Is It Normal For My Dog To Pant While Nursing?


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Jessica Smith answered
Panting can be normal during nursing.  Lactation releases oxytocin, a hormone which causes the recently pregnant uterus to contract.  This can cause panting.  
While it is not unusual, excessive panting may be cause for concern.  Panting in a lactating mother can be the first sign of Milk Fever.  Milk Fever is seen about 2-3 weeks following birth, when lactation is at a peak.  It is caused by too much loss of calcium from the mother’s body into the milk.  It is seen more commonly in small breeds.  Signs include panting, fever, restlessness, twitching, muscle spasms, stiffness, aggression, whining, pacing, seizure and eventually coma and death.  If you see any of these signs, this is an emergency and your dog will need immediate veterinary attention.

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