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. Nicole Your Own Question
Dr. Nicole
Dr. Nicole, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 160
Experience:  Veterinarian
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Nicole is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 9 year old Golden Retriever. Noticed she didn't

Customer Question

Hello, I have a 9 year old Golden Retriever.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the Golden Retriever?
Customer: Noticed she didn't feel good starting June 1st. She couldn't even walk at all for a couple of days. We gave her oxygen water and nursed her back to health. She never got completely better but was almost better when Gary took her -8/16/2017 - Took her to Affordable Pet Care in Cedar Park.They gave her 2 prescriptions1. NeoPolyBac Oinment for Eyes
2. Doxycycline300 MG - 20 - 1 tab X2 a day for 10 days.Stopped them because her stomach became huge and very hard. Since then we changed her food to Evolve and Soft refrigerated food. Also, Rachael Ray wet dog food. Just so she would eat. Prior to that it was Rachael Ray dry food. She didn't eat today.Her poop has been runny and orange.
Having a harder time breathing after she gets up and walks around.
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the Golden Retriever. What is the Golden Retriever's name?
Customer: Her stomach still hard but not as large as when she was given prescription.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the Golden Retriever?
Customer: Her pee is orange okay thank you!
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

I am so sorry to hear about your pet. I am going to try to help you through this situation.

The first thing that I will start with is that knowing that she is a 9 year old Golden Retriever and has been not well for a few months off and on, we have to start thinking of something that is more involved.

After 11 years of practice, I will say that dogs are very good at hiding illness until they are really not feeling well. The fact that something has been off for this period of time, I would be concerned.

More to follow...

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
she is the sweetest thing ever. The vet we took her to said she does not have cancer.
Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

Did they complete any blood work or x-rays while she was there?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It started with a cough. She was around 2 other dogs that were diagnosed with Kennel cough. She has not been coughing at all now. Only in the beginning a little.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Her name is Lucy.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
She was getting so much better before that medicine really messed her up.
Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

If blood work or x-rays were not completed it becomes very difficult to rule things out. I will say this breed is by far one of my favorites, but I have also learned that it something is not going right with them then you have to start really looking for significant disease. I am not saying that she has cancer, but I would be making sure that I really ruled things out. Blood work and x-rays are by far the best place to start with an older dog that is acting right.

You can gain a lot from a physical exam, but unfortunately, you can not feel everything and certainly can not determine how the organs are functioning.

In regards ***** ***** medication... just like people, pets can have adverse reactions to meds, however, once you stopped she should have been fine. That is a very mild and safe antibiotic used for kennel cough.

I would be more concerned that there is something else going on that is affecting her immune system and maybe she is just not able to handle things as best as she used to.

Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

Sorry meant to say.... best place to start with an older dog that is NOT acting right.

Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

Okay, I didn't address the orange stool and urine. The first thing that comes to mind is how is her liver functioning? What you look at her ears or the whites of her eyes or her gums, do they look yellowish at all?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Let me check.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Inside her ears look like pale white. My other golden it's more pinkish.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Her gums are pink.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
She has a green discharge in her eyes, I've been cleaning everyday with oxygen water. Her eyes are more bloodshot.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My other golden, that's healthy has whiter eyes in the back.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
When I compare Lucy's to my other Golden, Peter, hers are lighter in color. His are more vibrant.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Talking about her gums.
Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but with a distended abdomen, orange urine and orange stool, I would be checking her liver values and making she that she is not anemic.

Okay, glad that you are not seeing yellow or jaundice. Does not rule out a liver condition, but the paler skin and gums could be more significant. It is good that you have another pet to compare her to. It really helps. Again, I would be interested in what is going on internally.

Unfortunately, I know that all of my suggestions involve doing tests that cost money and I know that it can add up, but I feel that it is the only way you are going to get any answers. You have already given it time, especially since this started in June. It would be better to be sure that everything is normal, then to wait and have something happen.

Sounds like she still might have a mild eye infection. This could be due to what is going on with her overall systemically or could be residual from her exposure to the other dogs or allergies.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is there something I can give her if she is anemic?
Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

I wish I had an easy fix for you, but unfortunately with what you are describing and her age, she just needs a little more testing. You know her better than anyone and you know that something is just not right with her.

As far as anemia, there are so many reasons why a dog will become anemic. It is not as simple as an iron deficiency anemia that we see in people. In pets it is usually related to some other underlying disease and unless you figure out what that disease it, you don't know how to treat it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hmm, I wonder if there is something else I can do for her at home? Like vitamins or something? With my 2 other goldens when we took them to the vet, they both died shortly thereafter. This is very heartbreaking to see her like this.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
That was 9 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

I am sorry to hear that. Other than basic nursing care i.e ensure that she is eating and drinking well, providing food that is easily digestible, etc, there is not any medication that you could give that is going to change anything if we don't have a diagnosis. If she is having soft stool you can always increase her fiber with original metamucil 1 tbsp twice daily. If she is on a complete and balanced diet, she shouldn't need a multivitamin as the food is already well balanced.

I hope that this information has helped to give you some direction. Just like with human diseases, pet diseases can be complicated. I really hope that there is nothing going on, but sometimes we have to use the tests that we have just to make sure that everything is okay.

Please let me know if there is anything else that I can clarify. If I have helped in any way, a 5 star rating is always appreciated as it is how we as experts are recognized and compensated.

This conversation with remain open for approximately a week even after the rating if you have further questions. I am here to help, so don't hesitate to contact me.

Again, I am sorry that there is not a much easier solution. Always tough over the internet but I feel that this at least gives you some directed.

Take care,


Dr Nicole

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Okay, I'll keep you posted on her progress. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Nicole replied 1 month ago.

Okay. I would appreciate that. Thanks.