Grunting and rattling in dogs: causes and when you should go to the vet
Rattling and grunting are not necessarily familiar sounds in dogs. Many dog owners, therefore, get a fright at first. In most cases, the unusual sounds are harmless. However, they can also be a symptom of an illness. When you should go to the vet, you can read here.
Dogs are capable of making a variety of sounds. These include rattling and grunting. But when and why do dogs groan?
Harmless causes for rattling and grunting
If your dog grunts or rattles while eating or sleeping, it is a sign of contentment, relaxation, and joy. Some four-legged friends also grunt when they are petted. Grunts that arise from such a feel-good mood when breathing through the nose are usually nothing to worry about.
Dog grunts enormously when excited
Another completely harmless reason for rattling and grunting dogs is excitement when sniffing. Some four-legged dogs that sniff vigorously, inhaling a lot of air through their nose in rapid succession, occasionally grunt or rattle. This is because the airways swell from the excitement. Again, there is no cause for concern.
Are the second teeth on the way?
Another possible and harmless trigger for the unusual sounds: your dog is getting his second teeth. The new teeth grow when dogs lose their baby teeth. This can cause the gums to swell, causing the pups to rattle or grunt when they breathe.
Breed-specific backgrounds for grunting and rattling
Some dog breeds such as Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, and Maltese have shorter snouts than others. These are brachycephalic dog breeds in technical jargon, which grunt and rattle more often than other breeds due to anatomical peculiarities. Here you should only become attentive if your dog suddenly makes a lot of breathing noises and does not feel well.
When you should consult a veterinarian in case of grunting and rattling
However, grunting and loud rattling in dogs are not always a sign of happiness or due to the breed. In some cases, the sounds can also indicate discomfort or health conditions.
If you suspect any of the following causes of grunting, you should take your pet to a veterinarian:
Dog allergies or allergic reactions: Does your dog only make the noises at certain times of the year or in certain situations? Then swollen mucous membranes or a narrowing of the trachea may be why. Go to the vet for an allergy test.
Infectious diseases like a cold: If the breath sounds mucousy, the airways are probably attacked.
Foreign body in the airway: If food, toys, or bones are stuck in the throat, only a veterinarian can help.
Serious illnesses are accompanied by symptoms such as rattling or grunting: for example, dangerous tracheal collapse (collapse of the windpipe).