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Rosie_MRCVS, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1064
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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My 2 and a half year old labrador has been breathing heavily

Customer Question

My 2 and a half year old labrador has been breathing heavily and panting on and off for the past 5/6 hours. She is taking phenobarbital as she has had 2 seizures which my vet diagnosed as epilepsy.
She has had no rigidity or spasms like she did in her previous episodes so I thought the meds were preventing her from having a full blown seizure.
Should I call my vet now or monitor her until morning?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 6 months ago.
HI i'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you and your dog. Whilst breathing heavily and panting aren't typical signs of epilepsy, they are concerning to me I'm afraid. Breathing heavily and panting heavily in a dog is usually a sign that they are painful somewhere. If she is a young dog, and just doing it without much provocation (i.e. not on a walk etc) then I would be concerned that she has a colic (a severe stomach ache). I don't think this has much to do with her epilepsy or the phenobarbitol (which I would also have prescribed for her). If you had called the clinic and asked that question, I would be advising you to head over with her to get her checked out. There are many reasons for a dog to have a painful abdomen (in fact it is its own condition with many courses solely on abdominal pain alone), so it would be difficult for me to narrow down a cause. Some of the more worrying ones are pancreatitis - which is inflammation of the pancreas. This can either be acute (so very short term) or a grumbling long-term condition. Acute patients can become quite ill quickly. They typically have stomachache, are panting, restless and pacing around, and usually vomiting. She could also be developing a bloat - where gas becomes trapped in the stomach. If it is this (and they are usually drooling with it as well), then she would need urgent treatment to sort it - it is completely curable, but only if caught early. At the other end, obviously, panting and breathing heavily could be a sign of a chest infection, which would need antibiotics to treat her. She could also be sore somewhere that is a much milder condition, so I wouldn't panic (for example a simple stomach cramp from eating something stupid). However, I think it would be wiser to get her checked out sooner rather than later - even if it is something less serious I think some pain relief would make her feel much better. I hope I've helped - if you have any further questions then just get back to me. Otherwise, if you have found this useful, please leave a positive rating. Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 6 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?