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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30323
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 7 year old lab is pacing and panting...thus new behavior

Customer Question

My 7 year old lab is pacing and panting...thus new behavior in the last 3 days.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: He does have some anxiety but nothing has changed. He can't settle down. He just paces and pants.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Dog Veterinarians generally expect a deposit of about $19 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Would you characterize his pacing as aimless? Is he circling in wide circles? Is he hugging walls and/or head pressing on objects? Does he respond to you as he always has? Does he have a medical history that would have us consider that he's quite painful? Is he vocalizing? is he still eating and drinking? Are there any other worrisome symptoms?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Aimlessly and he won't settle down
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Aimless pacing is pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of encephalopathy (brain disorder) affecting the forebrain - cerebrum and thalamus. Both intracranial (within the skull) disorders such as brain tumor or status epilepticus (the state in which seizures don't abate) and extracranial (outside the skull) disorders such as a poorly functioning liver or kidneys which are affecting his brain are considered. Most important is that he's going to exhaust himself if he hasn't done so already unless he's heavily sedated or anesthetized. His vet needs to perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. If nothing untoward is found in such testing, MRI is likely to be recommended in order to look into his brain.

Chronic unremitting pain is another cause of such behavior but generally there are other symptoms localizing from where that pain is originating. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin