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When a Dog Snores: Simply a Nuisance or a Cause for Concern?

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sleeping puppies

Jessie, the prim and proper canine who embraces all levels of etiquette, even while sleeping:  See that mangy cat Marty over there? He is always sleeping, and even in his sleep he makes me crazy as he sometimes snorts, snores and makes other strange noises. I, for one, cannot tolerate it. I would never presume to make any unusual and disturbing noises in my sleep. However, does your dog’s snoring keep you up at night? If so, I bet you are far more tolerant of that snoring than you are of the snoring of your spouse or significant other, am I right?

Nevertheless, snoring dogs can be more than just a nuisance. Snoring can also point to any number of health problems. If your dog exhibits a new sign, such as snoring, it would be wise to consult with your veterinarian about the possible cause of the snoring. Further, if you dog has always snored but you notice it getting worse and progressing, then you should also consider a chat with your vet right away.

Snoring is indicative of something at least partially obstructing your dog’s airways. Some common causes might include rhinitis, which is a temporary inflammation in the nose from allergies or upper respiratory infections. It could also point to fungal disease, caused by mold found in hay, grass clippings and similar environmental factors. If this is left untreated, it can result in diminished appetite and serious health issues.

Snoring may also be the result of tumors or other foreign bodies inside your dog. Perhaps your dog inhaled something that is blocking his airway or perhaps there is a tumor causing the blockage.

Dental problems can also cause snoring in a dog. A bad tooth can lead to an abscess, which can eventually penetrate the sinus passages. If not treated, it can be a source of infection for the whole body, ultimately leading to the possibility of kidney failure down the road.

Then there is the issue of obesity. Much like their human counter parts, dogs seem to be getting bigger. Heavier humans may snore; heavier dogs may snore. As a dog breathes in and out, obesity makes the trachea rings slam shut.

Additionally, certain dog breeds are predisposed to snoring, especially those with short noes, such as Boston terriers and pugs. Even though this type of snoring is a natural tendency, it is still wise to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any other possible cause.

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