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My new rescue 4-year-old German Wirehaired Pointer was given away with his same-litter sister; they were in breed rescue kennel for 7 months and sister was adopted 6 weeks before my dog who has now been with us for 2 weeks.  She is somewhat spottily trained, but I CAN let her off the leash and she returns.  On our walks, however, she goes so slowly and starts panting quite quickly, especially when the weather warms up above 70 F.  In the early morning, however, two or three times she has taken off and run like the wind and doesn't seem to be at all tired.  She eats well, does all of her duties, but after 45-minute morning walk lies around the house most of the day.
Could this be depression or some incipient disease process, or do you have any ideas based on this description.  Thank you so much.


Hi Shari,

It's really impossible for anyone to guess at what might be your dog's problem. Walking slowly can mean she's feeling pain or discomfort, that could be thing anything from joint pain to back pain. It can also be a sign of anxiety. Panting can be a response to pain, or it can be a symptom of heart disease, or a sign of anxiety. Your dog deserves more than guesswork, she needs to be examined by a doctor.

If you are having trouble afford veterinary care, first talk to your regular vet. Ask your veterinarian if he or she will let you work out a payment plan. Many veterinarians are willing to work out a weekly or monthly payment plan so that you do not have to pay the entire cost of veterinary care up front. Another option is to contact local animal shelters or the Humane Society. Some shelters operate or know of local subsidized veterinary clinics or veterinary assistance programs. If you happen to live within driving distance to veterinary school, check with them to see if they offer discount services to the public. There are two special credit cards to apply for which help with medical bills (including veterinary bills) read about them here:

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,


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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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