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My Annual Visit And Health Worry


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Hi everyone,

 

Jeff Gordon was rubbing his eye against me on Monday and pawing at it a bit and there was some goop in the corner. I warm water rinsed it and gave him some polysporin eye drops and waited 24 hours. Saw good improvement but decided to take him into vet anyway, just to be sure. His eye is fine, no infection and no physical injury, was probably just irritated. Good news right?

 

Except they weighed him and he has lost another 7 pounds since his last visit (about 7 months ago). Those of you around for a while will recognize the subject, Jeffy has been continually losing weight, in the last 3 years every visit to the vet his weight has trended downward.

 

Jeffy is 7 years old.

 

He has had blood work tested several times, parasite check (he had giardia twice so initially we thought that was the problem but that has been long ago cleared and weight is still trending down).

 

He has been tested for EPI twice, negative both times and we did a trial run of the enzymes anyway just in case. His thyroid has been tested, his Vitamin B levels have been tested. His leg bones have been x rayed. He did a course of a daily antibiotic in his food, I can't remember the name, it started with a t, to see if that would help, it had no effect.

 

He has had a tick panel done.

 

He is really skinny now, 23 kg. He eats regularly and well, about 5 cups a day plus I cook for him. He can be a really picky eater but lately I will give him anything just to get him to eat it.

 

His stool is fine, solid and twice a day regular.

 

The obvious worry is the same with anyone with unexplained weight loss that a reason can't be found for, some sort of cancer. But he isn't symptomatic of anything.

 

That being said this has been going on for 3 years now and he is otherwise his same goofy self. He walks, he plays, he whines incessantly (this is not new, he has always been that way) he disembowels stuffies and attacks belts and flip flops.

 

 

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Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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Is he really skinny?

 

I don't trust the scale at the vet a whole lot--if your dog is skinny, then yes, I'd be worried. Otherwise I'd be suspicious of the scale. Unless he was overweight to begin with?


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Yes, he really is. It has not been a sudden big loss, but a continual loss. I would say he has lost about 15lbs over the last 2 years.

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Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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I have to agree with George, all the vets I use (for different things, stitches, consultation, ER) have scales that just seem out of whack from time to time. When I got Bowie, the original vet said she was 72lbs, 4lbs over her racing weight. I thought ok, she's been on the farm having puppies for 4 years, but it also seemed peculiar because she was all solid muscle and ribs. When I had her at another vet who had just had the scale calibrated - I saw the guy calibrating it - she weighed 68, which was her racing weight.

 

Does your boy look thinner to you?

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Yes, we are not talking just a couple pounds. He came to me weighing 67 lbs and stayed close to that for a couple years and then started dropping weight, he is now at 50 lbs.

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Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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Maybe it's the wrong kibble for him? 5 cups is a lot. I can't tell if he's a big boy, looks like he never raced so no racing weight is posted.

 

ETA: I see you just posted his weight. My girl also weighs 67 to 68 lbs. Assuming his health is fine, as you say, I'm wondering about the food.

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I can't imagine a vet scale so far off that it would return a weight of 50 pounds on a male greyhound eating 5 cups of food a day.

 

But I think he's the only one of his litter who never raced (so there's no "race weight" in the database), and I wonder why he didn't run--especially when his brothers raced at 67-80 pounds, and even his sister weighed 59 pounds when she raced. (And he weighed 67 pounds when you got him.)

 

I'm guessing that he's got a problem with absorbing nutrients from his food, but beyond that I've got nothing.

 

I hope you get some good ideas from the vet folks here on Greytalk.

 

 

P.S. Your antibiotic probably was tylan.

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Yes! it was Tylan.

 

Zoomdoggy was Jeffy's wonderful foster mama, we drove 16 hours to go get him and it was so worth it! Aims got him from the farm and he 'wouldn't chase the lure' which is why he never raced. He loves to run, but only when he feels like it and he has no prey drive.

 

I should add he is a picky eater so basically I have to switch his food and add stuff to it. He is currently eating Iams green bag, because he will. We have tried many many foods throughout this process including several vet ones. He is good for a couple bags of any food then won't eat it anymore so I rotate between Taste of the Wild, Eagle Pack Holistic, Royal Canin, Iams and another one that I can't remember the name but we include because it is high calorie.

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Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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Carolyn- Have you tried going raw with him?

Katy....Mom to Retired Racers Hinder, John Carter, Hobsen, and Kodama, Galgo Espanol Gichin, and the Village Idiot...Teko
Missing terribly my fawn dog with the pretty ears Chance (Ale Seeyoulater) 6/21/05-6/23/15 Gotcha day 4/6/08 and my fuzzy baby boy Snacker (Tyville Snacker) 7/4/04-10/23/15, and all three of my IG babies, Isen, Tien, and Java.

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Carolyn- Have you tried going raw with him?

That was going to be my question. I really have no great ideas. I would be worried too. That is a lot of weight loss and I also don't think It's particularly normal for a dog to go off of his food that frequently. But I don't necessarily know what could be going on or how to look for it. I would consider an appt with an internal medicine specialist if you are truly worried. And I would consider trying raw, he may absorb nutrients better that way, but I'd probably see the specialist first to make sure there isn't something going on where raw might be able problem. Is his blood work all normal? No elevation in his WBC count?

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"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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That was going to be my question. I really have no great ideas. I would be worried too. That is a lot of weight loss and I also don't think It's particularly normal for a dog to go off of his food that frequently. But I don't necessarily know what could be going on or how to look for it. I would consider an appt with an internal medicine specialist if you are truly worried. And I would consider trying raw, he may absorb nutrients better that way, but I'd probably see the specialist first to make sure there isn't something going on where raw might be able problem. Is his blood work all normal? No elevation in his WBC count?

To piggy back on all of this, have you tried prescription diet?

Katy....Mom to Retired Racers Hinder, John Carter, Hobsen, and Kodama, Galgo Espanol Gichin, and the Village Idiot...Teko
Missing terribly my fawn dog with the pretty ears Chance (Ale Seeyoulater) 6/21/05-6/23/15 Gotcha day 4/6/08 and my fuzzy baby boy Snacker (Tyville Snacker) 7/4/04-10/23/15, and all three of my IG babies, Isen, Tien, and Java.

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Yes, we are not talking just a couple pounds. He came to me weighing 67 lbs and stayed close to that for a couple years and then started dropping weight, he is now at 50 lbs.

 

 

As Jeffy's foster, I can assure everyone that he was definitely not overweight when Carolyn adopted him. He was a perfectly good weight for his build, even arguably slightly lean as a fresh retiree. So a 15 pound loss, even though very gradual, is very worrisome to me.

 

His bloodwork is all normal (including protein levels?), and his stools are firm, and he's actually consuming five cups of food daily? That is bizarre!

 

What kind of food are you using?

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~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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That's another good point. Unless you specifically ask, thyroid levels are not checked during routine bloodwork.

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~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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My first thought was protein levels too. The first sign we had when Jack got sick was that his protein levels were dangerously low...bloodwork that was done because of a weight loss.

Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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Yes we did a thyroid panel and yes checked his protein levels, all normal. Yes re tried prescription diets, tried allergy challenge. Not tried raw though in addition to the kibble I also add to all of his meals or else he won't eat them. I cook chicken or beef or make a 'stew' to add to his meals. He does get occasional marrow bones etc as a treat but he doesn't love them. He does love bully sticks and milk bones and would probably happily eat a dozen but somehow I don't think that is a reasonable solution!

 

This last week he has been just picking the meat etc out and leaving his kibble, but we are on 3rd bag in a row of green bag iams so I will put one of the others back in rotation to see if he will eat that. He doesn't always eat all 5 cups, but I would say consistently he eats a minimum of 4 cups every day plus the stuff added. Although picky he eats.

 

My thought was maybe an x ray or ultrasound of the abdomen to make sure there is nothing in there, but I wouldn't think he could have a tumour or something for 3 years without being more symptomatic than just slow steady weight loss ?

 

My vets thought has always tended along the not absorbing theories but can't find anything to support that.

gallery_4518_2903_10073.jpg

Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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If you want to continue the kibble route I would try a super high quality NUTRIENT DENSE high protein high fat kibble such as Orijen. I'm not surprised at all he could be woofing down 5 cups of regular old Iams green or anything else like that and losing ground.

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Forgot to add that maybe is is a-ok and is just a 'hard keeper.' We had a horse like that once-unbelievable the food & special vet supplied supplements etc she required and always was on lean side but there was nothing wrong with her.

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If he were here I'd move him to raw, It addresses some large muscle hydration as well. Then you can feed straight green tripe in conjunction with fattier tissue pork or chicken thighs, bone in, as you start to get a feel for what stops the loss and how much more than that it takes to start his putting weight on. I think you'll find too, that his mood will change noticeably once it dawns on him that he's hit permanent food nervana - seriously. Start with chicken thighs, nice fatty ones or pork meat. Stay with either and source some green tripe to tinker with. If you get that far, let me know!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks everyone. Jeffy the pooh is at the vet this morning, they are doing another full blood panel and thyroid etc. A urinalysis. Doing a SAF fecal and some xrays. Once all that is done and checked we are scheduling a dental.

 

I am not going to do any dietary change (well except I cook for him , - steak yesterday) until I have all the medical ruled out

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Take the time to stop and smell the flowers - appreciate your everyday ordinary miracles

Carolyn, Faith, Jeff Gordon (aka Jeffy) and Oscar the chilla. Desperately missing our Stella, we'll see you later sweet girl.

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