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Rosie_MRCVS, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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Our 13 year old Golden Retriever has stopped eating his

Customer Question

Our 13 year old Golden Retriever has stopped eating his dry food (he will eat canned food) seems to have laryngitis and has started drooling when we walk him. Any ideas what may be going on?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Hi I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you. I have a couple of questions, if that's ok.
- how is his breath?
- does he try to eat the dried food and not manage it, or just refusing/not interested?
- any vomiting?
- why do you think he has laryngitis?
- does he drool any other times?
- is he eating as much as you would expect him to?
You can get back to me by hitting 'reply'. Thank you - the extra information will really help. Rosie.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have to say that his breath is pretty nasty, but it has been that way for almost 6 mos. He just doesn't seem interested in the dry food, although he "wolfs down" the canned food and there has been no vomiting. At first we thought the laryngitis was due to excessive barking. The drooling pretty much seems to be limited to when we go on walks, although he does seem to tire a little easier.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Rosie, are you still there?
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. Sorry for the delay in replying - I am answering several questions at once and everybody replied at the same time!! I'm happy to hear that there isn't any vomiting - always a good sign. I have to say that the combination of bad breath, drooling and reluctance to eat dried food is pointing in the direction of a dental problem. If he will let you I would take a good look in his mouth. If his teeth have plaque on them and especially if his gums look red then this means that he has a sore mouth. Dental problems can really make them feel ill in themselves because of tooth ache and the infection getting into the blood stream. It should be fairly easy for you to check. They are also a common cause of drooling.
That is the most common cause of the symptoms you describe. However there are a couple of other things that I would be concerned about. One of them is his kidney function. When the kidneys aren't doing as good a job as they should be this causes a build up of urea and creatinine in the blood. These are toxins, and it is the kidneys job to kick them out of the body and into the urine. When they aren't they build up in the blood. This makes the patient feel ill and can really alter what they want to eat. The toxins can also cause a funny smell on the mouth and cause gum inflammation. It would need a blood test to diagnose, and is treatable (but not curable - you are aiming for a control of the situation).
The other thing that I would want to rule out is something else going on in his mouth. Sometimes I have patients with the same symptoms who have a growth of some description in their mouths. Some of these are benign (friendly) and some aren't. They can hide under the tongue so aren't immediately visible unless you are specifically looking for them. If he has one then I would want to biopsy it, find out what it is, and remove it if possible. Long-term prognosis depends (if there is something there) exactly what it is, and you need to send a sample to the lab for that.
Given the above I think it would be a good idea to get him checked out by your vets. I wouldn't go rushing to an ER vets or anything, but I would make him a routine appointment to be checked out. I'm sorry that I think a vet visit is necessary, but in this case I really thing it is.
I hope I've helped - if you have any questions from this then just hit 'reply' and I will get them and get back to you. Otherwise please leave a positive rating.
Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Hi Rita,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Chase. How is everything going?