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Jess K
Jess K, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1304
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian
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I have a dog an Irish setter and she's 9 or 10 years old and

Customer Question

I have a dog an Irish setter and she's 9 or 10 years old and she has stopped eating I tried to stick food in her mouth like treats and peanut butter but she won't take it she still drinks tho but she's very weak she can walk for a little but then falls to the ground and she's very skinny just skin and bones she hasn't been eating for a couple of days but just a week or so ago she was fine and energetic I'm really worried
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 6 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am very sorry to hear about your dog! Can you tell me, has she been to the vet since these issues began? There are several things I worry about in dogs who are weak with rapid weight loss. These would include diabetes (often with these guys we will see increased thirst and urination), kidney or liver disease, various problems in the intestinal tract that could disrupt normal absorption of nutrients (inflammatory, infectious, parasitic issues), and in older dogs we do always worry about cancer. To determine which of these things is going on with your dog and if the problem is something that is treatable, she truly needs to visit the veterinarian and have a full exam, and based on what they see on her exam, bloodwork to check for underlying disease and potentially x-rays to look for tumors or changes in liver and kidney shape/size.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She has a tumor so could that be why? Like I'm really afraid that her time is almost up
Expert:  Jess K replied 6 months ago.

What kind of tumor does she have? A skin tumor or an internal tumor? Has a vet seen it and indicated if they think it is malignant (i.e. acts aggressively and can spread elsewhere in the body)?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
A skin one on her chest
Expert:  Jess K replied 6 months ago.

And has the vet every said if they think it is dangerous? Many tumors of the skin on older dogs are not harmful internally (such as lipomas and sebaceous cysts/sebaceous tumors), but some are more malignant (such as mast cell tumors). It truly depends on the type of growth. It may be completely unrelated and not affecting her overall health at all, but without knowing what type of growth it is, it is very hard for me to say.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
We haven't been back in a while so I don't really know. And my dad isn't really doing anything about it we have to sit her up to drink and carry her outside
Expert:  Jess K replied 6 months ago.

I think until she is examined and has some bloodwork done, it will be very tough to say if what she is suffering from is something treatable or not. For that reason, an exam is vital so you can determine what the next step should be, and what the long term prognosis would be, and the costs of possible treatment. It could be something as simple as a course of antibiotics or steroids, or it could be something that cannot be treated, but without doing any testing, I don't think we can know which direction things will proceed...

If your father cannot afford to have her examined thoroughly then most likely he will not be able to treat a problem (or if he isn't interested). If that is the case, then euthanasia may be the kindest option given the circumstances (but as I said, without an exam, I cannot tell you for certain the problem, just some possibilities!)

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is there anything I can do ? What would be a possiblities
Expert:  Jess K replied 6 months ago.

Unfortunately without knowing the underlying cause, it is hard to say what you can do other than trying to force feed (using a syringe with a gruel like blenderinzed canned food and water) but I don't think force feeding is going to fix the underlying cause. As I mentioned earlier, there are several things I worry about in dogs who are weak with rapid weight loss. These would include diabetes (often with these guys we will see increased thirst and urination), kidney or liver disease, various problems in the intestinal tract that could disrupt normal absorption of nutrients (inflammatory, infectious, parasitic issues), and in older dogs we do always worry about cancer (the kind that happens internally, not really skin tumors).

Expert:  Jess K replied 6 months ago.

I wish I could give you an over the counter medicine that I think will fix his issue, but I cannot. We can only speculate on the numerous things that can cause the problem, none of which are treatable with over the counter medication.

I have to step away from my computer for a few minutes, but will be back and check in here in a bit.

Please let me know if you have any other questions regarding your dog. If you do not, please take a moment to CLICK AND RATE our conversation so we can know if you were satisfied with your service and I can get credit for helping to answer your question. You can always come back and post in this conversation even after rating if you think of something else in the future related to this issue.