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One of my girls has been gradually, but consistently, losing weight over the last three moths. She is 3 yrs old. My first inclination was to increase her food intake from 3.5 cups/day to 4 cups per day. It didn't help, so I increased it again. Still no good. At this point, I've gradually increased this up to almost 8 cups per day (twice the manufacturer's recommendation) and I've just now stopped the weight loss - at this point, she has gained two pounds. She eats every bit of it and seems like she is still hungry. We've been feeding Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult. She has always eaten this brand/blend well in the past, and our other girl has continued eating it without issue.

In the meantime, I've had her checked for worms (tapeworms, hookworms, round, whip, heart, ....), and there is no evidence of any worms or worm activity. She has also been to the vet for several checkups and tests. None of the bloodwork or exams has turned up anything. Aside from her coat being a little dull (my opinion), she seems to feel fine most of the time. She is still pretty active and does not appear to be in any pain. She generally has normal stools, but has had "cow patty" looking stuff at times (semi-solid). When she does have those, it sure seems like there is a LOT of it. Yesterday, she vomited quite a bit. One spell of vomiting, but puked from one door of my house to the other. Once over, back to "normal".

Needless to say, I'm worried. A 15-20 lb loss over 3 months is a lot. We have started taking her to a different vet hoping that maybe he will turn up something our regular vet missed, but as of yet, no luck. Please, please, please: has anyone had this problem or any ideas about what it might be?
 

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Could be diabetes. You could increase food intake on a diabetic dog and still have weight loss. I also do believe you would see an increase in urine and defecation and their coat would suffer as well.

Other ideas would be Thyroid, liver, or kidney problems.

Basically all of these issues would have to be diagnosed by a Vet but at least with diabetes, you could check your own dog's Blood Glucose Level similar to how you would with a human. There should be articles online and/or youtube videos that teach you how to do this and discuss what ranges are normal and what is abnormal. If it were my dog, this would absolutely be my first step besides taking the pup to the Vet.


Good luck!
 

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Yes, by the original vet. The new one is starting from square one - tested for and treated for worms, and has asked us to change foods.
 

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Was she checked for EPI or SIBO? IBD?


Agree ^^^ EPI came to mind first for me when reading your story....symptoms sound similar to me and it's another disease/ailment that's linked to the GSD breed....keep us posted I'll be curious what your "new" vet thinks.
 

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One of my girls has been gradually, but consistently, losing weight over the last three moths. She is 3 yrs old. My first inclination was to increase her food intake from 3.5 cups/day to 4 cups per day. It didn't help, so I increased it again. Still no good. At this point, I've gradually increased this up to almost 8 cups per day (twice the manufacturer's recommendation) and I've just now stopped the weight loss - at this point, she has gained two pounds. She eats every bit of it and seems like she is still hungry. We've been feeding Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult. She has always eaten this brand/blend well in the past, and our other girl has continued eating it without issue.

In the meantime, I've had her checked for worms (tapeworms, hookworms, round, whip, heart, ....), and there is no evidence of any worms or worm activity. She has also been to the vet for several checkups and tests. None of the bloodwork or exams has turned up anything. Aside from her coat being a little dull (my opinion), she seems to feel fine most of the time. She is still pretty active and does not appear to be in any pain. She generally has normal stools, but has had "cow patty" looking stuff at times (semi-solid). When she does have those, it sure seems like there is a LOT of it. Yesterday, she vomited quite a bit. One spell of vomiting, but puked from one door of my house to the other. Once over, back to "normal".

Needless to say, I'm worried. A 15-20 lb loss over 3 months is a lot. We have started taking her to a different vet hoping that maybe he will turn up something our regular vet missed, but as of yet, no luck. Please, please, please: has anyone had this problem or any ideas about what it might be?
Sounds like EPI. That's exactly what my old guy went through. Long story short (I've already mentioned this many times in other threads) he made it to 80lbs before he lost about a third of his weight to 55lbs. That's when he was diagnosed. Looked like skin and bones. He was on lifelong medication (not cheap, but not too expensive) and he eventually made it up to a skinny 98lbs where he topped off. In the beginning, he had a lot of "cow patty" poops too. See if your new vet will do tests for EPI. You could give them 3 times the normal amount of food a day and they'd still lose weight. It's typical of an EPI dog. It's not a death sentence. My dog lived to almost 12 years old before he died of cancer. Anyway, good luck. Please keep us informed.
 

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There are many possible causes of sudden weight loss -- ranging from thyroid disease, to parasites, to fungal infections in the intestine, to GI issues, to endocrine issues, to mega-E, to cancer. It's a huge range of differentials. (If the dog were older, I'd be more worried about cancer than I would be in such a young dog.)

No one can diagnose this over the Internet -- it's honestly impossible. I'd run the EPI test. If it's negative and if regular vets aren't making progress, I'd go to an internal medicine specialist or a university vet school clinic, if there's one in driving distance. You might save money in the long run by not spending big bucks on test after test only to come up empty.

In the meantime, feed small, frequent meals with a high calorie, high quality food, and I would add a digestive enzyme (like Prozyme), with some water to activate it. Prozyme benefits a lot of dogs with a lot of different issues. A probiotic would be a good idea too. Bovine colostrum (a human health supplement) wouldn't hurt either.

If you are up for MAJOR food changes, I'd consider getting the dog off of kibble and on an alternative diet that may be more easily digested (less dense) -- The Honest Kitchen, Sojo's, Dr. Harvey's, Ziwi Peak, Stella & Chewy, Only Natural Pet, Fresh Pet, etc. etc. I've encountered a few dogs (small number -- but they're out there) that seem to be unable to digest kibble effectively that had a complete turn around when they got other food. There are lots of other options now -- possibly even commercial raw that's labeled "HPP" (to ensure you're not hitting it with pathogens from raw meat when it's weak). I don't know if you want to do that before having a diagnosis though -- hard call. Just keep it in mind as a "Hail Mary" move to try.
 

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you could check your own dog's Blood Glucose Level

The OP already did full bloodwork...and it checks glucose (at least the panels I've done have had that listed as one of the things checked). Wouldn't it have turned up out of normal range in that bloodwork already, if diabetes were a differential to pursue here?
 

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The OP already did full bloodwork...and it checks glucose (at least the panels I've done have had that listed as one of the things checked). Wouldn't it have turned up out of normal range in that bloodwork already, if diabetes were a differential to pursue here?

Yes I suppose but depending on the last meal of the person/dog, the range can come in as normal. I'm EMT trained and you always have to gauge a person's BCL vs their last meal. Was worth a shot, hoping to hear an update! As others recommended, it could also be EPI especially after hearing what others went through that was so similar to OP.
 

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But don't they have to do a fasting glucose? (Nothing by mouth after midnight the night before the blood draw). They do with people.
 
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