View Full Version : Mom's Pup Needs Help

31st October 2008, 09:46 PM
Hi everyone,

My mother has a 1.5 year old tri-color male named Lewis. She just called to tell me she took him to the vet today because he's been whimpering in pain. He's been "moping" around and very slow moving. He gets brief spurts of energy in which he runs around and plays, and he's also eating fine. However, at times he will wince for no obvious reason and seems to focus on his right side. My mother said she pressed on his groin area (by his thigh) and the right side was very painful for him. She also caught him chewing at his right back end. My mom thought maybe it was a patella issue, but he doesn't seem to feel any pain when his legs are manipulated.

The vet's diagnosis is that Lewis has a back problem and needs to lose weight. He is 28 pounds and needs to drop about 8lbs. He's fed Royal Canin #25 and gets very few treats. In fact, the only treat he gets is a small dog chicken treat that is 100% chicken. The vet prescribed pain meds and another medication (my mom couldn't remember the name at the moment.) She is at her wits end on how to get him to drop the weight.

My concern is that this veterinarian once gave the very same diagnosis to my mother's Chihuahua (bad back, prescribed exact same meds). It seems like this is his go-to answer when he doesn't know what's really wrong. He's also a country vet and not very experienced with Cavs.

Any suggestions???

1st November 2008, 01:50 AM
I am sorry you mommy's dog isn't feeling to well :flwr: I hope that getting him to drop some weight (8lbs is huge!) will help his problem. If I were your mom, I would honestly be inclined to seek a second opinion. While I understand that excess weight can cause problems, I would want to make sure that there isn't some underlying issue causing the discomfort :flwr:

Good luck! :lotsaluv:

1st November 2008, 11:08 AM
Sorry to hear your Moms little one isnt feeling too good. As already stated 8lbs is a HUGE amount to loose !! I would definately look around for another vet for a second opinion, Perhaps somebody on here could PM you with a recommended vet near your location??

1st November 2008, 11:57 AM
Well, she might try for a second opinion, to get a fresh perspective.

The added weight, especially if the dog is that overweight, will definitely not be helpful and could indeed be causing serious problems. Extra weight as with people will make a dog more prone to back, limb and particularly heart problems -- that heart will be working very hard to try and deal with almost a third extra weight. Because of the prevalence of heart problems in cavaliers and the fact that nearly every cavalier will eventually have MVD, this much extra weight at this very young age IS a n early death sentence right now. he simply MUST get this off -- he is grossly obese. If the dog isn't losing weight on what it is currently fed, then cut food rations by a third, and get him more exercise. How much does he get daily? If he still doesn't lose weight, is there a chance he is eating cat poops for example to make up the calories? Or cat food? If no, then I'd have the dog's thyroid checked or other possible causes of serious weight gain. But many cavaliers, especially if not getting much exercise, need very little food and the most common cause of obesity is people feed them too much. I have two that only eat about 1/3rd cup a DAY and they get 4 walks daily!! I'd suggest carefully measuring food and buying a cat sized food bowl so there's no temptation to 'top up' ) -- a lot of people use dog dishes intended for springer sized dogs for example, and a cavalier meal will look like nothing in such a bowl -- there's a big psychological temptation to feed more. Often people think they are only feeding a certain amount but may be shocked to find out what they are actually feeding, when they top up the bowl a bit every day.

Now on the pain -- the vet will probably want to do an xray to diagnose back pain. This could well be a back issue.

Unfortunately it also could be something like syringomyelia (http://www.smcavalier.com). I'd make sure the vet is aware of this problem too. The vet will definitely want to start by treating for a back probelm and your mom's tri really MUST lose weight or his life is going to be curtailed anyway. So start with those two issues. If the pain does not go away and no cause seems to be found, or it recurs once he comes off medication, or recurs anyway somewhere down the line, then she should consider seeing a neurologist. There are several good ones in Texas including I believe Dr Carly Abram.

Love my Cavaliers
1st November 2008, 02:08 PM
About losing weight, my vet says the same thing Karlin said - cut their intake back by a third. Also, like two of Karlin's, both of my girls only receive 1/3 cup of food per day. My boys only receive 1/2 cup per day. I add green beans to their food as a filler. You could also look at the calorie count of Lewis' food. When I looked at Royal Canin (although it wasn't #25) the calorie count was much higher that what I was feeding. Oliver used to weigh 30 pounds and he is now trim at 24 pounds. He's still a big boy, but not overweight anymore. I expect he has some sloppy breeding in his background. He's very long-legged and has a very sturdy body for a cavalier.

1st November 2008, 02:44 PM
My girl Casey was morbidly obese at 32 pounds. I cut her food in HALF. I WAS feeding her 1/2 cup morning and night (1 c total per day) and changed to 1/4 c morning and night. She lost 8 pounds in about 5 months I think, and looks great at 24 pounds. It takes a lot of restraint on your part, but it is do-able. Good luck to your mom. It's important for the health and longevity of the dog to get the weight off.

1st November 2008, 03:55 PM
My Lily took off about 6lbs in 4 months or so -- I got her from the pound at 18 lbs and she is now around 12-13lbs. She was enormous for her size. :yikes Green beans are a dieting dog's best friend! :lol: I just add a handful, still frozen. They all love them.

Brian M
1st November 2008, 08:18 PM

Green beans frozen ? isn't that cold on their Tums or is that just human thinking .I think I go through about three bags of green beans two of broccoli and one of carrots weekly mainly of course with my ongoing battle with Poppy but I always thought to defrost it all .So I can get it straight in my mind how many grammes equal one cup of food that you refer to and as all the foods are variable in calorific content IE Royal C do a Light and Burns equivalent is High Oats is it safe to presume they would be similar in calories therefore giving Poppy the same amount in weight IE 25 gr per meal plus all the fillers, when I alternate between them .

Just quickly changing topic ,anybody seen that TV advert about train tickets that features sheep and more sheep the girls go absolutely bananas barking like mad and its change the station quick.

2nd November 2008, 02:25 AM
Thank you for the advice everyone. I'm going to suggest my mom seek another veterinarian that has more experience with Cavaliers. I definitely agree there needs to be x-rays taken.

I've been around tons of Cavaliers at different events, and it just seems like Lewis is NOT obese compared to some of the dogs I've seen. He is built thicker and more solidly than others, such as my Kingston who is more fine-boned. Also, my mom said that everytime he gets weighed at the vet, the scale says something totally different. I'll try to post a recent picture of Lewis so you can see what I'm talking about. Of course, weight still could be the major culprit here.

Since he is expressing pain when his right groin area is touched, could a hip problem be likely?

2nd November 2008, 03:04 AM
I received some pictures of Lewis send via cell phone. Not the best quality, but you can tell that he needs to drop some weight. If anyone knows of a good vet in the Houston area, please let me know. I researched Carley Abramson but she's a specialist and can be seen by referall only.




2nd November 2008, 05:15 AM
I have PM'ed you.