Chihuahua Breathing Fast and Shallow

Last Updated on April 25, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Chihuahua breathing fast and shallow can be bad, so the right thing to do is contact your vet, who will give you a piece of advice on what to do next. That will guarantee that your dog receives the care that is required as soon as possible.

After you’ve phoned your veterinarian, make sure your dog is as relaxed as possible as you take them securely to the clinic. Here are some pointers on how to transfer a pet in an emergency.

Shallow Breathing In Dogs

While shallow or quick breathing is typically not a cause for concern in younger dogs, trouble breathing (Dyspnea) is a serious condition that necessitates a trip to the veterinarian.

Panting is common in older dogs, and while it is usually nothing to be concerned about, it can be a sign of a serious medical issue. We’ll look at why your older dog could be panting and when you should be concerned.

Breathing Problems In Dogs

Please keep in mind that many other disorders can generate similar symptoms, and not every probable issue is included here. If your dog has trouble breathing and suffers from respiratory issues, your veterinarian is the best person to diagnose and treat him. Here are a couple of reasons:

Laryngeal paralysis

Because of its box-like form and role in sound production, your dog’s larynx nickname is a “voice box.” Its place is near the top of the trachea in the back of the throat. When your dog eats or drinks, small muscles cause the laryngeal flaps to close over the tracheal entrance.

While the dog is breathing, they also move the laryngeal flaps out of the way to enable maximum airflow into the trachea. If the nerves that control the laryngeal muscles are damaged, the laryngeal flap does not move and can partially restrict the trachea’s entry.

As air passes through the faulty flap, it creates resistance and resulting in less air reaching the lungs.

Tracheal collapse

The trachea is a wide tube-shaped structure, that travels down the back of the neck and into the chest before breaking into the major bronchi that lead to the lungs.

That is responsible for delivering oxygen-rich air to lung tissue and transporting carbon dioxide-laden air back to the outside world, among other things.

The trachea is a solid cartilaginous ring that covers around 80% of its circumference in a healthy trachea. The dorsal tracheal membrane, a soft-tissue structure that covers the area between the rings, accounts for the remaining 20%.

The cartilaginous tracheal rings lose stiffness as dog’s age, and the dorsal membrane sinks into the tracheal cavity. Compression of the airway occurs as a result of these situations, reducing the amount of room available for air to pass through.

Consider it like attempting to sip a rich milkshake with a thin straw. Because the straw tends to collapse, you only get a tiny amount of milkshake.


By a variety of bacterial, viral, and fungal organisms, the respiratory tract can catch an infection. Some infections are limited to the trachea or bigger airways, causing inflammation in those tissues.

A variety of bacteria or viruses may cause kennel cough, which is a common infection of the airways and trachea. Kennel cough in dogs with a simple case may cause a severe cough, but they will still be able to breathe normally.

However, the agents that cause kennel cough (or other infectious agents) can sometimes migrate deep into lung tissue, resulting in pneumonia. If a dog breaths in a small amount of food, liquids, or vomit, it may get aspiration pneumonia.

Because their airway is vulnerable owing to faulty laryngeal flaps, this can happen to any dog, but it is more likely in dogs with laryngeal paralysis. Pneumonia is dangerous because the infection causes the alveoli in the lungs to fill with fluid and debris.

The alveoli can no longer execute their duty of properly exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen. That can result in a lack of oxygen in the blood as well as rapid or difficult breathing. Other typical pneumonia symptoms include fever and a drowsy dog.

Find more information about Do Chihuahuas Have Breathing Problems – How To Treat Them?

breathing problems in dog

Heat Stroke

When humans become heated, they sweat via specific glands in their skin to help control their body temperature. Sweat helps to chill them down as it evaporates. Dogs on the other hand, only have sweat glands on their paws.

They rely on panting as a key technique for dispersing heat. That is because this isn’t enough to let them chill down fully.

There are occasions when a dog’s body cannot chill down quickly enough. When a dog is inside a car on a hot day, panting is ineffective in lowering a quickly rising body temperature as the temperature inside the vehicle rises. A dog might quickly overheat if it is exercising on a hot day.

Heart disease

Because it pumps oxygen-rich red blood cells throughout the body, the heart is one of your dog’s most critical organs. Part of what sends oxygen-depleted cells back to the lungs is to replace with the oxygen that a dog needs to survive is pressure from the heart.

Anything that causes your dog’s heart to malfunction might be harmful. Electrical abnormalities to problems affecting the size and strength of the heart’s chambers are all examples of heart disease in dogs. The ultimate consequence is a heart that doesn’t work as it should.

Your dog will start breathing quicker to compensate if the heart isn’t transporting enough oxygen across the body. Chihuahua breathing fast and shallow becomes much more difficult as fluid accumulates in the lungs or belly. That might result in congestive heart failure.

Conclusion On Chihuahua Breathing Fast And Shallow

As you can see from this list for chihuahua breathing fast and shallow, there are several reasons for a dog’s rapid breathing. Many of them are significant or even life-threatening. Count your dog’s respiration rate if you’re not sure it is breathing regularly.

It’s good to remember that 10-35 breaths per minute are considered normal. Anything over 40 breaths per minute is a cause for concern. Take a brief video of your dog’s breathing as well, just in case anything changes before you go to the clinic.

Read more about Are Chihuahuas Good For Asthma; Fact Or Fiction.

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