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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28451
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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What do symptoms of constant pacing, rapid heart beat indicate

Customer Question

what do symptoms of constant pacing, rapid heart beat indicate in 12-year-old female Golden Retriever. Always had regular vet checkups, grooming, dental cleaning. Also has developed unstable walk with frequent falls. Vet says she cannot tolerate sedation for tooth cleaning any longer. Does the panting and pacing indicate pain--she is eating and drinking , playing...we do not want her to suffer pain. We realize her age is a detrimental factor.I am unsure abut this vet. He
also said she has an incurable kidney ailment. The panting and pacing and sudden
nightmare and dreaming are my big concern. Can she be helped?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If there is nothing to be done for her (she is 12)os there a calming med that can be prescribed to alleviate her anxiety and the ceaseless pacing and rapid breathing? She does sleep but has frightening dreams and howls. She has always been an extremely quite, cal dog prior to this past few months.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please reply as soon as possible--also she pants relentlessly.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Her aimless pacing and ataxia ("drunken sailor") indicate encephalopathy (brain disorder) involving the forebrain - cerebrum and/or thalamus. Brain tumor is the most common finding in an elderly Golden behaving in that manner.
Panting is consistent with encephalopathies but may, indeed, also indicate pain. I need to know more about "incurable kidney ailment" but if she's severely uremic due to chronic kidney failure, that uremia (accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream that normal kidneys can get rid of) can also cause a uremic encephalopathy - intoxication of her brain.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.