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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14880
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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Pointer: old English..losing, eats..skinny

Resolved Question:

I have a 6 yr old English Pointer female that has been steadily losing weight over the last few months. She is still active, eats, and doesn't show any signs of being in pain. Other than being very skinny, she seems normal. She is fed on Kirkland Lamb & Rice. Any ideas?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 8 years ago.
Does she have normal BMs? Has there been any vomiting? Is she drinking more water than she used to? Unfortunately there are many conditions that can cause weight loss in dogs; if there has been any diarrhea I would start by having a stool sample checked for parasites (most serious worms are too small to see by the naked eye). If she is pooping normally, no diarrhea or soft stool or larger than normal stool at all, then I would check her heart ( I know she is young, but heart disease can cause weight loss), her thyroid (usually dogs with underactive thyroid get fat, but I have seen a few lose weight instead), her pancreas (some dogs stop producing enough digestive enzymes in the pancreas and need supplement), and her kidneys ( I have seen a few dogs with kidney problems present only with weight loss).

If you just want to try something before running any tests, try a different diet higher in calories (some dogs gain weight on a higher protein diet, but some gain on a lower protein/higher carb diet) and adding "probiotics" to her food. Probiotics are beneficial or "friendly" bacteria that we need in our intestines. Yogurt has some of these , but there are better supplements available at pet stores and at veterinarian's offices. Hope this helps, Rebecca
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks for your help.

She has normal stools, no diarrhea, and no vomiting. I gave her some deworming medication about 3 months ago thinking that it might be worms. I will try changing to a different dog food that is higher in carbs and will get some probiotic supplements. She is an outdoor dog along with her brother. He is a strong healthy male who is almost twice her size and is fed on the same diet - it is odd that two dogs could be so different in their nutrition requirements and be from the same parents.

What blood work would need to be done to rule out heart disease, thyroid problems, pancreas or kidneys problems? Do you know the usual cost for these tests?

Expert:  Rebecca replied 8 years ago.
Basic blood panels usually run around$100 in my area but should be combined with a good exam, which should run around $40. Costs may be different in your area. Just listening to the heart, feeling the pulses and looking at the gum color will tell more about heart function than the blood tests will, but blood tests will tell thyroid, kidney, and liver function. Pancreatic testing may mean additional blood tests, but start with the basic panel first. Good luck! Rebecca
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