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Panting And Pain?


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Guest clodagh

I need some advice. Our ex-racer Clodagh is 13 1/2 years old. She's starting to occasionally lose the ability of her back legs. It has happened about once a week for the past 3 weeks. Naturally, assuming she's in pain, she's currently on 50mg tramadol 2x daily; 300 mg

gabapentin 2x daily; and 20.5 mg meloxidyl/meloxicam 1x daily.

How do I know when she's in pain and the meds aren't working? She pants very frequently; most especially at night; occasionally pacing at the same time (not at night, natch). She's eating (some) when we feed it to her (we have to puree the wet dog food for her) and she has Ensure - a bottle or 2 each day; sometimes 3 if she's not eating her food). She's still drinking water. She still goes outside and rolls in the long grass - her favorite!

While I know she's not going to get "better", how can I tell if the panting is pain (it's certainly NOT the heat, I live in Ireland and it never gets above 75 degrees; the house is usually around 67 degrees.

Our person at the greyhound sanctuary says "don't wait too long. don't let her go out in pain" But how do we know when? When we had to put our first dog, Bob, down, he was really evidently sick so there was no question. But with Clodagh, she doesn't seem sick.....

How much panting is too much panting with no other indications (except the legs)

Can you help? Thank you.


Plus, sometimes her panting seems to be her smiling.

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Despite you saying that it isn't very hot where you are I would wonder if the humidity level may be a factor, I am in the South East of England and I know it has been incredibly humid here at times in the past few weeks. It is harder to lose excess body heat when it is humid, particularly as dogs don't sweat like we do.

 

Having said that there probably is an element of pain related to the panting, I know that there are many others here who have been in your situation and will share their advice and experience.

 

I lost my last Greyhound at 14 last June, she had spinal arthritis and her hindquarters were very weak, she deteriorated quite rapidly in the last six months of her life, but fortunately did not seem to really be in pain. In some ways this made it harder because although her spirit was always willing her poor old body just kept getting weaker. Her appetite, which had always been very good, decreased probably not least because she spent most of her life asleep as she could no longer walk very far. In the end she started having digestive problems as I took this as a sign that something else was starting to go wrong. I didn't get a definitive diagnosis as I felt that even if I fixed that it would not dramatically improve her quality of life and decided it was time to let her go.

 

I am sorry that you too are having to go through this, I know how hard it is. All the best to you both.

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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It is possible that the panting is from the tramadol. Some greyhounds do not tolerate it well. Is it possible for you to dose her gabapentin 3X a day and try eliminating the tramadol to see how she does? Also if you have cold laser therapy in your area it might be worth trying to see if that will help her. I have a friend whose senior greyhound has been helped tremendously from treatments she gets.

JohnF usually posts a very good list that is very helpful when trying to decide if it is time to say goodbye.

 

Edited to add my apologies to Clodagh for referring to her as him.

Edited by 4My2Greys
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Panting in older dogs with pain issues in the summer can be a mixture of factors: pain and heat/humidity. Dogs cool down by losing water from their lungs, so if the humidity is high, this process is less efficient. You can't put much water into the air if it's already saturated, right?

 

However, there could be another factor at play here. Tramadol is an opioid and can often cause panting, which may be due to the fact that it can make them feel 'odd', so it's stressful for them and makes them anxious. Sid has been on Tramadol several times. He's OK on a low dose, but ramp it up to the max and he keeps me awake all night panting, bless him. It's a bit of a compromise we have to make in these circumstances; do you eliminate the pain but make them feel weird and stressed, or do you keep the dose down to avoid that and have them deal with incomplete pain control?

 

I think if I were you I'd ask the vet if there's anything else she can take as an alternative to Tramadol, even if it's short term so that you can see if it's the Tramadol which is to blame.

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I think if I were you I'd ask the vet if there's anything else she can take as an alternative to Tramadol, even if it's short term so that you can see if it's the Tramadol which is to blame.

This webpage may be helpful in talking with your vet to determine if there is another medication that might help.

 

http://www.vasg.org/chronic_pain_management.htm

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Hugs. Doc will be 13 next month and has a wonky spine and rear end, so I sympathise. Ask the vet about a course of prednoleucotropin (an oral steroid) in place of the meloxicam. This really helped Doc, after the manager of our greyhound rescue had suggested it. Steroids may sound a bit scary but as she said it is all about keeping them comfortable, at this stage of their life.

 

He is on gabapentin and tramadol too. He is fine with tramadol but as others have said not all dogs are, so it's worth checking with your vet about that.

 

I second what others have said about the current heat and humidity being very trying for dogs.

 

Re quality of life - I found this a helpful list to read through: http://www.pawspice.com/downloads/QualityofLifeScale.pdf

 

Do you trust your vet? Can you talk it through with him/her? I did just that with ours, yesterday. We concluded that while Doc was weaker than he was, and has lost some muscle mass from his steroids, he is still coping well enough to want to stay here. Here are some of the points we covered, these might be helpful for you in addition to the pawspice list:

 

  • Still keen on his food
  • In good body condition apart from the loss of muscle mass.
  • Glossy coat, bright eyes, cold wet nose
  • Still wanting to go for little walks, romp with his teddy bear etc
  • Mentally alert, no signs of confusion
  • Still very interested in what's going on around him - and eager for liver treats from the vet's jar!

 

Hope that helps.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Guest normaandburrell

My old greyhound had significant pain before he passed, and what I noticed was that panting from pain was very similar to panting from anxiety. Yes, he would pant and smile, but it was different. If she paces and pants, if you do not think she is hot or wanting to go out, I think you should consider adjusting her meds. You know your dog best.

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We've had similar issues with our 11.5-year-old, who has LSS. We find gabapentin 3X/day (100 mg each), plus 1/2 methocarbamol at the same times, eliminates need for tramadol. Even 1/2 tramadol makes ours anxious! If I were in your place, I'd take that 600 mg. of gabapentin and divide it into 200 mg. 3X/day and see if that helps. For starters anyhow.

 

Our Shane's panting/smiling led us to have to distinguish what was pain and what was anxiety. Turned out it was both. And some of that anxiety was due to tramadol. He would tend to overheat when panting heavily, but it was winter, so it wasn't the heat!

Edited by greyhead
Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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Guest k9soul

I have an end-of-life situation going on right now with my non-grey girl, and she is panting more. But for her, I think it is anxiety-related more than pain. She tends to tremble if she is in physical discomfort, but she's definitely more anxious.

 

I'm sorry your pup is not doing so well. I empathize very much, along with many others here.

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Our senior girl always panted a lot in the summer. Best thing for her was a cool down with a wet cloth and keep her inside most of the time.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Guest itsallgreyt

I'm in the same boat and I think many people here with wonderful advice they are sharing have also been there.

 

About 6 weeks ago, my 10 y.o. greyhound, Jake, was diagnosed with IVDD (intervertebral disc disease), type II (calcification due to aging). His lumbar spine and sacral spine are affected (L5, L6, L7 and S1), and he is currently at a grade 3 neurological level - paresis (muscle weakness which causes his back legs to shake and sometimes buckle under him), decreased proprioception (awareness of body position), ambulatory (able to walk.) For months before this diagnosis I had been concerned about what I perceived to be his lack of fitness and inability to tolerate heat - unable to tolerate even short walks with excessive panting after walks.

 

I now know that his excessive panting was more related to pain than heat intolerance or lack of fitness. Jake is on tramadol (for pain), gabapentin (for nerve pain) , adequan injectons (to try and help restore some cushioning to his lumbar spine) famotidine (antacid - his stomach is torn up from prolonged rimadyl usage), soloxine (true low thyroid.) He wakes up at 4:30am with breakthrough pain, and when this happens he pants excessively. He also pants when his stomach is upset (which happened a lot when he was on rimadyl.) Since his stomach will no longer tolerate pharmaceutical or supplemental anti-inflammatories (glucosamine/chondrotin), I mash up a sardine in his food at every meal to try and get some natural anti-inflammatories into him.

 

It can be difficult to distinguish between anxiety panting and panting from pain - since pain can trigger anxiety. This is where knowing your dog and what makes him/her anxious will help you distinguish between the two. I judge how well Jake's pain level is controlled by the following:

1) Whether or not he's panting

2) If his nose is dripping (usually goes along with the panting)

3) Whether or not he eats

4) How much he moves - especially at the sight of a leash!

5) How 'normal' his stool is. When he's in a lot of pain, his stool tends to be less firm and there's more bile in it (yellow or orange colored.)

6) If his ears are flat back on his head - when he's hurting his ears are always flat against his head.

7) If its night - whether he's able to sleep, or if he's sitting up, panting, tossing and turning.

 

I also don't want to wait too long - until he's in continuous pain - to let him go. Right now we just take it day to day. He still has more good days than bad, eats fairly well nearly all the time, has full control of his bladder and bowels, loves short visits with other greyhounds, enjoys taking short walks around the yard and sitting under his favorite tree. There's still a lot of joy in his life. Once he's getting to where he has more bad days then good, doesn't jump at the sight of a leash, won't eat - I think it will be time for me to let him go. But only you can judge what's right for you in your situation with your dog...

 

Many hugs to you and Clodagh and best wishes in your decision.

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Guest clodagh

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate your input and advice.

Sadly, we had to put Clodagh to sleep. We were concerned about the pain and panting. I thought about readjusting her meds but....alas, in two days her back legs just quit on her. She couldn't get up by herself. I had to lift her butt to stand her on her feet but then she slowly sunk down again. Naturally, it was a very difficult decision since she didn't really exhibit any real "sickness". We went to her favorite field where she usually loves to roll in the long grass (couldn't do it anymore, though). When she couldn't get up on her feet in the field, I saw in her eyes a painful look of "help me". I think she knew. She couldn't handle not being able to stand on her own. And, then the pain........who knows? The vet came to the house and she went peacefully on her fluffy puff bed.

We do the best we can and I truly believe that Clodagh asked me to help her go to Rainbow Bridge. Ironically, one hour after she died, a huge rainbow appeared in the sky. I think she was telling me that she's fine (and playing with our other dog, Bob, that passed from brain cancer six years ago).

We miss Clodagh so very much. We, hopefully gave her three and a half years at the end of her life of happiness and love. (We adopted her when she was 10, knowing her time was limited - but that fact didn't ease the pain.)

I wish I could figure out how to post a picture of her for all to see but I don't know how......

Thanks again.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. We too adopt older dogs, knowing our time with them will be short, and I know how it feels to lose a recently-adopted but very much loved oldie.

 

She was very lucky to be with you in her final years - they may well have been her sweetest. :grouphug

 

(If you want to post a picture here you have to put it up on a third party host site which allows hot-linking, like Photobucket or Flickr. Then you can grab the 'image' tag and paste it into your reply box)

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I am sorry about your loss. I will add Clodagh's name to the list of GT Bridge Angels in Remembrance.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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:brokenheart I am so sorry. How very sad for you. I had to say goodbye to my 14-1/2 y/o girl in April (adopted at age 12-1/2) -- particularly bittersweet after she hung tough through an extremely cold Midwest winter only to falter in the spring as the world brightened once again. Sigh. :cry1

 

Hugs for you and safe and happy travels for Clodagh. :heart

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So, so sorry about your loss. I am going through the same thing, having put Jackie to sleep yesterday. Such a painful day today. But I was in the same situation with the panting, and trying to tell if it was anxiety, reaction to tramadol, pain.....

In the end, it all added up to tremendous discomfort that diminished quality of life. I got jackie comfortable the last couple of days, but she still couldn't walk. So, that was it. I saw that look in her eyes, too. That look of "help me". Her brain wanted to do everything she was used to doing, but when she tried to do it, she just hurt too much. We who are left behind are so sad, but we did a good thing for our pups. I think I might adopt a senior next....

sincere empathy here.

tracy

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I'm so sorry, for both the loss of Clodagh and of Jackie. It is a wonderful gift to give them, to be let go when it's time. But it's so hard.

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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:cry1 I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Clodagh.....I actually did start to cry when I read that she sent you a rainbow, all of my angels have sent me rainbows, but I have usually had to wait a while. Hugs to you, you did your very best for your girl, we can do no more than that.

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear girl.

 

Godspeed, Clodagh.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I am so sorry to read you had to let her go, but every step you took towards making that decision was centred on her quality of life. Not only was there no blame but you made the right decision at eaxctly the right time for her. I hope by now she may have met 'Angel' my beautiful golden brindle heart-dog hound who went to the Bridge under similar circumstances in Janaury 2009.

 

It my be helpful to know for the future that kidney function can become compromised with long term heavy use of Meloxicam and similar class drugs, and that this, together with a less than perfect liver function in an older dog, can allow Tramadol to build up to toxic levels quite quickly. Angel developed dangerous heart arrthymias from it and just a few short weeks after noticing that it was time to let her go. We place quality of life before duration of life every time.

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