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Old July 14th, 2009, 12:33 AM
sbainbr sbainbr is offline
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Unhappy Golden Retriever & Fast Breathing

Hello,

First of all, thanks for your time. I have a question regarding my beautiful, 9 year-old, male Golden Retriever. I lately have noticed that he has been breathing a bit strange- my mother (who he lives with) claims that he's always breathed this way, which may very well be true, but I am still concerned.

His breathing rate is generally pretty high- around 25-45 breaths per minute at rest, and it sounds sort of huffy, like he breathes in and out very fast. His breathing can also be quite audible sometimes, and he also snores.

Beau does have arthritis. He had a vet checkup about two months ago, and the vet listened to his heart and lungs, checked for lumps (Beau also has a couple of benign lipomas) and did the other routine things. He gave Beau a clear bill of health, apart from the arthritis. I do not think my mom brought up the breathing, but the vet obviously didn't say anything.

I am very, VERY concerned it might be a heart problem, as it does run in his family but the vet says that his heart is fine so far. However, Beau has never had x-rays, etc., just stethoscope exams. I am wondering if the fast breathing could be from the pain he gets from his arthritis, or just from being excited?

Beau is otherwise in really great health- he eats like a horse, drinks a reasonable amount and still loves to play and exercise. He's in really good spirits, has a wet nose, pink gums, no coughing, etc. It's just his breathing that seems weird.

I should mention that I just timed his breathing now and it is at 16 breaths per minute (he's sleeping right now). I know I'm crazy, but now I'm worried that's too slow, since his breathing is very often so much quicker!

Last edited by sbainbr; July 14th, 2009 at 12:40 AM.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 01:32 AM
sbainbr sbainbr is offline
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Sorry for the second post, I just wanted to add that he does seem to consistently breathe around 15-20 when in deep sleep (and snoring!), so I hope this indicates that it's not a heart problem! Thanks again.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Sometimes panting or quick breathing can be indicative of pain in a dog, sbainbr. Have you asked Beau's vet about the arthritis--about the possibility Beau is feeling some discomfort from it? If so, pain meds might help

If the pain meds don't seem to have an effect and you're still worried about the possibility of heart disease, there is such a thing as a canine cardiologist. Tests might be pricey, but it might lay your fears to rest once and for all.

Meanwhile, welcome to the board. We'd love to see pics of Beau if you have any to share with us!
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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:35 PM
sbainbr sbainbr is offline
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Thank you for your reply, Hazel!

The vet recommended that Beau take half of a baby aspirin if he is ever in pain. He does get quite sore after running around (which he does every day) but his mobility is a little less in general, i.e. he's hesitant to climb the stairs and jump onto the bed.

Unfortunately, as Beau is living with my parents right now, I'm not sure if they will bring him to a canine cardiologist as long as the primary vet sees no need for it. This is a huge point of argument between us, because I'm more than willing to pay out the nose for all kinds of tests... however, I am a hypochondriac and would probably spend the money unnecessarily, as he does seem to be very healthy.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that he has always been a bit of a huffy breather since he was a puppy. I guess it's just my high anxiety, combined with the fact that I don't see him every day that gets me worrying.

I will keep an eye on it and get him into the vet for another routine checkup within the next few months. If anyone has any other experience with this, it'd be much appreciated, or even opinions on whether or not it could be just arthritis.

Here are a couple pictures of Beau, and one of my Bichon Frise, Oscar!







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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:39 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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He is beautiful BTW. Did you ever have him tested for heartworm?
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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:39 PM
aslan aslan is offline
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OMG, your other dog is the spitting image of my little man Bailey..what mix is he/she...

i hope all is well with your pupper and by the way, welcome..
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Old July 14th, 2009, 11:10 PM
sbainbr sbainbr is offline
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Thank you! I think he is very handsome, myself, but I'm a bit biased. Beau is a purebred Golden Retriever.

I'm not 100% if he's been tested for heartworm, but he has had all of his regular vaccinations and dewormings since he was a baby, so hopefully that'd protect him against it. He doesn't seem to have any symptoms of it, though, thank goodness!

Aslan, I'd love to see pictures of Bailey! I peeked at your albums but didn't see any pup pictures!
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Old July 15th, 2009, 04:42 AM
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Hmmm...you might want to have him checked for heartworm, then, sbainbr. There's a monthly preventive for it, but it isn't controlled by regular dewormings which just deal with intestinal parasites. One of the symptoms of heartworm infection is labored breathing... The test is fairly simple--a blood test. There's even a snap test for it these days which gives you results immediately.

Beau and Oscar are dolls! And so good with the antlers! They must love Christmas!
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Old July 15th, 2009, 08:13 AM
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I've got a very loud breather too. Her "normal" awake breathing often sounds like panting, it's enough to shake the bed from side to side (so no sleeping on the bed for her, it keeps me up!) For her I know it's "normal", but if it was something new then I'd be concerned too...hope you get some answers!
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Old July 15th, 2009, 08:23 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbainbr View Post
Thank you! I think he is very handsome, myself, but I'm a bit biased. Beau is a purebred Golden Retriever.

I'm not 100% if he's been tested for heartworm, but he has had all of his regular vaccinations and dewormings since he was a baby, so hopefully that'd protect him against it. He doesn't seem to have any symptoms of it, though, thank goodness!

Aslan, I'd love to see pictures of Bailey! I peeked at your albums but didn't see any pup pictures!
One of the symptoms are breathing issues. Normal deworming does not take care of heart worm. It is fairly cheap to get the test done to ensure that this is not the case. I have had 6 heartworm positive dogs come into rescue - caught in time it is treatable.

Anyways - it's just something for you to eliminate if you wish.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 09:02 AM
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Welcome, Beautiful Since he was just vet checked I wouldn't worry so much. My girls have always had arthritis and like us when were in pain we breathe heavier

I'm not sure about dogs taking Aspirin? I was always told by my vet to give Bufferin 500 mg and it's safe up to 2 or 3 times daily if needed best on full stomach of course. It helped mine tremendously maybe you can check it out with your vet?

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Old July 16th, 2009, 03:33 PM
sbainbr sbainbr is offline
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Thank you for the reassurance everyone! I checked with the vet, and Beau does get his vaccinations against heartworm along with all his other vaccinations. He's currently up to date on all of those. So... sounds like it's not heartworm, thank goodness!

Bendy- I think Beau is just a loud/fast/panty breather too, so it's good to hear that it's not unusual for others as well. My fiance tells me that it's common in all labs and retrievers, as they are so active and excitable.

Golden- thank you for the reassurance, it made me feel much better! I will check with the vet about Bufferin. The baby aspirin is quite mild, I think, so Bufferin might make him a bit more comfortable when he's sore.


Overall, I'm thinking that Beau's breathing is just a combination of his soreness from arthritis and his usual weird breathing habits! Since he was vet checked and the vet says he is in very good health, I guess I just have to stop worrying and start listening to reason. It's tough not being able to see him every day, so I think that's why I am so anxious over his health. You know how it is with our babies!

Thank you again for the replies and welcome, everyone. I will keep an eye on him for now. And good health to all of you and your pups!
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