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Ask the Veterinarian/growling issues


I have a beagle (he turned seven in february) that has recently started growling issues. It started about two-three weeks ago. He seems to start out with a wince/whine then it turns to a low growl. I have poked and proded at him but he makes no noise. It will last for a few minutes then he will be fine for hours. It does seem to get a little worse at night sometimes. He wakes us up at night with his growling. We try to comfort him, hold him tight, cover him doesn't always work. He also trembles when he growls. He will also "stare into space" or when he walks he looks like he is looking at the ceiling.  It even seems like he is seeing/hearing something we can't. If you have any suggestions as to what may be troubling our dog it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

It sounds as if your dog is experiencing some cognitive decline. That means that he is starting to age mentally due to brain chemistry or lack thereof. While 7 isn't old it is senior age for a beagle.

I would get him in to see your vet and have them do some blood work on him. It could be that he is lacking in some essential nutrients.

Since we are all what we eat, if he has been on a sub-standard diet, ie: eating things like Old Roy, Purina, Nutro or any other grocery store type food, he could very well be under-nourished even if he doesn't look like he is.

Get some blood run on him, get a heartworm test done on him, and have the vet check his eyes too. Sometimes as dogs age they get cataracts etc which make it hard for him to see, and then they can get grumpy.

Shaking and growling can also be signs of pain in dogs, so have the vet give him a good hands-on exam as well.

There are things to treat cognitive disorder function with. Choline and Inisotol are one combo (Cholodin is the brand name) and they are a chewable tablet.

There are also newer drugs on the market for dogs that have the ability to help a dog "get back" their personality and become less withdrawn and upset.

In any case, it all starts with an exam and blood work.

I hope that he gets past this quickly. Please let me know how he does.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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