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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16919
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Dog panting ,only eat tuna & sardines . Goes for walk okay,

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Dog panting ,only eat tuna & sardines . Goes for walk okay, drinks water okay.
Lurched just turned 12
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am so sorry to hear about your fellow's panting and decreased appetite.
An increased rate of respiration can be due to several causes. Anemia, primary heart or lung disease, a mass in the lungs, at the heart base or in the mediastinum, pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs) secondary to lymphatic disease, infections (bacterial, viral or fungal) or cancer are all possible causes.
What color are his gums? A normal dog should have bubblegum pink colored gums and tongue. If they are very pale pink or white then anemia is possible. If they are grey/blue then oxygen exchange is likely a problem, either due to primary lung or heart conditions are possible.
If his color is good he may be breathing faster in response to pain. A normal respiratory rate for a dog is usually 15 to 20 breaths per minute but as high as 30 to 40 can occur with stress.
Heart rate will depend upon his size, the bigger the dog the slower their normal heart rate should be. Whatever his size a rate faster than 150 to 160 beats per minute is abnormal. You should be able to feel his heart by placing your hand flat on the side of his chest just behind his elbow and gently pressing.
Dogs that cannot exchange oxygen often don't eat well.
If his color is good however and his heart rate isn't too high then his panting is likely a pain/nausea response.
In most cases a poor appetite is triggered by eating something they should not, too much table food, too many treats or something they find outdoors.
More serious causes of a lack of normal appetite include viral or bacterial infection, chronic pancreatitis, esophageal reflux, a dietary allergy or sensitivity, inflammatory bowel disease, internal organ failure (kidney or liver disease), a full or partial gastrointestinal obstruction or even infiltrative cancers such as lymphoma or an abdominal mass placing pressure on the gastrointestinal tract.
Because this has persisted for several days ideally he would see his veterinarian. If that isn't possible for whatever reason there are some things we can try at home.
To try and settle his stomach and hopefully improve his appetite you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 kilograms of body weight every 12 hours
OR
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at one quarter of a 10mg tablet per 2 to 5 kilograms of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and should help him feel better and hopefully make him feel more like eating. They are quite safe and can be used long term if need be.
You can also offer a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, minced, white skinless chicken or boiled, lean hamburger and 2/3 boiled white rice mixed with some low salt chicken or beef broth to make it easy to lap up and swallow. If he eats this well feed him this bland diet for a few days then gradually start to mix back in his regular food, a little more at each meal. It should take about 5 to 7 days to slowly convert him back to his regular diet.
If he continues not to eat well, runs a fever (more than 103F rectally), or has a tense painful belly, or he worsens after a return to his regular food, he should see a veterinarian for an examination, diagnostics, injectable anti-nausea drugs intravenous fluids and supportive care.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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