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Discussion Starter #1
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My dog is an almost 13 year old golden retriever. He's had a liver cancer diagnosis since February 2016; I don't know how far along it was then.

What I'm curious about specifically is that he's been whimpering and giving short, high-pitched barks often lately. I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure it's always for the same reason.

We have pain meds we're supposed to give him, and sometimes he whimpers and barks while the pain medication should be in effect, so I think either it isn't the pain or his pain is so bad it's not responding to pain medication. If his pain was that bad, though, I'd think he'd demonstrate other symptoms.

He often has difficulty getting up, but once he's up he seems to walk consistently, but slowly. He's slowed down a lot in the past few years, but I'm thinking that's more his getting older.
 

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You need your Vet to assess how much pain he is in, as its very difficult to tell since they by instinct mask pain. If he is complaining, I would guess the pain is significant, but again you need your Vet to assess and come up with a treatment plan to keep him comfortable.
 

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Vet - Ur local GP, or his GP plus vet-consult



adult dogs, as @Laco said, are very stoic - Pups cry at any pain, no matter how small, but adults tend to be silent despite considerable pain.
That said, we don't know that pain is the trigger for his sharp barks & whimpers - it could be frustration at his inability to do X, or even a warning to someone to stop doing Y, or a reaction to an event he can't see, but can hear.

Dogs can hear both ultra- & infra-sonic frequencies, meaning high-pitched high-frequency [e-g, bat radar] & deep low-frequency [e-g, elephant rumbles]. So sounds that are utterly silent / imperceptible to us, are very easily heard by dogs. Compressors on refrigerators make sounds that bother dogs, but i can't hear them - i only see the dog's reaction. // Perhaps something is happening, not necessarily "at home' but nearby / in the area, & he's reacting to it.

I'd second a vet-visit specifically to try to determine his current pain levels AND to hopefully determine how effective the current Rx & dose, actually is - which means trying to show the vet how the dog feels at the tail-end of a dose, & before administering another, then waiting 20-mins to 45-mins to see the full effect of the latest dose.
Some vets will arrange to make in-home visits, & as we don't know how bad he's feeling, in this particular instance, i'd ask my vet if that's an option - getting him in the car & rolling along local roads could greatly exacerbate any pain he feels.

If there's a nearby teaching hospital affiliated with a veterinary program at a university, that might also be a very valuable resource - they might be willing to assess him remotely, with Ur vet as the hands-on partner & watching him "live" or pre-recorded.

I really hope U can get a solid idea of how he's coping & whether or not his pain-Rx is working, or if he needs a higher dose / different drug(s). :(

- terry

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. We've been to the vet and they told us what to look out for with pain--panting and restlessness, I think, and I also think whining, but that's what seems tricky to me: he's not panting or restless like he was a week or two ago. He just whines and barks a lot at seemingly random intervals. In theory, it could be a sound, but it would be a weird coincidence being that he's never done it before. I guess I dunno.
 
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