• Reading time:8 mins read

Common Issues and Remedies for Your Dog

The Pekingese, a popular toy breed dog, is known for its distinctive appearance with a flat face and short nose. While these features make them adorable, they also make them prone to certain breathing problems. One of the primary issues experienced by Pekingese dogs is Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS), a disorder arising due to their unique facial structure.

BAOS is a progressive disease that encompasses various symptoms, such as snoring, rapid breathing, noisy inhalation, and frequent panting. These symptoms are caused by the obstruction of the upper airway, making it difficult for the dog to breathe and perform physical activities. The issue tends to become more severe in warm and humid weather, sometimes leading to a physical collapse.

Short-nosed breeds like the Pekingese are also susceptible to other breathing problems due to their small nasal openings. This can lead to difficulty eating, swallowing, coughing, and gagging. Additionally, Pekingese dogs may experience heart disease, further complicating their breathing issues.

Causes of Breathing Problems in Pekingese

Brachycephalic Syndrome

One of the primary causes of breathing problems in Pekingese dogs is Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS). This is due to their short, flat faces, which can lead to anatomical abnormalities in their airways, such as narrowed nostrils, elongated soft palate, and underdeveloped windpipe, among others. These abnormalities can result in snoring, respiratory distress, and even collapse with rapid breathing and struggle for breath, making it difficult for them to tolerate even moderate amounts of exercise, tolerate heat or have disrupted sleep.


Allergies can also be a cause of breathing issues in Pekingese dogs. They may be allergic to various environmental factors, such as pollen, dust, or mold, which can lead to inflammation in their airways, making it more difficult for them to breathe. When these allergens are present, Pekingese may experience wheezing, coughing, or even respiratory distress.


Obesity is another factor that can contribute to breathing problems in Pekingese dogs. Excess weight puts additional strain on their respiratory system and can exacerbate the issues caused by their brachycephalic anatomy. Rapid breathing caused by exercise, excitement or heat can become increasingly difficult for an overweight Pekingese, leading to worsened airway obstruction and potential complications.

Maintaining a healthy weight and managing any underlying allergies is crucial to reduce the risk of breathing problems in Pekingese dogs. It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian for proper advice on managing these conditions, as well as any suitable treatments or interventions that may help improve your Pekingese’s breathing.

Symptoms of Breathing Problems

Noisy Breathing

Pekingese dogs are prone to noisy breathing due to their brachycephalic facial structure. This often presents itself in the sound of snoring or noisy breathing when inhaling. In some cases, this can also indicate an obstructed upper airway, which can lead to more severe respiratory issues if not addressed appropriately1. It’s crucial for owners to be vigilant and consult a veterinarian if they notice any changes in their Pekingese’s breathing patterns.

Difficulty in Breathing

Another symptom of breathing problems in Pekingese is difficulty breathing. This is characterized by rapid or shallow breaths and can affect their ability to engage in physical activity. In more severe cases, mouth breathing, restlessness, and even physical collapse can occur due to respiratory compromise. Again, consulting a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan is essential for dogs exhibiting these symptoms.

Frequent Coughing or Gagging

Frequent coughing or gagging is a common symptom of both upper airway obstruction and dental problems in Pekingese. Although not exclusive to respiratory issues, coughing and gagging can be indicative of an underlying breathing problem that requires attention. Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on your Pekingese if they are frequently coughing or gagging and seek veterinary care as needed.

Diagnosing Breathing Problems

In Pekingese dogs, breathing problems can be a common concern due to their brachycephalic nature. Accurate diagnosis is essential for proper treatment and management of these issues.

Physical Examination

The first step in diagnosing any breathing problem in a Pekingese is a thorough physical examination. This helps the veterinarian identify any external signs that might indicate a breathing issue, such as wheezing or labored breaths. The vet might also check for other conditions that might contribute to breathing difficulties, such as heart disease.


If a physical examination indicates a potential respiratory problem, the vet might perform radiographs (x-rays) to evaluate the dog’s internal structures. These images can show any underlying issues that may contribute to breathing problems, like obstructions or deformities in the airway.


In some cases, a veterinarian may also choose to perform a rhinoscopy, a diagnostic procedure involving the use of a small fiber-optic scope to examine the dog’s larynx, pharynx, and trachea. This test can reveal more detailed information about the dog’s airway and help identify specific issues, such as obstructions, tumors, or mucus build-up.

Once the cause of the Pekingese’s breathing problem has been diagnosed through a combination of these diagnostic techniques, the vet can recommend appropriate treatment and management strategies to help improve the dog’s quality of life and overall health.

Treatment Options

When it comes to addressing Pekingese breathing problems, there are multiple treatment options available. This section discusses the surgical interventions, medications, and weight management strategies that can be used to improve the breathing of Pekingese dogs.

Surgical Interventions

Some Pekingese may require surgery to alleviate their breathing problems, such as dogs with stenotic nares or an elongated soft palate. For more severe cases where the airway is obstructed, an endotracheal tube might be needed to pass through the mouth and windpipe, or a tracheostomy, a surgical cut in the windpipe, might be necessary.


In some cases, medications might be needed to manage the breathing issues Pekingese dogs face. Corticosteroids can help decrease inflammation, while sedation may be necessary to calm the pet. Depending on the severity of the breathing issue, some dogs may also require anesthesia and intubation.

Weight Management

Helping Pekingese dogs maintain a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing or worsening breathing issues. It is essential to provide them with high-quality food and monitor their daily exercise to ensure they do not become overweight. Regular exercise can help burn calories and prevent laziness, contributing to a healthier respiratory system in Pekingese dogs.

Prevention Strategies

One of the fundamental ways to prevent breathing problems in Pekingese dogs is to consider corrective surgical procedures for issues such as an overlong palate or narrowed nostrils. These surgeries can significantly improve respiratory function in brachycephalic breeds like the Pekingese.

Another essential strategy is to manage environmental risk factors. Pekingese dogs with respiratory challenges should avoid warm and humid weather, as this can aggravate their breathing difficulties. Providing a cool and comfortable environment for the dog will promote better respiratory health.

Proper weight management is crucial to reducing the risk of breathing problems for Pekingese dogs. Obesity can worsen inherent respiratory problems as it adds extra pressure on the airways. Feeding dogs high-quality food, controlling portion sizes, and providing a balance of protein and fat can help maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise is also necessary for staying in shape and preventing obesity.

When exercising a Pekingese dog, it is vital to be mindful of the intensity and duration of the physical activity. As this breed is prone to respiratory issues, it is crucial to monitor the dog closely for signs of difficulty breathing during exercise and adapt the exercise routine accordingly.

When to Consult a Veterinarian

It is essential to closely observe your Pekingese for any signs of breathing difficulties that may indicate a potential health issue. This breed is prone to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS), a condition caused by their unique facial features, leading to upper airway problems in short-nosed, flat-faced dog breeds like the Pekingese dog.

Seek veterinary assistance if you notice signs like:

  • Labored breathing or heavy panting
  • Excessive snoring or snorting
  • Gagging or coughing
  • Difficulty in exercising or shortness of breath after mild physical activities
  • Bluish tongue or gums, indicating a lack of oxygen

It’s important to keep in mind that early diagnosis and intervention can help manage your dog’s respiratory problems more effectively. A veterinarian will perform an examination under anesthesia, take radiographs (x-rays), and possibly conduct endoscopy to ascertain the abnormalities that contribute to the syndrome.

If you suspect heart issues associated with breathing problems, such as coughing, difficulty breathing, and lethargy, promptly consult with your veterinarian. Timely attention and medical intervention can prevent these conditions from escalating into life-threatening situations.

Closing Summary

Pekingese dogs are prone to breathing problems due to their brachycephalic characteristics. The overall well-being of Pekingese dogs can be supported by keeping a close eye on their weight, regular veterinary checkups, and ensuring that they don’t overexert themselves, particularly in warm and humid weather conditions.