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Cher, Dog Caregiver--Extensive Experience
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20862
Experience:  Extensive Experience Caring for Canines; Specializing in behavior and health concerns.
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My dog is pacing and circling with intermittent panting. He ...

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My dog is pacing and circling with intermittent panting. He also has some kind of "twitch" going on. He tries to lay down but jumps back up as soon as the twitch occurs; usually after only a few seconds. He hasn't eaten since his breakfast (about 9 hours ago), and I don't see any evidence of (or reason for) bloat. We spent about 5 hrs in the car today, and all he did was pace and pant. Is this an emergency vet situation?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

When you were in the car, did you stop for breaks, for him to eliminate, offer him water, let him stretch his legs?

What was his breakfast at 9AM?

How old is your dog, and what breed?

Has he eliminated since you're home? Is he drinking, although he's not eating?

Have you felt his abdomen and all down his body, legs, etc., to see if he has pain anywhere?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
We stopped once, and he had a short walk, pooped and peed. For some reason he refuses to eat or drink when we are traveling, though he did eat a bite of my egg and cheese bagel.

Breakfast was his usual dry ProPlan. However, I was visiting family and I saw my mom's husband give him a little of their dog's food - both dry and canned (licked the spoon).

Howie is a 5-7 y.o. lab-golden retriever mix (we think).

He pooped first thing this morning and again when we stopped at about 11:30. He has peed since we got home at about 1:45, and he has an appetite but I haven't given him dinner yet. I just offered him a few pieces of his regular food and he ate it readily.

Yes, I've felt his abdomen and can't find a problem there. His temp is 101.1, which is normal, gums look good....
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your additional and helpful information.

From your description of his symptoms, I agree that it doesn't sound like bloat, thought some of his actions can be similar to those of bloat, i.e., not being able to find a comfortable place for himself to lay down, and pacing/panting.

If he has an appetite, that's good, and I'd feed him if he's hungry, now. Hopefully, he will keep it down.

It's possible that a combination of the long car ride, visit with your family, their dog, eating a little bit of the other dog's food, may have caused him to feel anxious and/or have a little bit of a stomachache. Try to settle him down by feeding him and comforting him, surrounding him with his 'familiar' toys, blanket, etc. The following will help you identify reasons for excessive panting in dogs:

If he continues with the behavior you're observing, I'd have him checked out by the ER vet tonight, on the odd chance that he may have ingested something he shouldn't have, while on the trip, or he just may feel nauseous, perhaps from carsickness, or anxiety. Bloat may still be a possibility, so if he doesn't start settling down soon, I would consider a vet visit.

I hope Howie is back to himself, soon, and would you please let me know how he's doing and what the vet tells you, if you bring him in? Thanks!

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