View Full Version : Dramatic weight loss - Any ideas??

10th March 2009, 12:22 AM
Amber is a year old next week. She's bright & happy, coat & skin in lovely condition. Bright eyed, full of fun, energetic & playful.......but she's had a sudden & very dramatic weight loss (down from 13 lbs in Dec to just 10 lbs today) despite having a really good appetite .She has Royal Canin Mini Adult & Butchers Natural Nutrition

You can now clearly see her ribs & hip bones jutting out.

Vet done full blood work up today, but on examination there is nothing that would suggest a possible problem.

This is really worrying as she eats more than twice what Bobby and my 7 year old Boxer has. (All dogs fed entirely separately by the way).

Has anyone heard of this happening before??

10th March 2009, 01:03 AM
Is she spayed? How are her poos?

10th March 2009, 02:53 AM
Edit: what I said was supposed to be in different thread.

10th March 2009, 08:13 AM
The immediate things that spring to mind are some kind of malabsorption syndrome such as Pancreatic Insuffciency but that should show up in the bloods - other than weight loss they behave "normally" with this. Diabetes is usually obvious as they are drinking and peeing more.

Are her poos normal? In PI you can see undigested food in the poo, it's more obvious if you give them something like rice and they generally try to eat their own poo. She's very young for that though, although I have a 3 year old with it!

Different dogs do need differing amounts of food - like humans their metabolism works at different rates. If she is extremely acitve and not spayed, she may need considerably more food than a spayed couch potato, but I would not expect her to be losing this much weight. I presume she has been wormed recently - that could be another cause of weight loss but would usually show in poor condition too.

You've done the right thing in getting her to the vets quickly for tests :thmbsup: please keep us posted and I hope you can get to the bottom of what is going on.

10th March 2009, 10:38 PM
My Cocker loses weight very quickly if he gets stressed. It just falls off him! He isn't the most stable of dogs and doesn't do well with change (e.g. a move or dogs leaving - I foster for a charity and when they leave to go to their homes he can get very stressed) and hs gone through phases of losing deveral kilos in a very short period of time. He is on high calorie and high protien food to help keep the weight on him but he is still quite slim and could do with a few more pounds on him. When we got him neutered I hoped it would help with the weight, but nope. He is just one of those dogs that has a fast metabolism (lucky bugger!)

Sudden weight loss is a bit of a red flag and you def did the right thing bringing your pet to the vet. Hope all is ok and you get to the bottom of it soon :)

10th March 2009, 11:05 PM
Have you cut down on her treats recently? That usually drops weight of my skinny Maddie. She also has to have a high protein food to keep weight on, especially in Summer when she gets more off-lead running.

On a more worrying note, in humans dramatic weight loss can be one of the signs of malignancy. I'm not sure if it's the same in dogs, and I'd expect you to see other problems as well. Do you know exactly what the vet tested for? IF not - and some vets don't always go into detail about which blood tests they're doing - it might be worth asking what they've managed to rule out as a cause.

IF she's lively though it might be just that she needs more food. :xfngr:

Edited to add: has her amount of exercise changed? If she's more active, getting more walks etc. or running around at home more, she'll be burning off more calories.

11th March 2009, 11:04 AM
Thanks for your prompt replies - much appreciated.

Vet said "she's now clinically underweight, so feed,feed,feed and await blood results". Apart from she's so skinny, and ravenously hungry all the time, she looks and acts the picture of health.

She first started loosing weight around Dec which coincided with her suddenly refusing to eat her raw mince, so its being sneaked back on the menu disguised in gravy from the Butchers. Shes now on 4 Very BIG meals daily, and I honestly dont know how such a tiny little thing can pack so much away without bursting:confused:.

11th March 2009, 11:15 AM
This sounds like maybe a thyroid problem?

I think dogs can get this much the same as humans...I had this problem when I was 20 and I was losing weight rapidly although eating normally(actually I was eating non-stop!!).

Or it could be just that she needs more as she is active..hopefully the blood test will reveal the problem.

11th March 2009, 05:46 PM
What about worms, although id have thought a vet would have looked for that, di

11th March 2009, 06:38 PM
I'd think a digestive problem, thyroid or something serious like cancer, one of the other problems where weight loss can be a sign I'm afraid. A vet might not be able to test for some of these things and some will miss a correct diagnosis too. I'd definitely want to get a dog that is eating massive amounts yet losing almost a third of her body weight rapidly in to a specialist asap once bloods are returned, if they don;t show an obvious reason. Or maybe first, I'd get a second opinion from a different vet practice. I'd be quite worried about that and would want to research further, if all else has remained the same in the dog's life.

11th March 2009, 10:24 PM
Thanks for suggestions. Shes had £400 worth of blood tests so hopefully that will flag something up :xfngr:. If not, xrays and scans to follow.

20th March 2009, 11:08 PM
:updte: Well she's had the full range of blood tests, poo sample tests and ....... Zilch. Absolutely nothing even slightly amiss anywhere:confused:.
Our vet had said that if nothing flagged up then Xrays and whole body Scan would be the next step, so she's booked in for Wednesday.

He's seriously worried now, as "taken to its logical conclusion a perfectly fit, healthy, happy little dog thats full of life will starve to death".

Apparently only one other vet has come across something like this before and his case turned out to be hormonal, and was a very invasive procedure. We're sort of hoping it wont come to that, but by now we'll do ANYTHING that will help her.

So please keep fingers crossed for her.

Cathy Moon
20th March 2009, 11:19 PM
How are her poos? Normal? How is her coat? Shiny, thick, healthy?

Have you tried the Satin Balls recipe? If you feed her a balanced commercial diet (all the right balance for nutrition), then perhaps you could add these for supplemental calories. I will find the link to the recipe.

Here it is: http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=10131

20th March 2009, 11:51 PM
Oh good luck with this difficult situation, and certainly hope you can find the problem. :(

21st March 2009, 12:02 AM
Hope you can get to the bottom of this...thinking of you and hoping it can be solved soon.

21st March 2009, 07:06 AM
i'm keeping my fingers crossed it's nothing that can't be sorted easily.
Good luck and keep us updated.

25th March 2009, 09:31 PM
:updte: Long post - Sorry. Todays Xray & Scan revealed no probs. Vet was expecting to see further weight loss, in which case he was going straight into invasive procedure whilst she was still under. BUT...... she has maintained her weight and even gained 200gms (thats equivalent to 8 packets of crisps)!:jump:

Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but Daughters instinct is that she was great on JW Puppy, but rejected Adult as too big for her. She then rejected the mince because she associated that with the too big biscuits!....so for the past 5 days shes been put back on JW Adult and JW sachets.

She'd been eating like a horse, 4 or 5 big meals a day and loosing weight all the time. Back on the JW she can only manage 2 small meals daily and often cant finish it .......and starts gaining weight. Yes I KNOW it doesn't make sense. But I've watched it happen.:confused:

Vet says wait 2/3 weeks and do repeat blood tests, but in the meantime any further weight loss will mean straight in for the op, which he really doesnt want to do on a perfectly happy,healthy, little dog.

25th March 2009, 09:52 PM
Here's hoping all goes well and she continues to gain weight.

Cathy Moon
26th March 2009, 02:17 AM
So glad she's gained some weight. :)

26th March 2009, 12:41 PM
:xfngr: that her weight gain will continue. I had a similar problem with Minnie, lost a kilo in about 4 months, but luckily we just needed to increase her food and she has now almost regained the lost weight and is maintaining it.

26th March 2009, 01:05 PM
Have you tried a specialist at one of the vet schools rather than the regular vets? I'd want a university hospital checking this before I'd do any type of procedure.

27th March 2009, 02:14 AM
I just found this thread. Wow, what a worrying mystery of a problem. I hope she continues to gain weight and that nothing was wrong except her food.

27th March 2009, 04:08 PM
i hope Amber is holding that weight gain & more since.:xfngr: If not i would also be asking for a 2nd opinion..

27th March 2009, 09:55 PM
Thanks for your replies. We'll give it to Wednesday (1 week) and if she hasn't continued to gain I will ask for a referral to Queen Mum Hosp. She is full of life and racing around happy as anything.

My daughter and I were laughing today because most of her feathering on the side & belly & neck had to be shaved off in order to scan. We can clearly see where instead of just shaving off the lot, nurses have gone to great trouble to hold the feathering out of the way whilst shaving. Then they have brushed all the long hair back into place and carefully cut it so that it exacty follows her body shape. How very kind of them:). They would make excellent hairdressers!

27th March 2009, 09:59 PM
Wow that is really thoughtful! My vets just shave away... :lol: