Dear Dr. Aarff.com: My 12 1/2 year old black lab’s stomach is making squeaking noises. This happens every other morning or so, and when it does, she does not want to eat. Other than that she is fine. I read to give her some Maalox. Is this good advice, or should I take her to the vet? Thanks! Donna Bailey
Dr. Aarff.com: Donna, to tell you the truth, I think the intermittent inappetance is more concerning to me in an elderly lab than the stomach noises. The stomach noises are likely just “borborygmus,” aka stomach growling, but the question is why is this happening? In a 12.5 year old labrador, I would highly recommend a physical exam, some bloodwork and possibly even some radiographs. Before I would write this off as nothing, I’d want to rule out metabolic problems (think kidney or liver disease, endocrine issues such as hypothyroidism, etc), sources of pain (arthritis, disc disease, dental disease, etc) and even growths (splenic masses, bony tumors, etc). There are no shortage of differential diagnoses for intermittent inappetance in an elderly dog, so I’d want to make sure that all of those are crossed off the list before I relaxed about it. You’d definitely rather be safe than sorry in this instance! And most of all, don’t give her ANY over- the- counter human medications before you talk to your veterinarian.
Best of luck, Donna!
Dr. Katy J. Nelson
aka “Dr. Aarff.com”