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Hello. Thank you for the question.
In an older dog with decreased appetite and weight loss, a few things come to mind. The most common would be some type of cancer. These can be tough to find, as these dogs can still have normal organ function but they continue to lose weight. It could also be an organ disease or failure- specifically the kidneys or liver.
I would start with bloodwork to look at organ function. If that is normal, I would then start looking for signs of cancer- chest x-rays and abdominal imaging (x-rays or ultrasound). If a mass is found, it can be biopsied to tell what it is. From there, surgery or chemotherapy or a combination can be attempted.
Given the weight loss, I would say the prognosis is pretty guarded at this point. When we see significant muscle wasting, I find that these dogs are at an end stage disease. It's worth figuring out, but I would be pretty worried about finding something curable.
I'm sorry you're in this situation. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Love him and spoil him for the time he has left.