You are here:

Dogs/Unusual behavior in our dog

Advertisement


Question
Our 10-year-old pit bull has recently started acting restless, panting and following us around the house at certain times of the day - usually about an hour or two before we feed and walk her in the late afternoon, and after we get back from walking her. She settles down at night and sleeps normally. She's always been happy and healthy, and we've made no changes in our routine. Is this just a normal part of her aging?

Answer
Hi...its a little difficult to be definitive as I cant see the action but given u say your dog is 10 and this has just started and when it happens I would look at the following things....
1. Is she up to date on heartworm preventative?  
2. Is it a lot warmer, humid or hotter in your area of late that increases her body heat while active?
3. Do u live in an apartment or does she have access outside for toileting whenever needed? Bladders get weaker with age and she may be getting anxious before walk time cos she's been holding on and now knows relief is near!
4. Does she tire quickly on her walks or pants more heavily then?
5. How long since she's had a complete physical, blood work etc?
6. Has anything untoward happened on any walks before this started?
7. Pits, staffys, bullies etc are all super good at covering pain and just dealing with it!  You are confidant your routine  and environment hasn't changed, but have you noticed if she's been a bit stiff getting up anytime recently? Been chewing at any body part, limped during or after play or rest?

Don't want to alarm you but excessive panting can be indicative of a heart condition/s, anxiety or fear, over heating and a few others. Plus she's a senior citizen now moving into her twilight years and like us can develop health issues as bodies begin to age and slowdown.. You are right to query this and you've done so because you know your 4 legged family member better than anyone. Your girl relies on you for everything and because of this she's showing something is up and needs you to follow through.
My advice in the first instance would be answer the Q's above and see if any may align with new behavior but then more  importantly make an appt with her vet ASAP and get a full physical and blood work up done to rule out any medical issues that may be causing your girl concern as If, as you said  your environment and routine hasn't changed and she's not had any fearful experiences on her outings....then something is up! Whatever is causing her distress shes trying to tell you and is seeking comfort so find out for her so you can both rest comfortably.
All the best...

Dogs

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Leigh-Anne

Expertise

I am not a veterinarian but I do have some medical understanding and knowledge through years of experience and shelter work, but I am not prepared to give life or death medical advice and suggest if you have medical concerns you seek the advice of a QUALIFIED VET immediately for your family members' safety, health and well being. Agreed? Great! I have worked in an animal shelter,also owned dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, fish, ferret, mice, oh and green tree frogs! They have all been spoiled rotten and lived to long, long old ages in pure contentment. During their lifespans I've had to manage the puppy stage of nappies and broken sleep, toddler stages, teens, maturity & elderly citizens....they are all very different with very different needs. I've dealt with various health concerns, behavioral issues, training & obedience, safe housing & lifestyle issues, exercise, toys & enrichment, safety, grooming, diet, euthanasia and so forth. I am experienced in the above and more, so would be happy to pass on my knowledge and experience if you have concerns with your "4 legged family member" I will answer your questions as quickly as possible and provide you with the best answer from my knowledge & ability. If its beyond me, I will be honest and not lead you astray, but instead direct you to someone/somewhere that can assist you further. I'm in South Australia and have good Intel on what is available and where! I appreciate that your 'baby' means the world to you,so please........ don't waste precious time online if its a medical issue or emergency of any proportion-contact your NEAREST VET STAT! I look forward to hearing from you & thanks for considering my assistance!

Experience

Young Animal Protection Society (YAPS) North Queensland (volunteer employment for 9 years) - rehab of cats and dogs all breeds, ages and backgrounds - Exercise dogs - Wash and clean kennels, cages and bedding - Prepare feed and special diets, feed all animals - train and work on behavioral issues - Monitor animals and vet needs- take when required - collect strays and follow council procedures and by laws - groom, bathe and provide allergy treatment - administer heartworm, flea, tick and worm preventatives - play and provide enrichment activities - special work with dogs with mild food/toy/dog aggression, fear, anxiety and/or mistreatment to re-establish trust and faith - Assistant Vet Nurse at Beach Road Veterinary Clinic Nth Qld Pet owner of: Pure bred German Shepherds x 2 (both males)fully obedience trained to hand signals Pure bred Australian Silky Terriers x 3 (males) Pure bred Chihuahua (male) White male ferret various goldfish, tropical and Beta's(bred Beta's) Two mice and couple of green tree frogs when younger 4 cats male - 2 male moggies, and CURRENT- 2 females ages 12 & 13, mum & daughter(PART PERSIAN Torty -assisted at birth of 4 babies, broke sacs, got breathing etc.... CURRENT: Pure bred male blue English Staffy at 5 mths Various Strays and "foster" kids over the years

Organizations
Animal Welfare League WSPA Port Adelaide Dog Obedience Club

Education/Credentials
non medical Cert III & IV in animal care

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.