Chronic weight loss

Health and Medical topics may be posted here.

Moderators: Barb Wright, Lisa

Canned Ice
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1261
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Vicksburg, MS

Chronic weight loss

Post by Canned Ice »

Ok, I know, I know. Long time, no post. Vicksburg is not under water, nor has it been torn apart by tornadoes. I've been busy traveling, working long hours, and yadda yadda yadda. Buckley is fine but for one major problem. He keeps losing weight. He lost weight this fall when he had a kidney infection and he hasn't been able to put it back on since. He's eating TOTW - which he's eaten before with no problems. Except I'm now feeding him 50% more than usual and he's still losing weight. I've starting giving him frozen raw patties in his kongs for extra calories and nothing is making a difference. He was at the kennel for a little over a week and they made a real effort to put weight on him. They upped his food intake some more, fed him tripe at lunch (lucky boy), and pulled him playgroup every afternoon and let him hang out in the office.

He's at the vet tonight so they can do fasting bloodwork tomorrow morning (they tried doing this before but he managed to find teabags to eat the last time I fasted him so we decided he should stay at the vet). I have no idea what could be going on. Buckley's sugar-eating escapades a couple months ago ended with the revocation of his free roaming privileges so he's kenneled while I'm gone. I thought that would help him gain weight since he's confined but he's still losing. I'm not running him any more than he's used to (~3 miles a day/4-5x a week). The vet suspects either a liver problem or an intestinal problem. I don't particularly like the vet he saw today; the vet seemed to be confused about why I brought him in. The vet he usually sees was not there today and he seems to take a more proactive approach. Has anyone seen this before? Is there some condition I should suspect beyond liver or intestinal problems? He seems totally fine - just painfully skinny.
Buckley - I own this mountain.
Image

Annabelle
Senior Hunter
Senior Hunter
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:03 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Annabelle »

I can't offer too much, I just hope these tests figure out what is going on with Buckley.

On a lighter side...
I speculated that my dog Jack put on some weight when he wasn't crated when I was on mat. leave. Since he is less anxious out of his crate I figured he wasn't burning calories panting and turning around in his crate for 20 minutes after I left, but just hanging out looking out the window and then on the couch. But he too has had roaming priviledges revoked.

(We also had the same issues trying to do fasting bloodwork with our older dog. Ruby managed to grab 2 cheerios from my son on the morning of her fasting test and we had to reschedule)
Image

Lisa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4031
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:42 pm
Location: McKinney, TX

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Lisa »

The only thing I can think of that can cause chronic weight loss without obvious signs like vomiting is Addison's disease. I know that sometimes it can be really hard to diagnose, and can often present with weird symptoms. My vet and I were talking about it once, and she said she's had clients that have come to her after several other vets and thousands of dollars in test and no diagnosis before they get the diagnosis of Addisons. So, that might be something worth asking your vet about, if you haven't tested for it already. Actually, the more I think about all the things you've written about Buckley, the more Addisons sounds like it might fit.

Here's a decent link on Addison's - http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/cliented/addisons.aspx

I do hope you get to the bottom of what's going on with Buckley!
Image Image RIP Madi
Charm-future agility champ
Britty- RIP March 27, 2014
Buster-CGC, OA, OF, NAJ, APK, APJ, APG, APR, PD

Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
Posts: 5785
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Cindy »

Oh no, poor Buckley! Please let us know what the vet says. I'm assuming you've checked the calorie count on the dog food? One thing I discovered when looking for reduced calorie food was that they vary GREATLY and saying "lite" doesn't mean a whole lot. I know, stupid me should know better :roll: But it might be worth taking a look at.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
Image

rtropeano
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:00 pm

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by rtropeano »

Candice, sorry to hear about Buckley's weight issue -I hope you get to the bottom of it.
Rose
Image

"I didn't do nothing, Mama!"
Daisy Mae, CGC, TDI, CTL1-F

Canned Ice
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1261
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Vicksburg, MS

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Canned Ice »

OK, after three consecutive days of tests, the vet thinks Buckley may have Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or food allergies. Basically, he's not producing enough enzymes to properly digest his food or his food is causing him to produce an inflammatory response and he's not able to digest it. This is based on bloodwork (low albumin and amylase and a weak positive for some pancreatic insufficiency test I can't remember the name of) and a ultrasound of his liver and pancreas (relatively normal but somewhat ambiguous results-he *may* have a smallish pancreas). We're trying him on a trial of pancreatic enzymes (can't remember the name of the drug - basically the extract of pig's pancreas) to see if he'll gain some weight.

I got in an argument with the vet over food (the same older vet I don't really like). He told me I needed to feed him a better quality food - I told him Taste of the Wild IS a good quality food made primarily from meat. He wanted me to switch Buckley to Science Diet puppy food. I'm all for switching him to Z/D if we need to rule out a food allergy but I really don't want to feed him Science Diet's regular food, especially since I've already noticed a pattern of diarrhea when Buckley gets corn-based foods (I/D even gives him diarrhea). But I won that argument for now. Buckley is still on TOTW plus the pancreatic enzymes. He has two weeks to gain weight then we start Z/D and the enzymes to see if that helps. I don't plan on keeping him on Z/D if it comes to it but it seems like a good place to start when dealing with digestion issues. I hope it won't come to it and we'll see improvement only with the enzymes.
Buckley - I own this mountain.
Image

Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
Posts: 5785
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Cindy »

Well, good to have a diagnosis. Now it will be trial and error (hope not much error) to get him back on track. I was just thinking ... we switched our dogs to TOTW (from Cal Natural)a few months ago. I did get the lowest calorie flavor because of Jill's weight issues. But, we had to increase Kayla's portion because she was starting to look skinny. Now this could be due to the time of year and her activity level with swimming, etc. And I think Jill looks like she's lost some weight too (which is good). Just interesting :? :?
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
Image

Lisa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4031
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:42 pm
Location: McKinney, TX

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Lisa »

Glad you have a possible diagnosis, and something to work with. Still....keep Addisons in the back of your mind and maybe ask to test for that sometime.

I agree with you on the Science Diet. I won't feed it except as an interim food for some medical reason. When I had a foster in kidney failure, my vet tried to get me to switch to K/D(? I think). I told her no way, and the foster lived quite a few months longer than expected with me feeding a high quality dog food. Vet's tried to get me to feed either I/D or the low residue food when my dogs all had a stomach bug...again, said no way and fixed chicken (or in Buster's case, beef) and rice for a few days.

The Z/D can be helpful in determining a food allergy, since everything in that food is broken down and supposed to be allergy free. You can use it as a base to add in proteins/carbs and see what produces a reaction, and then find foods without those things in them.

I will say - dogs with health issues seem to do really, really well on Nature's Logic, and it's about the same prices as TOTW. I've been feeding it to my dogs for a couple of years. I know several diabetic dogs doing great on it. It's what kept the foster in kidney failure doing well for much longer than expected. I order from Pet Food Direct and I alternate between the beef and lamb based foods. So, if you want to try a different food, that might be an option.
Image Image RIP Madi
Charm-future agility champ
Britty- RIP March 27, 2014
Buster-CGC, OA, OF, NAJ, APK, APJ, APG, APR, PD

Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
Posts: 6851
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Montana

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Barb Wright »

Now that you have a diagnosis here is a good article to help you understand and fight the disease:

http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjepi.html

With the prescribed enzymes you should see improvement in stool quality and other symptoms within a week or two. Of course it will take much longer to see weight gain which hopefully will occur as well. Onward and upward :)
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

rtropeano
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:00 pm

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by rtropeano »

For what it's worth TOTW is in Daisy's rotation and she does fine on it. Maintains good weight and muscle tone....

Glad you have diagnosis on Buckley...don't let them push you into the Science Diet (unless it's the Z/D of course, that's a different story). There are much better alternatives out there...

Rose
Image

"I didn't do nothing, Mama!"
Daisy Mae, CGC, TDI, CTL1-F

adele
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 2726
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:12 am

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by adele »

I hope the enzymes do the trick. Poor old Buckley. He's had more than his fair share of trouble. Give him a big snuggle for me.
Image

janet909
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1179
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:11 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by janet909 »

I hope that Buckley does well on the enzymes. Is there a way to request the other vet next time you go in ??? I think you should be able to without feeling obligated to anyone. I'm lucky I have a one vet office of course, whenever he goes on vacation, it's a crap shoot. I have actually waited for him to return when it's not urgent and the staff totally understands.

AuntieMom
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 3657
Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 4:39 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by AuntieMom »

Oh Buckley, you wonderful circling liver and white handsome canine! Please gain weight for your mom and auntiemom.
Image
Trapper, CharLee & Kallie

Canned Ice
Field Trial Champion
Field Trial Champion
Posts: 1261
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:09 pm
Location: Vicksburg, MS

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Canned Ice »

Update!!!!

Buckley went back in for his two-week checkup with doc and.....HE GAINED 4 POUNDS!!!!!! The meds seem to be working and the diagnosis of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency appears to be the right one. The vet said if he wasn't deficient in pancreatic enzymes, adding them wouldn't have made a difference for him. He goes back in in a couple of weeks for another checkup and he'll get his teeth cleaned while he's there. He's needed a cleaning for a while but he was sick so the vet didn't want to put him under until we figured this out.

And on a unrelated note...
...after his teeth cleaning, Buckley will come home to our new place! I've been looking to buy for a while but things just didn't work out. But fate intervened and I found a cottage to rent in an 1830s compound that housed union troops in the civil war! It doesn't have a fenced yard but Buckley's allowed off leash in the central courtyard, there's huge old live oak trees in the courtyard, and the cottage has a porch with a swing. Hopefully it will be nice and quiet for Buckley and I unlike my current apartment.
Buckley - I own this mountain.
Image

Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
Posts: 5785
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Chronic weight loss

Post by Cindy »

Oh Candice - such great news on all fronts. I told you about my Civil War "thing" so can't wait to see pictures of your new place. A front porch with a swing - what could be better? But most importantly, Buckley is gaining weight and doing better. Have you thought about doing some kind of IF at your new place? Or maybe one of those radio fences? I'm sure you will both be much happier than living in an apartment.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
Image

Post Reply