We have two dogs, a 3 yr. old Labrador Retriever and a 2 yr. old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Granted, my Chessie is hairier, but not too much - yet he pants all the time, even when the Lab isn't. And we live in New England, so while the temps do get in the 80s in the summer, it isn't humid or really very hot at all most of the time. And he pants in cold weather, too. He doesn't seem concerned by this - he isn't anxious or worried - but I am concerned. He does get warm easily - for example, he loves to get in bed with me and my husband at night, but he rarely stays more than 20 minutes before he begins to pant and goes to sleep on the floor by us - winter and summer. (And in the winter, we keep our house at 62 degrees, so it isn't hot inside, but it seems like the blankets make him hot.) And the panting is pretty continual. Just now, he was sleeping by my feet while I ate lunch; I gave the two dogs the salmon skin I had leftover, so he was excited and panted for about ten minutes while looking hopeful for more, then went back to snoozing.
His vet visits have never shown anything abnormal, but recently I found out that one of his litter mates was diagnosed with kidney disease. I have searched on the internet (as well as asked our vet, who had no answer other than to say that sometimes dogs get hot), but all the panting dog worries seem to be about older dogs and dogs who appear to be stressed or anxious. My Chessie isn't stressed or anxious - in fact, he often looks rather happy while he is panting. And, one of his favorite places is in front of the fan, so I figure this also shows his panting is about temperature, not stress. But, with a sister who has kidney disease, I worry that this might be symptomatic of something else. Our vet, when I mentioned the litter mate's kidney disease, said that he is too young for that ... but obviously not, since she has it. Any ideas? We're a bit concerned!
This is probably normal. I've seen many very normal dogs pant more than what we would consider normal. However if you are concerned about kidney disease, there are some very simple blood tests that can be run to rule that out and give you a good baseline of data for the future. if your veterinarian won't do this for you, you can fine one that will I'm sure .
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