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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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11 yo golden retriever panting and gulping

Customer Question

11 yo golden retriever panting and gulping
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Good evening, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that your pup isn't feeling well tonight. I'll do my best to help.

Panting and gulping by themselves are really vague signs, meaning that they can indicate pretty much anything. It's going to be very difficult, bordering on impossible, for us to give you a diagnosis online (and illegal to diagnose without performing a physical examination). I can, however, give you some ideas on what to watch for. When I hear of pets who are unable to settle like you're describing, there are two different causes I'm looking for: either physical discomfort of some kind (including pain anywhere, itching, or nausea) or anxiety. As you can imagine, physical discomfort is pretty much impossible for me to assess without seeing her myself, but most times owners have an idea of what might be bothering their dog by watching their behavior. Some dogs with sore backs will guard their spine (tighten their belly muscles when you try to bend their back), some dogs with joint or limb pain will limp, dogs with severe itching are easy to spot because you're seeing lots of scratching. Nausea or GI discomfort is often followed by vomiting or diarrhea - they can get all crampy just like we can when they are having a GI upset. I've seen dogs with things like abscessed anal glands, severe allergies, fleas, GI upsets (diarrhea or vomiting), back or limb pain, and even ear infections be up all night pacing and trying to settle. The possibilities, unfortunately, are many. Of course, in an older dog, we worry more about more serious diseases than we typically would in a younger dog.

Red flags that indicate you should take your pet to the vet include pale gums, abdominal distention, repetitive nonproductive gagging or retching, a rectal temperature over 102.5, any sort of labored breathing, or a heart rate over 140 at rest.

Please let me know what questions I can answer for you

~Dr. Sara

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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara