Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Panting and Pacing

by Ashley
(Solana Beach California)

Hi Everyone! I have a red merle Aussie rescue. He is about 13 and is now sleeping all day and panting and pacing at night. Last night I took him out four times in the middle of the night and every time he did a little pee pee. He has been to the vet. No infections—he is a lil wobbly from left-over vestibular disease two years ago. Any info would be greatly greatly appreciated as I am totally exhausted these days and work full time and want to do what is best for the love of my life! THANK YOU! Ashley! :)

Comments for Panting and Pacing

Click here to add your own comments

Sr dog pacing & panting /w vestibular disease
by: Michele

Ditto! My 15 yo blue merle aussie is about 3 weeks out from the initial diagnosis of vestibular disease. She paces and pants almost non-stop unless I am on the floor loving on her. It is still pretty warm where we live so I would expect her to drink a lot of water but she needs to go out frequently. I've had her checked, no urinary tract infection. When she does go out it takes her forever to pace around the yard and finally do her business. I can't figure out if there is another problem or if this is just a result of the vertigo. It's breaking my heart and it's exhausting for both of us.

See a vet, have them do a CBC
by: Dan V.

Frequent urination, urinating a little at a time, drinking a lot, waking you you up at night to go out... can all be signs of serious illness such as kidney disease. It is fairly common in elderly dogs. If the kidney disease is advanced, then a CBC (complete blood count) will show elevated creatinine and BUN. If the CBC is normal, then an ultrasound and XRays can be done of the kidney and bladder to look for stones, swelling, or other abnormalities.

For males, a hardening or swollen prostate can also cause frequent urination, so it is worthwhile to have the vet palpate the prostate to see if they detect anything.

Talk with your vet. Hopefully it is something simple, but I wouldn't recommend ignoring the problem.

Panting and Pacing
by: Mac in Louisville KY

We had the same problem. Unfortunately, we had to put him down today at age 14. Very sad day for us and now i'm wondering, could we have done something else. In addition to pacing and panting, he would paw at our bed and let out a single bark every five minutes. Right when I would hit my deep sleep, he would let out a single bark. He never began panting and pacing until i hit my deep sleep. I started to interpret this as a sign that he wanted me to stand guard all night for him.

We worked with our vet for 18 months and never found a solution. We tried xanax for a while but it did nothing. A high dose of a sedative, which worked, but only for a week. Our vet did not want to keep him on a sedative for an extended period. We also had him on joint medication called melatonin (spelling?). We tried a several more, all with no luck.

He was barking at night outside. Again, just a single bark every several minutes. The wife and I slept with a fan to avoid the barking but the neighbors (rightly) called us out. So we began to crate him in an air conditioned garage. This pretty much amounted to torture for this roamer rescue. The barking was now a cry for help. We added fans in our room to drown it out. We were also sure the neighbors could still hear him barking but now much more often. With a 2 year old kid and another dog, things were starting to get too stressful. After 18 months and 9 solid years with this 14 year old rescue, it was time for him to join his friends in doggie heaven.

I am typing this now to distract from the loss. I hope this helps someone, somehow. Love your dog!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Australian Shepherd Q & A.

Australian-Shepherd-Lovers.com icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care