, intoxication, sepsis, etc. The warning signs are panting, rapid heartbeat, mucosal congestion that later turns pale, hypothermia, or unconsciousness.
Heatstroke: in addition to intense panting, we will appreciate respiratory distress, thick saliva, vomiting, fever, internal bleeding, gray mucous membranes, shock, collapse, seizures, or coma. It is very serious, must be treated immediately, and even then it can be fatal.
Dehydration: occurs when the body is not able to replace the body fluids it loses. It is usually due to severe vomiting and severe diarrhea but is also caused by severe illness, heatstroke, or fever. If we pull the skin on the back and it does not regain its shape immediately, our dog is dehydrated.
Diabetic ketoacidosis: it is due to an increase in blood glucose with the accumulation of ketones, which are products derived from the metabolism of fats. Causes general weakness, vomiting, and acetone-smelling breath. This is a veterinary emergency.
Poisoning: they also produce other symptoms such as depression, respiratory distress, hypersalivation, vomiting even with blood, diarrhea, general weakness, incoordination, tremors, or seizures. The prognosis depends on the poison, the characteristics of the dog, the amount with which it has contacted, or the speed in receiving assistance.
Pleural effusion: it is the accumulation in the chest of blood or serum due to different causes. We will notice that the dog breathes with his mouth open, his mucous membranes are blue, he remains still standing or sitting, in a position to try to get oxygen.
It is necessary to transfer it with caution to the veterinarian because it could collapse with any effort.
What do I do if my Yorkie is panting a lot?
Pathological panting is an indicator of serious ailments, therefore, as soon as we identify it, our first reaction should be to contact the veterinarian. And it is very important that we do it quickly because pathologies such as heat stroke, severe dehydration, or intoxication can be fatal in a very short time.
Symptoms of excessive panting in dogs
Observation is the best tool that owners have to realize when something is wrong with their pets through sudden changes in their behavior. With regard to excessive panting, the dog should be taken to the vet if he presents any of the following symptoms without apparent cause and on a recurring basis: panting very loud and lasting much longer than normal, when the dog tries hard to gasp.
Also, pay attention when there are no obvious reasons or reasons for panting or when the sound of panting is different than usual. Another important symptom is when panting appears suddenly and follows a strange pattern; that is, the dog at rest begins to pant and suddenly stops and minutes later begins to pant again.
The reasons why your dog’s pants so much can be very varied and in most cases, it can respond to completely normal behavior. However, if you notice some of the symptoms of excessive panting, it is best to take him to the vet to determine what is causing it. Is your dog one of those who pants excessively?
Dogs do not sweat as we do. They do not have sweat glands all over their skin. On the contrary, they only have a small number located on the pads. But they still need to lower their temperature when they are hot. To achieve this they have resorted to another mechanism: the tongue. When a dog is hot, it sticks its tongue out.
In this way, the evaporation that occurs on its surface lowers its temperature. Therefore, it is completely normal that, after practicing intense exercise or on the hottest days, our dog sticks its tongue out and in, although it is more normal for it to keep its mouth open for the necessary time. It is panting, not always effective.
Keep in mind that if the ambient temperature is very high, panting will be insufficient to lower the dog’s body temperature. In those cases, if you don’t get a cooler environment quickly, you risk a dangerous heat stroke. This is a veterinary emergency for which you should receive immediate attention.
As you can see, it is very useful to have the appropriate information about the possible dangers that can threaten the life of your dog. Thanks to this knowledge you will be able to act quickly and in the most appropriate way.
If you think: “my dog is panting a lot” and it is not normal, with this information you can determine if it is an alarm signal that you should attend to as a priority and go immediately to your trusted veterinarian.
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FAQ on Why is my Yorkie panting?
Why is my dog’s tongue sticking out?
Most of the time your dog sticks his tongue out to cool down, or because he is calm and submissive to his owner. If your dog sticks his tongue out excessively and shows other symptoms of pain or discomfort, you should consult a vet as he may have a mouth or throat injury.
What does it mean when a dog licks you?
When a dog licks you, he likes you, it is a sign of affection. Licking releases endorphins and makes the dog feel comfortable and calm. It also relieves the stress of the dog.
Do dogs understand when you kiss them?
Dogs do not understand what a kiss is, but they can interpret it as a sign of affection. Most dogs enjoy being kissed, hugged, and petted.
How do you know if a dog loves you?
You know that a dog loves you if he is curling up in your lap, rests his nose or paw on you, or if he is wagging his tail every time he sees you. It means that he is happy, wants to play, and trusts you.
Why does my dog lick me all the time?
If your dog licks you all the time it means that he is being submissive. In dog language, it means that you are the “leader of the pack” and this is just typical canine behavior.