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Martha Windisch
Martha Windisch, Certified Pet Dog Trainer
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 113
Experience:  17+ years experience as a pet dog trainer. AKC titles in obedience, tracking, field and agility.
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My dog is trembling and panting every night for three weeks.

Customer Question

My dog is trembling and panting every night for three weeks. He was on an antibiotic for a sinus infection but that is gone now and so do I think is the fever. The trembling and panting have remained though and last up to 3 hours sometimes. He is not eating well and I caught him trying to eat feces outside...please help and advise.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Martha Windisch replied 5 years ago.

Cindy:

 

That's good that you have taken him to be checked by your vet. And it's good his bloodwork came back ok.

 

In your question you type, "and so do I think is the fever". - I believe this is a typo - do you mean you do not think it is the fever OR that you think he may have a fever. Did the veterinarian take his temperature? Are you able to take his temperature? (normal for dogs averages 101.3)

 

Did he ever tremble and pant prior to this?

 

Does he only do this at night? (does he ever tremble and pant during the day?) How is he acting during the day? Is he active, happy, and acting normal? or does he act like he does not feel well or normal during the day?

 

Is he normally scared of anything? Is he ever scared of any noises? of storms? of light or shadows?

 

You said that this has been ongoing for the past 3 weeks: is he the same every night? - or have some nights been better than others? when does it start at night? does it start before or after he goes to bed? does it start the same time every night?

 

How does the timing of the sinus infection coincide with this behavior? Did this behavior occur while he had the sinus infection? Did it occur while he was still on the antibiotics? Or did it start after he was finished taking the antibiotics? If so, how long after?

 

Did he ever show any trembling and panting behavior prior to the time of the sinus infection?

 

Did anything new happen just prior to the time that the tembling and panting started (i.e. anything new in your house, outside your house, in the surrounding neighborhood - such as new construction or anything else?

 

Where does he sleep at night? Where is he when he starts to tremble and pant?

 

What does he do besides tremble and pant? Does he go to a particular location? Does he try to get closer to you?

 

What do you do when he starts to tremble and pant?

 

You said that it can last up to 3 hours? What does he do once it's over? Does he fall asleep? What is the shortest time period it's gone on for (i.e. as little as ___ minutes or hours?)

 

How many times a day do you feed him? Is he on the same food he's always been on? When did you notice that his eating behavior changed? (before or after the sinus infection? before or after starting the antibiotics? before or after he started tembling and panting at night? Prior to his not eating well, was he a good eater? Describe how his eating used to be compared to how he eats now. Does he eat better sometimes than others? Does he eat better in the morning or better at night?

 

When and how many times did you catch him trying to eat his feces? Did he ever try to eat his feces prior to the sinus infection and antibiotics?

 

Thanks for providing answers to these questions (it may make it easier if you copy and paste my questions on your reply so you can more easily answer them) - the details will help me to better answer your question.

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

In your question you type, "and so do I think is the fever". - I believe this is a typo - do you mean you do not think it is the fever OR that you think he may have a fever. Did the veterinarian take his temperature? Are you able to take his temperature? (normal for dogs averages 101.3) What I meant was I thought he may have been spiking a fever at night when he had the sinus infection but that is over now. The vet never did find an elevated fever but we thought maybe it happened in the evening. I was instructed to give him aspirin when it happened and I did this up until 2 days ago. He also finished his antibiotic 3 days ago - he was on Baytril. The vet said his sinuses are clear.

 

Did he ever tremble and pant prior to this? Only one other time last year when he was sick and had a verified fever with the vet. Once on an antibiotic it went away after a day.

 

Does he only do this at night? (does he ever tremble and pant during the day?) How is he acting during the day? Is he active, happy, and acting normal? or does he act like he does not feel well or normal during the day? He has occassionally had this happen during the day but typically it is at night. During the day he seems much better but is still more lethargic than normal.

 

Is he normally scared of anything? Is he ever scared of any noises? of storms? of light or shadows? No, he is usually rather happy go lucky.

 

You said that this has been ongoing for the past 3 weeks: is he the same every night? - or have some nights been better than others? when does it start at night? does it start before or after he goes to bed? does it start the same time every night? There is a litttle variety but typically it starts between 7:30 and 8pm and last for a couple hours. Always before we go to bed. he seems to be better when we go upstairs and go to bed.

 

How does the timing of the sinus infection coincide with this behavior? Did this behavior occur while he had the sinus infection? Did it occur while he was still on the antibiotics? Or did it start after he was finished taking the antibiotics? If so, how long after? It started with the onset of the sinus infection but never went away after it was gone.

 

Did he ever show any trembling and panting behavior prior to the time of the sinus infection? Just a few days before...that is what prompted me to take him to the vet.

 

Did anything new happen just prior to the time that the tembling and panting started (i.e. anything new in your house, outside your house, in the surrounding neighborhood - such as new construction or anything else? No, nothing I can think of.

 

Where does he sleep at night? Where is he when he starts to tremble and pant? He sleeps with me in my bed. He typically starts when we are still dowstairs in the family room in the evening.

 

What does he do besides tremble and pant? Does he go to a particular location? Does he try to get closer to you? It is evident that he is distressed when it occurs and he doesn't know what to do with himself. He usually wants to sit with me or close to me. If I get up and leave the room he immediately follows.

 

What do you do when he starts to tremble and pant? I usually try to console him and sometimes put a light blanket over him if he is sitting by me. I just try to let him be calm and hope he settles down.

 

You said that it can last up to 3 hours? What does he do once it's over? Does he fall asleep? What is the shortest time period it's gone on for (i.e. as little as ___ minutes or hours?) He typically seems tired when it is over ands sleeps. I think the least amount of time was 30 minutes.

 

How many times a day do you feed him? Is he on the same food he's always been on? When did you notice that his eating behavior changed? (before or after the sinus infection? before or after starting the antibiotics? before or after he started tembling and panting at night? Prior to his not eating well, was he a good eater? Describe how his eating used to be compared to how he eats now. Does he eat better sometimes than others? Does he eat better in the morning or better at night? He has never been a great eater so I just leave his food dish full and would be happy if he ate a full dish every 1 1/2 to 2 days. I noticed him eating less when the sinus infection started but got worse on the antibiotics. The vet told me to give him a half a Pepcid AC twice a day, so I have been doing that since yesterday. He eats Nutros dog food. I usually buy the chicken, lamb and rice formula.

 

When and how many times did you catch him trying to eat his feces? Did he ever try to eat his feces prior to the sinus infection and antibiotics? This was the first time I ever saw him do that and it was tonight.

Thank you so much and I definitely will pay you for your time...

Cindy

 

Expert:  Martha Windisch replied 5 years ago.

Hi Cindy,

 

I'm a dog trainer and I work with dog behavior instead of being a veterinarian. I am a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and have a lot of experience on the behavioral end of things - so that's the perspective I will have to take here and will have to suggest you also seek advice from a veterinarian on Just Answer to get a veterinarian's viewpoint.

 

Thanks for providing such good and detailed answers to my questions. They are very helpful.

 

In short, a panting and trembling dog can be due to anxiety/fear or due to the dog actually not feeling well.

 

Because the one time in which he displayed the panting and trembling behavior in the past, he was not feeling well, and because this bout of panting and tembling coincided with him having a sinus infection, I'm really leaning towards the panting and trembling as being related to him not feeling well. It may have started as being due to the sinus infection itself - and now it's either still due to the actual sinus infection or due to some other reason he's not feeling well.

 

Furthermore, I don't think the panting and trembling are associated with an unrelated anxiety because you told me that he normally is happy go lucky and does not normally display fears or anxiety.

 

Furthermore, he is not feeling up to par during the day and he is not eating as well as before (even though he is a bit of a finicky eater anyhow) - this all leads me to think that the trembling and panting are due to something physically bothering him.

 

That's great that his sinuses are clear! When you gave him the aspirin when he started panting and trembling, did you notice any improvement? I'm thinking in terms that the aspirin would not only help to lower a fever, but would also help with pain. If the aspirin did not help, that makes me think that maybe the trembling and panting at this point in time are not due to a fever or sinus pain (but I may be wrong - just thinking out loud, because maybe his sinus' are still bothering him even though the infection has cleared up???) Wonder if his nasal passages/sinus' are feeling dried up and still painful even after the infection appears to have cleared? (this would be a good question for a veterinarian).

 

On the lethargic, not eating as well as he used to, eating feces, and panting and trembling in the evening side of things, I'm wondering if his stomach is topsy-turvy? I have had to treat my dogs for Lyme disease with antibiotics (and also have had to treat myself with the same) and I can attest to the fact that antibiotics can do funky things to a digestive system (I don't think "funky" is a veterinary term!!) - but, I do think that something that would be worth a try is probiotic supplementation. A funky digestive system could be suspect in a dog that never ate feces before and all the sudden started to eat feces (plus he's not eating as well as he used to). Furthermore, aspirin could be an additional suspect in a stomach that is not feeling up to par.

 

Do you think that the Pepcid AC is helping any? I would also try a probiotic supplement (i.e. acidophilus or check for digestive support supplements available at http://www.kvvet.com/) to see if you see any changes - note that a supplement like this would take time to work (i.e. the difference won't be immediately apparent). I always recommend consulting your veterinarian prior to giving your dog anything new.

 

Plus, you should keep working with your veterinarian as long as your dog continues to pant and tremble in the evenings (ask your vet to keep working on the problem).

 

When my dog Blue was sick he would pant and tremble at night more than in the daytime. I think that it was because when he got tired at night the pain bothered him more. Also, if something like a sore muscle is bothering me and I'm being active during the day, I don't notice it as much. But when I settle down at night, then my mind is on it and it bothers me more (the same would be true for a dog).

 

Sorry I cannot pin-point exactly what is bothering your Lhasa-Poo. But I do think that something is physically bothering him. In the beginning of the post I said, "a panting and trembling dog can be due to anxiety/fear or due to the dog actually not feeling well." I'll add a third possibility here: The panting and trembling could also be due to the anxiety caused by a dog not feeling well. It's ok to make sure he is comfortable and put a blanket over him and let him sit by you - but be careful about the consoling. If anxiety is combined with the not feeling so well, sometimes a consoling attitude by the owner can actually make the anxiety worse ("It's okay" "poor dog" said in a consoling manner can backfire and work to increase instead of decrease the anxiety) - It's better to act calm and confident instead of consoling. A massage method called the Tellington Touch (TTouch) may be something that you could do to calm your dog. Check out www.trafalgarsquarebooks.com.

 

Good luck. I hope I helped you think about what may be causing your dog to tremble and pant at night. Also, keep working with your vet on the problem and also seek information from the veterinarians on Just Answer in case they have a different slant on the problem.

 

 

Martha Windisch, Certified Pet Dog Trainer
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 113
Experience: 17+ years experience as a pet dog trainer. AKC titles in obedience, tracking, field and agility.
Martha Windisch and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your input. I did not realize you were not a vet. Could you run this coorespondence by a vet and see if they could give me their thoughts on the physical/medical side of this and see if something medical jumps out for them? I really think it is related to some type of pain or discomfort he is experiencing. Thank you again...

 

Cindy

Expert:  Martha Windisch replied 5 years ago.

I answered because sometimes panting and trembling are behavior-related, but reading your answers to my questions made me also, in agreement with you, think that it is related to pain or discomfort.

 

I'll hit answer and then I think if I click opt out it will allow a veterinarian to answer (plus I'll see who is on-line and see if I can refer this question to someone).

Expert:  Dr Pete replied 5 years ago.
Hi Cindy
Martha has asked me to have a look at your question. I must say she has been very thorough and I agree with what she has said. Episodic panting episodes in dogs are usually caused by anxiety or discomfort. If she exercises normally, has no cough or breathing problem most of the time it's unlikely that there is issues with her lungs or heart. Her blood tests came out clear, that is good.
The timing of the episodes suggests a gastrointestinal issue causing pain. Your vet must have considered this with the Pepcid recommendation. I certainly think that is worthwhile continuing Pepcid if you feel it improves things. Kaolin/Pectin/Bismuth mixtures (Kaopectate, Kaomagma, Pepto-Bismol) are also sometimes quite effective for gastroenteric pain. Dose at 0.5-1.0 ml/lb every 4-6 hours. I think it would also be worthwhile switching to a prescription diet designed for intestinal problems. These are made by companies such as Hill's (Hill's i/d) and are availbale through your vet.
Watch her stools. If they tend to diarrhea or ever have mucus in them we may be dealing with colitis or irritable bowel disease (IBD). Diet controls these conditions well but sometimes medication is also required in the short term.
The coprophagia (eating her stools) is a behavioural problem and is unlikley to be directly related to her episodes of discomfort. Hopefully this wass just a single episode.
So I think you should try with the gastrointestinal settlers (Pepcid or Kaomagma, etc) and diet modification to start with and watch her stools. I would be reasonably confident that that will clear the problem but it may take a few days.
Good luck, Peter
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you! The total payment is $15...correct?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Or is it $9..thank you.
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 5 years ago.
Hi again Cindy
You can make a payment that you feel is appropriate. That's not a problem. But accept Martha's reply as she put in a major effort here.
Regards, Peter
Expert:  Martha Windisch replied 5 years ago.

Hi Cindy,

 

It's Martha - I opted back in since I didn't know whether you can accept my reply if I did not opt back in (I'm not sure how JUST ANSWER works when two experts are involved (unfortunately, I'm not an expert on the computer/web site details) - seems like each should get some of the credit - meaning $, but I do not know how that works on this site since I only have experience on the answerer end of things not the questioner end of things. I hope your answer was answered sufficiently - I emailed Dr Pete last night and he was quite helpful in getting back to me (and you!). I wish you all the luck with your Lhasa-poo. If he does not feel better and stop his trembling and panting soon make sure to get back in touch with your veterinarian. Feel free to let me know how it goes.

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