Rapid, shallow breathing (not panting) while at rest

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Rapid, shallow breathing (not panting) while at rest

This is a discussion on Rapid, shallow breathing (not panting) while at rest within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Last night after our last walk, Honey was lying down in front of a fan in my room (it's hot here, AC is also on, ...

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Old 07-09-2012, 08:48 AM
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Rapid, shallow breathing (not panting) while at rest

Last night after our last walk, Honey was lying down in front of a fan in my room (it's hot here, AC is also on, but she really likes the fan), and breathing very rapidly (80 breaths per minute). The breathing was shallow. Her temperature was normal (101.7), gums and eyes were normal, and she didn't seem to be in distress or pain in any other way.

She was not sleeping at first, but then she dozed off. The breathing went on like this for over an hour. I fell asleep, then woke up in the middle of the night and checked on her and all was back to normal; she was taking about 18-22 breaths/minute. She was fine this morning, and I watched her very closely after we got back from our walk, and she was tired, but her breathing was normal while she was lying down.

We were out of town visiting family last week, and just got home yesterday, so she has had a lot going on. She was very tired yesterday and this morning, but I expected that since she has been so active recently.

Also, she has been quite itchy since the end of last week because she was outside a lot and seems to have gotten bug bites (I was with her and I have a lot of bug bites, too). She is on Frontline Plus, but I have learned that Frontline doesn't protect against bugs (thinking about switching to K9 Advantix). I don't know if the breathing is related to the itching.

Lastly, she has had a few minor sneezing episodes (2-3 sneezes per episode, 1-2 times each day) over the past day or two. I assumed it was just allergies, because she is a pretty allergic dog and we were in a new environment, but perhaps this is related to the breathing, too?

Anyway, what could cause this type of breathing? I'm concerned because when I look up information about rapid, shallow breathing at rest, it points to heart or kidney failure, but she is not showing other symptoms of either at the moment. And she is only about 3 years old

We have a vet appointment this Thursday (7/12) to recheck blood work for an issue (fever/lethargy, with strange results on her blood work) that had us at the vet 3 weeks ago, so I would rather not go in before then unless it's an emergency, but was wondering if anyone had any experience with this? Is it normal? If not, what could it point to? Are there any questions I should ask the vet/tests we should run?

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Old 07-09-2012, 03:14 PM
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Call the vet and ask if you should go in earlier.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:25 PM
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I did call the vet this morning; she said that since Honey's breathing returned to normal there is no reason to go in before Thursday unless it happens again. I only spoke to the tech though (who spoke to the doctor and then called me back), so I still don't have any ideas about what caused this.

This vet office has told me 3 times since May to "come right in" when I called with questions about certain symptoms, so I do know they take emergencies/questionable situations seriously and believe they would have seen her today if they thought it was necessary.

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Old 07-10-2012, 07:37 PM
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Well, hopefully since you've not reposted she hasn't had any more episodes. I wouldn't have had her rush in either, fwiw, since the breathing was normal again.

As for the itching, you can go to Advantix as long as you don't have cats that are buddy buddy with the dog.

This will sound stupid but I've seen it so it's legit... lol. The breathing could have been her wanting to pant but just not. Hard to explain. Holly's done it too. If it's back to normal, it's probably not anything serious. If her physical exam is normal, I wouldn't worry about it. You can ask for chest x-rays if you're REALLY worried.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:49 AM
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Thanks, Holly!

So, she was good through Monday and yesterday, but had a semi-episode last night. It only lasted for about 30 minutes, and her breathing was slower than before (about 45 breaths per minute). It happened right after we came in from our walk again.

She is active during the day without this reaction, so I am confused. As I said before, all her other vitals are normal - heart rate, temp, gums, eyes, ears, etc.

I actually was thinking it might be her wanting to pant, but not actually panting - so I don't think that is stupid! Because she is sitting in front of the fan, maybe that is cooling her so she doesn't open her mouth? (just my uneducated guess). She doesn't look stressed or agitated at all while it's happening. She looks like her normal self; her stomach/chest is just moving up and down really quickly

Anyway, I am glad we are seeing the vet tomorrow - I think we will make it to then. I'm trying not to overreact and rush in, because I tend to be an alarmist with her. Of course, I'm worried about all of the possible diseases/conditions out there that could be causing this, but I will see what the vet has to say when she checks her out. Hopefully her labs will be normal, and we will get a clean bill of health. I'm getting very sick of worry about this dog

Also - I don't have a cat in my home (my roommate is allergic), which is why I was considering Advantix...but we do occasionally see cats at friends' houses (we go on a lot of play dates). My understanding was that a few days after application, it is no longer dangerous to cats, so we would just stay away from homes with cats after application? I'm only considering it at the moment - her bug bites are going away, and she is much less itchy now, so I'm not as concerned as I was before.
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:13 PM
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Just wanted to post an update: we went to the vet this evening and she gave Honey a complete exam, and was not at all concerned about the breathing. She said dogs tend to change their breathing patterns as they're falling asleep so as long as she gets into a slower rhythm, it's not a big deal. If she begins to tire easily or starts coughing (or if her blood work is out of whack again), we will go in for an x-ray (she said she would do one if I really wanted, but that she didn't think it was necessary at this point).

So I'll keep an eye on it, but at least I have peace of mind
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