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Dog with what sounds like a heavy cold

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kita1 | 22:07 Fri 12th May 2006 | Animals & Nature
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I have a ten and a half year old giant breed dog. He has been very healthy all his life. For a couple of months now I noticed that he started becoming breathless when out, some days worse than others. He also seems tired even after short walks. I took him to the vet and he said his heart was OK, as were his lungs. The only thing he could suggest was an inflamed soft palate, he gave me some anti-inflamatory tablets and some antibiotics. (my dog also snores, he struggles on the intake of breath). It sounds like he has a really heavy cold and has to breath through his mouth. I don't want to do any more tests as last time at the vets he got so worked up in a panic that he virtually collapsed afterwards. I really thought I was going to loose him, it took an hour for his breathing to recover. Another visit would kill him for sure. I really don't know where to go from here and would be glad of any advice. He has been on the tablets a week now, and is fine in himself apart from the breathing and tiredness. It is so not like him that I fear he is dying. I am an experienced dog owner and I have never seen a dog look so well, he has not lost weight and does not have a temperature, the only thing is his breathing and now tiredness, like he is giving in.

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My initial reaction was to say his heart, but as the vet has given this the all clear, I think this is just a symptom of old age, as ten and a half is a very good age for a giant breed. Provided he is eating and ok in himself, I would just keep the exercise to a minimum particularly in this warmer weather, and let him enjoy his old age.
I agree with lankeela. 10 and a half is a very good age for a giant breed. I only expect 8 years from mastiffs or rotties. More than that is a bonus. Let him just do what he wants. My giant dog doesn't go for long walks in the summer as he can't cope with the heat. We're fortunate in that we have a large garden and he just wanders aound that. If you are concerned about him being distressed at visiting the vet then ask for a home visit. Last year my dog was operated on for gastic torsion and we are lucky to still have him. After he came out of hospital our vet visited him at home regularly.

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