Voice Change In Dogs: Kenzo’s Story. What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog?

Do you think that the change in your dog’s voice is a concern? What would you make of it if your dog’s bark became hoarser?

Voice Change In Dogs: Kenzo's Story. What Would You Do if It Was Your Dog?

Kenzo’s story

Kenzo was an adult Hovawart, entering his senior years. He’s been always a vibrant, healthy and a happy dog—the king of his kingdom.

The first signs of a potential problem were subtle.

The first symptoms

Kenzo didn’t exhibit any symptoms that would make you rush to a veterinarian. Often, gradual, subtle changes in behavior and routine are easily missed.

The first sign Kenzo’s dad noticed that Kenzo started allowing his housemate to bully him. Kenzo’s female companion was young and exuberant, always testing boundaries. In the past, Kenzo was the keeper of rules and would put her in her place if she crossed a line.

Suddenly, however, she was able to get away with murder.

Veterinary visit

Kenzo’s dad decided to see a veterinarian.

Kenzo received a thorough physical exam and the vet ran all routine lab tests. However, everything checked out and Kenzo’s lab results were normal. The only finding was mild arthritis in Kenzo’s front left leg. The veterinarian dispensed pain medications.

Treatment results

After a few days on his pain medication, Kenzo seemed to have bounced right back. He quickly explained to his rambunctious housemate that order has been restored.

Arthritis seemed to be Kenzo’s only problem. Kenzo started long-term arthritis management, including supplements and acupuncture.

And that’s where the story could have ended. But it has not.

Kenzo’s voice changes

While it originally got lost in the overall picture, Kenzo’s voice had been changing. His bark sounded hoarser. Because his heart and lungs checked out, this subtle sign got forgotten.

However, with his arthritis pain taken care off, it became apparent that not only Kenzo’s bark sounded differently but his breathing wasn’t quite right either.

It was Kenzo’s overall improvement and attempt to return to his normal routines that brought this problem to the forefront.

Can you think of what could cause Kenzo’s voice change? What would you do if it was your dog?

Read Kenzo’s story.

Related articles:
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Further reading:
Bark Change in Dogs

Categories: Changes in behaviorConditionsDog health advocacyReal-life StoriesSymptomsVoice change

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

10 Comments
  1. I’m glad that some pain medication was able to help Kenzo. I can see how a chronic pain like that could be really taxing to the dog over time. My chronic pain makes me behave and sound differently sometimes too.

  2. I have not heard of a dog (or any pet) showing GOPP as a sign for arthritis – this is so interesting! So glad that things turned out and the arthritis is being addressed. I’ll have to read up on this a bit more – thanks for writing about it!

  3. Lora Patterson

    I’m not sure that I would be too concerned if my dog’s voice became a little hoarser, I would probably just attribute that to old age.

  4. Marjorie Dawson

    I would be spending plenty of time at the vet if this was my dog. What was the problem isn’t so there is a new problem for the vet to solve! It sems the voice tells us a lot more than we realise at first. Wow!

    With our cats we have the difficulty that some of them don’t meow at all 😉

  5. When my dog came down with coonhound paralysis (now called acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis), changes to her voice was the first sign. Her bark was softer (and less irritating) and hoarser. Within 12 hours my dog was completely paralyzed. Fortunately, the paralysis only lasted a week. I’m glad Kenzo doesn’t have that disease, although in the long run (however long that is) it sounds like the prognosis is not good. Thanks for the information.

  6. Wow. I’ve never heard of Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis Polyneuropathy in any animal however I did experience random loss of voice with my cat Dusty. I called her for dinner and when she came to me, she tried to meow like always, but nothing came out. I freaked out but after about 5-10 minutes her voice came back. Totally random and weird. I had not idea what caused it but it never happened again. I hope Kenzo is able to get treatment for this condition.

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