On-line dog diagnosis for an 'off' dog
Don't worry, I'm not trying to cheap out and avoid the vet; I'm just trying to get some ideas. Maybe have some suggestions for the vet. I'm new to my area so I'm still looking for a vet I can really trust--maybe the 3rd one will be the charm. Anyway, I have an 8-year old Golden Retriever who ages out as a 4-year old in the Dog Age test. 6 months ago, her blood work looked fine. She's not desperately ill, she's just off. 99% of the time she smiles and body wags at the same time. Lately, she's been looking gloomy. She is only her carefree spirit when we go on long walks. But even then, she seems to tire more quickly than usual. At times, she seems stiff or even limps when getting up. She has been crying quite a bit. It seems like she drinking more water than usual, but it's possible that I'm looking for signs. Her bowels are normal, her appetite is a bit off, but she's still eating regularly. In the past, she's had valley fever, but we are no longer in an area where it occurs. (I'm not sure if it can be retriggered without the fungus spores present.) No new lumps or bumps. I have pulled many ticks off of her so I immediately suspected a tick disease, but the last vet dismissed it and wouldn't even do a blood test. He said she didn't show any signs of tick diseases. I'll try to rule out the tick issue with the 3rd vet, but are there any other things you can think of that I should have the vet test for? It's really just my intuition that says something is wrong, but I'm quite sure I'm right. I have been so impressed with the depth and the breadth of knowledge here, that I thought it was worth asking. Thanks for any help.