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I am Dr. Snow, and I can try and help you today with Hamlet. In an older large breed dog, panting can mean lots of things. The panting, combined with the pacing may be an indication of discomfort or anxiety. Is he on any medications?
I'm sorry to hear this. It would be best to have him in to your veterinarian to assess him and see if it is arthritis causing him to be painful, or whether there is something more serious going on. Another possibility is anxiety, related to cognitive dysfunction, an aging change to the brain. In this case, there are some anti anxiety medications that can be used. There are also pain medications available for dogs for arthritis. Your veterinarian would be able to prescribe some.
For tonight, you could try some Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which may make him sleepy and allow him to settle down. Heating up some towels in the dryer for him to lay on can also help soothe any discomfort he may have.
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