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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28473
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog is 20 mo. old/pure golden retriever and has been a

Customer Question

Hi, My dog is 20 mo. old/pure golden retriever and has been a heavy panter all his life. He now grabs at his hind legs and tail when he gets up from laying. He is slender - not an over eater. I have to encourage him at times to eat his grain free meal. He loves bread and will do anything for it. Could he have cushings?
The panting is all the time. He also has periodic craziness with nipping and needs redirection quick before going really crazy.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. I don't believe that Cushing's has ever been diagnosed in a 20 month old dog. The classic symptoms of Cushing's are extreme polydipsia (thirst), polyuria (increased volume of urine), and polyphagia (increased hunger). Can you tell me, please, what is it he's nipping that needs redirection during his periodic craziness? There are quite a few possible etiologies for such panting. Excessive panting can represent both medical and behavioral problems. It's often seen with elevated ambient temperature, exercise, anxiety, or perceived pain. To confound the diagnosis further, it's also seen with fever, narcotic administration, glucocorticosteroid (prednisone, e.g.) therapy, Cushing's disease, hyperthyroidism, hypocalcemia, pheocromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor), cardiac disease, tachyarrhythmias (fast irregular heart rates), brain disease and obesity.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He likes company outside to go to bathroom. When not allowed in pool He mouths arms of my husband arm- sometimes if he wears a jacket he will go after the jacket even after he takes it off. I thought it was the scent of the jacket because it is typically new ones that he wears that provoke the biggest response.
He has only done it to me when I wore my husbands jackets.
I hVe to calmly get him to go after a stick or something to distract him and then bring him in to settle. I started wearing my huabands jacket inside the home to help him become familiar with it in a safe environment.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. His unruly behavior is addressed by neutering and the following:

Provide a regular routine of play and vigorous exercise that is designed to suit Sidecar's individual needs (e.g., retrieve, sled pulling, flyball, agility). Train him to settle and provide self-play toys after each session. The settle and focus commands should be rewarded with favorite food treats, petting and praise but must be contingent upon calm behavior.The family must stop providing any reinforcement for undesirable behaviors. They must ensure that attention, rewards and play are never given as a response to his demands. This only serves to reward excitable and pushy behavior. Stopping play and ignoring, walking away, or "time out" when he gets overly excited (negative punishment) may be successful in some cases. Obedience training is a must. Use sit, stay and settle commands to train calm, quiet responses. For dogs that are overactive or excitable, punishment is seldom successful. Ultimately, it all comes back to effective obedience training and having command over Sidecar. Training will be time consuming but the rewards will be invaluable. For a more thorough discussion of the "unruly dog" please have***@******.*** recategorize your question into "dog training". It would be prudent, however, to have Sidecar checked by his vet to make sure that his panting isn't due just to his hyperactive behavior.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sidecar. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin