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My 16 year old shih Tzu is breathing a heavy but not

My 16 year old...

My 16 year old shih Tzu is breathing a heavy but not panting. heart rate appears to be about 120 beats per minute

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the Shih Tzu?

Breathing a little heavy and heart rate is about 120 beats per minute

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does the Shih Tzu seem to hurt?

There doesn't appear to be any pain, she is eating and drinking normally

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. What is the Shih Tzu's name?

Amber

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Amber?

Other than those two issues appears normal

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Answered in 1 minute by:
2/10/2018
Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,967
Experience: Veterinarian - BVSc
Verified

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your girl Amber who has breathing rapidly and who has quite a high heart rate. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next few minutes including a few key parameters for you to monitor.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. Amber's breathing and fast heart rate (tachycardia) are definitely a real concern tonight and given her age, I am particularly worried she could have a primary cardiorespiratory issue here. If she is still breathing quickly and if her heart rate hasn't slowed, there is no question that you need to get her seen by your local vet or ER vet immediately. Here they can carry out a full physical exam, start her on oxygen and hopefully run an ECG and echo to see if her heart function is ok.

If she has settled a little for now, then you still need to continue to monitor her very carefully tonight. In particular, 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.

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.

Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,967
Experience: Veterinarian - BVSc
Verified
Pet Doc and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
she has been this way all day sometimes seems better she goes out and does her business eats and drinks. she does have heart murmor

Thanks for that. Yes, if she has a heart murmur, it is likely this has progressed to the point that fluid is backing up and leaking in to her lungs potentially (pulmonary oedema). This is definitely worth following up with your local vet today if you can. They can listen to her chest, run an echo and perhaps change her meds to help her heart cope a bit better. They may need to keep her in the hospital on oxygen and carefully monitoring for a day or two first however.

All the best,

Dr E

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