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Shih tzu breathing problems
kruss09 posted:
I have a one year old shih tzu. I've had her for about 4 months. And shes had something like an asthma attack three times now. she gasps for air for a few minutes and then it stops. It seems to be happening when we are in cold spells (its snowing here) I know i need to take her to the vet, but dont have the money to right now. I'm just not sure what it is and whats causing it, or if its something common for this breed?
ShivaChi responded:
Seeing as Shih Tzu's have flat noses, they can have a breathing problem, I forgot what it's called, but it's basically where the dog sounds like it's reverse sneezing(and it's also called a reverse sneeze, just forgot what the scientific name for it is). It's really nothing to worry about even though it does sound bad. From what you're describing this is what it sounds like, not an asthma attack. Try looking up info on Shih Tzu's and you might find info on this. I know Yorkie's can have it and basically all flat nosed dogs just some are more sceceptible then others. So if you can't find this info on a Shih Tzu page, try looking up Yorkie's and you should be able to find it.
AllMe3 responded:
Nothing's wrong w/her honey. Our shih tzu, Moogie is 13 years old and has been doing this since we got her.. we got freaked out in the beginning too,,, its like a snarfie snark high pitched inhale that catches at the back of her throat. She does it when she gets excited, or wants attention, or has a cold and has mucous built up in the back of her throat. We call it her drama queen mode... it's normal for this breed because of the smoshed in face. Hugs, Heather and Moogs
Kathy_Snyder_DVM_DACVIM responded:
My guess would also be that what you're describing might be a "reverse sneeze". If you look on a website with video clips (like youtube) they have some great examples of this very characteristic problem. So I'd recommend you look up one of these videos and see if it's what your dog is doing. Reverse sneezing is usually a benign process seen in small breed dogs. It can be caused by a variety of diseases in a specific area of the throat called the nasopharynx, but most of the time does not require therapy. However, Shih Tzu's can have other anatomical changes that might cause different or more significant breathing problems. Things you should be concerned about--if your dog's gums turn blue, she falls down, passes out, coughs excessively, can't exercise like normal, or has any changes in appetite or overall behavior. If those things are occurring, you need to take her in right away to see your vet. Good luck!


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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