What might be causing muscle atrophy in a Sr dog?

Discussion in 'Gun Dog Forum' started by h2ofwlr, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. h2ofwlr

    h2ofwlr Elite Refuge Member

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    My dog is a 12 YO Golden and he is not doing too well. He's never been over 5 lbs overweight, lean and wiry and light footed has been his usual look. He weighed 75 last Nov, and a month ago he was down to 65.
    I asked the Vet, 'so what may be causing it?' as thinking maybe something we should check for. She goes "don't know". :(

    I think he is getting near that tipping point where it can all go down hill health wise very quickly, as is I'm not sure if he'll make to spring. :(

    So this is a hail Mary :pra as perhaps others have encountered this too and could give me some insight if anything can be done to stop the atrophy process. Maybe do a liver function (or similar) test and more importantly if anything drug/nutrition wise which can stop/reverse the muscle atrophy process.

    The last time I had a dog loosing this kind of muscle mass was it had cancer and had lost 10 lbs in 2 months time. 3 months later he was dead from that damned cancer. The vet didn't think it was cancer being the process was so slow.

    So looking for a potential what is causing it, and much more importantly - a remedy.
    So what is the Refuge brain trust's insight on this?
     
  2. ArmChair Biologist

    ArmChair Biologist Senior Refuge Member

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    Since you live in MN...did the vet check him for tick borne disease? My dog got anaplasmosis this year and I thought his hunting days were about over. He got super sore and was having way more seizures then normal (he has epilepsy, bites at imaginary flies when he's having a seizure). Brought him to the vet and he had this tick borne disease. He was treated with antibiotics and I just got back from hunting him for three days straight in Montana chasing roosters and he never lost a step at 11 years old. He's like a completely new dog.

    It might be a stretch for your scenario but it might be worth a shot, especially since the test is cheap.
     
  3. h2ofwlr

    h2ofwlr Elite Refuge Member

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    He has gotten the Lyme vaccine for years now. And yes they checked for LD on his blood test along with Heart worm, etc.
     
  4. Doc E

    Doc E Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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  5. bang you'r dead

    bang you'r dead Canada Forum Mod. Eh! Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Part of the aging process unfortunately. I have to help Gracie up the stairs and into the truck now. It kills me, knowing that it is only going to worsen, and at some point a decision will have to be made. As long as she can walk and is active, I'll be keeping her with me as long as possible. She has hunted for 12 years now, and I hope I can get another season with her.
     
  6. FieldLabLover

    FieldLabLover Elite Refuge Member

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    First of all, why didn't your vet do a senior blood work-up which would haver liver and kidney function tests in it? Not all tick diseases have tests either nor is the lymes vaccine all that effective. You could try a couple of weeks of tetracycline and see if he gets better or go to a different vet for another opinion. Does the dog have arthritis? Do you give anything for arthritis? The dog may be in pain and not want to move around.
     
  7. Swampcollie

    Swampcollie Elite Refuge Member

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    A certain amount of atrophy happens as senior citizens continue to age. Your dog's father dealt with a great deal of atrophy by the time he passed at 15 1/2. We were still hunting him a little bit at age twelve but most of the heavy lifting was done by younger dogs.
     
  8. GulfCoast

    GulfCoast Moderate Moderator Moderator

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    Has the dog ever had knee surgery? That will do it, at least in the hind leg. That, combined with arthritis can cause it (or cause weight gain, if the dog keeps a healthy appetite).
     
  9. h2ofwlr

    h2ofwlr Elite Refuge Member

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    I understand that, but 10 lbs in 1 yr is 15% of his total weight. He is skin and bones, can easily feel his spine ,etc. A very noticeable loss. Damn near as noticeable as my dog that had cancer.
    And is what I am concerned about...(disease process)
    No. So about L-carnitine, where is that available?

    Good question.
    You are assuming it is LD to take the antibiotic? or a catch all of 'just for in case" for many things?
    Not sure, or he may have a bit of dysplasia (or both) in his right hip. He does not like me to touch that hip. He was not that way a year ago though. Seems a bit sudden vs a gradual over several years like I've seen arthritis before. I started a month ago Glucosamine Chondroitin every other day, does not seem to made a difference.

    At the same time, he still loves to fetch the ball in the house, and with gusto. So why I am thinking not arthritis...

    No
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  10. Doc E

    Doc E Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017

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