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Mildly worried about Shoshone

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OK, our quirky girl is around 12 or 13, maybe older. When we got her, 9 years ago, she weighed 32 lbs. It took at least 3 months to put 3 lbs on her. At 35 lbs, she looks/feels good to me, she's on the shorter side for a bc, but she's also a bit squarish and has never had the tucked tummy.


Last Dec, she broke a toe. No running for 3 weeks, didn't think to reduce her ration, she got distinctly plump. I cut back to about 2/3 of what I had been feeding her, (California Chicken/Rice) and she went from about 39 lbs to 36 in a couple months, but she feels like skin and bones to me.


Our vet did a complete senior panel 2 months ago, everything came back well within normal ranges, including thyroid. We discussed her weight, and the recent history behind it. He suggested feeding more. I added a half cup per day to her ration. For the last 2 months, she's been getting at least 2 cups of kibble a day, more most days if you add in treats, etc.


Went to the vet yesterday for shots/weight. She's lost another lb. We talked about it again. My vet feels that it's a function of her breed and age, that she's lost another lb. Her exercise level is really moderate. She gets a 10 minute game of fast fetch every morning, and another few minutes in the afternoon. She stops, I think, when her arthritic front feet start to hurt. She takes a steriod, triam something, I can't read the vet's writing, 1.5 mg every 3rd day for her allergies. She also takes Proin for incontinence.


Anybody else had any older dogs that just didn't hold their weight? She was practially starved as a young dog, for at least a year, maybe more. When the rescue took her in, she weighed less than 25 lbs. Could her digestive system have been compromised and it's showing up now that she's older?


There is a veterinary internist near us I think - would you take her if she were your dog?


Sorry to go on and on, and I appreciate whatever input you all might have for us.


Ruth n the BC3

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Wow - this sounds like my 11 yr old, to a tee except she's not on steroids, and she hasn't lost that much weight. She has fluctuated between 37 (which is very thin for her) to around 41, maybe 42 on occasion (which is very plump for her). She can gain or lose quite readily, and that sounds like your girl too.


I'd say in the past year, she's probably lost a pound, and stayed pretty consistently at that weight. Just lately, she's been very disinterested in eating her morning meal - sometimes she'll take a few bites, sometimes she'll eat half, rarely she'll eat it all. I worry about her losing more weight. I am thinking now that it might be: it is summer, and the only decent time in the desert here for any outdoor activity when I get home is about 7:30 to 9 p.m. The dogs don't usually get fed till then. Then, it's about 7 the next morning. All she has done in-between is sleep! So, maybe she's just telling me she's not that hungry in the a.m. I've been trying to slightly increase her evening meal, since she seems to eat that readily. I feed raw, so try to increase the good calories too - a bit more oil, more fatty meat, more whole-milk cottage cheese.


She had routine blood work done in the spring, and her Alt Phos has been increasing - but absolutely no symptoms of anything wrong. Finally got an abdominal ultrasound - everything looked very good (so, methinks you don't need to worry about that!). We're now waiting on results of a creatinine to cortisol ratio urine test - which would show Cushing-oid problems if out of range. But no increased drinking or urination (she too has an incontinence problem, which she's had for years), and nothing else abnormal.


I don't think a pound or two is much to worry about, but obviously you need to keep an eye on her. I don't know about problems as a youngster affecting her now - I would think you'd have seen something else before now, but maybe someone else will chime in about that.


Best of luck.



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My parents' Cattle Dog/Lab, Oreo, just turned 12 in March and had a similar bout of weight loss. The vet thinks it's just a sign that her digestive system isn't as efficient since all her labs came back fine at her yearly check. She was eating 2x as much to gain a few pounds back, but now she's at about 1.5 times her "regular" ration and she's holding steady.

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