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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10865
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Our labradoodle has suddenly started panting really fast, we

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Our labradoodle has suddenly started panting really fast, we have tried to get her to drink but she's not that interested. It is a hot day - but no more so than has been recently. Not sure if we should be concerned.

Hello Fiona, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for this concern for Layla but I do have a few additional questions to ask about her first, if you don't mind:

1. Can you tell me the color of her gums?
2. Are they moist or dry?
3. Can you take her temperature?
4. Any vomiting, drooling or diarrhea?
5. Does she seem lethargic?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Gums look pink to me and are moist, but never really looked at them before, so not sure how they compare to normal.

No vomiting, drooling or diarrohea

Just threw a ball for her and she ignored it - not normal behaviour - but she is walking around

Struggled to get her temp - put a thermometer in her mouth and kept it there with her jaws clamped shut for as long as we could! Came out at around 37 but not sure if that was accurate at all.

Thanks for the answers to my questions.

Gum color is normal and they should be moist (not dry) which is good.

No gastrointestinal signs is also good but it would be very helpful to know her temperature.

I should have indicated that her temperature should be taken rectally, so sorry about that.
Oral temps don't mean much in dogs and as you found out, are very difficult to measure accurately.
Would you mind trying to take it rectally? You'll want to lubricate the end of it with K/Y or Vaseline or a small amount of cooking oil and then gently insert it into her rectum/anal opening about 1 inch. The digital kind will beep when it's ready to be removed; otherwise leave it in for one minute.
The human thermometers are fine to use, just not the ones that go in the ear.

I'll stand by for your report. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That was pleasant!!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just offered her a treat to make up for the indignity and she hasn't eaten it.

No, I don't imagine it was but thanks for doing it.

That temperature is normal which is good so we can rule out a fever as an explanation for the panting but the fact that she doesn't want to eat is a little concerning...unless she tends to be a fussy eater.

Panting can be secondary to several possible conditions in addition to hot/warmer weather or a fever:

1. Pain or discomfort somewhere in her body such as joints/spine/hips/abdomen, etc. I might suspect abdominal discomfort of some sort since she doesn't want to eat. She wouldn't necessarily have to show pain when you palpate her abdomen either for her to be experiencing it.

You could safely give her over the counter Famotidine (Pepcid AC) although this may be difficult to find in the UK. The dose would be 1/4th mg/lb twice a day.
Another option might be Omeprazole at a dose of 1/2 mg/lb once a day or
Ranitidine at a dose of 1 mg/lb twice a day.
These drugs might help if she's experiencing mild nausea even though she's not actively vomiting.

I'm somewhat hesitant to recommend Aspirin since this might cause gastric upset. I wouldn't want to make the situation worse but the dose would be 10 mg/lb twice a day, with food (which is another reason why it might not be wise to give this drug to her if she's not eating).

2. I've seen dogs with spleens which twist and untwist behave as you describe but this can be a challenging diagnosis to make until or unless the spleen completely torses....then you'll know she's in a bad way because she'll act quite ill.

3. Other causes of panting include anxiety, fear or phobias but this doesn't sound likely in this situation.

4. Ingestion of certain medications (prescription or over the counter) can cause increased respiratory rate and panting. If this is the case, then I'd expect other signs to develop such as agitation (or sedation) or possibly gastrointestinal signs (vomiting/diarrhea), trembling...not subtle behavior in other words.

At this point, it's difficult to know how serious this may be since the behavior just started but if she continues to behave this way and has no interest in food/water, then a vet visit may be prudent.

I realize that my answer may not be what you want to hear but I would be doing a disservice to both you and Layla if I were less than truthful and honest in my response to you. I hope you understand.

I also hope that this is helpful and that you see improvement in her soon. Deb.

Dr. Deb and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** keep an eye on her and hopefully she will be better soon. We will take her to the vets tomorrow if we are concerned.

thanks for your help


You're more than welcome and thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

This doesn't actually sound critical at this point but I know if the situation changes, you'll have her seen.

Please keep me posted, if you have a chance; I'd very much like to know what happens with her. Even though you've rated , we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you.

Best of luck. Hopefully, this is just a "one-off", as they say and she'll be back to normal within a short period of time. Regards, Deb