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HomeDear VetBabbleWhy is My 13-Year-Old Gordon Setter Panting, Circling, and Unable to Rest?

Why is My 13-Year-Old Gordon Setter Panting, Circling, and Unable to Rest?


Dear VetBabble,

I have a 13-year-old Gordon Setter who has recently started panting and walking in circles to the right. He seems agitated and won’t lay down or rest. What could be causing this behavior? Should I be worried about his health?

Understanding the Cause of Your Dog’s Behavior

As a pet owner, it’s natural to be concerned when our furry friends display unusual behavior. In older dogs like your Gordon Setter, a variety of factors could be contributing to his panting, agitation, and circular walking. It’s essential to observe other symptoms and consult a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause accurately.

Given your dog’s age, there could be several reasons for his recent behavior. Some common issues include gastrointestinal problems, fatigue or lethargy, and anxiety. To help better understand your dog’s condition, let’s explore these possibilities in detail.

Gastrointestinal Issues: Diarrhea and Vomiting

First, consider if your dog is experiencing gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or vomiting. Both can cause discomfort, making it difficult for your dog to rest. Additionally, these symptoms can be indicative of a more severe health issue. To learn more about the reasons behind diarrhea in dogs, read “Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?“.

If your dog is also vomiting, it’s crucial to address the cause and provide proper care. Vomiting can be a sign of a serious condition or a reaction to something they ate. Find more information on how to handle vomiting in dogs, when to worry, and available treatments here: Vomiting in Dogs: Causes, Treatment & When to Worry.

Fatigue or Lethargy in Dogs

As dogs age, their energy levels naturally decrease, causing them to become more tired or lethargic. If your dog’s walking in circles seems to stem from a lack of energy or enthusiasm, it may be time to consult a veterinarian and discuss solutions to improve his quality of life. Learn more about the difference between tiredness and lethargy in puppies here: Is My Puppy Tired or Lethargic?. While this article discusses puppies, similar principles apply to older dogs as well.

Anxiety in Dogs

Lastly, anxiety could be the reason for your dog’s agitation and inability to rest. Anxiety can manifest in various ways, including panting, pacing, and other restless behaviors. If you suspect anxiety is affecting your dog, it’s essential to address the issue and find ways to alleviate his stress. Read “Dealing with Anxiety in Dogs” for information on identifying, understanding, and managing anxiety in your furry companion.

When to Contact Your Veterinarian

If your dog’s behavior continues for more than a couple of hours or if his abdomen appears to be different than usual, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian or an emergency vet clinic right away. They will be able to assess your dog’s condition, identify the underlying cause, and provide appropriate treatment to help your dog feel better.

In conclusion, it’s essential to monitor your dog’s behavior, observe any other symptoms, and consult a veterinarian whenever you’re worried about his health. By staying proactive, you can ensure that your Gordon Setter receives the proper care and treatment to live a happy, healthy life.

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