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Thread: Advice needed - dog won't eat, losing weight -long

  1. #1
    Senior Member MoJo's Avatar
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    Default Advice needed - dog won't eat, losing weight -long

    This is not Lab related, but is dog related. I have a 16 mo Great Pyrenees that is now only eating sporadically. He originally presented with some listless behavior and loss of appetite. This happened the weekend of 6/14-6/15.

    I took him in to the vet on the 17th at which time he weighed 109 lbs. His gums were pink, physical exam was normal and he was still active and did not seem to be in distress.

    Over the next week, he would only eat about every other day. Still I was not too concerned as he seemed bright and active. However, when I took him in on the 24th for follow up, his weight was 94 lbs. He had lost 15 lbs. in a week. At this point, I was very concerned. We did blood work and everything is WNL. Heartworm was/is negative. I went home with instructions to change his food, as he might have food sesitivities.

    As an interesting aside - when the Vet was explaining the food sensitivity problem to me, he commented that it was similar to a gluten sensitivity in humans. He then went on to try to tell me what that meant. What he did not know is that I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1983 and have been on a Gluten Free diet since then. One could say I am familiar with food sensitivities.

    We got some ZD food for Louie and went home again. He is still not eating consistently. I don't know what he weighs now (He's to heavy for me to lift) but he's starting to look skinny -though it's hard to tell under all that hair. At his time, we have tried 7 different brands of foods, rice, yogurt, pumpkin, chicken and ground beef. None of these seem to entice his appetite.

    Yesterday, my vet recommended we go down to the Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado for an ultrasound and more blood work. We did so. The ultrasound was clear, confirming there is no obstruction. We did a test for Addison's and I will get the results on Monday. I am getting pretty scared. This is a very young dog and the apple of my eye.

    Any thoughts, suggestions and tips you might have would be very welcome.
    ~Moira Sheehan
    Third Creeks Twisted Sister***
    Hallelujah Toulouse's Jean (House Guardian Pyr)
    Moriah's Rumor's Oopsy-Do (Mini Dachshund)

  2. #2
    Kristie Wilder
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    hmmm....

    Did your vet check his teeth and mouth? Any chance there's a chipped tooth or something more superficial that's simply making it painful to eat?

    Also, another remote possibility... I had a dog that had a pinched nerve or something of that sort in his back and it was uncomfortable for him to go to the floor for the food bowl -- initially we thought he just didn't want to eat. So maybe elevating the food bowl if you don't already...

    And how about something like gas or upset tummy related to allergies or something similar? Does he get gassy or bloated?

    Are his lymph nodes ok? I assume they would have felt these at some point in all your visits...

    -K

  3. #3
    Senior Member D Osborn's Avatar
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    I had a female who did this-something as simple as a pepcid AC 1/2 hour before eating, Amoxi with the meal cleared up the bacterial infection. We figured was an ulcer.I went back to basics. oatmeal with whatever meat they will eat ( mine hate chicken)
    Ask the vet if you can try this, as sometimes they are not hungry because their tummy hurts.
    Another thing, go with what Kristie suggested. Check for plastic stuck in teeth, anything like that. Cost a young collie his life
    Christine
    "We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable
    to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan." Irving Townsend.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 3blackdogs's Avatar
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    What about running a tick panel? That's one of the first things vets look at in our area. I don't know what your tick-borne disease intensity is, but it's bad here. We have Lyme, lepto, anaplasmosis, erlichia, Rocky Mountain, babesiosis. Some of the symptoms can be subtle.

  5. #5
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    Is he having any diarrhea at all? If so, absolutely demand that your vet run a test for EPI, Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. This is most often seen in GSDs, but is present in many breeds. Basically, their pancreas doesn't produce the enzymes to allow them to digest food, so no matter how much they eat, they lose tremendous amounts of weight. Some EPI dogs continue to eat ravenously, but look like skeletons because they're getting no nutrition from the food. Others quit eating because their tummies are upset.

    EPI often goes undiagnosed until dogs are in crisis.

    WB

  6. #6
    Kristie Wilder
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3blackdogs View Post
    What about running a tick panel? That's one of the first things vets look at in our area. I don't know what your tick-borne disease intensity is, but it's bad here. We have Lyme, lepto, anaplasmosis, erlichia, Rocky Mountain, babesiosis. Some of the symptoms can be subtle.
    OOOOOooooo, yeah, yeah, yeah, this reminded me....

    If we think there might be something tickborne, we don't even bother running the panel... Just put the dog on doxycycline. Cheap and sometimes fixes everything!! (esp things that can't be diagnosed!)

    -K

  7. #7
    Senior Member fishduck's Avatar
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    When my buddies BLM had a similiar problem the vet put him on a diet of boiled chopped chicken cooked in rice. Dog ate and put on weight very quickly. Similiar to the oatmeal and meat but some dogs will eat chicken and rice better. Try them all and find something the dog likes until you get a definitive diagnosis.

    Hope for the best
    Mark L.

  8. #8
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    Get blood work done............ Could be Kidney problems?

    john
    "i guess the old saying 'those of us that think we know everything annoy those of you that does' " --bobbyb 9/13/06

    "A Good Dog is a Good Dog"

  9. #9
    Kristie Wilder
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    Is it safe to assume that he's been checked for an obstruction? I know Allie's (fishing line that cinched up her small intestine and eventually killed her) didn't show up on ultrasound. She had no appetite, either, but all bloodwork was ok until "the end" (yuck).

  10. #10
    Senior Member MoJo's Avatar
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    The ultrasound yesterday showed no obstruction in his GI tract. $$=Ouch. I have checked his mouth for obstuctions and there are none there.

    He is active and barking as Pyrs do and does not seem to be in distress. However 15 lbs. in a week has gotten me pretty scared. He would not eat again tonight and I have tried cooked chicken, ground beef, rice, yogurt, potatoes, pumpkin.

    The vets are at a loss.
    ~Moira Sheehan
    Third Creeks Twisted Sister***
    Hallelujah Toulouse's Jean (House Guardian Pyr)
    Moriah's Rumor's Oopsy-Do (Mini Dachshund)

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