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Malamute panting.

Species: Dog
Breed: Alaskan Malamute/Sib
Age: 2-5 years
We have taken in a rescue dog. When they brought him to us he was panting and they said that it seams to be normal for him as he does it all the time. To me this just does not seem right. From what I have read a Malamute should have 20 respiration's per minute he is having 80 respiration's per minute. How ever when he is sleeping he is at 20 respiration's per minute. He had been diagnosed with Heart worms positive and has been treated and cleared. I read through some other questions and pressed his gums and they went from white to pink in a second or less.

Any help would be great.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. I have seen a number of Malamutes who tend to pant all the time and this could possibly be normal. But, there is also the possibility that there is something else going on.

Sometimes excessive panting can be the sign of a hormonal problem such as hypothyroidism or cushing's disease. He's a little bit young for either of these but it is definitely possible.

Having had a history of having heartworm does have me a little concerned. Some dogs can have lasting effects after having heartworm. This can cause problems with the heart or the lungs.

Ideally it would be a good idea for your vet to do a thorough exam and take some chest xrays and probably repeat some heartworm testing to make sure that things really are clear. The tricky thing is though that this testing could be expensive and the result may be that everything is fine. But still, if there really was a problem there then you would want to know about it and hopefully be treating it.

I wish I had more answers for you. I really do think that a vet checkup is the best idea though.

Dr. Marie

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thanks for your reply. I kind of expected that answer. Testing is not an issue. When we take him in for an evaluation we will request these tests.

One other thing. My wife tends to over feed our pets. We were told that he needs 3 cups of food a day using "Taste of the Wild" dog food. We did not want to change his food and he does seem to love it. Xander is not hyper active in fact he is more of a couch potato. My wife bumped him up to 4 cups and if she had her way would probably push him up to 6 cups or rather fill his bowl and let him eat when ever he wants which was her past practice. But since our other two were hunting dogs they seamed to burn it off.

Should we follow the advice of the Rescue people and leave him on 3 cups which is 1/2 morning and 1/2 at night. I forgot to mention he is 85# and his ribs are not showing but can be felt with light pressure fells like he has about half an inch of fluff between ribs and coat.

Thank you for having this service it makes it so much better to be able to ask questions when we are so unsure of what to do that even though you don't get to see them but just confirm what we need to do as pet owners. The fee is very reasonable.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Every food is different in regards to how much he needs to eat. It sounds like he is a good weight now, so probably a maintenance amount is good. The food should have a guide on the side of the bag that tells you how much to feed according to his weight. Usually it's a range. I'd stick to the middle of that range.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.