Excessive panting

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kimrisa avatar image

Excessive panting

Good afternoon! Tuffy was romping in the backyard with the kids for about 20 minutes. It isn't that hot outside--low sixties but I think he just overexerted himself running around because when we brought him in he was panting excessively, didn't want to eat his lunch and then collapsed into a prone position for a little while. I immediately sprayed his belly with water and offered him water and it helped somewhat but he was still panting nonstop. He ate some lunch and then I put him in his crate in a cool area to relax. In the future, is there anything else I should do to cool him downwhen he starts to pant excessively? Also I know in the summer they recommend some cooling collars. Should I look into getting one of those as the temperature gets warmer?


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kimrisa's picture

I notice Tuffy gets winded quite quickly just romping with the k

It was in the 50s today but alot of chasing around seems to do him in quickly. Shouldn't a 5 month old puppy have more stamina or is it just a bullie thing?

After the panting incident last weekend my 11 year old is very mindful of Tuffy's overexertion but even so I guess he's not the type of dog I can have peace of mind leaving him in the yard with the kids while I go about my business.

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kimrisa's picture

What software program do you use?

I use Shutterfly and there is a feature called modify picture and you have to put it at 25%. It took me a long time to figure out how to do it too. I'm sure whatever picture program you have has that feature. I'd love to see a pic of Oscar if you get it figured out! Otherwise you can always upload the picture to photobucket. Email me if you need help...

Thanks for the Tuffy compliment. I need to take some recent pics. They change week to week at this age!

judy wilson's picture


i carry a eppi pen for wilson becasue his allergies are so bad you have to get a prescription from your vet...its for life threating allergic reactions....dex is about the same thing....simply put its like a shot of adreline...but very powerful...dex is in the family of pred...

flbulldogmom's picture

Laura - what is Dex & Epi?

can you explain? thanks a bunch....

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Glad you were able to save her !

That's how Fang died...playing "pickle" with my sons throwing a baseball back-n-forth in the yard, chasing after the ball. By the time I realized what was going on, he was exhausted. I did bring him inside and put him down near his waterbowl but didn't cool him down enough...learned a most painful lesson about heat and exercise, and he was a 'good breather too'. sad.gif

thunderstruckbulldog's picture

our first bullie almost died from overheating......

the boys put her outside in the chainlink pen(undercover on the carport and well shaded)when they came in from school and then hubby come in and told them to go mow the grass forgetting Gracie was outside. I came in from work alittle while later to find her down in the pen panting. I had to also turn the water hose on her and packed her in ice cubes. I didn't know about dex & epi back then and had to improvise. Gracie survived and went on to live another 3-4 yrs but it was our first episode & she was such a great breather under normal circumstances. She apparently run the fence everytime the mower came by. Very scarey and very dangerous. These guys do not understand unfortunately "in excess" so we have to monitor it for them. Great thread guys!

Thunderstruck Bulldogs

To those who understand no explanation is needed. To those who don't no explanation is possible.

kimrisa's picture

That signature pix of Oscar is so cute!

Love to see more photos....

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mrhig2004's picture

I would rather prevent it in the first place

Overheating is my worst fear. Even with airway surgery Mr. Higgins still pants easily when it is not all that hot. He is a very active boy and excitable too. I am so very cautious all the time. I rely on his wet coat in hot weather so he is able to just walk around outside. I try to keep him calm. He is 5 1/2 and I am still waiting for him to figure out he is not a puppy anymore.

maria and oscar's picture

i'm having a hard time

getting pictures uploaded. I have some pretty good ones that I want to share with everyone, but they're too big & i don't know how to make them smaller.

tuffy mctuffster looks pretty awesome!! how old is he?

roanne9145's picture

Excellent response

I shared it with everyone I know....

kimrisa's picture

Thanks...I'll get some of that stuff today!

It was in the mid-70's in CT today so I think the warm temperatures are coming!

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maria and oscar's picture

this forum is great

i love how much great advice is on this website. we got oscar in november (my husband & my first dog) & i have been on this website everyday looking up different issues i have had. you all are so helpful!

since it was finally beautiful today, my husband took oscar for a good walk, he was exhausted when he got home, i gave him some cold water, but thats it. i am definitely going to print all these great suggestions for overheating because oscar loves to be outside & he especailly loves playing fetch! thanks!!

judy wilson's picture

yes thats the stuff....

keep a couple of ice cubes trays set aside.....with them full you start to see the over heating put 5 or 6 in a bowl.....
for fun with my crew i also freeze orange juice they love it....

kimrisa's picture

Thanks, Judy! Are you referring to Gatoraid like they sell in th

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great subject to discuss..and excellent replies..

great thread
great info

excellent reply

they can overheat very fast
get reply
I will print this off and keep it for myself..
good advice as always Elaine

Alicia Jay Deuce and Oliver's picture

Another quickie idea.....

We were out at a friends barn once and Deuce is obsessed with balls and they had a teatherball thing. Well he thought that was the best toy ever until I freaked out because he was panting more than the normal exercise amount. I picked him up and rushed him to the car and blasted the air conditioning on his tummy. We stayed in the car with the A/C on full blast until he calmed down. Then I wouldn't let him go back and play with the tetherball...although he kept trying to sneak over there to play with it! That is another thing, they DON'T know when to stop, he would have kept playing if we didn't take him away and he very well could have passed from overheating.

judy wilson's picture

i keep during the summer....

a tray of ice cubes made out of gatore...gatore will replace the electrolites lost in over heating....my rotties being a black coated breed could over heat very quickly....this is what my german metor instructed me to do...and it always worked...some times between a work out they would get these ice cubes and it gave them a boost....
also i would only offer ice cubes to a panting dog of any breed,,,,make them relax a bit...

kimrisa's picture

Great suggestions....

I'll put a washcloth in the freezer and the kiddie pool idea is terrific!

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kimrisa's picture

Wow... Ela1ne...this is so helpful

I printed out everything you said and will keep it in my bulldog binder for future reference! I am so sorry to hear what happened to your first bulldog. This definitely is a wakeup call not to take overheating lightly...

As a precaution, should I bring a spray bottle on walks or do you recommend something else to bring?

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RobinandLeo's picture

Re: Excessive panting

Another suggestion is to have a kiddie pool available for him to get into and cool off in.
Our 1st Bulldog would run and play until he was exhausted - if we let him. Instead we would watch him closely and have him take breaks from the action (like a kid's time-out) before he began panting. We did this enough that he learned to pace himself and would take a break on his own. Always made me feel safer that he learned to not push himself too far.

onslowsmom's picture


Cooling products are great!

I like to keep a wet facecloth in the freezer for times like these. If he's hot I will put the face cloth on his belly/armpits and paws. He LOVES it rolls right over when he sees it coming.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius
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Glad you asked...

T his is how I lost my very first bulldog...overheating, collapse and death. If I sounds too scary I mean to be. Heat exhaustion is something to be taken seriously. You did the right things, bringing him in to cool down but you need to be sure he's really cooling down so just spraying was moving in the right direction but perhaps not enough...you should be wetting a bath towel and laying him directly on it, then spray his topside...cool him down QUICKLY while not trying to excite him further. Forget the cold drink...if he's truly overheated he needs to relax first before drinking. I wouldn't take the water dish away but I also wouldn't push it. If you have a small fan and can put that blowing on him as well, that's good, but be sure its blowing on him from the side or back, not inhibiting his breathing/face. Worse case scenario you need to turn the hose on the dog and thoroughly wet him down outside before you even bring him in...sometimes those few minutes can make a difference. Remember, its only WATER versus HEAT STROKE...no contest, so don't be concerned about dripping or wet floor. It can take 10-20 minutes for the dog to fully recover, so keep wetting/cooling/observing. As we move toward warmer weather we all need to be reminded of how to deal with overheated bulldogs. happy.gif

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