Not all pantings are the same.
There is “stress” panting. There is “painful” panting. There is “nausea” panting.
Then there is “COPD-like” panting.
If you haven’t heard, COPD = Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The term is now including symptoms previously called “Chronic Bronchitis” and “Emphysema”. It is defined as:
“.. a lung disease characterized by chronic obstruction of lung airflow that interferes with normal breathing and is not fully reversible.”
Clinical symptoms as listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) includes abnormal shortness of breath (panting) and increased forced expiratory time.
Think of your pet’s breathing behavior. Does your pet pant all of a sudden, while it is relaxed, sitting down on the sofa with you or laying quietly in its bed? Does your pet breathe quickly suddenly in the middle of the night or sit up suddenly while sleeping?
Lungs are filters.
Lungs are like filters. They allow oxygenated air to be absorbed in to the bloodstream and keeps the dirty particles within the lung tissues. From time to time, these unwanted materials are filtered out of our body by way of phlegm (or mucus).
When your pet becomes exposed to excessive contaminants or irritants eg. cigarette smoke, aromatherapy, chemicals (such as bleach or floor cleaners) and unfiltered cold air such as from airconditioning – the lungs produce or over-produce mucus to discharge these unwanted contaminants from the body.
Excretion is one of the means our body use to discharge and remove unwanted materials from our body. Excretions include phlegm produced by the lungs, tears by our eyes, mucus from our nose, saliva from our mouth, ear-wax from our ears, urine from the kidney and stools from the intestines. These discharges if within normal quantity, should not be suppressed. By suppressing these physiological discharges back in to the body, we simply fill our body with toxic materials. As these accumulate, clinical disease ultimately ensues.
So what’s the problem with panting?
See below check list to help determine whether panting in your pet is possibly a sign of impending respiratory problems:
- Your pet is a senior – greater than 7 years old
- Your pet pants in the evening, despite being calm and relaxed
- There may be a change in the color of the nose
Panting means shortness of breath. If it happens “for no apparent reason” – then one of the issues to consider is that the lungs are not functioning properly. It may be that the tissues are gradually becoming filled with “dirty stuff”, which is causing inflammation in the lungs. The constant inflammation is akin to “slow cooking” of these discharges. As a result, discharges that are watery turns thick and viscous, ultimately becoming almost dried and stuck to the fine tissues of the lungs.
Discharges that are stuck to the lung tissues are very difficult to become unstuck. There are no western medications capable to break up such chronic discharges. Even nebulization may not be successful. Antibiotics will briefly control the infection in such situations. Often, the use of antibiotics further suppress the discharges into the lung tissues causing permanent damage.
We have found that earlier detection of such subtle abnormal breathing pattern and the use of homotoxicological therapy along with nebulization, coupage and acupuncture can help to clear the clogged lung tissues. Doing so can help your pet maintain healthier lungs and avert the development of pneumonia.