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Asked 12/25/2010

My Malties is panting, shaking, NO sleep, Nervous.

I have a Maltese and he is about 3 years & 9 months old and weights about 14lb. Just few days ago he started panting really hard while he was shaking and he would just walk up to me or my boyfriend and try to get as close as he can to our bodies and sometimes he just sits on top of my head (when I'm laying down) or my sides. He is eating, drinking, popping, and no vomiting. I called the emergency vet last night and they told me I should just watch his behavior and if it gets worse to bring him in. Last night he barely slept, and kept me up all night just seating there staring at me and around the room trying to get as close as he can. I have never left him by himself anywhere, the only person looks after him if I go out of town for a day or two is my sister who has a Maltese also (his sister), so they play together, but in the past few days he is not even playing. Does anybody have any Idea what might be wrong with him? Thanks and Merry Christmas

 
 
 
 
 
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Answer 1/4 - Submitted 12/25/2010

Thank you, and I wish you a Merry Christmas as well. I am sorry that you are having concerns with your Maltese at this time, especially today. There are a few conditions that you may want to research that may be affecting your dog. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to identify which it may be without a veterinary examination. The involuntary shaking can be an indication of the dog experiencing pain, illness or a neurological disorder. One such concern would be "White Shaker Dog Syndrome" which is not uncommon in the Maltese breed. The symptoms of this condition is similar to human Parkinson's disease and may be alleviated with the use of steroids. Should this be affecting your dog, you may note that when the dog has his head laid down, symptoms are not as apparent.

Other possibilities would be various illnesses, neurological disorders or nerve/joint/back conditions. If you are noticing the shaking and heavy panting mainly in the evenings, this can indicate a heart condition. Other issues include kidney disorders, infections, diabetes, hypoglycemia, thyroid or hormonal imbalances, food allergies, anal gland impactions or infection and the list goes on. It is a good sign that he is eating, drinking, pooping and not vomiting. Is he urinating normally? If not, seek medical attention immediately.

You may want to take his rectal temperature which should read 101-102.5 degrees. If, by chance, it is reaching 104 degrees, steps should be taken immediately to reduce the dog's body temperature. You can also check his mouth tissues/gums to see if they are a healthy "bubble gum pink" color or if they may appear pale or white, (which can indicate a problem). If the symptoms continue, I would definitely have the dog examined by a veterinarian. Hopefully, it is something relatively minor, but I would want to have the other conditions eliminated as possibilities. Best wishes. -PetCaretaker

 
 

Answer 2/4 - Submitted 12/25/2010

Thank you so much for your response. His is urinating normally and no fever. He stoppes shaking when i'm holding him, but when i leave the house to take out the trash he jumps in the bath tub to hide, I have my sisters dog here as well and she is just acting normal, could he be scared of something?

 
 

Answer 3/4 - Submitted 12/25/2010

Other possibilities are that he has suffered some sort of trauma. Please note that what he may find traumatizing does not mean that you did something to traumatize him. Perhaps he suffered a scare? He is a small dog (the hiding when you go out for even a moment makes me think he's afraid or nervous) Also, panting can very well be a sign of nervousness.
Have there been any changes in his surroundings, or schedule? My dog stresses over the tiniest change.
He also seems to be looking for comfort, getting as close to you as he can.
Although I would obviously keep an eye on his physical health (kudos to you for checking his poop!)
perhaps the holiday activity has just been a bit much for him. If he doesn't have a crate, he may be trying to substitute the bathtub (maybe just give him some blankets in there and let him feel safe?)
good luck and he is a lucky fellow to have such an observant owner!

 
 

Answer 4/4 - Submitted 12/25/2010

I would definitely have him checked out by a veterinarian, particularly if the dog is shaking and panting for extended periods of time, such as lying on the bed with you. That should cause even a tense dog to relax somewhat. It could be stress related, but I would also consider other physical causes such as White Shaker Dog Syndrome, or any of the other possibilities. Have your veterinarian to examine and diagnose your Maltese if the symptoms continue, as a precautionary measure. Best wishes to you and your little dog. --PetCaretaker

 
 
 
 
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