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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6525
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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My dog is panting heavy and its not normal, I dont know why,

Customer Question

My dog is panting heavy and its not normal
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with your dog?
Customer: I dont know why
JA: Where does your dog seem to hurt?
Customer: I came home and he was panting and walking slow
JA: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: He doesnt seem to be in pain on his body
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Doc and he is 13
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Doc?
Customer: Not that I can think of I am wondering if I should give him a little bit of children's motrin
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 7 months ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your boy Doc. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 7 months ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. Doc's heavy panting is definitely a concern this evening as there are a range of issues that can cause this symptom in older dogs. Possible causes for Doc's panting this evening include anything from underlying pain, through a primary cardiovascular issue, or even an internal organ problem or toxicity/poisoning. Because of his age, we definitely have to consider a primary cardiovascular issue here including congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, or a lung infection. If you can get your boy seen by your local ER vet now- that really would be the best way forward. These respiratory issues can really spiral out of control very quickly and become life threatening. Your local ER vet would be able to give your boy oxygen and then carry out a full physical exam to work out what is going on here. Further diagnostics such as a full senior blood panel and xrays may be needed here as well.

If you can't get your boy seen straight away, then for now please keep a close eye on his mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate as follows:

Mucus membranes - flip his lip and look at the color of his gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get him to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on his gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if Doc just continues to pant heavily, then he really does need to be seen now.

Definitely do NOT give Motrin. This is typically quite toxic to dogs and given Doc is an older boy and we don't know if his kidney or liver function is normal, it is definitely not worth risking giving it to him. If he seems to be in pain, then getting him to the ER vet is the best bet as they have canine specific pain medication that will be appropriate for his size and age. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.