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How Winded Should She Be After A Run?


Guest Joni
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I feel kind of stupid for asking this, because duh, dogs pant. ;) But I'm kind of like a new mama (I remember when my human babies were little and I would analyze every burp and study the contents of their diaper...)

 

Violet just came in from doing zoomies in the yard. She's in good shape overall, and she does sprints in the yard probably every other day. Today when she was done she was panting like a freight train. I haven't noticed this before. Is it possible that she was just running harder than before, because she's getting more comfortable with her surroundings?

 

She doesn't seem to be in any distress, it was at least 1.5 hours after she ate, she drank a lot of water and [grudgingly] accepted our praise for being the Best Dog in the World. Basically, can someone please tell me my dog isn't about to have a heart attack?

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Guest greyhound_in_LA

Did she recently come off the track?

 

Check her gums. Are they dry, pale? Is she weak? Confused? Vomiting? What's her temperature? Do you have a rectal thermometer for her? Is her pulse erratic?

 

If she's not in distress, then try not to worry. You can help cool her down slowly by taking her in and letting the AC help or misting her so that the evaporation effect can "cool" her.

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Guest Scouts_mom

It could be because she did run harder than usual. Or is it hotter today? Either would make her pant more. As the previous poster said, check her gums--do they look okay? When my Henry gets to panting too hard (usually after barking at the neighbors dog in the heat) I take a wet washcloth and wipe his ears, belly, armpits and paws. It really seems to help, but he would probably be fine without me doing anything.

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She's breathing normally now, and her gums are nice and juicy. (She drank a lot of water after we came back inside.) She's back to her lazy self and she just wandered over to her (empty) food bowl and gave me a dirty look. So I'd say we're back to normal.

 

I guess I just worry because in all the reading I did to prepare for owning a greyhound, there were all these warnings - about bloat, about not letting your dog eat chocolate, etc. - and how dire they can be. And I just looked at my dog's heaving lungs and thought, did I miss something? Is there some kind of freak condition where they run too hard and then just die? Like I said, I've got a new mother thing going on here. :)

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If mine does crazy running, he also breathes pretty hard, but only for a short time. I have never heard another dog breed breath like that, it almost sounds like a human or a horse after a run. I have seen dogs after a race doing the same thing on videos. I could be wrong, but I thought this was normal for greyhounds after a sprint (??) Obviously it shouldn't last long, and you shouldn't notice other signs like exhaustion, pale gums, etc.

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It's not a stupid question at all. Welcome to the down side of obsession. :) As I understand it, yard sprints every other day aren't really much help keeping a grey in truly fit condition, so a longer run than usual in hot weather and/or humidity might very well lead to long pant times for an individual hound. (This is not in any way a slam about the shape Violet is in.)

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remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Guest beetle_slayer

My boy runs so hard and works himself up so much in a matter of minutes that he breathes so hard he chokes himself and hacks a couple of times. I don't worry about it because I keep an eye on mine in this Dallas heat.

 

My girl had an amp a few weeks ago and the narcotic shot they gave her made her pant very hard and fast until the next morning with a faster than normal heart rate--16hrs or more? I was a bit freaked out among the other things going on. Dr. said it was normal from the drugs.

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Some pant harder than others, and a lot depends on the weather and their conditioning. One of mine does everything the hard way - runs hard, plays hard, dogs holes hard - full out. And she will sometimes pant quite hard for a couple hours after a good session. She's always been this way and it's normal *for her.* My others all calm and cool down much, much easier and faster.

 

If she likes running in the hot weather, you might consider getting a kids wading pool and see if she likes the water. They use them at the tracks along with whirlpools after races.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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She's breathing normally now, and her gums are nice and juicy. (She drank a lot of water after we came back inside.) She's back to her lazy self and she just wandered over to her (empty) food bowl and gave me a dirty look. So I'd say we're back to normal.

 

I guess I just worry because in all the reading I did to prepare for owning a greyhound, there were all these warnings - about bloat, about not letting your dog eat chocolate, etc. - and how dire they can be. And I just looked at my dog's heaving lungs and thought, did I miss something? Is there some kind of freak condition where they run too hard and then just die? Like I said, I've got a new mother thing going on here. :)

Well, not to scare you because that's obviously not what's going on, but there is. It's called exertional rhabdomyolysis. It's much more common at the track and not something you're likely to have to deal with, but it can happen with retired racers. The main thing is to be careful of letting her overexert herself in high heat or humidity (which could also lead to heat stroke). If in doubt, just wet her down some, especially her chest, belly and feet. And you can always check her temp rectally. If its above 103 then you need to immediately start running cool water over her. The obvious sign for rhabdo though is red to dark brown urine. If you ever see that after she's exerted herself a lot if been in high heat, get her cooled off first and then immediately to a vet.

 

Again, likely nothing you'll ever have to deal with, but since you asked, I think its better.to know.what to look for and what to do just in case.

 

How do I know this BTW? My own brindle girl Violet ;) got it on a hike last fall. If I hadn't been familiar with rhabdo and known her dark urine was an emergency as soon as I noticed it, I'm not sure she'd be alive today. Now how's that for scaring the crap out of you?! :P Seriously, I know of 2 other pet dogs in my many years on this site and over a decade of working with my rescue group that have gotten rhabdo so really not to worry.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Yes, it's good to know the signs of rhabdomyolysis, but it is fairly rare. Apart from the red urine, check for muscle soreness (to the touch) especially over the mid to low back area (saddle). It used to be called 'Monday Morning Disease' in horses because it so often happens when they work hard after a period of rest, but really, unless Violet does absolutely nothing for two or three days and then runs totally flat out suddenly, it's unlikely - and I've had dogs that did that and still no trouble. Of course, heat must be factored in, and I wouldn't let mine run in unusually high temperatures.

If one of mine came in like that after a 'normal' sprint round the yard, I'd suspect that they'd found something to chase which gave them a rather harder work-out than usual!

There is a good overview of exertional rhabdomyolysis here. Scroll down for a description of the hyper-acute, acute and sub-acute forms, and be aware that the most severe form is described first!

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Thanks for the reassurances, everyone. I'm glad to know that there IS a condition but that it's rare and has specific indicators that I ca study up on - this isn't simply a matter of 'my dog ran in the yard and then just dropped dead.' It's a little unnerving the first time your dog pants so loud you can hear it all over the house... but it makes sense! She was a racer when she was younger, but she spent nearly a year waiting for us to adopt her, and I'm not sure if she was able to get up to full speed when she lived in the adoption kennel. And as she gets more used to our yard and its obstacles, she wll be more likely to run more and faster. Last night she was in a particularly good mood - it was a cooler evening and both my son and I were 'chasing' her, so she ran harder than I've seen her before! Anyway, now that I'm done freaking out over her panting, I'll just remind myself, a tired dog is a happy dog.

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Just watch the weather and you'll be fine. FYI, Violet has recovered from her rhabdo and while she's at greater risk for it happening again, I still let her run when I can (we don't have a yard, but visit the dog park and also take trips to cabins with yards, etc.) and she often pants very heavily afterward. It scares the crap out of me every time, but she's fine. If she's running htat hard though, you might consider short walks to warm her up and cool her down to avoid muscle injury. An injured dog on crate rest is not so much a happy dog. :P

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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My Annie pants hard after she's run around, no matter the temperature (thankfully she's not a dog to exert herself AT ALL when it's hot). Even after she's done panting with the typical open mouth, her breathing remains rapid for another 15 or 20 minutes. It's just the way she is.

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So funny that you ask this. I took my dogs hiking over the weekend, and our friends got so alarmed by the panting. They kept asking, 'Are they okay? Should they be panting that hard?' For the most part, it's normal and fine.

 

One of my dogs did display some symptoms of heat exhaustion a few years ago. I suspect this may be a bit more common than rhabdo. It was very odd, and I knew immediately that something was wrong. He got disoriented and was having a difficult time using his legs. I got him in the air conditioning and splashed him with cool water, then he came out of it pretty quickly. No lasting effects, and he still runs all the time.

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welcome to GT and yes you are absolutely normal watching and worrying about your dog. that's what we seem to do here on GT - post our worries/concerns and receive reassurance from others.

a couple of quick questions

how old in your dog?

how long off the track?

weather conditions?

amount of time running?

all of the above plays into their physical response to running. i have watched my own 7.5 year old male age- we got him at 7 weeks. and there have been some major changes in running that directly correlate to age.

cooling down w/ a hose- first under the belly and chest then arm pits works well. i personally find this faster than the kiddy pool, not all dogs go for the pool.(and around here it has to be changed daily because of the birds and other critters who use it). but you will be amazed at how tolerant they are to hosing down. some dogs cool down really fast, others take quite a while, it's like people. it's difficult for me since my male now just can't do the running he did as a puppy and still wants to and we really enjoy kicking the soccer balls and lobbing tennis balls for our male. he collapses, so i just monitor how much and now keep his soccer games down to 3-5 min. vs. the 15-20 min. play periods were used to have. and the 15 min. is nothing compared to another breed. they are sprinters and really only go for the short runs. but when it comes to hikes and walking, if the weather is good- it's 4-5 miles with out a problem.

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Be careful hosing down with cold water. If the water is really cold, it could cause shock. Cool water is fine and is the way to go, and it's probably better to just use wet sponges under the belly and armpits and inner thighs. Some authorities suggest rubbing alcohol on the feet, because it cools by evaporation, and does it in a fairly natural way. :)

 

All of my dogs have been completely intolerant of hosing, BTW. As soon as they see the hose come out, they RUN! :P

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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If you're going to cool a dog down because you do actually suspect heat stroke or something along those lines, you do want to use water and if ice cold is all you've got then use it, you just need to also be monitoring temperature rectally and when the temp reaches 103 you stop and can then get the dog to the vet if needed.

 

I've gone through this 3 times now, once with Violet's rhabdo and twice with near heat stroke with Zuri (in one case his body temp was over 107 by the time I could take it) and cooling them with water was what saved them. And the only reason I knew to do it instead of just driving to the vet was because of something I read on GT, which I will be forever grateful for.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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It's worth having a dedicated thermometer and having it clearly marked. :lol

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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