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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7305
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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I have a Bernese Mountain dog who is frightened of storms.

Customer Question

I have a Bernese Mountain dog who is frightened of storms. Starting Wednesday night (this is Thursday) she started to pace and pant and I thought it was because a rain storm was headed our way for late Thursday. As it turned out it was mostly wind a little raiin and a big temperature drop with no storms. However Willow has continued to pace and pant and she won't eat and she seems a little disoriented and not like herself at all. I am now sitting with her at 5 a m. Friday morning and I'm a little worried. I thought this would pass by now. Any advice? ***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there Leslie,

Thanks for your question regarding your girl Willow. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. Willow's symptoms are definitely concerning and I can understand why you thought the panting and pacing were just behavioral in nature given her fear of storms. As the panting and pacing have continued and she now also seems a little disorientated, it is very unlikely this is due to anxiety and much more likely there is something else going on here. You can probably imagine that there are quite a number of potential causes for these types of symptoms, but for a girl of Willow's breed and age we would need to consider everything from abdominal pain, to a toxicity or poisoning, to a primary cardiovascular issue, to a neurological problem. As it has been going on for over a day now, I really would encourage you to get your girl seen first thing this morning (if your vet is open today). If your regular vet is shut today, then this would even warrant a full check over with your local after hours or ER vet at some point today.

Because there are a range of potential issues going on here, a full physical exam and diagnostics (including a senior dog blood test and possibly ecg to check her heart) would be the next best step. This will likely give your vet an idea as to the cause of her behavior. For now, please keep an eye on her mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate tonight as follows (do be careful that your girl doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of her gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on her gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if she seems to be panting or breathing rapidly throughout the night, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

Best of luck with your girl. Try and keep her as quiet as you can right now. Also encourage her to drink and make sure she has plenty of water available. Don't panic too much about the eating, but if she appears bloated at all - definitely get her seen straight away. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Willow. How is everything going?
Pet Doc