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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30057
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My dog is breathing heavy and panting. His breathing is fast

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My dog is breathing heavy and panting. His breathing is fast and short. He has been digging and his hind and his tail is swollen about a quarter of the way up. His gums are still pink. My concern is do I need to take him in to an animal ER tonight? Or can he wait until tomorrow? Also is there anything I can do tonight to ease his pain until tomorrow?
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Dr. Andy :

Hello. I am sorry to hear about this concern.

Dr. Andy :

I will wait for your reply so we can discuss.

Customer:

Ok I am here

Dr. Andy :

Any time, every time, I deal with a situation that involves swelling, I strongly recommend more immediate treatment.

Customer:

OK so you recommend going to the ER tonight?

Dr. Andy :

We know it is severe enough to warrant discomfort, and he is also exhibiting the heavy breathing. I can't even rule-out the possibility he is experiencing some type of hypersensitivity reaction. Like an insect bite or sting.

Dr. Andy :

Well, it would be well worth it.

Dr. Andy :

I wold hate for Jack Jack to be in distress the entire evening. The vet may agree with my guess. If so, a steroid and antihistamine treatment would be extremely helpful.

Dr. Andy :

In addition, as an additional precaution, if you have Benadryl, I would give it now.

Dr. Andy :

 


Benadryl can be given at a dose of 1mg per pound of body weight. Keep in mind, Benadryl tablets and liquids come in different sizes. So, an approximately 25 pound dog can get a full 25mg tablet or a half of a 50mg tablet. I usually avoid the liquid Benadryl in larger dogs (you would have to give too much of it). You can give Benadryl every 8-12 hours.


Benadryl

Dr. Andy :

If you don't have the Benadryl that is okay. The ER vet will give an antihistamine anyway if they suspect a allergic underlying cause.

Customer:

I am getting a little more information from my wife...

Customer:

She says this started about a week ago after getting a haircut from petsmart and has progressively gotten worse.

Customer:

The heavy breathing did not start until today

Dr. Andy :

That changes things, a little. He is still uncomfortable and is panting heavy. So, my recommendation to consult the ER vet still stands, so he is not like that all night.

Dr. Andy :

My recommendation for the Benadryl still stands.

Dr. Andy :

My suspicion for a reaction like an insect bite is less likely.

Customer:

OK just wanted to give you all the information I know.

Dr. Andy :

It is possible that they did something to his anal glands actually. THIS IS ONLY A GUESS. If they incompletely expressed them or incorrectly expressed them it could have caused a lot of discomfort. So, the tail swelling is more of a consequence of self trauma.

Dr. Andy :

Just a guess. I can only take my answer so far over-the-internet, but wanted to throw out that idea based on your wife's info.

Dr. Andy :

That's about all I can add.

Customer:

Yes he has been digging at it and it is definitely slef inflicted to a degree. He has had the anal gland issues before just not tail swelling

Dr. Andy :

My best guess.

Dr. Andy :

The benadryl could help him to sleep for the evening, but the best course of action would be the ER vet for better supportive care.

Customer:

Fair enough. I will not take up anymore of your time

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