why does my dog shake and pant
I love old dogs. I love their wizened, grey muzzles. I love their peaceful, cloudy eyes. I love that mostPhave acquired a certain wisdom and mellowness. They have seen a lot in their lives, and their feathers usually aren t easy to ruffle. ManyPthings change inPdogs. The lenses of their eyes develop a blue, cloudy tint. This normal phenomenon, called nuclear sclerosis, is harmless and does not compromise their quality of life. Many dogs develop arthritis, and their gait may become stiffer (
Pshould discuss with their vets options to improve mobility). The hearing of old dogs is not as keen as it once was. Elderly dogs also may need to empty their bladder more frequently than younger counterparts (and they may therefore be more prone to accidents in the house). Old dogs tend to sleep more heavily. Although the changes in the eyes sometimes alarm owners of old dogs, most of the others don t usually cause much distress. They happen in people, too, and they re considered a normal part of aging. However, two additionalPcommon changes often do cause consternation. Old dogs tend to pant more than young dogs. They also are prone to trembling. Over the years, many people have asked me why these two things happen.
There is no simple answer. Panting and trembling are two of the least specific symptoms a dog might exhibit. Anything that might cause a person to sweat or tremble might cause a dog to pant or tremble. In the case of panting, there is a common and I m happy to say generally benign cluster of factors that may cause the behavior. As dogs age, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, which are used to breathe, become weaker. Elderly dogs may also be prone to additional adipose deposits (which is a fancy way of saying they may be fatter) in their abdomen and on the body wall. As a result, they may sometimes find it easier to pant, which involves less use of the diaphragm and muscles in the chest because breaths taken while panting tend to be shallow. Those shallow breaths also encounter less of the resistance on the diaphragm that is caused by abdominal fat. Trembling, too, may have relatively benign causes. Surely you have noticed that elderly people often tremble the hands and mouth may be the most common sites for trembling in senior citizens. In dogs, a similar type of trembling (which most often affects the limbs and jaws) may occur. It appears to be linked to weakening of muscles with age, along with mild degeneration of the nervous system.
Older dogs seem to be more reactive to excitement and adrenaline. Therefore, when an exciting or fearful situation presents itself, the stimulation of the event may collaborate with the above factors to trigger or exacerbate panting and trembling. If your older dog is panting or trembling more, you can take some solace from these facts. However, you should not become complacent. In some instances, both panting and trembling may be signs of a more serious problem. Obesity, unfortunately, is common in older dogs. Although the panting caused by obesity isn t harmful on its own, being significantly overweight It can exacerbate arthritis and mobility concerns, as well as heart disease and other respiratory ailments. Pain may cause both panting and trembling. An older dog who pants more may be suffering from back pain or arthritis pain that is impactingPhis quality of life. Heart disease and breathing problems such as chronic bronchitis, and laryngeal paralysis may lead to panting. Glandular conditions such as Cushing s disease may cause panting as well. Certain metabolic conditions also may cause both panting and trembling.
Brain disease may cause panting and trembling. Sudden onset of panting may be a sign of a very serious problem. Panting is a common and sometimes the only symptom of gastric dilatation with volvulus, also known as. This condition, which is most common in older, large dogs, is an emergency of the highest order, and it canPcause death in hours if not treated appropriately. Finally, should be considered as a cause of panting in elderly dogs. Panting caused by dementia may occur primarily at night and may be accompanied by restlessness and movement of the dog to atypical areas of the home. However, if your dog suddenly starts exhibiting these behaviors, remember that bloat also occurs most often at night and may trigger restlessness. Although muchPof the panting and trembling done by older dogs has aPbenign cause, there is no guarantee that such behaviors in an elderly dog are harmless. Any owner of an elderly dog who pants or trembles should have a vet evaluate his pet. By Nan Talleno PHILADELPHIA (CBS) Unlike humans who are able to sweat, dogs need to pant occasionally as a way of cooling themselves down. Dogs pant on a temporary basis whenever exerting extra energy or after exercise or strenuous activity.
But be aware that dogs can also pant as a symptom for something more serious as well. They may excessively pant when under various forms of stress. They can also do so as a symptom of a medical illness, an injury or from heat stroke. Panting can also be symptomatic of fever, congestive heart failure, respiratory disease, infections, anemia, or even heartworms. It can even mean an obstruction in the throat. Check the gums. If they are pale or bluish in color, it means lack of oxygen. Excessive panting can also indicate poisoning; other symptoms may include vomiting, lethargic behavior, drooling and/or convulsions. Panting accompanied with shaking can indicate severe stress, especially with a change in routine or environment. Overall, panting as a way of cooling down is natural and temporary. But if your dog is excessively panting without having exercised; if providing water hasnt helped and if the panting progresses at a rapid rate, you need to seek out the reason why. Dont panic as your dog can panic more and react to your nervous energy. Instead, speak in a calm soothing voice but call your vet immediately.
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