Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder and affects a large number of people. The person suffering from this condition experiences erratic breathing during their sleep.
This may involve repeated spells where the person stops breathing while asleep. Such spells may drastically reduce the quantity of oxygen supplied to the brain and other body parts. Sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age. However, men, people over the age of 40 and people with family history of sleep apnea are at higher risk.
But is sleep apnea restricted to human beings only? The answer is no as many animals including dogs have been found to be suffering from sleep apnea. This condition is as dangerous and grave for your pets as it is for human beings. However, if you are careful and are able to pinpoint the issue, you may be able to provide proper medical attention to your dog.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in your Pet
Your pet dog is likely to exhibit symptoms of sleep apnea. One of the most conspicuous symptoms is snoring. While, not all the cases of snoring point to sleep apnea, it is still worth an investigation, especially if the snoring is loud and frequent.
If you find your dog gasping for breath during their sleep, you should seek medical help for them. Tiredness and irritability may also indicate a sleep apnea problem for your pooch.
You should also be careful if your dog belongs to short nose breeds such as pugs and bulldogs. These dogs have small nostrils and a short windpipe, making them more vulnerable to sleep apnea.
Causes of Canine Sleep Apnea
Canine sleep apnea may be caused due to several reasons. Swollen air passage may cause this issue in your dog. Alternatively, if your dog has any allergies to certain foods or chemicals, then such allergies may also lead to sleep apnea. Many dogs also face this problem in warm and humid weather.
In all pertinent cases, the best course of action is to take your dog to the vet, who is in the best position to find out the real cause behind the issue. It is vital to that you mention all the symptoms and other medical conditions faced by your dog. After proper assessment of the case, your vet may recommend the best course of action.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are several treatment options available including Sleep Disorder Therapy. While many cases are treated with medication, in certain cases, your dog may have to undergo surgery to correct the flaw. These types of surgeries may include upper airway surgery or nasal palatopharyngeal surgery.
If your dog’s sleep apnea is caused due to allergies, then such allergies may be treated using anti-histamine medications. Similarly, your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication for treating swollen air passages.
Sleep apnea is a highly treatable condition. However, it may even prove to be fatal if it is not diagnosed in time. Therefore, you should be attentive towards various symptoms shown by your dog. In case of any doubt, you should seek your vet’s opinion.
While we can’t help your dog, if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and live in the Austin area, visit Dr. Dan Matthews office for sleep apnea treatment alternatives.