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HomeDear VetBabbleWhat Causes Panting, Racing Heartbeat & Restlessness in a 4-Year-Old Parson Terrier?

What Causes Panting, Racing Heartbeat & Restlessness in a 4-Year-Old Parson Terrier?


Dear VetBabble

What can cause my 4-year-old Parson Terrier to experience panting fits, racing heartbeat, and restlessness for up to an hour?

As a loving pet owner, it’s natural to be concerned when our beloved canine companions exhibit unusual or distressing behavior. In this case, your Parson Terrier’s panting fits, racing heartbeat, and restlessness could have a variety of causes. To best address your pet’s specific needs, I recommend scheduling a visit with your trusted veterinarian for a thorough examination and any necessary diagnostic tests. In the meantime, let’s discuss some potential reasons for these symptoms and what you can do to help your furry friend.

Possible Causes of Panting Fits and Restlessness in Dogs

There are several possible reasons why a dog might experience panting fits, a racing heartbeat, and restlessness. By knowing these common causes, you’ll be better prepared to care for your pet and provide a detailed report to your veterinarian during your visit. A few typical culprits could be heart issues, missed heartworm medication, or even seizures.

Heart Issues

One possibility is that your Parson Terrier may be experiencing heart failure or another heart-related condition. If this is the case, the panting fits and racing heartbeat may indicate that your dog is struggling to get the necessary oxygen to their organs and muscles. Your veterinarian may perform tests like chest x-rays, blood work, or an echocardiogram to determine if heart issues are the cause of your dog’s distress.

Missed Heartworm Medication

Another potential cause is missing a dose of heartworm prevention medication. A dog who has contracted heartworms may display symptoms similar to those described, such as panting, racing heartbeat, and restlessness. If you are concerned about your dog’s heartworm prevention, consult your veterinarian to discuss how to get them back on track with their heartworm medication regimen.


If your dog’s symptoms are severe and happen in episodes, they could be experiencing seizures. During a seizure, a dog will often pant, drool, and have an increased heart rate. After a seizure, they may pace and appear restless. Your veterinarian will need to perform tests, such as blood work and possibly an MRI or CT scan, to uncover the cause of the seizures and recommend appropriate treatment.

How to Protect your Dog from Parasites

As you address your dog’s current symptoms with your veterinarian, it’s essential to make sure your pet is protected from external and internal parasites that can cause harm. Ensuring your pet is kept up-to-date on their flea, tick, and worm prevention will help keep them healthy and comfortable throughout their lives.

In summary, the first step to understanding what is causing your dog’s panting fits, racing heartbeat, and restlessness is scheduling a visit with your veterinarian. They will perform a thorough examination and run appropriate tests based on the symptoms presented. Remember that preventative care is essential in maintaining your dog’s overall health, and staying consistent with heartworm, flea, and tick protection will go a long way in ensuring your pet’s well-being.

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