Pain Panting??

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Hello , bit of a long story but Alfie was diagnosed with arthritis in both hips last July (choc lab). His x rays showed typical ‘wear & tear’ in his shoulders, elbows and knees , but nothing unusual for his 9 yrs of age. He had a course of Cartrophen for 4 weeks to begin , Loxicom daily,  paracetamol when needed , and cartrophen monthly. He started panting on walks a few months ago , the vets put it down to the milder temperatures and said to loose a couple of kg in weight. We got to a healthy 37kg weight . His exercise has been modified for him , he has hydro every 2 weeks, Physio every 2 weeks. About 2 months ago he was put on Amantadine as showing a front leg lameness (every now and again) this improved slightly but not altogether, (could be arthritis in front paws) he is now on Amantadine and Previcox . The Physio is really pleased with his range of movement in all limbs and shows no sign of pain upon examination, as does the hydrotherapist. His muscle tone has increased with his hydrotherapy , but he is still panting on walks. He starts this within 5/10 mins of lead walking on a flat level road, and if he stops, the panting stops, so I am thinking it is weight bearing related ?  Have we got to increase the pain relief again to see if he stops panting??  Or could the panting be something different? Im at a loss what to do next , I think the vets would just up his pain relief . Thank you for reading …

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Hello again
If he is a lazy swimmer then yes the treadmill may work better, it would be a good idea if they can come on a walk with you, or if not to video it so they can see and the vet if needed. Dogs can appear to be fit but when diagnosed with issues and start getting treatment, they start using muscles they may not have used properly for some time and so changes a lot of their balance and distribution and that alone can change things, keep us updated x

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Hi Carly
Thank you for your reply. I do think if it was pain panting he would do it all the time, but its only when we go for a walk , not about the home , not at hydro either . He has always been a very fit and active dog, so I would like to think he has the underlying fitness levels. Hydro have suggested trying him on the water treadmill instead of the pool , just to see if he reacts differently (as he is a very lazy swimmer!) The Physio and hydro are aware of the panting but have never witnessed it….. maybe I should get them to come for a walk with us !  Thank you for your advice , I will also have a chat to the vet x

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Hi Ves
There could be various reasons for the panting, yes sometimes it can be because of pain but if this was the case I would have expected him to be doing it all the time. You are doing all the right things and the weight loss really will help the joints, although he is doing a lot it may be down to general fitness levels, although he has built up muscle, which is great, it doesnt necessarily correlate with general fitness and this can often take longer to build up, as a hydrotherapist myself I can see dogs still panting after swims that have been doing it for some period of time and then notice it less when their fitness levels improve, it would be a good idea to chat to the physio and hydrotherapist about it as they know him before looking to increase medication if this is the only time he is doing it, if it doesnt improve then another check up by the vet would be the way to go
Hope that helps
Carly RVN DipNut RCH CAM team x

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