My 12 year old Golden Retriever has suffered two bouts of bladder stones, July, 2002 and February 2003. Over the past six months she has gradually lost the dark pigment around her mouth. She has since this last bout had a reddening of her tongue/gums/lips, as though all the blood has rushed to that area, this accompanied with heavy panting but only at the end of the day. She is senile and also has lapses of wetting in the house, which I guess goes with age and the Bladder stones problem. Could she be suffering high blood pressure? She sleeps alot, but that's nothing new, she is stiff in her joints, but I guess that comes with age too! I look forward to you perhaps shedding some light on the situation. Many thanks



Dear Sheena,
From the sounds of it you dog is having many problems that can be age-related and could be helped. If she is currently on no medication then it would be interesting to see how active and aware she would become with treatment for her senility or stiffness or both. High blood pressure is a problem in some dogs but not as much as with cats or people. The blood pressure can be monitored by many vets using a measuring device that shouldgive fairly accurate readings.

The reddening of tongue and panting could be related to senility with panic attacks and you may find that this would resolve with treatment of the senility. Vivitonin or Hills B/d would be agood starting place for senility treatment. The bladder stones would need to be watched that they do not recur and the use of water that has a lower mineral content could help as the incidence of bladder stones seems to have a wide regional variation.

I would look into one area of treatment at a time rather than trying on treating stiffness and senility at once more to see how the dog responded and then you can use things on a long term basis if they seem to respond well. If the dog responds well to treating 1 area then treating a second can help.

Paul Wilson