Does your pet snore? Is it less of a gentle cat purr or a deep exhale from Fido during a daytime nap and more of an audible snore similar to that of a human being? Though more common in dogs than cats, snoring in pets can be normal. However, some cases of snoring can indicate a more serious medical condition. Here’s what you should know.
What is snoring?
Snoring is a sound generated during sleep by the vibration of soft tissue in the upper airway. This can occur when passages in the airways become blocked during sleep.
- Brachycephalic Breeds: Certain breeds are predisposed to snoring. These breeds have shortened snouts and pushed in facial features. As a result of elongated soft palates that may block airflow while sleeping, smaller nostrils and nasal/airway passages, your pet may snore. Common breeds who are known snorers include BullDogs, Pugs, Boxers, Persians, Himalayans, and Burmese.
- Excess weight: Pets that are overweight or obese may snore as a result of extra fat collecting in the throat area and blocking airflow during sleep.
- Sleep position:Cats can sleep in some of the most unbelievable positions due to their flexibility. Some sleep positions may make your dog or cat prone to snoring depending on the position of their neck and head.
- Respiratory issues: Pet asthma, respiratory infections, chronic nasal inflammation can cause your pet to snore.
- Foreign objects: Your pet experiences the world through his or her senses, and one of them relies on sniffing and smelling. This can lead to foreign objects becoming stuck in the nasal cavity. Dirt, food, plant materials, excess mucus, or other objects can become lodged in the nose causing your pet to snore.
Allergies, dental problems, inflammation, trauma, or growths can also be the cause of your pet snoring.
When should I be concerned?
In general, snoring is considered normal unless accompanied by other symptoms that can indicate a more serious condition.
- Discharge from the eyes and nose could be signs of a respiratory infection
- Behavioral changes such as lethargy or a loss of appetite
- Difficulty swallowing or choking on food
- Panting, coughing, wheezing, open mouth breathing, or gasping for air
- Swollen facial areas
These are all warning signs of a greater problem and you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
Things you can do at home
Consider making your pet’s sleeping area more comfortable. Hedges can elevate your pet’s head reducing the likelihood of snoring. A humidifier near his or her favorite sleeping spot can add moisture in the air helping to make it a peaceful night.
Exercise is crucial to your pet’s development and quality of life. This can help him or her to shed some extra pounds if excess weight is the cause of your pet’s snoring.
Attend your pet’s routine veterinary visits as these are important to keep your pet happy and healthy. Pets can’t tell us when they are in pain or struggle, so it is our job as pet parents to be aware and alert.
If your dog or cat has always snored, he or she is most likely okay. However, if the snoring comes on suddenly or if accompanied by other symptoms, it is time to visit the vet. For more information on pets and snoring, contact St. Matthews Animal Clinic today.