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Andrea J Cecur DVM
Andrea J Cecur DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 421
Experience:  18+yrs veterinary experience in small animal medicine
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Older canine panting and pacing

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Hello, Dr. I have a 13 1/2 year old lab spayed mix, 70 lbs. I believe that her sight and hearing have been deteriorating over the past year. This past week, she has been waking up in the middle of the night, usually between 12:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., and very anxious. She paces, pants and just sits at the edge of the bed looking at me hoping that I can help her. I give her 4 .81mg. enteric coated aspirin. Sometimes it helps and other times it has not. She sleeps comfortably outside in Los Angeles weather quietly all day, eats and seems to otherwise just be her normal self at this stage in her life. Could you please advise as to what may be causing her mid-night problems and anxiety, panting, etc. Thank you so much.
There are numerous things that can be going on with a senior dog. One common problem in older dogs that are seeming anxious, pacing and panting is heart disease. They can have trouble breathing, especially at night when laying down and this is upsetting to them so they seek help from their owners. There may also be some coughing and tiring with exercise and abdominal fluid build-up. Your vet can check your girl's heart for murmurs and enlargement and start appropriate treatment. Non-specific pain may make her uncomfortable, either from arthritis or internal pain. This may be why the aspirin helps sometimes. Some older dogs have cognitive dysfunction, causing them to be a little disoriented and confused. Your best bet to find the cause would be to have a geriatric blood screen and CBC done to look for any metabolic problems, and a chest Xray to check the heart and lungs.
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