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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog has always panted. She is part husky so lots of fur.

Customer Question

My dog has always panted. She is part husky so lots of fur. She is now 15 years old and pants constantly. She doesn't seem to be in pain and is pretty active for an old dog. Why the constant panting?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Allie
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Allie?
Customer: Don't think so.. She's a great dog and most people are surprised to learn she's 15!
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

There's a surprising number of considerations when panting is excessive. It 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.

Allie is certainly past life expectancy for her size breed. There are likely to be changes in diagnostics such as blood and urine tests which might be quite informative. Please consider having a thorough physical exam including a fasted senior/geriatric diagnostic panel of blood and urine testsl performed on Allie. If nothing untoward is found, it wouldn't be unreasonable to see how a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) affects her. These act as analgesics and so a positive response (less panting) would indicate that she is, indeed, painful. Geriatric osteoarthritis would be most likely. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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