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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20877
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Last few weeks we have noticed that our dog has lost weight

Customer Question

Hello there for the last few weeks we have noticed that our dog has lost weight and we just want to know what could be wrong with her. She hasn't gone off her food and she is still earring but find that she is lost some weight.And just would like to know what could be the cause of the weight loss.And we haven't taken her to the vet as yet either..Please help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Do you think she is eating as much as she used to?

Any diarrhea, increased thirst or volumes of urine she passes? Is her urine watery?

Does she seem to be losing muscle mass over her back end and hip region?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She isn't eatting as much as she used too.
And no she doesn't have diarrhoea at all.And yes she is losing muscle mass over her hips and back?What could be the reason for that.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Is that the only place she is losing weight? Any loss over her mid-spine?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just a little bit. So what is the cause and what's wrong with her?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you again,

In regards ***** ***** question, we can see weight loss in elderly dogs for a range of reasons (just as we can in people). Though if she hasn’t had any diarrhea, change in thirst, or is passing dilute/watery urine; this would allow us to start ruling out some differentials. Though if she is eating less, then less nutrition input be it related to dental discomfort or nausea would be one concern for the losses. Otherwise, we’d have to be wary of an internal issue that is stealing so much nutrition from her that she cannot maintain is own weight.

With that all in mind and considering her age, we can see this type of situation with organ issues (ie kidney, liver, heart, etc), worms, and internal tumors (where it steals nutrition but causes little other bother to the dog). Furthermore, if her weight is mostly being lost around the lower back and hips, then we’d have to consider that that loss is muscle atrophy which can be secondary to the above but also secondary to arthritis (since less muscle use leads to loss).

In regards ***** ***** to the root of this for Gemma, the most straight forward way to determine which is causing this signs would be to have a check up with her vet +/- a blood sample tested. Your vet can examine her to rule out oral issue or any sinister lumps/bumps. They can check a blood sample to determine if there are any organ or metabolic issues present. Together these tests would give us a quick answer to what is stealing this weight from her and let us appreciate what we can to slow or stop it.

Though in the meantime, I would note that you can help slow this for her by initiating some home supportive care. To start, if she is eating less, then we want to make each bite count. Therefore, you can try her on a calorie rich diet (ie Hills A/D, Royal Canin Recovery diet, even canned puppy food) or use a liquid diet (ie Clinicare, Dogsure) to supplement her. As well, there are paste supplements (ie Nutrical) that can also be used. And these will all get more in per bite even if we cannot get much in.

Furthermore, if you haven’t already, do make sure she is up to date on worming. As well, if she is struggling with mobility and her back end, then we can consider OTC joint supplements (ie glucosamine, chondroitin, duralactin, omega 3 fish oils) to support that, keep her moving and her muscle mass stable.

Overall, your lass’s signs are raise a few serious concerns. Therefore, we’d have the above suspicions and would want to get to the root of this as quickly as we can. Therefore, it'd be ideal to have her vet check her at this stage. If she is due a booster soon, consider moving that appointment up. Her vet’s exam will help start ruling out the culprit and they can pinpoint which is present so we can take steps address this for her and get some weight back on her.

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Gemma. How is everything going?