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Doggie dust - rapid weight loss

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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I'm posting this in the hopes that a) you'll send my pup some dust and b) someone had previous experience and can give some input.

Our Rhodesian Ridgeback is 8 years old and has always been on the small side for a male. He hovered around 88lbs for years and had tummy issues on and off. We found a good food for him and he reached about 95lbs. Over the years we've had to switch his food a few times for various reasons but mostly because he would start refusing it. We thought we hit another one of those "I'm bored with my food so I'm not eating it" patches in November so we took him to the vet. He was acting normal otherwise and still eating treats (and trash! :rolleyes: ) and his weight was good (95lbs). His bloodwork also came back normal. So the vet suggested another food and we switched to it and things were good for a while. Then he started refusing his food sometimes (maybe 30% of the time) and we noticed he was looking a little thin. We weighed him and he was 81lbs! From late November to early April he lost 14lbs! Back to the vet who did bloodwork again (normal) and we spent the next week chasing him around to get urine and stool sample (talk about difficult). We'll get the results from those tests tomorrow. Since the vet appointment we've been giving him Pepcid because he used to have reflux and vet thought maybe it was bothering him. He's eating a little better but not much.

I'm worried. The vet is concerned. She's called us twice in the last week to see how he is. Next step if stool/urine inconclusive is ultrasound. He's lost another pound in the 10 days since his appointment.

He's acting completely normal otherwise. Playing, running, sun bathing, being a nudge - really his regular self aside from eating.

So, positive vibes please! And if anyone's had a similar situation I would love to hear what it turned out to be.
 

december-fire

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 3, 2013
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2,346
Puppmom,

I'm so sorry to hear that your guy isn't well. That's so distressing!

Doing an ultrasound seems like a good idea, since I imagine it might show issues that aren't revealed in blood work or urine samples.

I'm not a vet and haven't experienced anything similar with any of my pets so, unfortunately, I can't offer much besides support and lots of dust. Hopefully, the cause of the weight loss will soon be determined and be easily treated.

Your lad looks so sweet!

Hugs
 

hoover

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
355
Hi Puppmom,

Sorry to hear your furbaby isn't keeping his weight on. Dust and healing vibes to him!

My monster had a weight loss bout a few years ago and we did the whole refusing food, vomiting, Pepcid routine. It was really bad when he even turned away from peanut butter... I had him do the blood panel, ultrasound, biopsy thing. His blood tests were normal, but the ultrasound showed that there was a small growth in his small intestine and pancreas. The biopsy was negative for cancer, but it did impact his digestion (random diarrhea and vomiting/IBS). He is permanently on a low dose of prednisone and still takes Pepcid when he has an upset tummy.

If your guy gets bored of his food and you don't want to change it up because of the tummy upset, maybe add a couple squirts of salmon oil or cooked salmon to jazz up his kibble? Bonus is that it'll also help his skin and coat.
 

Rockinruby

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 27, 2013
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Sending loads and loads of dust to your sweet boy!

One of our dogs had similar symptoms. Her blood work was normal for the most part. We ended up doing a couple of ultrasounds plus other procedures to try and determine what was going on. It turned out that there were small tumors in the intestine. She also had one in her duodenum which was a major issue. She went on a special diet the holistic vet made up. That was really helpful for awhile. (Homemade cooked diet with changing proteins/veggies to keep our dog interested in eating. We did Acupuncture. Chinese herbs & various supplements to stimulate appetite.)

Also, Be sure it's not a bacterial infection or partial obstruction. Thinking out of the box, but check out malabsorption, addisons or other metabolic issues, liver and/or kidney problems. Good luck with getting a diagnosis. I will be sending your baby pawsitive energy in hopes that the vet gets it figured out soon. :wavey:
 

sonnyjane

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 13, 2008
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Vibes! Ultrasound sounds like a good idea, as RR's can be prone to bloat/twisted stomachs.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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28,173
I hope your doggie gets better soon.
Hugs to you and treats to doggie. ;))
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Puppmom, I am sending buckets and buckets of PS doggie ***DUST*** your sweet dog's way and big hugs to you. Hoping everything turns out just fine!
You are doing everything right and being proactive. Keeping you and your dog in my thoughts. ((((HUGS)))).
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
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4,750
Sending hugs to you and your cute pup dust, puppmom.

Please keep us updated.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
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Lots of dust for you and your baby.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 1, 2009
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Sorry your guy is losing weight. He looks like a sweetie!

Sending you lots of healthy doggie dust. I hope you figure out what is going on soon so he can feel better.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 19, 2004
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20,549
HI:

What a darling--healing vibes his way!

cheers--Sharon
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 10, 2010
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2,561
Sorry to hear your furbaby has been losing weight without reason yet. I hope the recent tests reveal problem with easy solution. Sending doggie health and healing dust your way.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks you for all of the kind thoughts, dust and positive vibes! :))

The stool panel came back negative for any bacteria/parasites so that's good news...except it leaves us without many clues. The urine hasn't come back yet but originally the vet was using that as a means to check his kidney function which looked great on the blood panel. I'm not sure what else they check urine for.

I'm going to share with the vet some of the ideas mentioned here because I think, just like with human patients, doctors/vets need a little help getting to the bottom of the problem. And it's interesting that two of you have had similar situations that both turned out to be growths. I'm going to call the vet to see if we can get the ultrasound scheduled. It seems time is of the essence because of the weight loss.

I've always worried about bloat because of his breed but my understanding is that is an acute condition that would cause a dog's health to rapidly deteriorate over days (even hours) but I'm going to read a bit more on that. I'm also going to look into some additives (thanks for the oil suggestion!!) to entice him to eat. We've tried melted peanut butter which he LOVES but he's gotten smart...licks the peanut butter off and spits out the food. The nerve! I've also heard pumpkin is good. Someone suggested a tiny bit of liverwurst but, with his tummy issues, I'm hesitant to go there.
 

Queenie60

Ideal_Rock
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Hope your dog baby gets better real soon. He's in good hands with you. Will send good thoughts your way. :wavey:
 

azstonie

Ideal_Rock
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What a HANDSOME boy! :appl: Buckets of dust to him and to you as you chase this down. Between my two Westies we've been down pretty much all of the veterinary 'roads,' and an ultrasound of his abdomen sounds like the right diagnostic test to have in hand. Blood work is very expensive, I'd spend on the ultrasound at this point.
 

Rockinruby

Ideal_Rock
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puppmom|1461167939|4021698 said:
Thanks you for all of the kind thoughts, dust and positive vibes! :))

The stool panel came back negative for any bacteria/parasites so that's good news...except it leaves us without many clues. The urine hasn't come back yet but originally the vet was using that as a means to check his kidney function which looked great on the blood panel. I'm not sure what else they check urine for.

I'm going to share with the vet some of the ideas mentioned here because I think, just like with human patients, doctors/vets need a little help getting to the bottom of the problem. And it's interesting that two of you have had similar situations that both turned out to be growths. I'm going to call the vet to see if we can get the ultrasound scheduled. It seems time is of the essence because of the weight loss.

I've always worried about bloat because of his breed but my understanding is that is an acute condition that would cause a dog's health to rapidly deteriorate over days (even hours) but I'm going to read a bit more on that. I'm also going to look into some additives (thanks for the oil suggestion!!) to entice him to eat. We've tried melted peanut butter which he LOVES but he's gotten smart...licks the peanut butter off and spits out the food. The nerve! I've also heard pumpkin is good. Someone suggested a tiny bit of liverwurst but, with his tummy issues, I'm hesitant to go there.
Hi Puppmom, I've been thinking about your sweet boy today. I went back through the dog food journal I kept and found a few more ideas for you. I see that you plan to do the ultrasound. That would be my first step of either X-rays and ultrasound. You can run barium, but that's more if they suspected a major blockage.

I can tell you that my breed is prone to bloat which we've experienced. ;( I don't think that's what you are dealing with. However, I do want to caution you that if there is a growth or blockage somewhere that it CAN lead to bloat/torsion if things become unable to pass easily. I do feed a little pumpkin with their meals to keep things moving along. My dogs like frozen pumpkin & yogurt treats too.

According to my journal, the vet had us add ginger and turmeric to the food. We did a homemade recipe. Another thing that you could do is cook a bone broth which they normally will lap up. My dog wouldn't eat solids at times so the bone broth worked well. Plus it's full of good nutrients. She would eat apples, bananas with peanut butter, cottage cheese, potted meat, Vienna sausages (I was desperate! :doh: ) and baby food, etc.

The holistic remedy we were given was Nux Vomica. I wouldn't do anything without vet supervision, but just trying to give you some ideas. I think the most helpful thing was that we went out of our way to feed several tiny meals a day. She could keep down the tiny meals which lessened her aversion to food when it didn't come right back up. Ok, well this is way too long! Sorry about that, but unfortunately I understand how tough it is to see them go through these things. Hugs to you & your fur kid! :wavey:
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for all the extra dust and thoughts! Hollis continues to act completely normal (including diving on a single cheerio that my 3 year old dropped on the floor this morning) but still refusing this food here and there (mostly mornings).

The vet called and his urine had very high bacteria (and yeast) which was somewhat surprising because his stool was negative. She said that because it is not a sterile sample it could just be contaminated (from the telephone pole it probably dripped down when we husband caught it in the not sterile bucket :lol: ) but that they sort of expect that contamination and the bacteria is still high considering. So...this leads her to believe infection. Our options are:

- start antibiotics and monitor him for improvement. then get another urine sample after and use that and his improvement or lack of to decide on next steps
- use ultrasound to locate his bladder and do a sterile urine collection by directly aspirating from his bladder (ouch!). From what I gather this would help better specify the type of bacteria making the antibiotic selection easier.
-skip both of the above and go to the diagnostic ultrasound. if they don't find anything they'll collect urine from his bladder.

I think we're going to start antibiotics. Not because it's the cheapest but because we can watch him closely while on them. If at the end of the course, there's no improvement then we skip to the diagnostic ultrasound. If he gets worse, we just schedule the ultrasound for sooner.

Rockinruby, special thanks for the food advice! I'm taking this all in and realize that may be the route we end up taking especially if this is just sensitivity or fickle eating (oh, i hope!). There's part of me that's afraid to encourage him to eat by offering him something he can't refuse because I feel like his body is trying to tell us something. But I am hopeful that will become clearer to us over the next week or two...which sort of feels like an eternity. :((

So, thank you all again. Hollis will at least be pleased that he adds another med to the list because that means more Peanut Butter!
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
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What do you feed your dog? I've read that dry food in bags can harbor bacteria. Have you tried wet food?

For our kitties, dry food is easy, so we still feed dry + wet + a dollop of whole fat plain yogurt. I figure that the probiotic will help their guts fight any potential bacteria lurking in the dry food!
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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We feed him dry food. He was on Wilderness Salmon and Sweet Potato. When he started refusing that here and there, we gradually switched to what he eats now which is Simply Nourish (also Salmon and Sweet Potato). They do have a wet food version but we've never tried that. One of the things I was considering to encourage him to eat was mixing a little wet food in.
 

PintoBean

Ideal_Rock
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One brand I really like that i actually learned about through PS is Orijen. It's made in Canada, and the ingredients are not outsourced. It even smells good when you open the bag! Some pet stores will have small bags of foods as free samples. It may be worth a shot going to a pet food retailer and raiding their free samples.

Lots and lots of doggy dust!
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks, Pinto. I do notice that the food we use now (and the Wilderness) both smell terrible! My 3 and 5 year old even complain about it. I didn't know that there was dog food that didn't stink!
 

Arcadian

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I might suggest some green tripe. (yes its exactly what you think it is) its smelly, but dogs seem to really really love the stuff. PetKind is the brand I use from time to time, especially when I have to travel and she can't get her raw stuff.
 

PintoBean

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puppmom|1461351085|4022505 said:
Thanks, Pinto. I do notice that the food we use now (and the Wilderness) both smell terrible! My 3 and 5 year old even complain about it. I didn't know that there was dog food that didn't stink!
Stink is subjective :lol: :lol: :lol: I think the orijen cat food smells good because it smells like good fish. My DH dry heaves a little bit because it smells like... fish, but it's kibble :lol: - oh it's a fish flavored kibble, so it's appropriately delicious or stinky :naughty:
 

Queenie60

Ideal_Rock
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One of my dogs is picky about eating at times. I boil chicken breast and shred a bit of that into the food. He gobbles everything up. Worth a try. Good luck to your handsome boy!
 

hoover

Shiny_Rock
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I second Pinto's suggestion of Orijen - my guy has been eating that for ages and has the fewest tummy issues with this brand. They have lots of different varieties of kibble and treats including one that is just fish, if you want your guy to continue eating primarily fish based kibble. They even have red meat and wild game varieties too.

I've also tried boiling chicken and added the shredded chicken and the chicken water into his kibble to entice him to eat (been there done that with the "sucking the peanut butter off and spitting out the kibble" deal too)

Hope your doggy is feeling better and putting on weight!
 

aljdewey

Ideal_Rock
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PM, I had a similar problem with my Sheltie. I've held off commenting because I didn't want to create needless worry where you were going to the vet anyway, and I hoped you'd just hear "Oh, it's this minor thing." Since they aren't sure yet, I'll tell you why I'm a proponent of ultrasound.

I noticed my dog was losing weight, and initially attributed it to summer heat and eating less. I became more concerned when it seemed to be more than reasonable weight loss, coupled with the realization that hub noticed he wasn't eating much. All his initial bloodwork came through normal, so they moved to ultrasound. Ultrasound identified that he had liver disease, which is what we ultimately lost him to.

It was hard to recognize at first because he was still mooching from my husband, but that's because it was 'contraband' food he liked. That made it harder for us to recognize just how little he was eating of his own food.

I agree with your instincts to avoid the route of trying to entice him to eat; you're right that if he's refusing food, there's a root cause and you want to find it as rapidly as you can.

Hugs to you - I truly hope it's just a little virus or infection that can be easily treated.
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
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Sending more health and healing dust to Hollis, and also dust to you, PM, as you continue to make treatment decisions.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Puppmom, thinking of you and your sweet boy and sending more doggie ***DUST*** your and your sweet baby's way.
 
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