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Wilbur Is Wasting Away


Guest Adrianne
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Guest Adrianne

We're still struggling with Wilbur, and I want to take him back to the vet. He's lost so much weight that you would probably be shocked if I showed you a current photo. In fact, I've quit taking photos of him because he looks so bad, and this isn't how I want to remember him.

 

He's eating and drinking fine. He doesn't always eat all his food at one time like he used to, but by bedtime he has cleaned his bowl. We feed him twice a day and have been giving him extra. His bathroom breaks are normal--urine color is normal, and he goes out about the same number of times a day as he always has. I check his poops for color and consistency, and they look the way they always have. No straining, no diarrhea, no vomiting. His tummy isn't distended, no rapid heartbeat, nothing.

 

He is not in any pain that I can see, and I've taken a good hard look these last few days thinking maybe I was just missing the signs. There is no shaking, no panting, no crying. He whines a little when he lies down, but he has a hard time manuevering that broken leg. If I do anything with his broken leg while he's lying down, his nose will start dripping. If I do anything with his broken leg while he's standing, he will either immediately move away or go limp on the other side of his back end. He doesn't cry or show any other signs that it hurts him; I think it just stresses him. He didn't get his Deramaxx last night because I give it to him after he eats, but he didn't eat until bedtime and I forgot to give him the pill. There's been not a bit of difference in him; he's calm and quiet today. I honestly do not believe I am missing any signals that he's in pain.

 

But he's wasting away. It's been 8.5 weeks since he broke his leg. If it is cancer, is it possible that the pain of it hasn't set in yet?

 

I've been on the internet this morning trying to do a little research, but I have so little to go on. The only thing I found that seemed to fit was an article on depression in dogs. Could depression be the explanation? We don't see any joy in his eyes, and it's been weeks since we got a tail wag. He sleeps most of the day, getting up to move to another spot, eat, or take a bathroom break.

 

When I take him to the vet, what do I have them check? What tests should I ask for? What should we be looking at?

 

I'm at such a loss, and every time I think there can't possibly be any more tears to cry, the well overflows again. We are almost to the point of conceding that Wilbur has the Bridge in his sights.

 

Any thoughts are much appreciated.

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Guest IrskasMom

Did'nt Wilbur just had a Birthday ?? I don't know what to say or how to console you.I would take him to the Vet and demand an honest Answer and Prognosis about his overall Status. Do you have Trust in your Vet ??? If you do,he would be and should be very honest with you.The no Pain Issue has me baffeled. Some very gentle Hugs for you and Wilbur and deffinitly lots of Prayers that you find an Answer.

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I honestly don't know. But the distress in your words make my heart ache for you. I'm thinking of you and Wilbur often. Hugs.

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g240/mtbucket/siggies/Everyday-2.jpgJane - forever servant to the whims and wishes of Maggie (L's Magnolia of JCKC) and Sam the mutt pup.[/b]

She's classy, sassy and a bit smart assy.

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I agree, ask the vet for an honest, unfiltered prognosis. If you don't think your current vet can give you that, then a second opinion is a good idea.

 

FWIW -- all of my girls have dripped when they were happy, not as a sign of pain or unhappiness so the dripping could be for that reason.

 

His leg also must be at least somewhat atrophied, that will cause a muscle loss which will make him look thinner.

 

Sending lots of hugs and good thoughts for you and your boy.

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Maybe he's just super depressed over having the broke leg.? Things affect different individuals in different ways. I do know that apparently miraculous turn arounds can happen in an instant. It may be a good idea to have an animal communicator speak with him and see what he has to say. Most are very reasonably priced-something like $25 for 15 minutes-probably wouldn't take over that and may be very enlightening. Some animals that are used to their mobility become very distressed when they lose it with a broke leg etc. Perhaps they don't realize it is only temporary. Most horses cannot cope with it mentally and die even though it may not be a fatal injury. I'll be praying for Wilbur.

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Guest eaglflyt

You might try feeding him 3 or 4 times a day ... more frequent meals may make a difference. Add in some higher calorie treats or add ins. I've seen human patients that lose lots of weight when under the stress of trying to heal injuries. It burns many calories when the body is attempting to repair itself. I'm praying it's not cancer that is the cause of the weight loss and that it's just from the stress of healing.

 

You are all in my prayers. :grouphug:hope

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Inactivity for this long is bound to lead to muscle atrophy, I would think, as well as something like depression. If so, there's nothing to test.

 

Maybe extra efforts to engage him -- soft petting, stuffy teasing, playful conversation -- would help with the light in his eyes? Not to imply that you're not engaging him, of course. Just that it's tempting to give recuperating critters more space and privacy than Wilbur may need at this point.

 

More frequent small meals is a good suggestion too, I think. Please don't despair.

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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Good suggestion about feeding several times daily with some high-cal treats or snacks. A plain hamburger twice a day would probably slide right down .........

 

Could be he has just lost muscle tone, could be he is using more energy healing, could be his digestive system isn't as efficient. We found that the last was the case with our late whippet. In younger days he would get plump if we didn't watch, but his last year or two he needed at least as much food as Zema (15 -20 lbs. heavier!) to keep weight on.

 

Sending some hugs for yourself and scritchies for your sweet boy.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest longdoglady

I really feel for you, maybe his pain is a chronic ache which can be very exhausting but may not show obvious signs. There was a greyhound on a blog with a badly broken leg who would only eat raw chicken legs, the vet said she knew what her body needed to heal her bones. Maybe Wilbur needs extra calcium in his diet while his leg is trying to heal?

 

I hope your vet can come up with something to help Wilbur. :grouphug

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Guest Adrianne

Thank you everyone. You do give me hope.

 

I will try the extra feedings and will make sure the meal is extra tempting. Food is the one thing that has always delighted him. As of right now, he's lost 20 pounds, so you can imagine what an 86 pound dog at 66 pounds looks like. As I've said before, his racing weight was 82 pounds, so he wasn't much over that when this happened. It just hurts my heart to see him looking so emanciated, even in his face.

 

I will try to engage him more, though that one will be a bit more difficult. He's always, even in his younger years, been somewhat of an old codger and not prone to playfulness. I've tried to take him on walks in the last few weeks, but he won't leave the yard. He used to love his walks. It's hard for him to drag that leg around though. Maybe I'll put his boot on and try that again today.

 

I am going to at least speak with the vet and push for a prognosis. This living in limbo stinks!

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Guest 2greygirls

I think he may be in pain... like another poster siggested, these hounds can be very stoic in there display of pain, or lack there of. He sounds depressed to me,I have known some dogs to lose weight with broken legs, and be quite depressed... have hope. Try fun foods, and lots of interaction,possibly some massage, he may be stiff in other areas from compensating.. and I would try a stronger pain killer, it couldn't hurt.

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My best friends dog went thru several months of terrible pain~ injury/healing. and lost more than 20 lbs due to inactivity. The dog ate/drank pee'd and pooped like a champ, but without the everyday activity it lost the muscle tone.

 

Once the pain went away and the healing started and the activity could be brought back into the dogs life, the muscle came back and she actually gained all the weight back and looked completely normal!

 

Good luck with Wilbur ~ I have been following your story, and keep you both in my thoughts and prayers!

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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That kind of weight loss is an indicator for me, but that's just me.

 

All I can offer is my prayer for both of you. Try to listen closely to him

Claudia-noo-siggie.jpg

Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

:candle For the sick, the lost, and the homeless

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I'm so sorry to hear this Adrianne, I know how worried you are about Wilbur. I think everyone has had some great suggestions here. As for food, maybe add a little Ensure to his diet to give him some extra calories. Or some baby food mixed in with his kibble to give him something new and exciting to try. I think you are smart to go back to your vet an insist on a full work-up. Maybe something will show up in the bloodwork that was previously missed. And if nothing shows after all the tests, perhaps they can suggest something for what could be depression.

 

I wish Wilbur was doing better-you both have worked so hard during this long journey. I"ll be continuing to keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Hoping that there is still going to be a good outcome. Sending you both big hugs!

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Guest Adrianne

What did Dr. Couto and the specialists at OSU say after examining his X-rays?

 

They have just been sent. I took them with me Friday when we got a second opinion on Wilbur.

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Guest Energy11

I, too think it might be pain. BUT, if Wilbur is willing to eat, why not feed him, maybe four or five small meals a day, high in calories, and of course, protein? Couldn't hurt.

 

I would also "push" this vet, or another, for a REASON for the weight loss, too.

 

Sending you and Wilbur, lots of love, many hugs, and tons of prayers!

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Guest grey_dreams

What did Dr. Couto and the specialists at OSU say after examining his X-rays?

 

They have just been sent. I took them with me Friday when we got a second opinion on Wilbur.

 

Glad to hear they will finally be seen by the experts. I guess I thought you sent them immediately when you got them.

 

Agree with everyone else here about giving more small and high-calorie meals. Also agree with Diane that acupuncture could help.

 

The best help could come from Dr. Couto and his team, once they finally see the X-rays. Then you will know what you are dealing with.

 

Wilbur is also picking up on the tension between you and your DH. He's also picking up on "We are almost to the point of conceding that Wilbur has the Bridge in his sights." I guess it would be good not to think of the bridge until you hear from Dr. Couto.

 

Wishing Wilbur a lot of healing and peace.

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Guest Adrianne

I'm looking now into the acupunture. The closest place is about an hour away; I'll give them a call. I did also just put a call into an orthopedic specialist. He's in surgery today and not in tomorrow but will call me back by Wednesday morning. (Well, they just called back. He can see Wilbur Wednesday morning; I have to check my husband's work schedule since it's a two-man job getting him to the vet.)

 

I fixed Wilbur two helpings of a very fatty soup, and he gobbled it down. I'll give him something else in an hour or two.

 

I know there was tension between my husband and me when we were discussing amputation, but we are firmly on the same page now. We want what's best for Wilbur. I do think though, that Wilbur is picking up on my incredible sadness. I try not to cry in front of him because he's very sensitive to my moods. But I'm certainly stressed out, and he knows it. I really shouldn't be thinking about the Bridge, and I'm banishing it from my mind.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything.

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I am sending prayers of comfort to you, DH and that wonderful Wilbur. I just went through a scare with my 11 year Abysinnian - he started losing weight for no reason. Off to the Vet - every test in the book came back normal! Looked at the possibility of lymphoma; even scheduled him for an abdominal ultrasound. Then it dawned on me! His housemate (a 14 year old DSH) was eating the same food, only more and she wasn't gaining any weight! It was the food; novel protein source for the Aby's IBD that was 20% less calories than his previous food - had switched him in late August due to a weird episode. Transitioned him from Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea to Core canned and he gained 3.5 ounces in 5 days!

The moral of the story - the answer may be staring right back at you. I would feed Wilbur whatever he will eat/whatever agrees with him throughout the day. If he's losing weight - prove everyone wrong by stuffing him until you see signs that it's too much and then back off! If I were a betting person, I'd say that he will have gained a couple of pounds within a week provided he doesn't have a reaction to the increased intake. Have you considered making him satin balls?

 

Best of luck to you. I feel your pain through your posts.

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

:candle ....for all those hounds that are sick, hurt, lost or waiting for their forever homes. SENIORS ROCK :rivethead

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I fixed Wilbur two helpings of a very fatty soup, and he gobbled it down. I'll give him something else in an hour or two.

 

I know there was tension between my husband and me when we were discussing amputation, but we are firmly on the same page now. We want what's best for Wilbur. I do think though, that Wilbur is picking up on my incredible sadness. I try not to cry in front of him because he's very sensitive to my moods. But I'm certainly stressed out, and he knows it. I really shouldn't be thinking about the Bridge, and I'm banishing it from my mind.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything.

Hurray for the soup!

 

For a few years we had a cat with CRF, chronic renal failure. That's a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs. My vet at the time said that when you're on a down swing and worried, "Put on an Emmy performance if you have to! Just don't tell the cat!" That strategy worked well for us and the cat lived years longer than expected. If you're like me, you'll be challenged to be an actress at all, much less an Emmy-level one! But love is a strong motivator. And you clearly have lots of that! bighug.gif

Edited by greyhead
Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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Guest IrskasMom

Adrianne , someone said Ensure.See if he likes that.Your fatty Soup is great . Satin Meatballs made out of the fattiest Groundbeef. I buy Hormel Chickenbreast in Water for my Morty , to give him Variety , it comes in a Can. You are so much on my mind with your Heartbreak. Wilbur is such a wonderful Sweetheart. Some more Hugs for him ... ok. :grouphug:grouphug:grouphug

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Guest Adrianne

I wasn't going to post an image, but I think I will to show you where my poor boy is. This was taken just a few moments ago.

IMG_3942.jpg

 

I really hate posting this, and I probably won't leave it up for too long. I can't stand seeing him like this. My poor baby...

 

I'm going to the grocery store this evening to get lots of foods for him. And I'll definitely try the Ensure.

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My heart goes out to you. Sending many prayers for your Wilbur. I would be careful with mixing too many new foods - don't want to upset his tummy.

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