I have a 1 yr old female Shiba Inu. The last few days, she has started panting heavy enough that we can hear her pretty loudly. She seems normal in all other respects. Her bathroom habits seem the same, she's her usual playful self, eating and drinking habits are about the same. She sleeps in a kennel at night normally. At the same time the heavy panting began, we have begun to notice that she also has started "digging" in her kennel at nigh, which is something she usually only does when she has to go to the bathroom. Thinking that she had to go, I got up in the middle of the night, took her out for a short walk, and she never went, but did seem to settle in better. We didn't hear her the remainder of the night. As this is her 3rd day of this odd behaviour, I'm getting a little concerned. Any ideas?
Just an idea...has she been spayed?
If not, it is possible this could be a symptom of 'false pregnancy' (usually around 8 weeks or so after the 'heat' cycle ends. The digging could be 'nest-building' behaviour, which a female about to give birth would do.
The reason for false pregnancy is nothing more than female hormones which are a little out of kilter. The only good cure for this, and to stop it recurring (which it will) would be to get her spayed.
If she's already BEEN spayed....then I don't really know. If she had a bladder infection such as cystitis, it could make her feel hot (slight fever) and could make her feel she has to pee frequently, whether she actually passes water or not. I would take a urine sample with you and take her to the vet for a check up.
Thanks for the idea. We haven't had her spayed yet, and what you said could very well be true, as it's been around the 8 week mark since her 1st heat cycle. I never would have thought of that as a possibility.
With "false pregnancy" the female often takes on behaviour which would naturally occur around the time of birthing pups, if she had been mated. There can be swollen breasts, milk or discharge in the nipples, behaviour changes, such as 'mothering' toys, or whining, etc, nest-building, restlessness...
This always happens around the 8-9 week mark after a heat cycle ends. This would be the time the pups were born.
False pregnancy, in itself, isn't dangerous or an actual illness. It usually passes by itself. Yet although these behaviours can seem 'cute', they only show the extent to which the female's hormones have got out of balance. It has a tendency to recur. A history of False Pregnancy can contribute to quite serious illnesses, such as pyometra in later life, and even breast cancer.
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