Getting skinny....

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headtrip_honey
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Getting skinny....

Post by headtrip_honey »

We are the proud owners of 3 Brittanys, and our eldest, a 4-year old, Hunter has always been thin.

Thin but muscular. He was gorgeous to watch run, he was pure poetry in motion.

The past few weeks or so, however, he has been dropping weight. You can see his ribs (not dramatically, but they're there), and you can easily feel his spine and hip bones. He hasn't been eating his food (however, when we scramble him an egg or give him chicken he scarfs it down), so that's likely the reason why.

But I'm slightly scared that it could be kidney disease. We had a Shar-Pei some years back who we lost to renal failure - similar symptoms, abrupt loss of weight.

I haven't noticed him drinking excessively (but I haven't been looking for it either), but he has been a little more lethargic than normal (but it is winter, and he hates the cold and loves to curl up by the space heater. Our two girls are chunky and love the cold - they would lay out in the snow all day if we let them).

I don't know. We just put him on a high calorie, high protein food that he seems to like (he won't even look at his other kibble, but he'll eat this stuff out of my hand), so I'm hoping I'll see some improvement over the next few days.

He's always gained/lost weight quickly (when our eldest female goes into heat, he stops eating when she's at her most fertile, and the weight just falls off him), so I'm hoping he'll gain it back.

I don't know....anyone else have any experience with this?
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

Hi Honey....Welcome to our discussion group....glad to have you join us, and we look forward to hearing more about your Britts, sounds like quite the pack :D :D

Just quickly, the best way to put weight on is feeding several smaller meals a day, in other words, take what you normally feed divide it up into 3-4 meals but add a little extra to each meal. This way you have increased the amount of food per day without burdening the digestives system with a lot of food at one time.

Also, you can add high value snacks in between meals, like a hard boiled egg, a tablespoon or two of cottage cheese, or other cheese, peanut butter, pats of real butter (not margerine), raw or cooked meat, etc. All of this will add calories, some nice nutrients, but in small quantities it doesn't weigh down the digestive system. You really want a steady gain, not a fast gain.

Some dogs get a little more value out of their food if you add digestive enzymes....just helps the body utilize what is eaten a bit better.

A good snack in between meals is Satin Balls....here are a couple recipes for Satin Balls:

SATIN BALLS
This recipe is one for putting weight on an animal quickly. It should be noted that this recipe is entended to be fed raw.

10# hamburger meat
1 jar wheat germ
1 lg box of oatmeal (uncooked)
1 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
10 eggs
10 sm pkgs unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 Cup unflavored molasses
A pinch of salt
1 lg box Total cereal (2lb's)
(You may also add a pinch of garlic powder to add flavor)
Mix all ingredients together well, much like a meatloaf....put into separate freezer bags and freeze, thawing out as needed. It puts weight on in a very short time, not to mention the gloss in their coat. You can use it every day and it does not produce diarrhea. It can be fed alone or with kibble.
This recipe was originally received from Dianne Carreon

SATIN BALLS
(This one is a little better than some SB recipes that call for Total Cereal which has a lot of sugar....dogs don't need sugar!)

1 lb ground beef
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 jar all natural peanut butter
1 jar (smaller of the sizes) wheat germ
1 doz egg yolks
1 cup or so of flaked oats soaked in heavy cream
Mix up, form balls, freeze, feed as treats or food supplement.

I think with a little variety in the diet your dog will also be a little more interested in food.

Hope this is all you need to get the pounds on and that your not looking at health problems.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

headtrip_honey
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Post by headtrip_honey »

Thanks!

I'm fairly certain that he's just skinny due to not eating much now. I've been watching his drinking habits - no increased activity, either going in or coming out, and while he still disdains his kibble (even the high cal stuff we got that he liked at first), he is wolfing down wet food.

Of course, this is making the girls jealous. They are both nondiscriminating food fiends who recently got cut off from their rawhide addiction. But I'm letting them lick the spoon I give him the food from!

He's definitely not getting skinnier now, and his energy seems to be up (of course, our weather is now warmer than it was when I posted....50 degrees versus 20).

I will pass on the Satin ball recipe to my mother, and perhaps she'll want to give it to him (she thinks I'm spoiling him by plying him with different foods - true, but I'd rather him be spoiled than dangerously thin, you know?)
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

headtrip_honey wrote:...she thinks I'm spoiling him by plying him with different foods - true, but I'd rather him be spoiled than dangerously thin, you know?)
:D Well, actually feeding different foods does not fall into the "spoiling" catagory.....dogs need variety in their diet just like we do. And the more fresh food they get the better :) Your Mom is a victim of commercial dog food manufacturers "brain washing", also known as advertising :P Not to feel bad, we have all fallen under their spell at one time or another :lol:
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

headtrip_honey
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Post by headtrip_honey »

Well, mom took Hunter to the vet today, they think it might be some kind of stomach or intestinal blockage. They said they could feel a lot of gas in his stomach cavity.

That doesn't quite make sense to me, as he's had regular bowel movements, not even loose or bloody, just regular, normal stools.

Anyway, they're doing an x-ray, and possibly an ultra sound to see what's going on in there. I will update when I hear back on this.

Also, we brought in a stool sample, and they ruled out parasites as the cause...

He's been vomiting a little lately (all yellow, slimey stuff), so last night we fed him chicken and rice, which he enjoyed heartily.


Update: Heard back from the vet. The X-Ray didn't show a blockage, but did show fluid in his abdomen. And the vet detected a heart murmur.

So....we're doing an ultrasound to rule out some things, doing some bloodwork, but the vet warned us it could be congestive heart failure. Which would fit some of his symptoms. Lethargy, weight loss, and vomiting. However, he doesn't have the classic symptom of noticeable swelling of the limbs or abdomen, so I'm slightly hopeful.

Anyway....whatever is going on is Not Good, according to our vet.
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

:cry: Sorry to hear the disheartening news :cry: Now one can only hope the vet can actually pinpoint the problem and that it is treatable. CHF in a four year old dog sounds like a stretch :? but these days young dogs seem to be coming down more and more with "old dog" diseases :cry:

Keep us posted....fingers and paws crossed for a diagnosis you can work with.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

headtrip_honey
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Post by headtrip_honey »

Yeah, and unfortunately Hunter is a little inbred....two of his grandparents were the same dog, which we didn't know until we registered him with the AKC and got his "family tree". We weren't used to buying purebred dogs from a breeder (most of our doggies were "free to a good home" types), and didn't know how to check him out...needless to say, when we picked baby Hunter up, we were not impressed with the living conditions the puppies were kept in. Gave me the general impression that the breeder wasn't that responsible with his dogs.

Anyway, the other possible option the vet presented (and the reason she's doing an ultrasound) was cancer. The fluid retention obscured a lot of his abdomen, so she couldn't see any tumor, but she's checking via other routes.

So, she's doing an ultrasound, she's tapping the fluid, and we're doing a complete blood work up. Not sure when we'll hear back.
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

headtrip_honey
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Post by headtrip_honey »

And another update:

No tumors, and the fluid they drained off was clear, so it's likely his heart.

They're still doing the bloodwork, which would rule out things like leukemia.
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

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Post by rtropeano »

Sending you hopeful thoughts!
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headtrip_honey
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Post by headtrip_honey »

Got the bloodwork back.

Lyme disease. Pretty advanced, so probably fatal. His kidneys and heart have been affected. We took in a stray cat back in October who was covered in fleas - we're thinking she might have brought the deer tick into our yard as well.

Now we're terrified that our other two are carrying it, so they're getting tested on Friday when we take our kitty in for a followup on an ear infection.

So, in the end, he is ending up like our Shar-Pei....Buddy was tested for Lyme disease, but it ended up just being his kidneys.
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

Dave
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Post by Dave »

I'm so sorry . I'm sitting here looking at his picture and it just makes me profoundly sad :( .

I know that isn't any help but we are here to talk about it . Dave
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
-Will Rogers

Cindy
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Post by Cindy »

I am so sorry to hear about these results. Fingers and paws crossed that your other 2 will not be affected. I had no idea Lyme could go undetected for so long with that kind of an outcome. Since Kayla tested positive for Lyme it makes me think I should be doing some more testing or reading or something. I am truly sorry. :cry:
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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headtrip_honey
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Post by headtrip_honey »

Thanks, Dave. We're pretty devastated here.

Here's a few more pics of our Brits, Hunter in particular.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/ ... kisses.jpg
Hunter giving Lizzy kisses when she was preggers....he was the most devoted daddy.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/ ... eeting.jpg
Meeting his firstborn...who, incidentally, is the small pup in my signature....she's huge now.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v419/ ... CN5812.jpg
Playing with the puppies when they were about 6 weeks old.
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

headtrip_honey
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Post by headtrip_honey »

Cindy wrote:I am so sorry to hear about these results. Fingers and paws crossed that your other 2 will not be affected. I had no idea Lyme could go undetected for so long with that kind of an outcome. Since Kayla tested positive for Lyme it makes me think I should be doing some more testing or reading or something. I am truly sorry. :cry:
Hey Cindy,

From what our vet said, this is a very atypical presentation. She'd read that it could happen this way, but had never actually seen it, which is why she was testing for all sorts of other things first.
-Emily
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Hunter (RIP 09.16.04-02.28.09), Lizzy, Bree and Jack

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

Honey....don't give up!!! Here are some very important sites to visit to learn about this disease (and other Tick Borne Diseases) and what you can do about it. Read, read, and read some more....you can fight this.

http://saluqi.home.netcom.com/ticklinks.htm
http://www.minden.com/nowhereelse/canin ... isease.htm

There is a terrific support group that you can join for free where there are others who are or have been fighting TBD's. NEVER quit....you CAN be proactive. Knowing the enemy is half the battle....
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

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