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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16918
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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What could cause my Greyhound to lose weight?

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My greyhound has lost weight lately, but still has an appetite and energy.


I'm sorry that Mac has lost weight but I'm glad his appetite and energy are good.

In order to give you the best answer I'd like to ask some questions.

1. How long have you had him and where did he come from?

2. Any vomiting or diarrhea? Is he producing more stool than usual? Is there any difference in his stools?

3. Any change in diet?

4. Is he drinking any more water than usual?

5. Is he eating a senior food? What kind of food is he eating?

6. Does he go to dog parks or is he boarded frequently?

7. Is he on any medication or have any health problems that you know of?

If you can help me with answers to my questions I can give you my best answer. Thanks.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I've had him for 7 years and I got him from a rescue the hounds organization. He is a retired racer. No diarrhea or vomiting. I haven't looked at his stools recently. I did recently change his food to Nutro Max Senior a few months ago. He had a pumpkin pie stool before and since I changed his food, his stool is firmer and not as yellow. He seems to be drinking more water lately. He is eating Senior food. No dog parks or boarding lately within the last few years.No medication or health problems that I know of.

Love those retired racers. We are on our second one. Both have had horribly sensitive stomachs. I have a feeling it's related to the lovely raw meat they are fed as racers which seems to ruin their intestinal bacterial flora population and often lead to colitis or inflammatory bowel disease.

The increased water consumption may be an indicator of internal organ disease (kidney disease is common in greyhounds) and this would explain the weight loss too but these dogs usually lose their appetite as well. Other possibilities are diabetes or liver disease.

It may be however that the new senior food is higher in fiber which helps add form to his stool but would also cause him to drink more water. Senior foods also tend to be lower in calories as most dogs gain weight as they age so this would explain the weight loss.

To be sure there's nothing sneaking up on your guy I would recommend a physical examination and a senior blood panel. If that looks good then the next step diagnostically would be a TLI blood test to look for pancreatic insufficiency. If this is present then they can't fully digest what they are taking in and tend to have poorly formed stools and lose weight. If that looks OK then intestinal biopsies to fully diagnose would be next or you can try dietary modification. I would suggest an easy to digest food like Hills I/D or CNM (Purina) EN. These foods are easy to digest and absorb so produce very little stool. I ended up feeding my last fella CNM EN free choice to keep his weight on but he did really well on it. If more fiber is needed you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of metamucil or canned pumpkin (not pie filling just pumpkin) to each meal.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck to you and Mac.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I found that the Hills I/D food has to be prescribed by a vet. Does the Purina brand? I think I am going to try to change his food first because the weight loss did begin after buying the Senior food. He is very energetic and I have noticed him drinking more water than usual lately.

Yes, Mac is sensitive to dairy products and he does have a sensitive stomach, so am careful not feed him dairy products. I'm glad you have a greyhound, they are very different from other breeds for sure. :)

Yes they are both prescription products. CNM EN was the only food that kept weight on my last fella and controlled his bouts of vomiting/cow pie stools. You are certainly welcome to try over the counter brands first, just make sure it is a really gradual diet change, over a week's time.

I am quite partial to Purina brands in general. My current greyhound is eating Purina One Lamb and Rice but I like their Pro Plan line as well. I've tried other brands but somehow all of my dogs have ended up on Purina of some sort.

Keep an eye on his weight and water. You may even want to measure his water consumption. That way you have something to compare it to when you have him converted fully to his new diet.

Good luck with Mac and please feel free to respond to this thread as you have more questions or just to let me know how he is. :)

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