German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey, So its a long time since I posted here, We rescued Shelby 5 years ago (He's now 8) .. over the past few months he became very iratable with his skin and started to look a little slim.

Vet has been on the case, he is on a course of meds and has a new shampoo to fix his skin/fur which seems to be working fine, however he seems to have lost most of his mucle mass in the space of around 4 weeks..

He exersizes regularly and well, is still very active and hyper (he climbed on my office desk today to look out of the window...) He will run about with our other dog and seems as happy as ever... his apetite is amazing, he stools are fine .. its weird..

He had bloods taken etc and came back clear so we've scheduled a scan to be safe..

does anyone have any suggestions of what to do to help rebuild muscle in the mean time? as I say he's very active and wants to be doing things..

I was planning on breaking up his walks, running him, increasing his food?

just seems a weird situation ..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,932 Posts
Did he lose muscle mass in just one area, or all over his body? How much weight has he lost, and over what period? Has the fur quality diminished all over (coarser, thinner, patchy), or just in the one spot?

The reason this matters is that the answers to those questions would point me down two different paths. If it's all-over, thyroid function would be something I would want to check with a blood test. It's not a typical part of routine annual metabolic panels, but there's a T4 add on they can do (if blood has already been sent out, it can sometimes be added with a phone call from the vet to the lab). An all-over loss of fur quality and/or weight loss can be a sign of hypothroidism. It's easy to fix. It can also be a sign of some other scarier stuff , but since common things occur commonly, it's something I'd raise with the vet because it's easy to check and it would connect the dots between weight loss and skin/fur issues.

If the muscle loss is only in one area, with fur loss over that area, that could be orthopedic pain. They lick areas that hurt. Muscle loss is very common where there is an arthritic joint. In that case, I'd want an orthopedic exam and probably xrays.

I think you've got to get to the bottom of the unexplained loss of musculature and/or weight loss before you can figure out how to rebuild it. It sounds like something metabolic is going possibly on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
He’s down from 35kg to 32kg, doesn’t sound like a lot but he looks as if he has 0 muscle .. his neck, legs and head are skinny.. his major fur loss areas - full belly, ears, face and paws... yeah his remaining fur is bad, very patchy and was course until he had his shampoo a few times..

so I’d say typically not arthritis areas.. I’ll get some pics of him now compared to the summer... I’ll definitely give the vet a heads up! They said they’d call next week as it’s not too urgent! Suppose when it’s your dog it suddenly becomes the most urgent thing in the world! I’ll speak to the vet, thanks for the heads up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,842 Posts
Exactly the same issue here. Hans will be 9 in January. Bloodwork is fine.
😕
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,932 Posts
Dropping about 10% of body weight is no joke. An explanation for that needs to be found. In addition to sending out the T4, they may get some other insight on the rest of the bloodwork, when it comes back. Sometimes there are little clues in the bloodwork that hint at where else to look. The vet has to be engaged to do some detective work.

@Sunflowers, what was your dog's thyroid value when they ran it? Was it borderline? Some of the other possibilities in older dogs are scarier. Sudden muscle wasting/weight loss in a senior dog would probably cause me to ask about getting a dreaded ultrasound of the spleen and abdominal cavity, esp. if the dog is slowing down. It's always a possibility I hate to mention, but that GSD "Disease which Shall Not Be Named" in older dogs can be one of the things that makes them lose weight without explanation. Running a full tick panel wouldn't be bad idea either, as there are some weird tick diseases that can also do that -- like Babesia (it often gives a hint in the bloodwork that it's there with a mysteriously low RBC or platelet count -- when we see that in a thin dog, we send out the full tick panel -- not just the 4D Snap -- but the test-for-everything-weird one that goes to a lab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Dropping about 10% of body weight is no joke. An explanation for that needs to be found. In addition to sending out the T4, they may get some other insight on the rest of the bloodwork, when it comes back. Sometimes there are little clues in the bloodwork that hint at where else to look. The vet has to be engaged to do some detective work.

@Sunflowers, what was your dog's thyroid value when they ran it? Was it borderline? Some of the other possibilities in older dogs are scarier. Sudden muscle wasting/weight loss in a senior dog would probably cause me to ask about getting a dreaded ultrasound of the spleen and abdominal cavity, esp. if the dog is slowing down. It's always a possibility I hate to mention, but that GSD "Disease which Shall Not Be Named" in older dogs can be one of the things that makes them lose weight without explanation. Running a full tick panel wouldn't be bad idea either, as there are some weird tick diseases that can also do that -- like Babesia (it often gives a hint in the bloodwork that it's there with a mysteriously low RBC or platelet count -- when we see that in a thin dog, we send out the full tick panel -- not just the 4D Snap -- but the test-for-everything-weird one that goes to a lab.
I’ll give them a heads up, he’s certainly active, I’d say he’s been acting more puppy like lately than slowing down.. I’ll ask the vet for the thyroid count etc so fingers crossed it’s not the dreaded. Although my mind always goes to the worst so that’s been my fear from the start.

I suppose it’s going to be about me asking the vet the right questions to make sure they’re on it and going from there.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top