PDA

View Full Version : Losing Muscle Mass



Sydneys Mom
18th November 2011, 07:13 PM
Just a quick update and a question. Took Sydney to the cardiologist yesterday for his checkup. All in all we are very pleased that he is still doing well. There is no coughing, lungs and abdomen are clear and his heart rate is also good. His appetite is great. Yeah! this is all good news.

Anyway the one concern is that he has lost another pound. This is 4 pounds in the last 3 months. He has lost a lot of muscle mass and she suggested I give him more dry food. I've cut back some on the dry as his teeth are bad and he has a hard time eating, but I supplement his dry food with a premium wet food with nice chunks of chicken or beef or lamb.

After fighting the battle of the bulge with him for years, I now have to add food! Any suggestions on what to give that would still be healthy but help with lost muscle? I'm already giving him extra protein.

BrooklynMom
18th November 2011, 10:52 PM
No help here, but just wanted to send a hug to Sydney!!
What kind of food is he on?

Cathy T
18th November 2011, 11:24 PM
I know of a lot of people who have used this to put weight on their dogs:

http://www.holisticdog.org/Nutrition/Satinballs/satinballs2.html

Wonderful news on the cardiologist report!!

Sydneys Mom
19th November 2011, 12:03 AM
Thanks for your responses.


BrooklynMom No help here, but just wanted to send a hug to Sydney!!
What kind of food is he on?

I'm giving him Wellness Brand kibble and wet food. The wet food helps to soften the kibble. I also steam him fresh chicken which he also get sprinkled on top.


Cathy T I know of a lot of people who have used this to put weight on their dogs:

http://www.holisticdog.org/Nutrition...tinballs2.html (http://www.holisticdog.org/Nutrition/Satinballs/satinballs2.html)

Wonderful news on the cardiologist report!!

Thanks for this info. Some of those recipes look good enough for me to eat!

RodRussell
19th November 2011, 12:19 AM
How much exercise does he get? I've been told to give a cardiac dog some exercise to keep his muscles firm, and to massage his hind leg muscles.

Food alone won't work, I don't think, because you want to keep muscle on him, not just any kind of weight.

Sydneys Mom
19th November 2011, 12:27 AM
Rod, he doesn't get very much. We usually walk about 5 mins. 2x a day. About all he can handle for a walk. When it is nice out we stay outside as much as possible and he still enjoys walking around the yard and slow chasing any birds or other critters he sees.

No formal massages, but I do give him lots of rub downs. I'll try to concentrate more on the hind legs as they do give him trouble and they're not very stable.

I agree with you also about adding weight. Any gain in weight should come from muscle. I think the aim is to help him maintain his weight in the most healthy way, which is why I looking for healthy ways to do that.

Margaret C
19th November 2011, 01:18 AM
I not sure if this is what you are looking for, or if this will help, but I have used a product called Enervite, a nutritional supplement for non-eating and sick or elderly dogs, in the past.
They always seemed to love it and it usually stimulated a better appetite.

I no longer seem to be able to get it in the UK, and as my eleven year old Japanese Chin, Fonzi, is sometimes reluctant to eat & is now losing weight I am going to try Nurish-um dog paste and see if that will do a similar job....

http://www.markandchappell.com/global/dog-puppy/nutritional-support/nurish-um-paste-dog.htm

BrooklynMom
19th November 2011, 01:25 AM
I am going to throw out a left field idea...but is there a way to put on muscle (like weight training for humans) without having to do more cardio that Sydney can handle? I know I am human, but when I went down to 96 pounds and lost all my muscle mass after 2 intense leg surgeries...they needed me to add muscle, not fat (because I was quite sick) and I could not move around that much due to my leg, so I strength trained for about a year vs. cardio (about 10 min of walking a day was all I got). It helped me get my weight back up to a manageable point and gave me the muscle mass I needed to start recovery. So yeah, that is a human response and I don't know the answer for a dog, but I am just wondering what you could do for Sydney that would be strength training vs. cardio.

Anyone know if something like strength training/weights exists for dogs?

Sorry, left field on this but who knows!

Sydneys Mom
19th November 2011, 03:53 AM
I not sure if this is what you are looking for, or if this will help, but I have used a product called Enervite, a nutritional supplement for non-eating and sick or elderly dogs, in the past.
They always seemed to love it and it usually stimulated a better appetite.

I no longer seem to be able to get it in the UK, and as my eleven year old Japanese Chin, Fonzi, is sometimes reluctant to eat & is now losing weight I am going to try Nurish-um dog paste and see if that will do a similar job....

http://www.markandchappell.com/global/dog-puppy/nutritional-support/nurish-um-paste-dog.htm

Thanks for that info....Sydney's appetite is still excellent, just trying to up the muscle mass. This is good info for the future if his appetite wanes.

Holly
19th November 2011, 04:08 AM
You could try the Satin Balls recipe (funny name, I know!). Many people use it to put weight on a dog. You can make a lot and freeze some.


http://www.holisticdog.org/Nutrition/Satinballs/satinballs.html

Pat
19th November 2011, 09:13 PM
This is called cardiac cachexia, and you can google and read about it. There is really not much that can be done. I'd just be happy that his appetite is still good.

I absolutely would not feed anything extra like the Satin Balls - way too high in sodium and way too high in phosphorus and high fat also. Most dogs in advanced heart failure have marginal kidney functioning and I sure wouldn't feed a high phosphorus food. Managing heart failure and concurrent kidney failure is no fun - I've been there. I tried to add good quality protein with lower phosphorus amounts for my geriatric dogs with heart disease - often cooked chicken thigh and/or fish. This would be added to the regular high quality commercial food.

I have friends with geriatric dogs who are using water treadmill therapy to add muscle mass and strengthen rear legs - but these dogs are not in heart failure. I'd want to speak with the cardiologist before starting any exercise program like that.

Pat

Holly
19th November 2011, 09:31 PM
This is called cardiac cachexia, and you can google and read about it. There is really not much that can be done. I'd just be happy that his appetite is still good.

I absolutely would not feed anything extra like the Satin Balls - way too high in sodium and way too high in phosphorus and high fat also. Most dogs in advanced heart failure have marginal kidney functioning and I sure wouldn't feed a high phosphorus food. Managing heart failure and concurrent kidney failure is no fun - I've been there. I tried to add good quality protein with lower phosphorus amounts for my geriatric dogs with heart disease - often cooked chicken thigh and/or fish. This would be added to the regular high quality commercial food.

I have friends with geriatric dogs who are using water treadmill therapy to add muscle mass and strengthen rear legs - but these dogs are not in heart failure. I'd want to speak with the cardiologist before starting any exercise program like that.

Pat

Sorry- I didn't pay careful attention to the fact that this is a dog with severe health issues! I just took in a rescue/foster who is in bad shape (diabetes that hasn't been managed and the poor guy is literally skin and bones) so my mind was elsewhere. Of course, Pat is right- she is so knowledgeable! Good luck to you!

Cathy T
20th November 2011, 12:14 AM
So glad Pat chimed in here...makes total sense!!! If you consult with your cardiologist, you might want to look into a little bit of an exercise (non cardio) program. Shelby had back to back knee surgeries and 16 weeks confinement. She lost muscle mass in her back legs and we did underwater treadmill therapy and some at home exercises. I know you're in my part of town and this is where we went http://www.aarcsd.com/index.htm. Dr. Sosna is awesome!! Go to the gallery section and you can see pictures of Shelby doing her exercises.....high stepping, dancing, balancing. If your cardiologist approves, you may want to see if Clare can work with you on Sydney's muscle mass, if it's important it be built back up.

ashleighelizabeth
20th November 2011, 02:07 AM
I don't have any advice, but thinking positive thoughts for you guys. Lots of hugs from Sonny. :hug:

Sydneys Mom
20th November 2011, 03:38 AM
Thanks all for all the good suggestions. My main focus is to keep Sydney's diet as healthy as possible. At his age and with his health issues, I don't think he can handle extra exercise, I let him do what he can. I am looking at all your suggestions to see if any of them will be of benefit.

lucidity
20th November 2011, 10:24 AM
I was going to suggest water therapy as well, but I'm not sure if his heart would be able to handle it. Perhaps you could ask your vet about it?

What about switching him to very high calorie foods like Ziwipeak? That way, he doesn't have to eat that much to be taking in more calories. Some other very high calorie foods are Orijen, Nature's Variety Instinct, and EVO. I think the Instinct Chicken formula is something like 450kcal/cup, while Wellness is generally around 350kcal/cup or so. If Ziwipeak is available where you are, that would be the best choice IMO. It's soft, easily chewed, and very calorie dense. Much more so than kibble.

mommytoClaire
25th November 2011, 04:19 PM
Sweet Sydney, I am sure at this point he is loving any extra food he is getting, and just wants a longer snooze. It's a hard balancing act, but most important is just keeping his heart under less stress. I doubt without proper exercise you'd be able to out decent muscle weight on him, but would be thankful he doesn't look like skin and bones.

But, I am so very glad to hear that he is feeling decent, and I know you are just hugging on that cute face every day.