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I am dog sitting for a friend of mine. I've been with this…

I am dog sitting...

I am dog sitting for a friend of mine. I've been with this dog on numerous overnights. She is an Aussie Rottweiler mix about 9 years old. She is breathing heavily and quickly. She was panting earlier but is now lying down next to me. When I put my hand on her chest it sounds like upper respiratory but I'm no vet. She is eating and now seems to be asleep. While she is lying with me it's like she's experiencing sleep abnia...

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name and age?

Sade and I believe she is 9

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Sade?

As I said she has been eating but not as active as I know her to be. Her breathing is what is concerning most. Right now she is grunting and seeming to have trouble catching her breath but doesn't seem in distress

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/24/2018
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 23,227
Experience: Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she had these signs?

Any coughing, or nasal discharge? If the latter, what color? From one or both nostrils?

Are her gums pink or pale/white?

Can you take a breathing rate for me (just count her breaths for 10 seconds + multiply by 6)?

Does she seem sore anywhere (ie if you press firmly on her belly, etc)?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Her breathing rate is 60. gums are pink red in places actually. She is licking her lips a good amount. I noticed her grunting earlier this evening maybe around 9 but she came up on the bed with me about 2 hours ago and I really started paying attention to the labored breathing and panting about an hour to an hour and a half ago. Doesn't seem sore elsewhere but is pawing at me and licking a lot

Ok, just since she is lip licking too, does she seem nauseous?

Any appetite loss or chance she ate something she should not have?

Does her belly feel painful or distended?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No she is eating. Had a snack(1/2 of a puperoni) about an hour ago. No vomiting or belly tenderness or dissension. She'll fall asleep for a moment and move her paws as if she is dreaming.

Good, the reason I wanted to make sure is because we see lip licking with nausea and with stress in dogs. So, if those signs can be excluded the latter is more likely. Of course, if would do no harm to give an OTC antacid (ie Pepcid (More Info/Dose), Zantac (More Info/Dose)) if you did think she had some GI upset. Otherwise, the paw movement isn't overly worrisome but her breathing rate for a dog at rest/sleeping is twice what it should be. And while her pink gums tell us that she ad adequate oxygen uptake, the breathing would suggest discomfort/pain, or could reflect ongoing respiratory or heart issues.

With these in mind, you are limited in what you can do at home but if she isn't distress (and as the gums are pink), we can monitor her until a local vet is open. Once they are, we'd want her seen to assess her heart and lungs. Infection often needs antibiotics to clear and treating early on is always advisable since we don't want to risk a pneumonia. In the meantime though, if she has any congestion, you can try her with steam treatment. To do so, you can take her in the bathroom while you run a hot shower. The steam will help loosen and clear discharge from the airway. You can also use a baby nebulizer. Furthermore, for nasal congestion, non-medicated saline nasal drops (ie Ocean Mist or Little Noses) can be used. To do so, just tilt the head back and drop 2-3 drops in one nostril. Not a favorite, but it helps. After the drops go down, you can let the head up and wipe away any discharge that gets loosened. Then repeat with the other nostril. But again her signs do raise a few concerns here; though if she isn't painful and since her gums are pink, you can monitor her for the moment. But if this persists then we'd want her checked for heart and lung concerns to ensure we nip this in the bud.

Kind regards,

Dr. B

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you so much for your help. I'll start with the steam treatment and see if that helps. If she is still breathing heavily I'll consult with her owners once i hear back from them and take further action if needed. Being as she is not mine, I really can't make any major decisions... also living up in the mountains there is really not a lot open. So I'll steam her and let you know the moment anything changes

You are very welcome, my dear.

That is ideal since she is just visiting you but hopefully it is just a wee respiratory bug and we can keep her comfortable.

Best wishes,

Dr. B

**************************

If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help. Afterward, as I am dedicating my evenings & weekends to helping you, I would be grateful if you could please take the time rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great). Otherwise the site does not credit me for helping you. There is no extra charge for this (its included in your question fee). Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you for helping me to keep helping everyone here. : )**

Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 23,227
Experience: Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Dr. B.
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