His bark sounds painful
March 20, 2010 12:30 PM   Subscribe

My dog's bark has become high pitched and hoarse. Cause for concern?

He is 14 years old. He used to have a deep, clear, loud bark. For the past 6 months or so, his bark has been really high pitched, and really hoarse.

The last time he was at the vet, a few months ago, I mentioned this, and the vet blew it off. However, a different issue that the vet also initially blew off has recently turned out to actually be a problem. So now I'm wondering about this again.

Is this normal when dogs age?

Around the time he started barking like this, a very loud, barky, high pitched little terrier had moved into my parents' house where he lives. My parents think he is just imitating the terrier. Is this crazy?
posted by Ashley801 to Pets & Animals (4 answers total)
Yes the dog can start imitating another dog, but you may want to check another vet as well to be sure.
posted by knz at 1:43 PM on March 20, 2010

It's very likely a hearing problem. My 13 year old rough collie did the exact same thing. Just as people who can't hear themselves begin to talk strangely, dogs will change their bark if they can't hear themselves "talk". Ask the vet to check his ears. Apparently this kind of thing can come on very quickly.
posted by cheberet at 3:45 PM on March 20, 2010

Get a different vet to check him out. It could be hearing-related or there could be something else going on.
posted by biscotti at 6:57 PM on March 20, 2010

My philosophy is that any change in a dog's normal behavior is cause for concern. It may turn out to be benign, but should at least be taken seriously by the vet. Nthing a second opinion. Not sure of your location, but if you're in the NYC area, I highly recommend Riverside Vet Group, specifically Dr. Raclyn.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:43 AM on March 21, 2010

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