Does Your Golden Retriever Drool?

Generally speaking, golden retrievers are very food motivated dogs, and as a result, sometimes are overweight.  They eat ravenously and have a bottomless pit for a stomach.

Tucker likes to watch us eat, but when we eat certain foods, (usually bacon or pizza) he will often drool.  Lots.

Drooling while humans eat is one thing, but keep in mind that excessive drooling can be caused by a number of other reasons.  For example, drooling in the car is usually a sign of nervousness.

Sudden, unexplained drooling could mean an injury to the mouth or irritation of the gums or even a symptom of poisoning.  Consult your veterinarian ASAP if this happens.

Dog Drooling and Salivary Gland Problems – WebMD

Time for another poll:

Here’s a video from Mary Livingston of the blog Sneaking Bliss, one of her house guests is very eager for dinner

This is available at (click on the image for more info)


Why is My Golden Retrievers’ Nose Turning Brown?

Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever (Photo credit: rkleine)

There are actually a few reasons this may be happening. Some say the brown nose is called a “snow nose” and it is caused by the cold weather. My previous golden, Logan, never had a brown nose. We live in Ontario Canada and the winters are fairly cold.  I have seen pictures of goldens in warm climates with brown noses too,  so I realized this isn’t the only reason for a dogs’ nose to change color.

I began an investigation…

An article in WebMD states:

Snow nose is a separate but common condition in which dark pigment on the nose
fades during the winter months and darkens again in spring and summer. Complete
depigmentation does not occur. Snow nose is seen in Siberian Huskies, Golden
, Labrador Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and other breeds

Another informative article  “What is Snow Nose” by Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM suggests that some noses just lighten as the dog ages:

“The cause is not completely understood. Snow nose is more common in
light and white-coated breeds. This condition by itself isn’t a health
problem, but caution is advised in sunny weather, as the depigmented
area is at increased risk for sunburn. Some vets advise testing the
thyroid levels to make sure that there isn’t an underlying thyroid

Some dogs pigment in the nose just fades over time as they age.”

There is also a possibility it could be caused by using plastic food and water bowls.

Loss of pigment in a dog’s nose can be caused by eating and/or drinking
from plastic or rubber bowls that contain the chemical
p-benzylhydroquinone. This chemical is absorbed through the skin and
stops the formation of melanin. Many vets recommend using stainless
, glass or ceramic bowls instead of plastic to eliminate the

possibility of Plastic Dish Nasal Dermatitis.”  

                                                                          – Dog Health Doc “Color of Dog Noses”

I hope you found this information helpful.  I know we love our goldens no matter what color their noses are.

PLEASE do NOT try and alter the color your dogs nose with shoe polish or magic marker! (yes, I have read about this too!!)

Time for a poll!


Pigmentation Problems of the Nose in Dogs – WebMD

What is Snow Nose –

Color of Dog Noses –

“Vet Guru” and Medical Marijuana Veterinarian Dr. Doug Kramer Dead at 36

According to, Dr. Doug Kramer, aka “The Vet Guru” of Chatsworth, CA passed away on Thursday Aug 22, 2013.  He was only 36 years old.  So far I haven’t been able to find any information on the cause of death.  His obituary doesn’t specify, but does request donations be made to a cancer organization.drdoug

Dr. Kramer was a pioneer in medical marijuana for pets suffering from pain and/or cancer.  He has been featured on pet friendly sites like Dogster and Paw Nation. I’m sure he endured a lot of criticism for his efforts.  Personally speaking, I think it is a terrible loss, and hope that others take up the cause and continue to pioneer the research into this controversial “wonder herb” as it pertains to animals.

I did a blog post on Dr Kramer “Would You Use Medical Marijuana For Your Golden Retriever?” back in April of this year, including a poll.  93% of the voters (at the time of this post) say they would consider using it if their pet were suffering.  While you are here, why don’t you vote..

Dr. Doug’s last tweet was on August 16.

Dr Kramer also promoted holistic pet strips.  Here is a video (with a very unfortunate theme song, I might add…sorry!  You’ve been warned..!)

Thanks for your efforts, Dr. Kramer.

Reader Question: Spaying an Older Female Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever at 12 years old with hip pr...
A Golden Retriever at 12 years old with hip problems (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A reader commented on my post On Cancer and Spaying or Neutering Your Golden Retriever and I thought he raised a few good questions.  Was wondering if anyone had any advice for him.  I have only owned male goldens, so I can’t offer any personal advice.

I am currently fostering a 7 yr old golden who supposedly was a breeder dog. In order to go ahead and adopt her. ( She had some health issues we were fostering her for), she also needs to be spayed. My questions are 1. What are the risks at this age ? 2. Does she really need to be spayed from a health standpoint since she will be staying with us forever at this point. Do dogs still go into heat at this age?

Some points are we have other dogs and everyone including the golden get along perfectly by the way.
I guess my main question is is that is it worth the risk to get her spayed for the sake of getting her spayed?

Does anyone have any advice for Mike?

Golden Retriever Service Dog Left in Car for 2 Hours – Dies

Carrboro, NC – I realize that there are many stories in the news of this happening, but apparently it is still not hitting home with some people.

The temperature outside is not relative to the temperature inside a vehicle, and it only takes minutes to reach temps over 100 degrees even when its only 75 outside.


On June 10, Deb Cunningham learned this lesson the hard way.  Deb is a program director at an organization called Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws.  They are a non-profit organization that trains and places service and diabetic assistance dogs.

On that particular day, Worthy, a 2 year old golden retriever, was suffering separation anxiety so Cunningham took him to the office.  Worthy had completed his training and was scheduled to be placed with his new client the following week.

Because it was only 73 degrees and she parked in the shade (at high noon with the windows up) Cunningham thought the dog would be fine in the car.  Worthy was left in the car to avoid upsetting him as his foster mom was attending the office that afternoon.

2 hours later, when Cunningham returned to the vehicle, Worthy was unconscious and panting.  When she arrived at the vet his temperature was 109.

EENP Executive director Maria Ikenberry says the car was “not hot” when they discovered Worthy and that he was probably anxious and ran circles in the car and overheated.

Sadly, Worthy suffered cardiac arrest and died the next day at Triangle Veterinary Hospital.

The organization is considering disciplinary actions against Cunningham and The Carborro Police are investigating a charge of animal cruelty.

"Worthy" Photo - Herald Sun
“Worthy” Photo – Herald Sun

R.I.P Worthy.  Here’s a video of Worthy from the EENP Website.

Service dog left in car dies from heatstroke – The Herald Sun

How to Protect Your Golden Retriever From Ticks

Golden Retrievers are known to be tick magnets.  Some say ticks are more attracted to lighter colors, and a golden’s long fur is a great place for a tick to hang out and hide.

Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Due to factors like milder winters, an increase in white tailed deer, and fewer insecticides being used, 2013 is being predicted as a record year for ticks.  Ticks are a problem for animals and humans alike.  Tick species vary by location, and different species carry different diseases like Lyme Disease,  Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Tick Population to Explode in 2013 – Veterinary Practice News

Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis.
Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Joint pain and stiffness similar to the symptoms of arthritis
  • High fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neurological signs resulting in seizures and neck pain (infrequent)

– See more at:

  • Joint pain and stiffness similar to the symptoms of arthritis
  • High fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neurological signs resulting in seizures and neck pain (infrequent)

– See more at:

  • Joint pain and stiffness similar to the symptoms of arthritis
  • High fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Neurological signs resulting in seizures and neck pain (infrequent)

– See more at:

Now that we know this, lets talk prevention.  Here are some things you can do to help protect your golden from these pests:

  • Keep your lawn cut short.  Ticks and other critters love to lurk in long grass
  • Try to avoid long grass and wooded areas
  • Check your dog for ticks every time you bring him/her indoors.
  • Visit your veterinarian every spring to discuss flea/tick and heart worm prevention medications.
  • There are shampoos and collars on the market that deter fleas and ticks.
  • Try a holistic approach such as Dr. Ben’s Cedar Oil


So you have found a tick on your dog.  First, you must remove it with tweezers or a Tick Twister.  It is not recommended that you burn it or suffocate it off with any type of substance, as this can cause the tick to inject more saliva into you or your pet.  Then clean the area with an antiseptic and put some antibiotic ointment on the site.

Here is a great video from Doctors Foster & Smith on removing a tick from your dog:

If your dog has been bitten by a tick, watch for signs of illness including stiffness, loss of appetite and lethargy.  Contact your veterinarian right away if you suspect your dog has a tick borne illness. Keep in mind these illnesses can lay dormant for several months before showing signs.

Would You Use Medical Marijuana For Your Golden Retriever?

Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland,...
Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland, California (Photo credit: Rusty Blazenhoff)

So your golden retriever has just been diagnosed with cancer and is very weak and lethargic, and in a lot of pain. If you knew there was an option to ease pain and increase appetite in a safe, chemical free way would you consider it? What if that option was marijuana, what many consider to be the root of all evil?

Marijuana is now legal in over 20 states in the U.S. and has been proven very effective for palliative care in humans, as well as treating many other illnesses.

Dr. Doug Kramer of California is a pioneer in the concept of using medical marijuana to treat dogs and cats and has his own clinic Enlightened Veterinary Therapeutics specializing in palliative and hospice care for pets. The marijuana is administered in the form of a tincture. Dr Kramer is not an advocate of feeding your dog “pot brownies” or blowing smoke in their faces. In an article from Vice he says:

To me, it’s animal abuse, really. It kills me because it devalues what I’m trying to do. Especially in the early stages, starting the dialogue with veterinary medicine, the last thing you want is for people to do that. The dog doesn’t need the medication in that situation.”

Would you use medical marijuana to ease suffering for your golden? I consider it a herbal remedy and certainly would. Please vote! No email or obligation required…

Arthritis? Stem Cell Therapy an option for Golden Retrievers

"Colonel" courtesy Deni McDonald
“Colonel” courtesy Deni McDonald

If your golden retriever suffers from arthritis, there is a fairly new procedure that may be an option.  Stem cell treatment  is far less expensive and invasive then joint replacement surgery.

Stem cell therapy involves taking stem cells from a part of the dogs’ body, harvesting them and re-injecting them into the affected area.

Depending on where you live the procedure costs around $2000.  According to the following article, results are almost instant.

Arthritic Dogs Helped By Stem Cell Treatment – CBC News

To find a practicing Vet near you, check out Vet-Stem

Why Your Golden Retriever Should Be Alkaline

Here is a great article provided by about the benefits of an alkaline diet.

Why Should Your Dog Be Alkaline?

by Valarie Marshall –

“Our Gabriel”

How Does an Alkaline Diet Affect Cancer Cells? Studies have shown that in the test tube, cancer cells and tumors thrive and grow in a more acidic environment. When the level of acid is lowered, tumors grow much more slowly. If this behavior occurs in the test tube, it stands to reason that cancer cells in the body would also be detrimentally affected by an overall alkaline environment.

Raw Pet Food Will Keep Your Dog Alkaline

It would also make sense that if the body’s pH is acidic, then the growth of cancer cells and tumors would be encouraged. By eating mostly foods that make the body’s pH more alkaline, there would be less of a chance for cancer cells to develop and grow. So, by adjusting the diet, it is actually possible to create a less hospitable environment for cancer cells, thus improving a person’s/dog’s chances of experiencing good health.

Proper pH Will Improve Your Pet’s Quality of Life. Tissues in the body are prone to disease of all sorts, including cancer, if they become deficient in oxygen. To understand why, it is helpful to understand the nature of acidity and alkalinity. Cancerous tissues are acidic, where healthy tissues are alkaline. Water (H2O) taken into the body eventually breaks down into H+ and OH-. When a solution contains more H+ than OH- it is acidic. When it contains more OH- than H+ it is alkaline.

When oxygen is introduced into an acidic solution it will combine with H+ ions to form water. Oxygen helps neutralize acid, but acid also prevents oxygen from reaching the body’s tissue. Acidic tissue is devoid of free oxygen as tissue needs oxygen to remain healthy.

The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. The blood, lymph and cerebral spinal fluid in a dog’s body are designed to be slightly alkaline at 7.0 – 7.5 (6.1 – 6.4 for cats). At a pH slightly above 7.4, cancer cells become dormant and at pH 8.5 cancer cells will die while healthy cells will live.

The following list indicates which foods are acidic and alkaline. The left side of the chart indicates acidic foods, or foods that are more harmful. The right side of the chart indicates alkaline foods, or foods that would be most beneficial. It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body’s fluids and tissues, which is an entirely different matter.


Kibble Formulated To Be Alkaline based. Canine Caviar Chicken and Pearl Millet ALS Dinner 12 Pound is a complete and balanced kibble formula intended for moderately active dogs, growing puppies, and breeding animals. Chicken and Pearl Millet ALS Kibble is the most nutritious food your dog will ever need and is the ideal diet for large and giant breed puppies.  This kibble is the  only food in the USA formulated to be alkaline based. Cancer cells can not grow in an alkaline environment. Perfect for large- and giant-breed puppies!


• Increases anaerobic activity.

• Reduces amount of oxygen in the blood.

• Cancerous tissues are acidic and devoid of oxygen.

• Leaches calcium from bones & is released into the kidney, resulting in stone formation before being excreted.

• Acidosis is excessive consumption of protein, which is metabolized “acidically” because of sulfur content.

• Without enough oxygen the DNA self-repair mechanism will not function causing free radical damage.

Thank you to Canine Caviar., 678.460.6DOG

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