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german shepherd lost 40#

May 26th, 2009, 09:57 AM
hi, my son's dog is a 4yr old german shepherd and in the past few months has lost about 40#. he's had diarrhea. the vet told them to feed him cottage cheese and potatoes for a couple weeks but that didnt do a thing for him. they can run tests that would cost about $500 but they dont have the money. he doesnt have diarrhea anymore but its definitely not solid. its more like a cow pie. and several times a day. he drinks a lot of water! they thought maybe he had pancreatitis so they bought a cow pancreas from a butcher and fed it to him over a 2 week period, but that didnt help either. i was reading on here and thought maybe he has e. coli or some kind of bacterial infection in his stomach. also the symptoms of hyperthyroidism sounds so much like him. he is also "mopey". he will run and bark and stuff but just not real energetic like he should be. he is an indoor dog, but goes out for a few hours everyday. does anyone have any advice or suggestions. i think i may just break down and help them pay for the tests. i feel so sorry for him. thnx in advance! MC:confused:

May 26th, 2009, 10:15 AM
It could be many things. Cottage cheese and potatoes? Yuck! 40 lbs is alot of weight to lose. What kind of tests does he need? Im assuming they already did fecal and blood tests?
I say they definetely need to have the test done asap to find out what is wrong!! Some vets will do payment plans.

May 26th, 2009, 11:06 AM
40 lbs is a heck of a lot of weight to lose over such a short period of time for any dog. It's time to get those tests done, asap. You may be making the possibility of treatment more difficult or prolonged by waiting this out...sometimes it's better (and easier on the wallet) to get things checked out at the early stages of an illness rather than wait until it's a crisis, which, IMO, this is. If it was my dog, I'd be asking for blood, urine and fecal analyses for starters.

May 26th, 2009, 11:51 AM
Bendyfoot is right - you need to get this dog for some very necessary testing.

Everything you describe sounds so familiar. Diabetes, maybe thyroid, maybe kidney failure to list a few.

Please take this dog to a vet. If they lost 40 lbs - I am certain they would want to know why they are feeling like crap. The beauty about being a human being is that we can reason and understand. Those without a voice cannot and rely on us to do it for them.

This dog is suffering and probably feels horrible.

May 27th, 2009, 01:35 PM
I agree with the others - testing is an absolute necessity and needs to be done immediately! 40 lbs for a dog that should only weigh about 70 is a huge amount to lose, and if the diarrhea has been chronic, then it could've done damage to the intestines ability to absorb nutrients from food. The longer it goes on, the more other areas of his health will be affected. I'm sure the dog is extremely weak and is suffering.

May 27th, 2009, 08:48 PM
ok i stopped in and asked the vet about Ralph. he said he does not have hyperthyroidism ....that is good. my son took ralph to him in march and he did complete fecal and blood work. he gave me a 10 supply of prednisone and told me to feed him cottage cheese and boiled potatoes(again) for those 10 days and NOTHING else! not even a treat. this is very hard work. i have 3 dogs of my own and its hard to keep ralph out of their food...but i must do it so i will...til my son gets back home in a few days.

thnx for all the concerns and advice!!

May 28th, 2009, 09:50 AM
So what exactly is the vet prescribing steroids for? Steroids are serious stuff and can have serious side effects. I know that steroids can boost the appetite, and they also decrease swelling - but without getting to the cause of the intestional problem, the problem will just come right back once the steroids are gone.

Good Luck!

May 28th, 2009, 10:33 AM
My parent's Doby had chronic diareah problems. They would last for weeks at a time, horrible bloody diarreah and the vets did test after test and could not find what was wrong. They tried many different meds and the "vet recommended" diet, nothing helped... she lost a lot of weight and at some point we werent sure that she could make it, so my folks decided to try raw feeding her (prey model - whole pieces of meat and bone, organs, etc. ). Her diarreah stopped on the second day of raw feeding and has not returned once since. She regained her weight and energy and its been months with no incident.

Now, i am not saying that this will definitely help your dog... just letting you know our experience... and that there are more options out there then what the vets dictate...

good luck.

May 28th, 2009, 11:53 PM
It would a be a good idea to ask your vet to eliminate EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) as the cause of this. Basically it causes the inability to digest food properly and leads to weight loss, and the type of stool consistency that you describe. It is quite common in German Shepherds. He would need to run a test called cTLI to check for it. It can usually be controlled by pancreatic enzyme replacement.

June 10th, 2009, 06:00 PM
I had a German sheperd who had the same problem as your dog. He topped in over 120 lbs and then lost 30 in about a month. My vet said it was a virus but the breeder said we should check for pancreatic insufficiency which is prevalent in German sheperds. The vet said he checked the pancreas but there is a specific blood test to take ( a "T' - something, can't remember exactly). It turned out that my dog did have a pancreas problem and we put him on pancreatic enzymes (Viokase powder to be exact). He started to do much better and gained back some of his weight. Unfortunately he died a couple of years ago but he was diagnosed when he was 2 and I had a good 5 years more with him. I now have a new Gsd and he is having some wierd problems but we are still testing. I hope I helped.

June 18th, 2009, 07:44 AM
I agree with everyone else, this poor dog is suffering and needs acute treatment, not potatoes and cottage cheese!! He's lost HALF his body weight! Demand to have him tested for that pancreatic disorder. He needs treatment ASAP. God Bless Ralph.:pawprint: