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Discussion Starter #1
My dog has begun to have a weak bark as of a few months ago as if she is hoarse. She used to have such a powerful, intimidating bark (if you didn't know her). She also makes this kind of horf noise every now and then...almost like she's coughing up a furrball.

We cannot figure out what is going on with her. She saw the vet very soon after it started for another reason, but I just assumed she was hoarse and didn't mention it. She did receive x-rays from the neck down and the vet didn't notice anything.

Background: She's a 4-year old great dane who has been extremely healthy and active until a year ago. After we had twins, she began to lose weight and not be so active. We assumed it was a depression over the new babies. The vet visit when the x-rays were taken showed severe arthritis which explains the lack of activity, but not the weight loss.
 

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Sassy knuckles under on the rear and has a weak and hoarse cough. Without further testing vet is calling it DM. If it is Degenerative Myelopathy then it is vey slow moving in her case as she has done both for at least 5 years. There is a test to determine if it is the problem I think. I also think there are probably a lot of other conditions that can cause a hoarse bark and weak rear end. A quick look at Consultant came up with 33 possible scenarios.http://www.vet.cornell.edu/consultant/Consult.asp?Fun=Home
 

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I don't think Mali has DM, from what I have read. She doesn't seem to have the symptoms she should have with DM. I believe she has arthritis. She doesn't cough, but will occasionally horf...but it's not a cough, and her cough is definitely not hoarse. Her bark is hoarse. I don't know if these symptoms are related or what.

-arthritis
-hoarse, weak bark
-occasional horf noise
 

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Good, glad you are sure it isn't that. Why the vet thinks Sassy has it I am not sure, seems to me it would be moving faster than it has. Seems strange that a voice change and a weak rear end could be related. And she isn't a GSD. I really think her hoarse bark is more from lack of over all strength due to age and she never was a noisy dog to begin with.

Weight loss could be due to muscle loss because of the arthritis.

Agree with RedyreRottweilers, your dog needs a really through physical.
 

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From this limited info I would suspect a cardiac issue. Dilated Cardiomyopathy is not uncommon in Danes, and this leads to Congestive Heart failure syptoms, including that "harfing" noise, weight loss, etc.

Please see your vet and ask for a chest film, and/or a doppler on the heart if you can get that done.

Good luck. Don't wait.
 
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