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Thread: Dog shaking and panting uncontrollably

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Dog shaking and panting uncontrollably

    Hi, I am new here and this is my first post.

    I have a greyhound mix who is about 10 years old. She is normally a great dog but about 5 years ago I had a series of changes in my life (marriage, move, new baby) and since then she has been afraid of the dishwasher and the washing machine. She shakes and pants (enough to get the floor wet) and sometimes she wants to sit right up against me. I have crated her and taken her outside but that doesn't releive her anxiety. We usually just have to wait it out and she has improved over the years and it is not so bad. We knew what triggered it and just figured it was the sound of the appliances that got her going. She reacts to thunderstorms and the printer in a similar way so we just thought she was sensitive to noises.

    Now this week, she has been at it again much more frequently and for no reason we can find. The only change was that we rearranged the house. She wigged out the entire time we were moving furniture so we crated her and later she seemed to be fine. Since then though she breaks out in shaking fits more frequently sometimes for hours on end. Today I was cleaning up the office and she went into a bout of shaking that lasted three hours.

    What is up with my dog? This seems to be behavior related rather than from pain but I am just not sure what to do about it. What do you think? Thanks!
    Last edited by MandyM; 12-28-2006 at 10:40 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    United States
    Although dogs will sometimes shake and pant because they are nervous, shaking and panting are also signs of pain, and it would look thee same. Since you can't find any particular behavioral reason for her to be doing this, and given her age, I would get her into your vet as soon as possible to get her checked out.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Elsa's House
    I would certainly have your dog checked by a vet just to rule out any medical conditions, if you haven't already done so. My dog is also sensitive to loud noises, and she can usually tell me before I realize it that it's trash day...she's afraid of the garbage truck. She will also pant and shake when she sees or hears big trucks on the highway. So it sounds like she's afraid of loud noises. And keep in mind that it doesn't necessarily need to be audible to you for her to be afraid. As you know dogs can hear way better than us, so, some questions to ask... Is there construction going on in you area? Are the flight paths of airplanes now overhead? Stuff like that, which may be common noise issues for us, could be startling your dog. So, what can you do?...

    Short term fixes... Get you're dog's favorite toy out and start playing with her. If her attitude changes this is a good sign. If she ignores you or is still afraid, try crating your dog. Give her a safe haven. You can also try creating as much white noise as possible. Turn on the TV, ceiling fans, or radios. Another thing to try is to wrap your dog in a semi-tight t-shirt. There's a product out there that wraps around your dog to comfort them (anxiety wrap), but why spend the money if you have a t-shirt you can use. I'm not sure why it works or if it will, but it's worth a try. You may want to try a sedative per your vets prescription. Finally, and most importantly, do not baby your dog when she is in this state. It's better to ignore her than inadvertantly reinforce the behavior.

    Long term fixes... Desensitizing CD's...maybe of fireworks, or sound effects. Play them throughout the day starting at a low volume and increasing the volume over time. Finally, read this article The Paper Bag Game it may help.
    BTW, welcome to our forum, and good luck.
    Last edited by Curbside Prophet; 12-28-2006 at 11:10 PM.

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