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Dog losing weight

Dave Ewing
October 7th, 2005, 09:51 AM
Need advice: I have a flat coated retreiver that is about 9 years old. She has been losing wieght over the past year. She was about 55 pounds and now is 28 pounds. She eats food and shortly after she needs to go outside and poop. She seems to have constant diarrhea. The vet has ruled out Cancer, Liver problems. We have Xrayed her and she does not have tumors and her belly is full. After spending about $700.00 on tests to rule everything out our only step is to bring her to a specalist. which is estimated at over a 1000.00 to run more test. Just wondering if anyone has had any expierence with thier dog. We mainly feed her Science diet howver we have been trying differant food lately. SHe is old and skinny but otherwise still very active for her age.

Thank you

October 7th, 2005, 10:06 AM
Could it be a food intolerance? I would try switching to a food with no wheat or corn for starters. Then, the next step would be no chicken.

Lucky Rescue
October 7th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Wow - she's lost nearly half her body weight! Poor girl!

She eats food and shortly after she needs to go outside and poop

Something is stopping her from digesting her food since she also has diarrhea and is obviously getting little to no nutrition from what she's eating.

Since the vet cannot find the problem, maybe you could start feeding her a much better quality food than Science Diet. Better food is much more digestible, so hopefully she will retain some nutrients.

You could also consider a raw diet. This is VERY digestible. Here's a link to give you hints, or you can actually buy the raw diet already prepared, I believe.
Bones and Raw Food (

October 7th, 2005, 10:54 AM
I know that food is likely playing a major role in all of this, but 28 lbs is REALLY skinny for a golden, I think the food is just the beginning of the iceberg....

Lucky Rescue
October 7th, 2005, 11:04 AM
I agree. Something is making her body unable to digest food. It's possible that only exploratory surgery could find out what.

28lbs is skeletal.:(

October 7th, 2005, 11:05 AM
Flat coated retriever tend to be a little lighter than goldens. Regardless, she has lost a considerable amount of weight and will waste away if something isn't done.

Something is definitely upsetting her digestive system. Like what others have said, she could be having some sort of intolerance to something in her diet. I would try giving her a better quality kibble and see how she handles that.

Also, because she has diarhea, her electrolytes could be out of wack. You will have to be careful that she doesn't become dehydrated. Has the vet recommended anything to conteract the dehydration that might occur?

October 7th, 2005, 11:07 AM
Puppyluv, she's a flat coated retriever,
:o My mistake, sorry, have to slow down to read these :sorry:

October 7th, 2005, 11:09 AM
She has lost a lot of weight though. 28 lbs is way underweight for a flat coated.

Dave Ewing
October 7th, 2005, 01:36 PM
Thank you everyone for the responses concerning my dog losing weight, It shows that there are a lot of dog lovers out there. I have tried about everything mentioned, the general thought is her food. I have tried everything from Cheap fatty dog food to my vet recommended Eukanuba. She is slowy turning into a skelton, I can feel all of her bones from head to tail when I pet and groom her. I have yet to try raw food and at this point I think I will give it a shot ( thank to the person who gave me a link). the other option of exploritory surgery I am told by my vet does not hold much promise and it will be a large bill. My dog has never been abig eater and I make sure her bowl is also full so she can eat whenever she wants. hope to hear a few more ideas Thanks again for the people who responded

Lucky Rescue
October 7th, 2005, 01:40 PM
Whatever you do might just be palliative, and may make her feel better for now.

You can try adding cottage cheese to her food, and giving her Nutrical to supplement it.

Many dogs just cannot tolerate the grains and corn found in cheap food, so I would never buy any. Most of it passes out the other end.

You can also add some good quality canned food as well. Most dogs find it very palatable.

October 7th, 2005, 01:54 PM
And just so you know...Eukanuba is crap food. It is no better than the grocery store brands, and just because a vet recommended it, doesn't mean it's good. Vets often recommend bad food because they are paid to sell it.

October 7th, 2005, 02:17 PM
If she isn't very interested in her food, along with switching to a better food (eg. Wellness or Solid Gold) you should conisder nutritional supplements. Not only is your dog not getting the calories she needs, she's not getting the vitamins or nutrition.
A broad-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement is important to include at each meal.

Some evidence supports the addition of the amino acid glutamine to the recovery diet.

Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acid supplements are beneficial to the recovering dog. The amino acid Arginine should be plentiful in the recovery diet. Dietary nucleotides are important contributors to the formation of DNA and RNA and assist in a number of metabolic activities of healthy cells. Diets rich in meat provide adequate nucleotides.

By feeding a highly digestible, meat-based “Puppy” or “Growth” food, along with certain supplements, recovery and weight gain should be evident in a short period of time . . . as long as the dog has a normal appetite. The daily suggested amount to feed should be divided into four smaller portions.

October 7th, 2005, 03:32 PM
My aunts cat had the exact same problem, everytime she ate she had to run to her kitty litter box or throw up. After several tests and loosing half of her body weight, it turned out she had a hyper thryoid plus she was anemic(sp).
Has your vet tested your dogs thyroid? This is just an idea..........

October 7th, 2005, 08:43 PM
:sorry: to hear about the weight loss. Try switching to Wellness, it's a little more expensive, but it may help, no additives, she probably can't digest those other foods. She could also have a thyroid problem.. has see been tested. Hope she gets well.

October 7th, 2005, 08:57 PM
There have been a lot of good suggestions. I would seek out a second opinion from a different vet. Something is stopping her body from digesting her food. I would also ask your vet to suggest supplements that will be easily absorbed. It may be an intolerance to certain ingredients in her food but my guess would be something internal. If you wanted besides getting a better quality food I would suggest getting a high energy food. It is usually higher in fat and protein than even puppy.

October 7th, 2005, 09:03 PM
The better foods are also much more dense in calories, so your doggy would have to eat much less to get the amount she needs. Have a look at the ones I posted in this thread (there are all the links too) Post #4:

October 7th, 2005, 09:20 PM

Not sure where you are, but there is a homepathic vet in just west of Toronto, who I took my last two dogs to when I started to home cook. She gave me diets appropriate for their aged and illnesses, this included the supplements they needed,most of which can be bought in health food stores. If you are interested in getting her number send me a private message and I will give you her inforamtion.

Hope things improve for your dog.

October 7th, 2005, 11:21 PM
Does your dog have IBD- Irritable Bowel Disease? This could be part of the problem but if you are feeding your dog a commercial pet food that has alot of fillers in it or contains an ingredient that she is allergic to it will trigger diarrhea also . If she has IBD, allergens and poor quality pet food don't help the situation. If she is not getting adequate nutrition from the food she's eating and she had diarrhea, no wonder your dog is losing weight. You might want to have your dog checked for IBD before you structure a diet for her. Dogs who have IBD need a special diet and there would be no use outlining a raw food or any other diet plan until you know if your dog has IBD or not.

October 7th, 2005, 11:25 PM
Did the vet rule out pancreatic insufficiency? That can cause food to just pass through undigested.

October 8th, 2005, 12:05 AM
Well you have a lot of different suggestions for what is happening to your dog. I would see a different vet and discuss these with him/her as a possible cause for the drastic weight loss.

October 8th, 2005, 02:45 AM
I was thinking, my dog two years ago had these symptoms, it was kidney failure. I would go back to the vets and do a test on it's thyroid and kidneys.
I hope your dog feels better.

October 8th, 2005, 09:06 AM
Have you had the thyroid tested? My golden lost 6 pounds over the summer and for her that is a lot of weight. She was very thin and her ribs began to show through her coat.
Turns out she is hypothyroid and although most dogs with this will gain weight about 10% lose instead.

Could it be the fat content in the food?