Q: Why is my dog snorting?

June 28, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2038 days ago

Mary T.

What is the snorting noise my dog makes in hot weather?

Chosen Answer

If your dog is snorting in hot weather, your dog may be having trouble inhaling air to keep cool, and might be in danger of heatstroke.

Heatstroke starts when a dog’s normal body mechanisms fail to keep internal temperature in a safe range. Normally a dog’s body temperature is between 99 and 102.5 degrees F. Internal temperatures over 106 degrees F. can put the body in “shock” with fatal consequences for the heart, liver, kidneys and brain. Heatstroke requires emergency medical attention.

Panting promotes evaporation across the tongue, as outside air is pulled into the lungs. The evaporative-cooling process is most efficient in long-nosed dogs. For dogs with flat, pushed-in faces and shorter windpipes (such as Pekinese, Pugs or Bulldogs) that deep breathing is not efficient —because they have less surface area in the nose to dissipate heat. They should take it easy in hot weather, when too much exertion can lead to heatstroke.

That snorting could be an early-warning sign. Other signs of respiratory difficulty include snoring, wheezing, and whistling noises. Whether or not you have a short-nosed dog, learn the signs and first-aid treatments for heatstroke. Enroll is a pet first aid course, such as one offered by the American Red Cross, where you will learn to administer artificial respiration and CPR.

Thanks to the vets at BluePearl Veterinary Partners (bluepearlvet.com) for this answer.

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