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AshUKVet, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 47
Experience:  Veterinarian from the UK! Dog owner and practising vet...
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My dog, a yellow lab, is very thin and her fur on her ...

Resolved Question:

My dog, a yellow lab, is very thin and her fur on her back has changed texture. It is very hard to get her to eat. I have dry dog food down for her and I try to get her to eat canned dog food also, but she just picks at it. Do you have any suggestions?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  AshUKVet replied 9 years ago.

HI there, thanks for asking for me, can I have a little more information to see if I can help?

How long has she had these signs, have all the signs always been present all the time?

How old is she?

Has she been neutered and if not when was her last season?

Is she showing any other signs eg is she drinking more?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
She has been spayed, she doesn't seem to be drinking more or less, and she has never been heavy like most labs tend to be but since about this time last year she has steadily gotten thinner. You can see her ribs and her hip bones. When we were at the vets they did blood work on her and said her iron was low. We treated her for that and then when they checked her again they said it was OK. They gave me a prescription for dog food, but she would not have anything to do with that at all. I have noticed her fur on her back mid section has changed texture and is not like a labs fur at all. It seems shorter and it seems to be sort of fluffy.
Expert:  AshUKVet replied 9 years ago.

The changing coat could be due to cushings disease, where the body over produces steroid hormones. Usually you would see other clinical signs, but the problem may be coming on very gradually. Something called an ACTH stimulation test woul dbe needed to diagnose that, and it can be treated with meds.

Sometimes you will get coat changes after spaying - did the onset tie in with the operation time or the next moult after, some female dogs will develop a puppy-like coat which is much fluffier and softer than the adult coat, so it may be that.

As far as the weight loss goes it may be an innocent sign from when she was anaemic, but could easily be a sign of something more sinister going on, I would request some more tests for piece of mind - tests to check her liver function (BIle acid stimulation) and possibly a faecal exam to check if she is digesting her food properly.

The other suggestions I have would be to improve her diet as far as coat etc goes with supplements containing EFAs - cod liver oil and evening primrose oil capsules should help for that.

I hope this helps,

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