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Hello, I have a male American Foxhound named Camo. He will be 1 on june 12. He is about 70 lbs, skinny, tall, and lanky.
We have been to the vet for numerous different reasons lately (broken toe, conjunctivitis twice, illness.. etc..)in the past couple of months, so what we are dealing with now doesn't appear to be severe, just curious at the moment. But I know that I will most likely end up going to my vet in the next couple of weeks anyway.
I was playing with Camo and my two other dogs, 8 year old German Shepherd, 12 year old Rottweiler, and we were playing fetch. He is much faster than my other dogs, has much longer legs, and usually much more energy. I play with my dogs every day and this was the first time that I ever saw Camo get worn out before them. He would lay down after only running back and fourth twice. Then we went back inside and he ran to the backyard and jumped the fence when I wasn't looking and I think was running around with his 2 best friend-neighborhood-dogs. (we keep raising the fence, he always finds a way out)I finally found him and when he came inside I yelled at him and he was kinda in "time-out" on the couch. But now I've been lying next to him for like 20 minutes and he just has his head down, sleeping I think, but breathing really heavily through his nose, like REALLY fast. If his mouth was open, he would be panting.. He tries to slow down sometimes, but it's like his lungs won't let him. His heart isn't beating fast though and he still wants to play and run around, just gets winded easily. He seems to have a lot of heath issues, is this normal? my other two dogs haven't gone to the vet except for annual check ups since they were spayed/neutered as puppies. And yes, Camo is neutered too.
When I got him, he wasn't on a heartworm preventative, and then he kept getting sick and taking new meds, so my vet recommended that we wait for a heart worm test. That was a couple of weeks ago, so it could be that. But he never coughs, he still looks like he has a bit of pink eye too, even after all of the medicine. Would a probiotic help?
I've also heard of laryngeal paralysis or paresis, which could fit...
Thank you so much for your time!

"Wait for a heartworm test?" The longer you wait, the greater the chances are that he will get it if he doesn't already have it. We start puppies at 6 weeks of age on heartworm prevention and keep them on it YEAR long. No vet can tell you that it "doesn't matter in the winter" because millions of dogs get heartworms in the winter months. Heartworm disease is VERY serious and can cause a multitude of symptoms.

I would run, not walk, to the nearest vets and have him tested for heartworms right away. I would also have his heart listened to and possibly an xray of his chest.

Dogs one years old shouldn't be experiencing what you are describing unless they A. have heartworms, or B. have an enlarged heart, or C. Are just really, really winded. But it could be just about anything. He could be suffering from low blood sugar as well.

But like you said, why would he be winded at this age? I have seen puppies do this, because they got exhausted, but not a one year old dog.

Also, what do you feed this dog? His immune system doesn't sound very strong so I was curious as to what he eats.

I hope that he doesn't have heartworms Melissa, but you really need to get him tested right away. It only takes ONE mosquito to give him heartworm disease.

Unless you live in the Antarctic where there are very few mosquitoes, he is being exposed daily to them. And in America, in just about every state, that means heartworms for most unprotected dogs.

So please get him tested and his heart listened to as well. Please let me know what you find out.

Some information for you:

How Heartworm Happens: The Life Cycle

First, adult female heartworms release their young, called microfilariae, into an animal's bloodstream. Then, mosquitoes become infected with microfilariae while taking blood meal from the infected animal. During the next 10 to 14 days, the microfilariae mature to the infective larval stage within the mosquito. After that, the mosquito bites another dog, cat or other susceptible animal, and the infective larvae enter through the bite wound. It then takes a little over 6 months for the infective larvae to mature into adult worms. In dogs, the worms may live for up to 7 years. Microfilariae cannot mature into adult heartworms without first passing through a mosquito.

What Are the Signs of Heartworm Disease?

For both dogs and cats, clinical signs of heartworm disease may not be recognized in the early stages, as the number of heartworms in an animal tends to accumulate gradually over a period of months and sometimes years and after repeated mosquito bites.

Recently infected dogs may exhibit no signs of the disease, while heavily infected dogs may eventually show clinical signs, including a mild, persistent cough, reluctance to move or exercise, fatigue after only moderate exercise, reduced appetite and weight loss.

Cats may exhibit clinical signs that are very non-specific, mimicking many other feline diseases. Chronic clinical signs include vomiting, gagging, difficulty or rapid breathing, lethargy and weight loss. Signs associated with the first stage of heartworm disease, when the heartworms enter a blood vessel and are carried to the pulmonary arteries, are often mistaken for feline asthma or allergic bronchitis, when in fact they are actually due to a syndrome newly defined as Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD).

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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