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My dog is panting excessively, shivering, clinging to me and…

Customer Question
My dog is panting...

My dog is panting excessively, shivering, clinging to me and scratching my face. Her nose and tongue are warm. Should I be concerned?

Veterinarian's Assistant: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?

She is a bit of a "needy" Chihuahua, I.e., wants to be held all the time. However, her actions today are excessive, even for her.

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
3/1/2016
Dog Specialist: Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst replied 2 years ago
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20,441
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Is she eating and drinking normally?

When did she last eat?

Has she defecated today?

How about urination today?

Is there any odor or swelling around her rectum?

How old is she?

Is she limping?

Is she jumping up normally and using stairs?

How is she normally picked up?

Has she slipped or fallen recently?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
She is eating and drinking normally. She and her sisters are grazers - I leave a small scoop of dry food out for each of them all dAy and give a second scoop at night.I can't say for certain about defecting or urinating. They girls use a doggy door and come and go at will.No order ow swelling.She's 5.No limping and she's jumping normally. We have no stairs in the house (except to get up in the bed & she refuses to use those).I place a hand under her chest & abdomen to lift her up.No slips or falls.
Dog Specialist: Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst replied 2 years ago

Thanks for that information. There is no specific thing that is readily identifiable. Usually excessive panting can be caused by heart problems, lung problems, fever, or bronchitis. You can read about this here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/panting-in-dogs/page1.aspx

Dogs also pant to cool down, but they also pant when they are under stress, in pain, or afraid. There can also be medical causes such as neurological problems, respiratory disorders, and Heart problems such as heartworm, anemia, and fever. She is shivering as well. Shivering is often associated with the same conditions that lead to panting.

I'd go ahead and check her mouth for any teeth issues. A problem may just be developing which is causing her some discomfort but not quite enough to stop her eating. In addition, since they are grazers, you might miss the beginning of a problem with her eating. It is one reason I recommend scheduled feeding times with the food taken up afterward. It lets you know immediately when a dog stops eating. If you see discolored teeth, red gums, or swelling, you will want the vet to take a quick look. Go ahead and put a drop of karo or pancake syrup on her gums to be sure her blood sugar levels remain stable. Low blood sugar can lead to seizures which can manifest as trembling and a dog will pant because they are a llittle scared.

Check her anal glands to be on the safe side. See if they are tender at all. they may not be swollen but still have some discomfort causing the behavior. The last thing might be a disc that is starting to give her problems. It may not be bad enough to interfere with stairs or jumping but still a little achy. Of course a pulled muscle might also be to blame but with no limping, it doesn't sound as likely.

Given her clingy nature, you might want to get a DAP collar or diffuser to help calm her down a little. It may make her a little less dependent on always being on you and more comfortable just hanging around. Monitor her closely and if she develops any other symptoms including loss of appetite, inability to eliminate, limping or she doesn't improve, I'd have her seen.

One other thing you might do is try a little pepcid in case she has a little excess bile from potentially not eating. Read about Pepcid dosages and usage information here:

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/famotidine-pepcid/page1.aspx

If she isn't spayed and is close to her heat cycle that might cause these symptoms as well.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

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