We took Roly - the OES in to see the Vet today, as he has been huffing and puffing a lot. John thinks he may have an enlarged heart (which is fatal over 6 - 24 months) - which is pretty close to his maximum probable lifespan. Anyway, we've got him on some medication, and we're watching him. He's 11 - a ripe old age for a very big dog (he's large for an OES) so eventually the bad time must come. At the moment he is still running about, his color is good, his lungs look good on x-ray. He's eating like a horse, and his temperature is normal. He's just panting a lot.
Anyway, we're starting with a diuretic and bronchiodilator... and, gospel according to Dave, a haircut. Vet says wearing a thick fur coat in torpid weather won't make him pant without a high temperature. I sweat copiously if I wear a fur coat in hot weather - without raising my temperature. If I DIDN'T sweat I would raise my temperature and die... dogs don't sweat, they pant to achieve the same, or at least as I always understood thermoregulation. Anyway, we do our best, give him his affection, his people and we'll see.