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My name is***** and based on your history, I do not think that Max has a high heart rate and heavy breathing from anxiety. Xanax and valium are used exclusively to treat anxiety and actually are not very effective one the dog is wound up. Are there any environmental things that could be scaring your dog such as thunderstorms, loud noises or other dogs in the neighborhood barking? Another cause of panting could be pain, is there any chance that Max was injured or has a painful belly?
Next question- When did he see the vet and start the medications? How much does he weigh?
A potential side effect of prednisone is panting and so I would wonder if that is causing the panting. Can you actually feel his heart though his chest as a separate beat from the panting? Another option is to feel his pulses in the groin area. Once you find his pulse, count the number of beats you feel in 15 seconds and then multiply that number by four. This is his heart rate. Normal heart rate for large dogs is 80-160 beats per minute.
Please let me know the answers to these questions so that we can figure out what is going on with Max and you both can sleep tonight.
I hope this answer helps you. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
Kansas State University
College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2001
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