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If your pregnant dog starts to breathe heavily and you’re wondering what might be causing this, then this article will go over some of the common reasons for heavy breathing and panting in dogs, so you can be sure everything is all right with your dog and there is no problem with her health or the delivery process.
Labor Contractions Making The Pet Restless
If you never had a pregnant dog before then it might help to find out that labor in pets happens in a succession of stages. While still at the initial stages of its labor, a dog will usually start panting rapidly and will move around almost chaotically. Labor contractions will be to blame, making the dog feel restless.
Heavy breathing and panting are actually a great sign that the labor has begun, especially considering that the first contractions won’t be visible to the naked eye. Keep in mind that this initial stage won’t last more than eight hours after which it will be followed by the second stage.
Your Dog is Starting to Give Birth
The second and final stage of the dog’s labor will be when she actually gives birth, where panting and heavy breathing will be easily noticeable. While within the second stage of giving birth, the dog will also be very alert. This is when you will also be able to see contractions with your naked eye. This second stage shouldn’t last too much and you should be able to see the first pup in less than 20 minutes of straining.
Although you will want to be around so that everything goes according to plan and the birth is smooth, you also want to give your dog just a little privacy while in the last stages of labor. It will take a few strains for the body of the dog to release the sac, in which it will be the just-born puppy.
Your Dog Has an Iron Deficiency
If your dog is breathing heavily and panting more than usual, then it might be because of an iron deficiency like anemia. If this is the case, then along with panting and heavy and rapid breathing, your dog might also exhibit symptoms like weakness, anorexia, overall lethargy, and even depression. The dog will also be prone to developing other diseases or illnesses, while her stools will also change color to a darker shade.
A lot of factors can lead to iron deficiency in dogs, among the most common ones being blood-sucking parasites like ticks, fleas, and hookworms. This condition will also be caused by urinary tract infections, masses in the stomach or intestines, or even lymphoma.
The panting and heavy breathing won’t go away until you treat the underlying medical cause and if the dog has lost a considerable amount of blood, she might need a blood transfusion. The iron deficiency will also require treatment like oral medications or injections periodically afterward.
How Will You Know When a Dog is About to Give Birth?
If you have a pregnant dog breathing heavily and panting, then you can guide yourself with the help of two signs, to know when the labor is likely to happen. Most dogs will have a lower than normal temperature a few days before giving birth. This decrease shouldn’t be excessive. It will usually go from 102 to a minimum of 99. When the temperature drops below 99 then it is more than likely that the birth will happen within the next 24 hours.
Aside from this, the day labor is likely to happen your dog will become lethargic and restless. Your dog could whine quite a lot, will become sleepier and is likely to vomit food. As time goes by, the fact that your dog is moving forward with this process will become very obvious. When the dog is really alert and panting becomes heavier and heavier, it means that she will give birth within the next few minutes.