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Trouble breathing when drinking cold water.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shi Tzu
Age: More than 15 ye
My dog Valentino is 16 years old and many times when he drinks water or he is outside in the cold air, he starts heaving and gasping for air. This does not last very long, but it really bothers me. It has been going on for several months now, could not get an answer from my vet. Do you know what the problem is?
Thank you


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Barabara and thanks for your question! This is an odd situation. It will be hard for me to say for sure what is going on but I can give you a few things to think about.

I'm wondering if what you are seeing is a reverse sneeze? There are several You-tube videos on reverse sneezing so you can check that out and see if that is what he is doing. If so, there really is not a lot we can do for it but it is not anything serious.

It is also possible he has a problem with pain. It could be dental pain or it could be back pain. It may be if he is having sudden shots of pain that he stands still and pants. However, I don't think that is what you are describing.

If this were my case, I would likely be telling you that it is likely nothing serious but that it is not a bad idea to take some chest xrays to make sure that his heart is ok. It is not typical of heart disease, but some dogs with heart disease can have odd spasms of coughing/breathing at times.

I wish I could add more! It is definitely a strange case!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.