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13 Yr Old Losing Weight, Etc.

Guest lgmaddox

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Guest lgmaddox

I feel like I should know this but want to run it by you all. Ladybeans is my 13 yr old girl, a black tuxedo hound. She is very sweet. The past few months she's been living with someone else due to my finances/work/living situation. She looked great this past December, but now she has lost a significant amount of weight and has become more picky with her food. Some days she eats well, others not so much. At times her fur is dull, although her keeper supposedly has her on fish oil.


We went to the vet 2 months ago, and an initial lab panel did not reveal any abnormalities. Thyroid was fine.


Does this sound like normal old hound issues, or do I need to be more concerned about the C word, or possibly parasites? I am thinking of getting a fecal done.


Thanks for any comments. Linda and Ladybeans

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A fecal isn't a bad idea. And ask the vet about medicine that might stimulate Ladybeans' appetite.


But this isn't uncommon in an older dog. And in hot weather, dogs often want to eat less (especially in the morning) and will get more picky about their food. It might help if Ladybeans' sitter offers her small meals more often during the day, and gives her something at bedtime.


When my old boy was losing weight, I ground up kibble and mixed it with yogurt or rice or oatmeal or vanilla Ensure. I wanted him to get the kibble so he'd be getting balanced nutrition, but I needed other goodies to tempt him. (And if I just mixed the goodies with whole kibble, he'd lick the kibble clean. Once the kibble was ground up, he'd eat it.) After a few months of the ground kibble, he was willing to go back to eating the whole kibble.


Also, if Ladybeans is having any dental problems, the ground kibble might be less uncomfortable for her.

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Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
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Another 13-yr-old here who's turned picky eater and lost a little weight gradually. We checked fecal, basic bloodwork, and teeth. All ok. An informal "test" for me is what she'll eat during her picky periods. Does she turn up her nose at kibble, but is eager for treats and people food? Or is she unenthusiastic about all foods? If all foods, I try a Pepcid before several meals in a row and so far that has helped at those times. If she just wants different food ... well, she's 13. All my rules about you get what's in front of you and that's it go out the window. I give her what she'll eat, with as much kibble mixed in as i can. Mostly, she wants meat and fat. Her tastes will change every few meals. Her most reliable favorite is chicken in the bone simmred till it's off the bone. She gets some shredded meat, broth, and fat poured over her kibble.


Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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I agree about getting a fecal test ASAP.


Her living transition could be affecting her appetite too. Just wondering if you're able to go visit her; if so, you might try feeding her to see if her food interest picks up while you are present. (I realize that's not a long-term solution, just more of a test.)


Whenever our geriatric seniors hesitate to eat, we check teeth and gums first. As others mentioned, kibble is difficult to eat if their gums hurt (red and/or inflamed). Water softened kibble sometimes helps until they can have a dental. Also, helps to allow a potty outing just before meals (and after). Ours won't eat if they're holding urine/bowel.


Agree that in hot weather, our hounds sometimes wait until later in day or evening to eat.


Not sure if the fish oil is being spread on her food, if so maybe she doesn't like the taste. As long as the extra fish oil is vet approved, that's fine, but beyond that, I'd be cautious about adding much fat to the diet. Too much fat can cause serious pancreatic problems. (IIRC, fish oil can increase risk of bleeding, so be sure to mention it to the vet if she winds up going in for a dental or other surgery.)


I assume her kibble is the same, and her stools are well-formed (and without any blood).

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Could she be in pain, either from bad teeth/gums or another source? I agree, they can get hard to keep eating as they age, so if she gets a clean bill of health, it's time to switch into bribery mode.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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