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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20283
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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We have a 16 year old westy cross. She is panting quite hard

Customer Question

Good evening. We have a 16 year old westy cross. She is panting quite hard in the evenings. Between 19.00 and 22.00 roughly. She is fine all other times unless it's hot obviously or we have bad thunder. Is this a common thing in older dogs or is it time to worry a little. I think I'm going to take her for a check up anyway as she's an old girl and hasn't been to the vets for a while. She's still a very active dog and eats and drinks as she's has always done and is showing no signs of been unwell other than panting in the evenings.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Often dogs with a heart condition will pant more in the evenings as laying down puts pressure on the chest and makes breathing a bit harder for them. Another reason some dogs will pant at night is if they are starting to experience sight loss such as PRA (progressive retinal atrophy). With PRA as the light decreases so does their vision and dogs can be almost blind in low light conditions. This can cause them anxiety and thus they pant more.

Other conditions can cause panting but they do tend to happen all the time rather than just some times. given her age I would definitely have her seen for a senior checkup. Expect them to do bloodwork at a minimum and possible what a chest x=ray as well.

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Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 months ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. I strive to provide the best answer possible. Did you find my answer helpful?.