Understanding Canine Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Causes, Risks, and Treatment Options

In September 2021 and September 2022, the topic of canine snoring and sleep apnea was widely discussed. Many pet owners were curious about the physiological causes of snoring in dogs and wanted to understand what makes dogs snore. One of the most common causes of snoring in dogs, similar to humans, is obesity. Being overweight can trigger snoring in dogs, just as it does in humans.

Sleep apnea, a condition that obstructs breathing during sleep, was also mentioned as a potential cause of snoring in dogs.[0] It was highlighted that if left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health issues in both dogs and humans. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine stated that untreated sleep apnea raises the risk of hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even early death.

The risks associated with sleep apnea were further emphasized. It was mentioned that sleep apnea can increase the risk of cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. It can also increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and accidents due to daytime sleepiness.[1] Sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea may also lead to anxiety, depression, and difficulties in memory and learning tasks.

The article highlighted the importance of seeking medical advice if one experiences regular snoring, especially if accompanied by snorting or gasping for breath.[1] Waking up tired regardless of the amount of sleep and other symptoms like morning headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness should not be ignored, as they may indicate sleep apnea.[1] A sleep study can be conducted to diagnose sleep apnea.

To treat sleep apnea, a device called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may be recommended by doctors. CPAP machines deliver air pressure through a mask to keep the airway open during sleep, preventing snoring and sleep apnea. It was mentioned that CPAP is the most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea.

In addition to CPAP machines, positional therapy devices were mentioned as a treatment option for snoring and sleep apnea. These devices promote side sleeping to keep the airway open and reduce snoring. They were described as non-invasive, convenient, and effective alternatives to surgery or CPAP machines.

The article also highlighted the importance of oral health in managing sleep disorders. Dentists can provide oral appliances that help improve sleep quality and alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea and bruxism (teeth grinding).[2] These appliances reposition the jaw to keep the airway open during sleep and provide a soft landing spot for the teeth, preventing damage caused by grinding.[2]

The importance of maintaining good sleep habits and a healthy weight to prevent sleep apnea was also mentioned. It was advised to have a dark and quiet bedroom, maintain a regular sleep schedule, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of sleep apnea.

Overall, the article provided a comprehensive overview of the physiological causes of snoring in dogs, the risks associated with untreated sleep apnea, and various treatment options available for both humans and dogs. It emphasized the importance of seeking medical advice and dental care to address sleep disorders and improve overall health and sleep quality.

0. “Improve The Quality Of Your Sleep With An Oral Appliance | Dr …” sleepbettermichigan.com, 30 Jul. 2023, https://sleepbettermichigan.com/2023/07/improve-the-quality-of-your-sleep-with-an-oral-appliance/

1. “Is Snoring Normal?” www.mckenziehealth.org, 30 Jul. 2023, https://www.mckenziehealth.org/news-blog/2023/july/is-snoring-normal-/

2. “Improve Your Sleep With An Oral Appliance | Londonderry, NH” mydentistnh.com, 30 Jul. 2023, https://mydentistnh.com/blog/2023/07/improve-your-sleep-with-an-oral-appliance/

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