Q. My dog can't catch his breath when excited. What can I do?
JESSICA L DESROSIERS
A. If your dog is experiencing difficulty breathing such as gasping for air, pale or blue gums or tongue, or appears in distress, there could be something wrong causing his breathing problem. These signs of distress can indicate a serious problem that should be looked at by your vet or emergency clinic immediately.
If your dog just has periods where he has trouble breathing and then recovers, it is possible that something such as an allergy, asthma or even collapsing trachea (very common in small breed dogs) is causing issue. Treatment varies depending on the cause and can range from no treatment (just reducing excitement) to a daily medication to help stop tracheal collapse or allergy/asthma symptoms.