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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16704
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog is panting all the time. She does it when she is ...

Customer Question

My dog is panting all the time. She does it when she is sleeping and when she is awake. She has been eating more and drinking more. She has recently been to the vet twice. 1st time was due to alergic reaction from possible bug bite/bee sting. Second time was the panting. Our Vet only concentrated on a deformed shoulder she has had since birth. He says its gotta be broken and she is in pain. I tend to dis-believe him. The dog runs and jumps and doesn''t favor it at all. We have had her on a pain medication for the past 3 days with very little to no improvement. I need some outside advice on what may be going on.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.
Hi Iraqveteran,

Many different things can cause constant panting. Heavy panting can be caused by heart problems, lung problems, fever, or bronchitis. You can read about this here:

Dogs pant for various reasons. They pant to cool down, but they also pant when they are under stress, in pain, or afraid. There can also be medical causes such as neurological problems, respiratory disorders, and Heart problems such as heartworm, anemia, and fever.

Since your current vet does not appear to be listening to what you are telling him, I recommend getting a second opinion. X-rays could be done to determine if there are any broken bones and bloodwork should also be done to rule out any organ dysfunction. I hope this information is helpful to you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Jane Lefler's Post: I have been to 3 veternarians over the past year. Not too satisfied thus far. Another thing I have noticed (literally) is she has BAD gas. She could clear an apartment building with this stuff. Do you feel there is a connection with the panting or could that just be a side affect to the medication?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.

If she is having very bad gas, that may be the cause of the panting. Gas issues can cause a dog severe pain and also can contribute to a condition called bloat which is sometimes seen in deep chested breeds. It is believed that dog foods containing soy products and other food allergies contribute to gas problems as well. Sometimes a change in diet will help the problem.

Smaller meals spread out can help and taking your dog for walks after meals cuts down on gas. Adding good bacteria to your dog's stomach can aid in the digestion as well. I use a spoonful of plain unflavored yogurt on my dog's food to keep good bacteria in their stomach, but there are products, such as Prozyme, that can be purchased at your pet store to aid digestion and cut down on gas.

Here is a site that discusses the problem:

You might want to keep some gas-x pills on hand just in case severe gas causes bloat. You can read about bloat here:

Try a switch in diet to one that does not contain as much filler materials such as corn and wheat as well. Preferably one that has meat for the first few ingredients. Add good bacteria and feed smaller meals more often. See if reducing the gas issue helps reduce the amount of panting you are seeing.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I haven't changed her diet at all since the day she was born. We feed her PMI Canine Advantage. And usually table scraps. But the table scraps are typically meats and sometimes some left over pasta. Should I dis-continue table scraps?

What is considered a deep chested breed? My puppy is a pure English Mastiff.

I realize that gas can be painful (personal experiences, lol). If I add "good bacteria" to her diet, how soon could I see results? What are some "good bacteria" foods that are a little more common. I don't have any yogurt on hand and would like to give it a shot tonight.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.

Do discontinue any non meat table scraps entirely. If she is still on puppy food and is an adult, this might be the cause. I've found that some dogs when fed puppy food as adults tend to have more gas then when fed the equivalent adult food.   Not many foods contain good bacteria that can survive the stomach, so you should just purchase some plain yogurt to add to her food or purchase a Prozyme from the pet store tomorrow. I would expect to see a little improvement in the gas situation after a couple of days with a little more each day. After a week or so, there should be noticable improvment.

The mastiff is a deep chested breed and does have to worry about bloat.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So just a spoonful with the food? Or should I give her a spoonful seperately?

How often should she get the yogurt? Does this fall into the bigger is better asumption? Will more yogurt at first help quicker?

I have been reading about bloat and from the articles I have seen, Bloat is deadly and she has been experiencing the panting and gas for about 3 days now. Why do you think the Vet never mentioned this? All he wanted to do was x ray her bad shoulder. Why wouldn't he mention x rays of the abdomin and chest to look for other possible problems?

I know you can't answer for someone else, its just that I am seriously considering trying Vet #4 at this point. I am questioning the abilities of my current Vet.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.

Bloat can occur without the twisting. It is deadly when it twists. I don't think she has bloat since it has been going on for a while, but it is something to keep in mind.

Most vets are going to look for the simplest reason first and with an abnormality in the shoulder/chest area, your vet may suspect other abnormalities which might be affecting her lung capacity leading to panting. At least that is one possibility. Also with bloat your dog usually has some stomach distention and gagging. In a face to face environment, the owner sometimes doesn't think to mention smaller details (such as the gas issue) which might lead to different answers from your vet.

Some vets will suggest lots of testing initially and others will try keeping costs down by going with the most common causes for symptoms. I think if you go with a 4th vet, let him know that the deformity has been there her whole life and just now is a problem. You might want to consider the x-ray or an ultrasound since she is close to full grown and you can see if indeed there is any problems with the size of the chest cavity which might interfere with her normal heat and lung function, especially if adding good bacteria has no effect.

I always mix the yogurt into my dogs food. I would stick to a few tablespoons initially and let the bacteria start growing in the stomach. Too much, too fast and you might cause diarrhea since she isn't used to it yet. You can give some gas reducing medication to help as well for a few days.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So some Gas X for humans will be ok to feed her?

Also, she lays down when she eats, prodominately due to her defects. Could this pose a problem or should I allow her to stay comfortable when eating.

I checked the food. Its a Soy Free formula. And the first ingredient is Meat and Bone product.

I may contact my Vet tomorrow and speak with him about some x rays. I am just really cautious since I have spent over $1000 in x rays over the past year and nothing has come of it. Have you known any Vets that will take x rays and only charge if there is a problem present. What I mean is, I don't want x rays cause I think it will be a waste. I don't mind paying for them if they show something is wrong but I don't want to pay for them if they show what the previous ones have already shown. Do you think a Vet would be willing to lower costs if the x rays don't show any problems?

Thanks for all your help thus far. I have learned a good bit over the past hour or so.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.

If there are x-rays that have been taken recently, I would not have additional x-rays done. I would however, request the x-rays to be sent to the vet you wish to use so they can evaluate them. Unless the x-rays are from when she was a young pup, they should be ok for your vet to determine the extent of the deformity present.   I don't know of any vet that would agree to not charge for x-rays taken unfortunately.

There are organizations that can help you financially with vet care though.
Help-A-Pet This group helps low income families with vet care.

IMOM   This organization help people with emergency medical care in some cases.

Care Credit Quick application and approval for care credit card. You can sometimes apply and get approval while you are at the vet office.

American Animal Hospital Association
Helps animals that have been abandoned or if the owner is having financial hardships

Angels 4 Animals
This organization offers financial aid or treatment to those pets and owners in need.

God's Creatures Ministry
Help pay Vet bills for those that need help

The Pet Fund
Helps provide emergency vet care to those in need.

United Animal Nations
They help rescuers, low income and homeless pay for vet care.

Gas-x is ok to give. The following lists the dosage information for Gas-x as 1 adult dose for large dogs. If bloat suspected, then 2 doses should be administered.

Dosage information for gas-x can be found on this site. It states the adult dosage is 40 to 125 mg four times a day but not to exceed 500mg per day.

As for food, I like Innova products and another good brand is eagle pack. They are a bit more expensive than some initially, but less is required daily so the cost ends up being pretty much the same as less expensive foods.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have tried the Gas X.

It has reduced her gas....for sure. No more room clearing once an hour.

I have stopped her free feed and only feed her in small amounts throughout the day with a little non-fat yogurt added (various flavors....they were out of regular).

I have also stopped her Ramidyl to see if it would change her behavior.   No negative behavior changes observed.

Here is what I have noticed today. She does ok at times with her breathing and at times she starts panting heavily. I have noticed that 90% of the time she starts panting...she moves to the tile by our front door. When she stops panting and feels like moving, she moves back around the house. She has slowed her drinking amount and since food is now limited, she is slowed there as well.

She is not favoring any limbs. She still jumps around, runs around the yard and wants to play at times. I feel that if she was truly hurting, she wouldn't be jumping around as if nothing is wrong.

I have a feeling that she is just sick. And that her times of heavy panting are caused by hot flashes. Her gas is due to upset stomach. I feel the same way when I am sick so it seems to make sense. And I feel this is an accurate diagnosis for the time.

Do you feel that I am correct in that she has just got a cold? What measures can I take to help her through her cold. Could I give here some vitamins or juices to help her get over the cold faster?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.

Dogs don't get colds, but they do get upper respiratory illnesses. And I'll give you information on the various conditions that go along with that. Upper respiratory illnesses includ things such as kennel cough and canine influenza as well as bronchitis and inhaled allergies. You can read about bronchitis here:

It’s possible that if there is sneezing and nasal congestion that it can be due to an allergic reaction to an inhaled substance. If this is the case, Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours.
You can read about these here.

Kennel cough is normally contracted when a dog has been boarded or kenneled or around a large number of dogs such as at a dog show, dog park or pet store. Here is a website with more information on kennel cough.

Canine influenza is now becoming more prevalent and like it sounds it is a canine flu. Here is an excellent site on it.

You will want to monitor your dogs condition looking for colored discharge from the nose or eyes, a productive cough (coughs stuff up), stops eating or lethargy. These are signs of a possible bacterial infection as well and my require antibiotics. If your dog appears to be having a difficult time breathing, you will need to see your Vet as some dogs dog get really sick with canine influenza and need support to recover.

To help your dog breathe easier you can run a NON-medicated humidifier in the room your dog is in, or sit in a steamed up bathroom with your dog to help keep the mucous moving. Robitussin DM at a 1/4 teaspoon per 5 pounds can be used to control the cough. Dosages can be obtained at this website.

You can take her temperature and see if she is running a temperature during those times she starts panting and lays on the cool floor. Take it rectally. The normal temperature is 101-102.5F. If you find she is running a slight temperature, you might want to get some antibiotics such as amoxicillin prescribed for her.

A multipurpose dog vitamin might help but don't overdo it, as too much vitamins can cause problems as well. Remember that dogs pant when they are under stress as well and they also pick up on their owners feelings as well. If you are worried, then the dog picks up on this and worries as well, which is stress and can start the panting as well. I'd monitor her at this point and check her temperature a few times and see how she does over the next few days.

I hope you find this information helpful.

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