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Mia Carter
Mia Carter, Animal Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 822
Experience:  Specializing in the training and care of ill pets and special needs animals! Mom of 22 pets!
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my dog is panting and whining and going to the door, i took ...

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my dog is panting and whining and going to the door, i took her out but nothing happened. she''s also opening and closing her mouth alot.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Mia Carter replied 9 years ago.
Hello there.

I'm sorry to hear about your girl.

It's possible that she has something going on like constipation or a urinary tract infection, where she would feel like she has to go to the bathroom. Both problems can be uncomfortable and painful and this would account for the whining and panting. But in any event, I would strong recommend a visit to the vet so that you can figure out for sure what's taking place - there's always a chance you be dealing with something acute.

Panting, shivering, and whining are all symptoms of pain and distress. This is a common reaction to pain, and it can also be due in part to nervousness. Pain and discomfort can cause anxiety, especially when it arises suddenly, and nervousness and anxiety can also cause panting, whining, shaking and shivering.

n any event, I'm going to give you a few things to look for on your girl, just to be sure that there's not an emergency situation taking place.

Temperature can also be checked rectally with a bit of vaseline on the thermometer - this can give you an idea of general condition. It should be between 100-102. Anything below 100 or above 103 is a serious problem. A fever could also cause chills and shivering, so this is an important thing to check.

Checking the gums is an indicator of your dog's circulation. If there's internal bleeding, anemia, a disruption of normal blood flow, or serious illness, the gums will turn very pale, almost white in appearance. This means that the blood is not properly receiving oxygen or there's a loss of blood or red blood cells.

Normal gums will be bright pink to a pale pink. Abnormal gums are white with greyish, blue, or yellow.

Here is a link to a photo of normal gums:

Here is a link to a couple of photos of pale gums:

I should note that I've seen perfectly healthy dogs with gums that are slightly paler than those pictured in the "normal gums" picture, but there's always a distinct pink tone.

For more information on checking your dog's gums, visit:

The normal heart rate varies depending on the size and age of the dog. A puppy has a heart rate of about 180 beats per minute. And adult dog will have a rate between 60-160 beats per minute. Small toy breeds can have normal heart rates of 180 beats per minute. The rule is the younger the dog, the faster the heart rate (for puppies). And the smaller the dog, the faster the heart rate.

Normal pulse is between 60 and 120.

Also, you can check capillary refill time. If you apply firm pressure to the gums, the area should turn pale and then quickly return back to normal (you can try this on your own skin to see what I mean). If there's no difference, or if your dog's gums take a long time to return back to normal, there could be a problem. The gums should return to normal in no less than one second and no more than two 1/2 seconds.

You should also offer some bland people food if she becomes hesitant to eat. You can offer a bland diet of plain white rice with plain chicken or boiled hamburger. This will be more appealing than normal food, but it will also be easy on the stomach in case this is the root of her problem.

If she stops eating before you get to the vet, you can give a spoon of pancake syrup every six hours to keep blood sugar from dipping too low. If your dog won't lick it from a spoon, you can rub it directly onto the gums.
Hypoglycemia triggers all sorts of other parallel problems that you'll want to avoid and pancake syrup is a good way to to that.
For more info on hypoglycemia, visit:

I would also try to get her to take in some extra fluids. You can do this by adding unflavored Pedialyte to her water in a 50-50 mix - this should help with hydration, as many pets don't drink and eat properly when they're feeling badly (which is when they most need the fluids!)

To determine how dehydrated she is, look at the skin. If you pinch the skin between the shoulder blades up into a "tent", ideally, it should flatten right out. The more dehydrated she is, the longer it will take the skin to return to normal. So I would monitor this several times a day to ensure that she's not getting worse.

Also, I would monitor her to see that she's urinating and defecating normally. Something like an intestinal obstruction could cause pain and discomfort, especially in the abdomen, so that's something to be looking out for. Any abnormalities in bathroom habits should be noted.

A heating pad on a low setting may also be helpful if you have a specific area that appears to be painful, but not swollen. Something like a pulled muscle or stomach pain would benefit from the warmth, and this may also help to relax your girl and make her more comfortable for the time-being.

I hope your dog is feeling better soon! Let me know how she does and don't hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions!

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-Mia Carter
Pet Expert

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