Posted December 06, 2019 at 07:39 PM Under "Fostering a Pet"
Very restless and heavy panting first night home

We are fostering a 1.5 year old golden retriever and she is very restless, panting heavily and drinking a lot of water. Is this normal for her transition?

  • December 07, 2019 at 05:00 AM

    Check the dogs gums. If it’s got a bluish or purplish tinge it could be serious and the dog should see a vet ASAP.

    My Sheltie was showing signs once of this when we went to the vets office once when their A.C. was down. The vet was concerned that he might also be stressed and said if when I got home and there was no improvement, his gums weren’t pink again, to contact her again ASAP or take him to animal emergency. But I was able too cool him down with cool wet towels.

    But there are other causes than overheating for dogs to pant. It could be pain or gastrointestinal disorder. Reasons to see a vet or animal emergency. Check with your fostering group for the procedure.

    If stress due to a new environment, try some calming music and scents. Don’t overwhelm the dog with affection...just give her some space. I tried giving my rescue a calming treat but he seemed to have an adverse reaction to it. It might work for other dogs though.

    Good luck. Each dog is different and requires patience and different handling. I would consult with your foster coordinator.

  • December 06, 2019 at 09:47 PM

    Just to add, If you see that panting is extremely intense and cannot be explained, you should get your dog to the nearest veterinarian immediately. However I think the move to rescue/foster may explain the panting. Are there any other signs of illness or physical pain? vomiting, diarrhea, dry heaving, wheezing?

  • December 06, 2019 at 09:32 PM

    I hesitate commenting as I am not a medical person and haven't even seen the dog, but to reassure you, Dogs frequently pant when under stress, a relocating, possibly a few time recently, especially if dog recently lost the security of its home and family, might be expected. Drinking would go along with excessive panting. One website did mention "Panting should not be confused with labored breathing. Labored breathing is characterized by strained respiration and may be accompanied by sounds of distress like crying or whining, or whistles from the nostrils or windpipe due to blockage" Try to determine what might make him more comfortable, find a quite space alone where he might start to feel safe, or if he seems to be less stressed not being alone, try to stay with him. Mostly a quiet, low activity environment would probably help, but animals take time, some more then others. Mostly try to get someone from the rescue group you are fostering for, or vet who has seen animal to give you advice about your particular foster. Good luck, I am sure your concern and whatever you do will help.