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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24453
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a little ***** ***** (Mollie) who is laboring in

Customer Question

Hi, I have a little ***** ***** (Mollie) who is laboring in her breathing, don't know what to do, I pat and rub her back and tummy and she calms down and sleeps for a couple hours, then wakes up kinda in a panic till she finds me, then we repeat the above stops, she drinks alot of water and eats a bit, she is overweight by about 10-12 lbs, still climbs the outstairs about 10 steps, but has to stop a couple times hmm. she's my little friend. She has had bowel movements no blood, yellow and she pees often. no vomit.
So I guess it's the breathing, could you advise, what could be causing this labored breathing when she is awake she is asleep now and it's quiet now for a couple hours. hmm
Thanks and Blessings
Claudette ***@******.***
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Claudette, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. "Labored" breathing (dyspnea) is worrisome for congestive heart failure at Mollie's age, a sterile bronchitis (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD), or perhaps neoplasia (cancer) in her chest cavity. It's also seen when the blood becomes too acid (metabolic acidosis) secondary to many metabolic disorders. I need you to check Mollie's vital signs for me...1) Check her gum and tongue color. They should be nicely pink - not whitish (anemia) or bluish/greyish (cyanosis/hypoxia/lack of oxygen to her tissues).2) Check her respiratory rate at rest. She should be taking less than 30 breaths/minute at rest.3) Take her rectal temperature. Any body thermometer will do when placed 1.5" into her rectum for 1 minute. Normal is 100.5-102.5F. This is a two person job!Please let me know what you find. If Mollie has continued to labor please don't hesitate having her vet attend to her. Time is often of the essence in these cases.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Mollie only goes through a couple spasms a day thank God. The stool is good, she is peeing good, So this breathing was at night, I calmed her down by rubbing her tumming and calming her down by soft talking and she fell asleep, wheni left she would come a panting looking for me and I'd walk her back to her bed and repeat the above. Oh dear God, hate Old Age, now they are trying toget rid of us old folkies (I'm 78) but long life to go and for my animals, blessings if you can think of anything, she is slow today, but acting her somewhat herself, she really went through a big heavy breathing last evening about 30 minutes, before I and God could get it under control without any Meds, are there Meds I could get Mollie by a vet. Our vet here don't know her , they have just moved here (Forks Washington State) Thank you for your time, Oh Ya is she is pain. I know the time is near butClaudette Farrell***@******.***
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
PS where are you at, what state????
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
I'm in California. It's too long of a commute to you! Even if occurring only at night, her breathing still worries me. She might be experiencing sundowner's syndrome - a form of cognitive dysfunction in which sensory deprivation is accentuated by the quite and dark of night which then causes these dogs to become quite anxious. Panting, vocalizing, and aimless wandering are commonly seen. This syndrome is as difficult to treat as Altzheimers. Her vet would need to perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests and a three view X-ray chest study in order to rule out underlying metabolic disorders prior to prescribing any drugs. There's nothing of value to give her over the counter. Yes, panting can indicate discomfort as well as anxiety. In fact, excessive panting can represent both medical and behavioral problems. It's often seen with elevated ambient temperature, exercise, anxiety, or perceived pain. To confound the diagnosis further, it's also seen with fever, narcotic administration, glucocorticosteroid (prednisone, e.g.) therapy, Cushing's disease, hyperthyroidism, hypocalcemia, pheocromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor), cardiac disease, tachyarrhythmias (fast irregular heart rates), brain disease and obesity!
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I can't read this can i enlarge this print ??????
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
I don't know which device you're using. Many have magnifiers. ***@******.*** might be able to help you.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin