Snoring Complications in Dogs

by Deborah Lundin
    Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a common condition in short-nosed dogs and causes snoring.

    Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a common condition in short-nosed dogs and causes snoring.

    Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    If Fido’s snoring sounds like a freight train and is keeping you up at night, it may be time to make an appointment with your veterinarian. Snoring indicates that there is a problem with the normal airway opening. While this could be something as simple as a cold or allergy, the cause of his snoring may be something much more serious.

    Infections and Irritants

    Infections, such as kennel cough and canine influenza, cause coughing and runny noses. With the presence of nasal discharge comes the possibility of nasal blockage, resulting in snoring. Fungal infections, such as aspergillosis, and allergies can cause nasal symptoms and partially block the airway, resulting in snoring. If your dog experiences cold-like symptoms, contact a veterinarian to rule out any underlying infections that could be contributing to your dog’s nighttime noises. If your dog is exposed to smoke on a regular basis, this irritant can contribute to snoring.

    Foreign Body, Tumor or Obesity

    Dogs have a bad habit of getting into things they shouldn’t. If your dog has ingested or inhaled a foreign object, that object may be partially blocking the airway, resulting in restricted breathing and snoring. Tumors located in the nasal cavity also contribute to snoring, as well as sneezing, nosebleeds and panting. If your dog is obese, his weight may be contributing to his loud sleep patterns. Obese dogs often have excess tissue in their throats that partially blocks the airway.

    Dental Problems

    Dental problems also can contribute to snoring. Tooth infections or abscesses can enter the sinus cavity and act as an airway blockage. Regular dental care can help to reduce the risk of dental infections and this possibility. Check your dog’s teeth often and contact your veterinarian if you notice red or swollen gums, bad breath or broken or infected teeth.

    Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

    Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a condition that occurs in brachycephalic dogs, such as bulldogs, boxers, Boston terriers, Pekingese and shih tzus. This syndrome is the result of genetic abnormalities such as stenotic nares, elongated soft palates, hypoplastic trachea and everted laryngeal saccules. Dogs can suffer from one of these conditions or a combination of them. Stenotic nares are narrowed or small nostrils, hypoplastic trachea occurs when the windpipe is narrower than normal and when laryngeal saccules evert, or turn outwards, they enter and block the airways. Exercise, hot weather or overheating can increase snoring. In many cases, surgery is necessary to open airways.

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

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