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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25162
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Dog constantly shaking and panting. What could it be?

Customer Question

My dog Trixie is a 10 pound one year old stray rescue dog. Today she started panting and shaking. It is not cold. I have her on my lap and finally after 20 minutes of shaking and panting, she is almost calm. I got her 5 months ago. She was spayed and got her shots. The vet said she was healthy at that time. This is unusual. She is hyper alert and did get terrified when thunder occurred last week. She jumped on my lap trembling. But her eating and drinking water has been good. Odd though, she won’t eat or drink now.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Trixie. Panting and shaking can represent both medical and behavioral disorders.

For example, excessive panting is often seen with elevated ambient temperature, exercise, anxiety, or 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.

Let's "watchful wait" and see if a track record of Trixie's behavior is established. A one-off panting and shaking could indicate something as simple as a cramp. On the other hand, such behavior concomitant with difficulty jumping up or down, navigating steps, and vocalizing when approached or lifted could indicate spinal pain. We need to see what or if something more develops. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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