Excessive Panting in Dogs

A common question asked by pet owners is, “Why does my pet excessively pant?” Since dogs have very limited sweat glands, panting is actually a major way for dogs and cats to dissipate heat, and so the the most common cause of panting would be a pet that is hot or running a fever. Panting can also occur due to perceived pain from some sort of illness, whether it is an external injury, or some sort of internal illness or disease process. Excessive panting is more frequent in older pets because they tend to have a higher body temperature compared to younger pets

Many older pets will often pant due to a problem in their thermoregulatory center in their brains, and just like an elderly person, being frequently chilly or cold, elderly pets tend to run on the hot side and will pant often more frequently than younger pets. Finally, excessive panting in dogs and cats can sometimes indicate high blood pressure in middle aged or older pets. Thus, if no other causes of panting can be found, your pet’s blood pressure should be measured to see if hypertension exists and whether medical therapy is indicated.

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