View Full Version : Excessive panting-should I be concerned?

9th February 2010, 07:40 PM
Haven't posted in a long time, but I'm glad to have this resource!

Our 7 year old rescue, Wesley, has been panting excessively at night the last two nights. Here's some background:

He's overweight (26 lbs) and when he's not on his walk he's sleeping but he's been that way since we got him last April. He has always snored very loudly when he sleeps at night (not so much during the day). So not an active dog.

The panting is fast and lasts for hours, but has not happened at all during the day, even though his pattern of activity is the same during the day as at night. He doesn't seem to want water at those times.

About 3 weeks ago he had a grand mal seizure in the middle of the night. His first and last. VERY VERY SCARY! The vet couldn't diagnose it the following day because he was fine and, at his age, I don't want to put him through testing unless it happens again. We think it could be due to a sudden urge to play the previous evening--he suddenly grabbed a toy and wanted to play tug!

Okay, probably more info than you want when I just wish to know whether the panting signals anything. We are SO in love with this dear little guy (and our other rescue, Arrabelle) that I worry constantly about their health.

By the way, Wesley is also close to 100% deaf.

Thanks for any help!

10th February 2010, 12:25 AM
Sorry to hear abut the seizure; that must have been very scary. :(

Have you spoken to your vet about the panting? I think this should be your first stop and I would get an immediate appointment. Panting is often the sign of heart problems, and the extra weight will also be putting pressure on his heart and may exacerbate things. Has he been heart tested for MVD? On the other hand maybe the panting is in part due to his extra weight...but excessive panting generally mans you will want to get him to a vet one way or another.

I'd really, really work to get his weight down too -- in this breed, excess weight is often an early death sentence as almost all will eventually get heart problems and even an extra pound makes the heart work harder and wear out faster. If he isn't on a serious weight loss programme your vet should be able to help with that. You do want to increase his exercise gradually too as long as your vet feels this is safe. There are tips on healthy treats in the Library section (fruits and vegetables basically! - excepting grapes/raisins, which are dangerous) and I like to cut back regular food rather than opt for low cal diet foods. Cut back his daily meals by a third. How much does he get to get at the moment? Frozen green beans are a great addition to bulk out a meal with no calories.

Please let us know what your vet says about the panting -- i'd sure be interested to know what he thinks. Hopefully it is nothing serious or is connected to his weight, which is something you can easily tackle.

10th February 2010, 03:54 PM
I hope the Vet does a good evaluation for Wesley . It seems to me that Wesley is showing distess and the cause needs to be found for his sake. Because this is new, it indicates something physical has changed with him. It might help to have a fan circulating air but that really only affects the symptom not the cause. Good luck in getting to the bottom of this.

10th February 2010, 05:24 PM
On thinking some more about this: I would ask your vet to check right away for diabetes. Not only can this cause panting, but seizures as well. If this is diabetes causing the seizures it is really important that Wesley get proper care immediately as he is at serious risk. Obesityis a risk factor for diabetes as well so you have a couple of things that would tend to make me think this is very important to have checked thoroughly. Hope you get an answer and many more years with Wesley; please come back and let us know what you find. :flwr: