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sick golden

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 07:54 AM

I have a 10 year old golden retreiver who is not well. I noticed it first when she couldn't pick up her tennis ball. We have been to the vet twice, and on antibiotics twice but it still seems like she can't open her mouth. She was very lethargic at first (we weren't sure if it was from the sudden heat we had or from being sick) but that part has gotten better. It is just her mouth that doesn't seem to open that is left. Our vet thought it might be Kennel Cough, but she didn't cough until you rubber her neck or she pulled hard on her collar. She is still eating, but it is a bit of an effort for her. She stands over her bowl awhile before she actually starts eating. She is also making a huge puddle around her water bowl when she drinks. I have just raised her bowls but it didn't seem to help her. I just wondered if anyone had ever had an experience like this or had heard of this before. Thanks:)

July 1st, 2005, 08:04 AM
could she possibly have a bad tooth? Any tooth decay could give her a sore mouth, making her not want to eat knowing it will hurt.

July 1st, 2005, 08:05 AM
There's some EXCELLANT golden and retriever owners/ resues members here that are usually on here early, I'm sure they'll have advise for you. A couple of questions maybe you could answer that might help them, have your vet checked her teeth and gums? What about xrays of her jaws? Any lumps, or is she salvatating alot? If your vet can't find the problem, you may want to take her to a different one.

Sorry I couldn't be more help, but someone else may be able to. It might be helpful if you could answer the above. :grouphug:

Good luck :grouphug:

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 08:07 AM
Hi Melinda,

That was one of the first things the vet checked her for. There was no sign of a tooth problem. It has become more obvious as time has gone on (between 3 and 4 weeks now) that it is something to do with opening her mouth. I watched her try and yawn this morning and her mouth only opens a couple of inches.

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 08:12 AM
Hi Shannon,

Thanks for your support. She is not salvatating too much. I noticed a bit of drool when she got up this morning, but not a lot. She is more just very sloppy when she drinks and eats--which she wasn't before all of this. There were no lumps found when she was checked. They haven't done any X rays or other tests. We are in a small town and I am not sure how available things are. I know way back when I had a sick cat his blood tests were done at our local hospital!

July 1st, 2005, 08:22 AM
this sounds very familliar to me, my bf grand mother had a golden that had the same type of symptoms. how long has this been going on for?
does the dog yelp if you try and open/close its mouth?
does it seem that the muscles on around its head have shrunken?

I'll give her a call and find out the other symptoms hers had...

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 08:43 AM
Hi Angie79,

I have not tried to force open her mouth, but when the vet tried to the last time she definately pulled back. Abby is very docile and will let you do anything to her--she is very trusting. Yes! her head does seem to have shrunk! We even asked about it at the last appointment with the vet. She has a high bone on the top of her head and it seemed more noticable. Even friends had commented on it. The vet said it was common with old age--there is not as much muscle around the bone so it stands out more. Abby is a quiet dog and did not bark until we had our twins--we joked that she must of felt she had to make some noise to get attention! She still was not much of a barker after that--Once to let her in and that is about it. She has not even barked once since all of this has been going on. When I look at her one side of her mouth seems a little different (the lips on the outside).
Thanks for you response.

July 1st, 2005, 08:45 AM
the only disease/illness that i know associated with the mouth is lock jaw from getting tetanus...but i don't know if dogs can get that.

July 1st, 2005, 08:47 AM
Best pet......

This does sound the same as bailey, who i didn't mention was 10 as well. where are you located? has the vet recomened geting an MRI.

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 09:00 AM
Hi Angi,

All I could do was laugh when I saw your reply...our ladies auxhilary is still fundraising for an MRI for our hospital for humans! There are no MRI's available for animals around here. I'm not sure if there is even one in our province. The closest may be in PEI.

What happened to Bailey???

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 09:01 AM
Angie, not sure if my last comment went through. What happened to Bailey?

July 1st, 2005, 09:04 AM
oh I'm sorry to hear about that, I gues if they don't have one for humans they won't for animals....

I guess I should tell you why I ask that, the golden I told you about the vet was stumped as well and it seems like the symptons are simular and finnally he sent bailey for an MRI and thats where they found it was cancer that was causing the problems, muscle deteriantion and pain in the jaw...

I wonder if there is a ways that your vet can test for cancer without an MRI

if it just started the earlier you find out the better the chances

July 1st, 2005, 09:06 AM
:grouphug: :grouphug:

I hope that wasn't to blunt

:grouphug: i just reread it :grouphug: :pawprint:

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 09:09 AM

That is is good information to have. Thanks

July 1st, 2005, 09:12 AM
I'll ask her the other symptoms that he had

Hopefully its not cancer

July 1st, 2005, 09:42 AM
we had a dog, many many years ago, a shephard, and I remember her having jaw trouble, opening wide to pick up her ball was painful, turned out she had chewed a bone and gotten a sliver in the back teeth near the gum line and it has impacted, the vet opened it and gave her antibiotics and she was ok after a couple weeks.

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 09:43 AM
Thanks Angie, I'll keep checking back and I will ask our vet if they can look into the possiblilty of cancer. Some of her siblings have died of cancer so it could very well be likely.

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 09:49 AM
Melinda, We have had her mouth check out with no signs of infection there...she has had two rounds of antibiotic ( we are still on the second round). If things do not improve I will go back to the vet and have things looked at again. She seems perkier than she has been, but the weather is cooled so I am not sure if it was heat that dragged her down, or not feeling well along with her mouth problem. We are giving her bufferin for pain (as directed by our vet)...she does not seem to be in pain--but she is so docile she is hard to read. She doesn't make a lot of noise and she will let you do anything to her. She pulled away from the vet when she tried to open her mouth and that is the only sign of pain she has shown.

July 1st, 2005, 11:25 AM
Just to touch back on the Kennel Cough thing for a second.. My puppy just got diagnosed with Kennel Cough and our vet told us that most often the cough isn't apparent unless you massage the larynx or sometimes after heavy exercise as well. (Obviously in more extreme cases they will cough almost constantly as well as hack up some white foam at the end of the cough...) Our puppy has coughed probably four times over the last couple of days... Although the first day of this he didn't cough at all but was VERY lethargic. He is not on an antibiotic at this point because the vet said very often the infections are viral but should run their course if we can keep him eating, drinking, and healthy otherwise.

Oh and we asked about the water all over our kitchen too... he pushes the water bowl everywhere and then lets the water drip from his mouth (he's getting better now so this isn't so bad) and the vet explained that with swollen glands and sore throat.. it's very much like when you have a really bad sore throat and it hurts to move your tongue... And it certainly hurts to swallow!

Anyway -- definitely look into some of the more serious concerns mentioned here (we're going to as well after reading this if he doesn't continue to improve) but I just wanted to let you know that we were very recently told that such symptoms are consistent with KC. :)

July 1st, 2005, 11:34 AM
If your dog isn't behaving the same as it usually does, you know something is wrong.

Myself, I would thoroughly look through and examine the teeth, gums and tongue areas.

Could be a bad tooth or maybe a splinter of something causing an infection and pain.

I do hope you get to the bottom of this, very best of luck. AND if your vet is stumped go to another :D

best pet
July 1st, 2005, 12:14 PM

Pags, it sounds like your vet and ours have the same line of thinking. That is exactly what our vet said...thus the bufferin to help with the sore throat. She is eating and drinking, just slow to attempt and it all makes sense with a sore throat. I certainly hope that it is as simple as KC. It is a holiday right now so I won't be speaking to a vet again until Monday but I will be keeping an eye on her in the mean time! There are other vets at the clinic and maybe if she continues to not be able to open her mouth, another vet there could take a look at her too.

Thanks for your support.

July 1st, 2005, 12:30 PM
I know whatcha mean, best... I'm hoping for just kennel cough too. The holiday weekends are really stressful when you have a sick dog. Blah! We're also dealing with another illness this weekend as this was a shelter puppy and he did his best to pick up every bad germ and bug he could find there. :)

Your dog being 10 yrs and mine being 10 wks .. My guess is that pups that are a little younger than yours and a little older than mine probably get over this thing faster...

One little tip you can try over the long weekend... I give the puppy a tablespoon or so of warm chicken broth before I offer his food to help sooth his throat. And I also mix some into his kibble to soften it before he eats. Oh and the vet told me to make sure his water isn't too cold because that can also aggravate the trachea.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you... :fingerscr

July 1st, 2005, 03:44 PM
I found this link on kennel cough (i decided to educate myself)
pags in your case it does explain your guys nasal discharge

I found this informative but best pet it doesn't sound like abby.
it does say that heat could reduce appitite but appitite should be normal,
try what they say about washing and air exchange and less humidity that can't hurt..

this link says it sould resolve its self in 1 to 2 weeks