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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28439
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Her tail is limp and she makes these deep guttural sounds

Customer Question

Her tail is limp and she makes these deep guttural sounds like she is going to throw up but then doesn't
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: np
JA: What else should I tell the Veterinarian?
Customer: sorry, she is a 10 year old chocolate lab. She had mange as a puppy, high anxiety. Within past year had acl surgery. During the healing process it was discovered she had cancer in the ankle joint. Her rear leg was amputated.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. While this is necessarily conjecture, when I hear of deep guttural sounds in an elderly Lab I think of esophageal dysfunction such as is seen with megaesophagus (ballooning out of the normally rigid esophagus) which can be part of a more general neuromuscular disorder called GOLPP - geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy. Her history of cancer, however, must alert us to the possibilty of metastasis to her chest/throat resulting in such sounds. Her vet will want to perform a thorough physical exam including direct visualization of your Lab's oropharynx (back of her throat) and X-rays of her thorax (chest).

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What about the limp tail? Is that potentially part of this disorder?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Is her tail actually paralyzed or do you see purposeful motion of it?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No motion and it doesn't move when urinating or the other.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. Considering her past history of cancer, a tumor of the spine/spinal canal/spinal cord would be my primary concern. There are quite a few other possible causes of tail paralysis - spinal/coccygeal fracture, spinal malformations, nerve root avulsion, disk herniation, fibrocartilaginous embolism (an interruption of the vascular supply to the spinal cord), and degenerative lumbosacral stenosis but only stenosis in that list makes sense but that would be a long time coming.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin

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