Why Old Dogs Pant

The following are some of the most frequent and typical causes of a dog panting;

If your dog is hot

Dogs can only truly dissipate heat through panting because they do not sweat as effectively as people do. A heavy coat and a propensity to keep moving while overheated are not helpful. Up until their body temperature returns to normal, your dog will pant to release heat.

Excessive panting in a hot climate could be an indication of heatstroke. Other symptoms could include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and restlessness. Stop doing anything, go somewhere cool and shaded, and give your dog some water. Shower them if you can with cool water, not cold. If you believe your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, always call your veterinarian for guidance. Without intervention, it might be lethal in a hurry.

If your dog is anxious

Fear and anxiety can naturally cause people to pant. Your pet might start panting after going to the vet, experiencing a storm, or going through another stressful situation.

Even though this is a perfectly reasonable response, it shows that the person is having trouble dealing with the circumstance. A trip to the veterinarian is an uncommon occurrence (let’s hope), and your pet should cease panting afterward. In the long run, calming your pet’s worries may be achieved by using treats and fusses to create positive associations with the area and its inhabitants.

Regularly occurring episodes of anxiety in settings like the house or on walks may call for treatment or behavior adjustment. Natural items, such as pheromone collars and plugins, thunder shirts, or anti-anxiety (anti-stress) drugs, may help people relax. If you believe your pet may be experiencing stress or anxiety, please consult your veterinarian for guidance.

If your dog is exercising

When they previously wouldn’t have done so, your pet panting with little exercise may be a symptom. Exercise intolerance is what we call it. Even though there might be a straightforward explanation for this, it might also be a symptom of something more serious, so if you find this in your pet, it’s always worth having them checked out by a veterinarian.

Dogs of various breeds and even specific members of breeds may pant more or less frequently than others. You must be aware of your dog’s “normal” in order to spot tiny variations. Due to heat, exertion, fear, and excitement, animals who are older and obese are more likely to pant.

Your pet’s weight can be discussed, and if necessary, your vet team can assist with a weight loss program. Bulldogs, pugs, and other short-nosed breeds (brachycephalics) are particularly prone to heatstroke. If they are nervous or overworked, they may pant and struggle harder. It is always better to have your dog’s breathing examined if you are concerned.

Are there any illnesses that can cause my dog to pant?

It’s crucial to make the distinction between normal panting and respiratory distress, which is a very dangerous condition. In order to breathe more easily when experiencing respiratory distress, your dog may choose to stand with their elbows out and their neck stretched.

They might be breathing more forcefully and more quickly. Their lips may pull back, their nostrils may flare, and their gums may seem dark, even purple. It is crucial that you take your pet in right away if they exhibit this breathing pattern. It can be a symptom of a severe lung or cardiac condition.

Panting due to pain

Excessive panting might also result from pain. There are several potential causes of pain, some of which are more visible than others. An elderly animal may pant excessively if it is in pain, such as from joint illness. Depending on the origin of the pain, there are frequently additional symptoms. Your dog can be examined by your veterinarian to check for any signs of pain that might be the cause of panting, to conduct additional research, or, if necessary, to recommend a trial of pain medication.

Fevers as a cause

Your pet may pant excessively to stay cool if they have a fever. Your veterinarian will take your pet’s temperature and may decide to run additional tests to ascertain the cause or obtain a medical history to see if there are any other symptoms that might help. Depending on the cause, or if the cause is unknown, treating the symptoms.

Hormone conditions

Increased panting may result from certain hormonal disorders. Cushing’s illness is one of the most typical (hyperadrenocorticism). The sickness typically has more than just panting as a symptom. Dogs frequently drink and urinate more, desire more food, have a thinning coat and frail skin, and look to have a pot belly. Typically, a benign tumor in the pituitary region of the brain or, less frequently, a tumor in the adrenal gland next to the kidney, causes this condition. The usual diagnostic procedures involve blood and urine tests. Panting may also indicate other, more uncommon hormone disorders.

Blood pressure issues

A sign of elevated blood pressure is panting (hypertension). Normal causes of hypertension include diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and renal illness. Typically, these disorders would also cause other symptoms in your dog. Medical treatment for hypertension is available, but underlying reasons must be looked into, identified, managed, and addressed.

Medicines and painkillers

Excessive panting may be brought on by some medications. One of the side effects of prednisolone and other corticosteroids, which are frequently used, is panting. Increased panting may be brought on by a hyperthyroidism medication overdose as well as some sedatives and analgesics like diazepam and opiates.

  • You suspect your dog might be hurt.
  • The panting is heavy and continuous.
  • The tongue or gums of your dog may seem blue, purple, or white. This could indicate that your pet isn’t receiving enough oxygen.
  • The panting of your dog begins unexpectedly.

You might also find the following blog entries from VetHelpDirect interesting:

Why does my dog, who is 14 years old, pant so much?

It’s crucial to understand the differences between regular and abnormal panting. A healthy and natural response to deal with the extreme heat, normal panting occurs when your dog’s body temperature is elevated. On the other side, unusual panting may be a sign that your dog needs to have his or her mental or physical needs attended to.

How can you distinguish between the two? Normal panting is restrained and regulated; abnormal panting is unrestrained and uncontrollable. Even when there are no causes, such as excessive heat, it still occurs. Additionally, abnormal panting is rougher and louder. When your dog starts panting unexpectedly or seems to be panting more than normal, there is cause for concern.

Why do dogs over 13 years old pant?

To control their body temperature, dogs pant. Dogs pant to circulate cool air through their bodies and to evaporatively remove moisture from the mouth and upper respiratory tract because, unlike humans, they are unable to control their body temperature through sweat.

The great majority of the time, a dog panting is a typical indication that it is hot, eager, or simply taking a break from exercise. Check out our veterinarian’s advice on how to keep your dog cool if you’re concerned that your dog is panting because he’s too hot and want to calm him down.

Do elderly dogs who are hurt pant?

Pain makes dogs more likely to bite. Even with their owners and other people they know, this is true. This is especially true if the painful area is touched or moved. Some dogs may guard painful areas of their bodies and air snap if they feel a hand reaching in to touch them. For instance, if your dog has an infection that is making their ear discomfort, they may snap or bite if you reach behind their ear to scratch it or even if you (or someone else) simply extends a hand to pet their head.

Breathing Changes

Dogs who are in pain could breathe more quickly and shallowly than usual. They might even pant. You might even observe a shift in the way your chest and/or abdominal muscles move. The process of breathing uses both sets of muscles.

Heart and Pulse Changes

Dogs under discomfort frequently have faster heart rates and pulses. When the painful location is touched or moved, the rate frequently noticeably accelerates. Take a pet first aid course, ask your doctor or a clinic technician to demonstrate how to check and measure your dog’s heart rate and/or pulse, or watch this video that demonstrates how to do so:

Posture Changes

Dogs in pain may adopt a stiff, “sawhorse-like attitude, while others may adopt the “praying position,” which involves their front legs being on the ground, their butts being raised, and their abdomens being stretched. It appears to be a “play bow, but it isn’t at all amusing. When in pain, some dogs will lie around more than others “agitated and having trouble lying down and relaxing. The type, location, and intensity of the pain all play a role. Even more subtly, these postural alterations may manifest as an arched or sunken back, or even a drooping or tucked tail in a dog with a typically perky tail.

Eye Changes

Dogs’ eyes can be excellent predictors of discomfort. They alter in response to pain in other parts of the body as well as ocular pain. While pain in the eyes can cause either larger or smaller (constricted) pupils, depending on the underlying injury or disease process and whether one or both eyes are afflicted, pain elsewhere in the body frequently causes larger (dilated) pupils. Squinting is another sign of pain in dogs, who may also paw at their eye(s) or drag them around the floor or furniture. The damaged eye or eyes may also appear bloodshot if they are in pain.

ADVICE: Foxtails, also known as grass seed awns, are frequently to blame for dogs’ eye irritation at specific seasons of the year.

Food and Water Changes

Painful dogs frequently eat and drink less than usual. If their teeth or another area of their mouth are the source of their pain when they do eat and drink, they may spill food or liquids.

Energy Level Changes

The majority of dogs who are in discomfort will generally be less active. This frequently manifests as a dog sleeping more. Another symptom could be a dog who runs and/or jumps less frequently than usual.

PRO TIP: By enabling you to observe and measure changes in your dog’s behavior and activity levels, a wearable activity monitor, such as the Whistle Pet Health & Location Tracker or the Fitbark 2 Activity Monitor, can help you discover issues early. You’ll know it’s time to visit the doctor for a checkup and to determine whether your dog may be in discomfort if you observe these changes and they persist or are accompanied by other worrying indicators.

Mobility Changes

Painful dogs frequently move less. They may move around the same amount, but in a different way, depending on what hurts (i.e. with a limp, or more slowly when going up or down the stairs). Dogs who are having trouble climbing stairs due to leg or paw pain typically have pain in their backside (e.g., hip, knee, paw, etc.), while those who are having issue descending the stairs typically have a problem with their front end (e.g., shoulder, elbow, paw, etc.)

PRO HINT: Filming your dog moving around can be beneficial, especially if you film the video in slow motion, in well-lit conditions, and with the camera or phone held horizontally (landscape). Such films can occasionally assist your vet in starting to identify the source of your dog’s distress.

Bathroom Changes

Any type of back pain in dogs may make it difficult for them to hold themselves in the position necessary to urinate. So they can find it difficult to use the restroom. Even though back discomfort can cause reduced intestinal motility and, as a result, directly cause constipation, it can also cause dogs to become constipated occasionally. As it may be more difficult or unpleasant for them to lift their leg to assume the traditional male dog peeing posture, male dogs with back pain may also alter their “peeing posture” as a result of either back or back leg pain.

Body Contour Changes

Swelling can be a sign of a painful disease, such as an infection, inflammation, cancer, or other conditions, whether it occurs on your dog’s legs, torso, or face. For instance, a swelling around one of your dog’s eyes, on the underside of their jaw, or even on the top of their muzzle may be a sign of a tooth root abscess. Many dogs with this painful illness will continue to eat regularly, but it still need medical attention.

What are the warning signals of an elderly dog dying?

If you see any of the following indications that your dog’s time may be drawing to a close, be sure to let them know: discomfort and pain. decrease in appetite. Loss of weight.

  • discomfort and pain.
  • decrease in appetite.
  • Loss of weight.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Incontinence.
  • bodily odor
  • bleak eyes

When is dog panting a cause for concern?

Excessive panting is characterized by loud, open-mouth breathing, frequently with the tongue protruding. The breathing is shallower and faster than usual. Your dog’s gums may shift from a healthy pink to a pale or even blue tint if they are having trouble transferring adequate oxygen throughout their body.

Why does my elderly dog seem restless and pant?

If your dog isn’t panting heavily because of pain or discomfort, then tension, fear, or worry are probably to blame for their restless activity. The most frequent reason for panting and restlessness in dogs who don’t exhibit any other clinical symptoms is anxiety. Similar to people, dogs can experience stress and anxiety, which can have a detrimental impact on their health and happiness and alter their behavior.

Separation Anxiety and Other Stress-Related Issues:

When dogs are left alone for extended periods of time, especially if they are not used to being apart from their pet parent, anxiety may develop. This is what we refer to as separation anxiety in the veterinary world. Since more individuals are working from home and leaving the house less frequently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, separation anxiety has become considerably more widespread.

With new pet owners who bought or adopted a new cat or dog during the epidemic, stress is a big problem. Their pets have become accustomed to rarely being left alone as a result of COVID-19 leading many new pet owners to spend more time at home with their new puppies than they normally would.

Destructive Behavior and Increased Aggression:

Since individuals have been progressively returning to the workforce, dogs used to seeing their owners all day long are now experiencing separation anxiety when left alone. Dogs who experience separation anxiety frequently experience stress and distress. When a person’s anxiety gets greater, it can cause destructive habits like chewing on furniture and baseboards as well as other problems like urinating indoors.

Instead of giving in to frustration and getting upset with the dog if your dog exhibits these behaviors, you should try to address the underlying issue. When a dog is anxious or worried, it frequently leads to destructive behavior, and most of the time, the dog is powerless over their actions.

If the dog’s anxiety problems are not treated, they may eventually cause higher fear levels, which may provoke violence. Fear aggression is the term for this sort of violence, which can occasionally result in biting.