How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Marie Your Own Question

Dr. Marie
Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience:  Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
6877700
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Marie is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My approx. 13 year old lab is breathing heavy and his heart ...

Resolved Question:

My approx. 13 year old lab is breathing heavy and his heart is racing. He also had the shakes for a while but that seems to have stopped.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. K replied 6 years ago.
HiCustomer
Has he been eating and drinking normally today?
Is he able to walk?
If you lift his lip to look at his gums above his teeth, are they a nice deep pink, or do they look pale or bluish/grayish?
If you touch his gums, do they feel wet and slimy or dry and sticky?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He ate ok this morning but doesn't seem to want to drink. Able to walk although as usual a little stiff. His gums are pink and feel wet and slimy. This is his second "episode" (that we know of) the first one was only for an hour, was about two weeks ago. It was after a walk outside so we really didn't think much of it.
Expert:  Dr. Marie replied 6 years ago.

Hi there...sorry about the delay. Dr. K. just asked if I could jump in here as she is having some computer problems this afternoon.

It's going to be hard to say for sure what is going on with your dog without actually seeing him, but I can give you a few ideas.

The heavy breathing and the shakes could be due to many things. It is possible that he has some pain somewhere. You mentioned that he was walking a littly stiffly. It may be possible that he has some back pain. It is quite common for dogs to have problems with the discs in between their vertebrae. Sometimes we can tell by standing the dog on all 4 and then feeling down each of the vertebrae to look for signs of pain. However, many labs will do all they can to hide pain so this may be hard for you to diagnose.

The next possibility is that there is a problem with his heart. There are many kinds of heart disease that can affect dogs. Sometimes, with heart disease we can see something called a "syncopal episode" and this can be similar to fainting or weakness. This will be hard for you to diagnose at home. Most dogs with heart problems will have the occasional cough as well...so if you are seeing this, this makes heart disease more likely.

The next possibility is that there is some bleeding somewhere inside of his system. This is why Dr. K. was asking you about the colour of his gums. Often we can see that the gums are pale if there is bleeding, but sometimes this can be hard to determine especially if you are not used to looking at gum colour. Some dogs as they get older can have a tumor or multiple tumors on the spleen. Sometimes if one of these ruptures we can get sudden blood loss into the abdomen which can cause shaking, weakness, respiratory distress and a high heart rate.

It will be hard to say whether your dog should be seen on emergency or not, but if he were my dog I would likely have him seen today. If this is a spleen tumor and we catch things early enough he can have the tumor removed. Some of these tumors are benign and once removed the dogs do well.

Your vet will do a good thorough exam and will likely do some xrays and bloodwork to determine what the problem is.

I hope this information helps! If you have more concerns, just hit reply. Or, if my answer is sufficient, then please hit accept. Thanks!

Dr. Marie.

Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience: Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
Dr. Marie and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.