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Question
Posted by: JR | 2008/10/20

weight loss

My overweight dog suddenly become ill (throwing up and diarrhoea) and needed to be put on a drip and medicated. She has since recovered but lost major weight in the process.
I have largely eliminated feeding her leftovers and feed her Nutriphase dog food.
The problem is that she just does not gain any healthy weight and looks like a underfeed dog with her rips sticking out.
She passes stools +- 5 times a day and is constantly hungry (I have even gone so far as to insure there is food in her bowl most of the time) It seems as if the food just passes straight through. I have had her at the Vet again recently and she is regularly de-wormed. The vet does not seem concerned but recently I see she eats her own stool.
Any advice?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear JR

There must be a reason for her hungry state and weight loss. She can be diabetic, have Cushings disease or have a gut problem. Your vet need to take action and rule these out. Diabetic and Cushing dogs typically have enormous appetites but keep on losing weight.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mal | 2008/10/24

Dear Vet &  Chill,

Thanks for the advise above. The dog mentioned is my dog. JR (a friend of mine) posted the questions on my behalf.

Update:
I' ve bought my dog Protexin. It seems to help. I' ll keep an eye on her. But the day after your reply, I start to notice that something is wrong with her sight. I took her to a vet (AACL) and they confirmed that she has cataracts. It developed so fast (or so it seem to me) that I' m still in shock! Now with the information you have given, I' m almost convinced that she is diabetic because she drinks A LOT of water every day and I catch her regurlarly eating grass. The vet don' t do these tests (so they say). I need to go to a private vet to get these confirmed and I also want to find out what the cost will be to remove the cataracts. She is still young and can have a long life. (Oh, the illness that caused her to loose so much weight is still unknown. She was vomiting dark brown substance - which the vet thought could have been blood. But they could not determine what the cause was. They treated her on a drip and she recovered. Since then she hasn' t been vomiting again. This was about 3 months ago.)

My question: How dangerous is it to my dog if she does not get treatment immediately? And can you refer me to a vet who specializes in cataract removal (in the Western Cape)?

Reply to Mal
Posted by: Chill | 2008/10/20

What was the illness the dog got that she had to be treated for?

Also: if you' re used to your dog being overweight, are you sure you aren' t misjudging her condition now? She' s obviously going to look thin to you - but of course dogs to be healthy should be quite nice and lean, and although you shouldn' t necessarily be able to see her ribs - I mean, individual ribs! - from a distance, there shouldn' t be too much flesh actually covering them - you should be able to feel all the ribs quite clearly.

You also don' t say if you switched from overfeeding to iron rations in one go - obviously, if the dog is used to eating too much, it' s going to have to get used to eating the right amount. NOrmally one would reduce quantities gradually over a few weeks - but the illness your dog had may have precluded this.

My dogs are on nutriphase, and I' m totally happy with their condition and health. But of course this brand may not suit every dog, especially if there is an underlying health problem. The quantities listed on the packs of Nutriphase are frankly ridiculous - you will have to play this by ear, if you' re going to stick with this brand.

To boost the digestive process, consider getting some Protexin from your vet - it' s a white powder you put on the food - you only need a tiny bit - maybe a quarter of a teaspoon or so - this contains the bacteria which should be in the dog' s gut in order to aid digestion.

The more expensive brands of dogfood - mostly, those you buy from the vet - apparently result in fewer stools - but I don' t know if affordability is an issue for you.

Reply to Chill

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