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Nashoba's mom 06-07-2014 07:58 AM

7 yr old female losing weight and sudden poor appetite
I have a 7 yr old spayed female who within the last 2 months seems to be losing weight and isn't eating like her normal self. She used to be my chow hound and would eat everything in sight and now I have to keep pointing at her bowl for her to take bites. She never eats her full amount in the day, doesn't really care for her cookies anymore and all in all just gives me a sense of something isn't right. She always wants water CONSTANTLY!! She even goes in the shower to lick the walls when we aren't looking. I had a blood panel done 2 weeks ago cuz I just don't feel right with her and it all came back within good range. This satisfied me for the time being but my instincts are still unsettled. To me her abdomen seems puffy while the rest of her is withering down and she seems like her back end more than anything is wasting away. I worry about cancers and I don't know if I should have xrays done or I've read about a blood test for detecting cancers. My vet sees me all the time and I think they think im nuts! I know shepherds as they get older, get kind of thin and boney but this seems to have happened rather quickly....any suggestions?

JeanKBBMMMAAN 06-07-2014 08:03 AM

I would do a fecal (whips are awful and sneaky), urinalysis (the drinking), and hw/tick test (your location) if not run in the last 6-7 months. Then, if all that is good, and she's still not doing well - I'd personally skip an x-ray and ask for an ultrasound referral. My vets think I am nuts, but I am right enough times to make them wonder (stopped clock!). ;) I wish you and your girl the best.

huntergreen 06-07-2014 08:10 AM

wouldn't wait on this, get her checked.

Gretchen 06-07-2014 10:08 AM

When my dog lost her appetite about this age, it turned out to be cancer. Blood test did not show anything, but urine was slightly off which led to discover a large tumor on the kidney, by this time the cancer had spread into the lungs. We had a cat with cancer also and nothing ever showed in blood tests. We found the dog's tumor by x-ray.

katieliz 06-07-2014 10:34 AM

Listen to your instincts. When a dog who has a good appetite stops being interested in food there is definitely something very wrong. I would get the tests Jean suggested and the abdominal ultrasound. And I would begin to prepare myself. All good thoughts and wishes to you and your sheppie girl. Take care.

Susan_GSD_mom 06-07-2014 02:38 PM

Get her checked by a good vet right away. I have lost 2 dogs to hermangiosarcoma, the most recent last December. I don't want to scare you, but the symptoms you describe--some of them were exhibited by both of my dogs. It could be something less sinister, but find out asap--Jean gave you very good advice on the tests that need to be done.


Nashoba's mom 06-07-2014 05:35 PM

I appreciate all your advise....I just tried feeding her again...all 6 of my dogs eat am and pm...she turned down her am meal and now she only ate about a half can of food if I fed it to her on a spoon....this makes day 2 on only that half can...still drinking like a pro but seems pouty and lazy.....I have all my guys on heartworm preventative religiously and just wormed everyone fully about 2 months ago....I think im gonna call our specialty vet for some advise......she will spark up though if you offer play so she doesn't seem horribly off but still something isn't right and I think she is very dignified and tries to hide not feeling well.....

katieliz 06-07-2014 06:42 PM

what you are describing are the early signs (when there are any) of hemangio. of course, there are other things it could be...but with the lack of interest in food, i'd prepare myself for the worst, while hoping for the best.

Nashoba's mom 06-08-2014 07:07 AM

update on my Storm....we took her to the specialty vet....they started with an showed her lungs to be compressed and not very clear and they could not even make out her heart which led them to believe there was a mass of some sort in the chest cavity....they then did an ultrasound to determine it is a soft tissue mass of most likely cancer and her liver is enlarged as well.

I am now stuck trying to figure out what to do! I am heartbroken, my kids are a wreck and I was given all sorts of scenarios on what to do and what could happen....I need advise from anyone on here with experience in chest cavity surgery ( they said they could crack open her sternum and check to see if it's even removable, if it is, then it's risking the other organs in there and if it's not, they'd sew her back up) I hate to do this but I've always been one to say I won't let any of my dogs die without trying my best. Then if it is removable and she makes the surgery...then there is chemo for the liver and any remaining....I am so confused and scared and I don't know what else!! I don't want her to die but I don't want to torture her for the last bits of her life only to buy her a few extra months. HELP!!!

huntergreen 06-08-2014 09:21 AM

hard decision. it is often hard to "do your best" while trying to separate what is best for you or best for your dog. from a detached point of view, i wouldn't put my dog through this. reasonably sure i wouldn't put myself through this if i had a similar illness. the long term benefits are not there. just my opine. and i am sorry you are going through this.

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