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Discussion Starter #1
My golden retriever, he is approximately 13 years old, is in alright shape. He is not overweight. He is average stature. But for some reason he breaths heavily often. Even when not doing physical activity he will breath heavily. As in he could be just walking about the house & then all of a sudden he will start breathing heavily. He does not get much physical activity because his legs are not strong anymore. He has a hard time getting around & whenever I take him on a walk he only lasts a couple blocks then gets extremely tired. Why does he breath so heavily? Lack of exercise?
 

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Is he breathing heavily through his nose, or does he actually start panting? How long has this been happening? When is the last time he was checked out by a vet?

Heavy breathing for no apparent reason does not sound like a lack of exercise to me, and it is an issue that should probably be discussed with your veterinarian. There are a lot of reasons an older dog could develop breathing problems, and they range all the way from a mild upper respiratory infection to a tumor blocking their airway or putting pressure on their lungs.
 

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Vet visit. That could be a lot of things in an old dog- pain, congestive heart failure, liver failure, cancer, or just deconditioning due to age. He needs to be evaluated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He is breathing heavily through his mouth not nose. It looks like he is smiling when he is breathing heavily. I guess it would be considered panting. I noticed this about a month ago or so. I'm not exactly sure though. Also the last time he went to the vet was about 6 months ago (could be a little longer) I believe but I'm not exactly too sure on that either. My parents got a letter in the mail about two months ago saying he was due for a check up but the disregarded it saying that it would cost too much money & that he's fine so they never took him. He has a lump in his throat but the vet said that it was not cancerous. It feels like a small ball almost, I didn't squeeze it of course, just felt it with my hand. Also maybe once or twice a day it sounds like he is hocking up a loogie but nothing comes out from his mouth. My parents think that it is because he is about to throw up but it's not because he never does when he makes this sound. I live with my parents, I am a young adult. I will take him to the vet myself next time I get a paycheck. Thank you so much guys for the replies everyone. I appreciate it so so much. Have a wonderful day.
 

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Rather than whining, older dogs may pant heavily, and even drool a little when they are in pain. In a 13yo Golden, common causes of pain could be arthritic hips, pinched nerve in the hips, undiagnosed cancer. My 15yo Golden/Lab x GSD has similar issues, which we now manage with exercise and pain meds.

Ask the Vet to explain what the lump in the throat might be, so that you can research these things on Google. The lump may be the reason for the unproductive coughing.
 

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My 7 year old dog gradually began breathing heavily, and I could not figure out why. I really felt something was wrong. Then I stopped giving her the cranberry extract pill (made for people, not dogs) that she had started on a year and a half ago. She had a problem in the past with urinary tract infections, and I take the cranberry myself, too. At first she really seemed to like the daily cranberry pill. It seemed to increase her perkiness, and thinking it was in essence just a form of fruit (it is 100% cranberry extract), I gave her one every morning with breakfast. Then when I could not figure out why she started breathing heavily after a year and half, I cut out the cranberry. Presto, no more heavy breathing. Maybe it was affecting her thyroid or who knows what. My dog's case is probably not related here, but I post it to remind ourselves that symptoms can come from many possible sources and that seemingly harmless supplements can potentially lead to serious effects.
 

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Some dogs just pant a lot. My 11 yr old Lab is a panter. Mouth breathing. She's been a panter for as long as I can remember. She's had 5 litters of pups and been through a whole lot of health testing. She runs a few miles with me daily and apart from being a little lazy, she is in good health.

I'm not saying panting can't be a symptom. Just that it doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. I'd worry more about sounding like he's hocking up a loogie . . . I'm no expert, but I think that can be symptomatic of congestive heart problems.

Bottom line is it's going to take a vet to diagnose the various problems your old guy has. Good on you for taking responsibility where your parents have dropped the ball.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for this advice.

I will take my golden retriever to the vet for a check up in the near future. My parents received a letter in the mail stating he was due for a check up approximately two months ago but disregarded it saying that he was just an old dog & that it would cost too much money. I know I may get vastly different approximations but how much does a check up at the vet cost approximately? A couple hundred dollars? A hundred dollars?

I will be increasing my dog's exercise & start taking him on walks a couple days a week & also taking him to the lake to swim. Another member on this site suggested that swimming is a good idea for older dogs because it is low impact exercise. My dog's legs aren't that good & sometimes they give out so I don't want to be counterproductive by taking him on walks that he cannot withstand.

I feel very bad that I lacked the caregiving & attention that my dog needed in his younger years of life... :( I know understand that it is better to maintain than to try to repair.

Thank you all very much. If you have any more advice or suggestions that you think will benefit my dog I would appreciate it if you PM'ed me. (On your leisure time of course. Don't feel obligated to message me if you don't want to though.)

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend. Bye for now.
 

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Each Vet may perform different checks and have widely varying charges. Feel free to call the Vet's office, explain your situation, ask what a "check-up" consists of, and the various costs.... Then, double the price quoted so that you can try to include treatment costs for potential issues. And, that's only a rough estimate. Some of the older Vets are used to "farm pets" and the importance of keeping down costs, so they might have other suggestions.
 

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Thank you. I believe you replied in my previous thread that I just posted in.

There are only 3 local vets in my area. One has a higher rating review than the others. I will call each one to get an estimate on prices & what a check up consists of. What other questions should I ask?
 

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Since you have multiple threads, you get multiple answer, I may have answered with more questions in a different thread.
 
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