How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Andy Your Own Question
Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29956
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Andy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My golden retriever is losing weight, black stools, no appetite,

This answer was rated:

My golden retriever is losing weight, black stools, no appetite, labored breathing, and her hind legs are very weak and she has trouble walking because of the weakness. Up until now, my vet has said she has back trouble and that is the cause of the weakness in her hind legs. But now he feels there is something going on in addition to the back. He did an ekg yesterday, but it was inconclusive. Any suggestions?
Sorry about the delay in responding.
It appears most of the experts did not want to answer your question because it is difficult.

First, very concerned about the black stools. This suggests there is bleeding occurring somewhere in the digestive tract (specifically, anywhere from the esophagus, stomach or first part of the intestine). If it were red blood, then the bleeding is in the colon.

You need to immediately inform your vet, as they may strongly recommend stopping the Metacam due to the bleeding issue.

Torbutrol, I am assuming is being given for pain.
If so, not very effective. I would instead talk to your vet about Tramadol or Gabapentin.

Labored breathing, if currently, warrants immediate veterinary assistance! No delay
It is likely suggestive of pain (either abdominal, orthopedic, or elsewhere) and/or nausea.

Not sure about the EKG. I am assuming that was only done because he heard a heart arrhythmia. If not, can't explain that.

I truly feel an immediate blood test and x-rays of the chest and abdomen need to be performed immediately. In addition, a abdominal ultrasound may also be necessary to get some good detail as to what is going on inside that abdomen and with the intestinal tract.

Good Luck with Honey.
I truly hope some better supportive care can be given, but you need those tests to figure out what to try.

Dr. Andy


I greatly appreciate when you click “ACCEPT” if you have found the advice helpful or informative, so I may receive credit for the answer. Receiving feedback and bonuses is happily welcomed.
The answer provided is for information only. Unfortunately, I cannot legally prescribe medications or offer a definitive diagnosis without performing a physical examination. If you have any concerns please contact your primary veterinarian, or contact an ER facility if this is an emergency. REMEMBER: Even after you click "ACCEPT" and your question closes, you can still review our discussion.
Dr. Andy and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I went back to my vet and asked for more testing. The outcome was kidney failure. My dilemma now is do I try various remedys or do I accept the inevitable. He gave me 2 - 6 months. Her urine and blood test showed 50% failure. Can any treatment stablize her for longer term? She is still on torbutol but I can change to tramadol. Nighttime is when she is most restless and has a hard time sleeping.
Not exactly sure what 50% means. Kidney failure does't really work that way.
So, I am more inclined, hopefully, to think it is kidney disease at this point and not failure.

Therefore, dietary modification including restricted protein intake, phosphorous binders (if even needed), can help those kidney values.

Stabilize long term? Not sure

It may be well worth getting a consultation with a internist for a second opinion on treatment alternatives.

Dr. Andy