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Dr.Beth, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 631
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
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Our female Shih-Tzu has been panting a lot today. I offer

Resolved Question:

Our female Shih-Tzu has been panting a lot today. I offer her water, but she doesn't want it. Do I need to take her to a vet?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
I would like to help you with your question, but first I need a bit more information.

How old is your dog?

How long has she been panting?

Is she coughing as well?

Is she able to exercise or does she seem tired?

What color are her gums (pink, light pink, white)?

Does she seem painful?

Does she seem confused?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She is 7 years old; is not coughing; her gums are pink; she's not sore, and she doesn't appear confused.
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.
I am glad to hear that she sounds alert and is still interested in treats. There are a number of reasons for panting in dogs, among them:

1) Excitement: is there anything different in the house? Is there anything different in your life? Dog's pick up on anxiety and excitement from their owners as well as changes in their environment.

2) Pain: If she is feeling pain, this can often lead to panting. Are her hips sore? Her teeth? Has she eaten something new, is her stomach sore? Does she need to urinate or defecate?

3) Temperature: if the temperature in the house is too warm, she will pant to expel excess heat. You can also take her temperature with a digital thermometer to see if it is elevated. Lubricate the thermometer with petroleum jelly. Gently and slowly insert the thermometer into the rectum about 1 or 2 inches. If it does not slide in easily, do not force it. Normal dog temp is between 101 and 102.5 F.

4) Other medical causes: heart or lung disease can cause an increased respiratory rate. Some hormonal condition like Cushing's disease can also cause increased panting.

If she is othewise doing well, I would monitor her this evening for any signs of difficulty breathing, pain, or lethargy. If you become concerned please have her seen this evening at the emergency vet.   Otherwise I would try to keep her calm and cool and monitor how she does overnight and call your vet for a check up in the morning.

Please let me know if I can be of further help.

Dr. Beth

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