My 15 year old dog over the last year has developed a habit where he starts panting at night after lights off. I thought it might be pain, but his eating and behavior is normal and he doesn’t pant at any other time. My boyfriend thought it might be heat, but my apartment is air conditioned, and nighttime is when it stays the coolest, especially my bedroom which is where he sleeps.
The other night I came up with a hypothesis: a few months ago he was diagnosed with a degenerative condition of the eyes (long name which escapes me) that will eventually make him blind. Right now I’m putting sodium chloride drops in his eyes in the morning and at night which is supposed to keep this condition at bay. I know the drops sting, but he doesn’t pant in the morning after I put them in, only at night.
I think he’s becoming anxious because he can’t see that well after the lights go off.
I’ve noticed over the last few months that he avoids areas outside at night that aren’t well it, and a few times recently he was scared shitless by and growled at my shadow which was cast by a street light after dark.
Two nights ago I put a night light in the corner by his bed, but I don’t know if or how much this will help his fear. He’s still been panting.
What do you think?