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Old 06-04-2012, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New member,Please help...

Hi,My name is Bryce and we have a 10 year old Male black(approx. 85 lbs.) and tan (Doby),and he is experiencing an issue that we and the vet can't quite put our fingers on.He has always had a very voracious appetite,but in the past 3 or so years,he can go for 2-3 days without eating.We feed him twice daily,approximately 2-1/2 cups at a time.He is an indoor dog and doesn't get any treats in between meals,unless we work with training and absolutely no table scraps.Our concern is that when he doesn't eat,he has the most horrible GAS that you could imagine.It even starts a day or two in advance and gets worse when he doesn't eat.The vet has done blood work time after time,fecal exams time after time,and every time they come up normal.We have tried the yogurt supplement and that seemed to work previously,but now he will just turn his nose up.He is strictly a dry dog food feeder,not canned(we have had bad experiences with canned food with another dog that we owned).I know these dogs are prone to bloat,but that has never been a problem with him.There was a time when he was a little heavy in weight(approx. 105 lbs.),but our vet said that because of his smaller less broad size,he would prefer him to be in the 80-90 lb, range.He is such a good dog.We know he is getting up there in years,but he still plays like a puppy.He does have a few small cyst-like tumors on his leg,chest,and a tumor that the vet says IS cancer on his rib cage that is hard and not moveable.He has advised us that there is nothing that can be done for it because of its attachment and location.Please help us to understand what might be goin on with him.Any ideas or suggestion will be geatly appreciated.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you had his heart tested for DCM?
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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5 cups a day seems like a lot of food. What brand of food are you feeding?

Has he ever had cardio tests done? Echo, holter?
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok,I just measured exactly what he is getting.It is 2 cups in the morning and 2 cups in the evening.He is on Purina One Senior Formula....What is DCM???...He has never had any cardio exams done.....
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Another thing I should add is that when he has these episodes of not eating,his bowel movements start off normal but turn to loose or even diarrhea...But when he starts eating again they return to normal.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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DCM is dilated cardiomyopathy. In a nutshell it is disease to the heart muscle in which the enlarged heart can no longer function properly. About 50% of Dobermans die from DCM.

We have cardio exams completed by a board certified vet cardiologist. I'm not sure if your vet is equipped to do Echos, EKGs?


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Ok,I just measured exactly what he is getting.It is 2 cups in the morning and 2 cups in the evening.He is on Purina One Senior Formula....What is DCM???...He has never had any cardio exams done.....
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He looks really heavy - see the rolls of fat on neck- in that picture. A lot of dogs only need 3 cups a day. And a lot need less as they age. Try that before you do any extensive testing. Also, gas is almost a sure sign that the food is not agreeing with him in some way. Try a simple lamb and rice.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think the food is agreeing with him. Have you ever tried a different brand to see if he acts the same way?

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Another thing I should add is that when he has these episodes of not eating,his bowel movements start off normal but turn to loose or even diarrhea...But when he starts eating again they return to normal.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ok,again,The picture that I posted is from 05...Sorry...Here is what he looks like as of now...He is by no means heavy or overweight....
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah, he doesn't look overweight. Make sure you trim his nails, very long


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Ok,again,The picture that I posted is from 05...Sorry...Here is what he looks like as of now...He is by no means heavy or overweight....
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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We have tried different foods,but it seems he always winds up doing this...He was heavy for his size years ago,but even the last visit to the vet,he asked us if we were trying to make him lose weight.He suggested that we increase his intake to the current level to put more weight on him...Could he just be self regulating his own diet????
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would get a referral to an internal medicine specialist for this problem and while I was there, check into seeing the cardiologist. If he is getting up in age and has never had his heart thoroughly examined, it is time to do so. It may be a little expensive, but WELL worth it. I am not sure about your regular vet, but cancers can be removed- he may not be qualified but there ARE people who are qualified...
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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His nails have an unusually long "quick",one front foot especially,any shorter and your having a bleeder on hand...
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Has your vet ever mentioned/checked for IBS? Check out some of these threads on irritable bowel syndrome. Perhaps it's time to take him to a specialist for further evaluation.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

question for those with dobies with IBD


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We have tried different foods,but it seems he always winds up doing this...He was heavy for his size years ago,but even the last visit to the vet,he asked us if we were trying to make him lose weight.He suggested that we increase his intake to the current level to put more weight on him...Could he just be self regulating his own diet????
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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have you ever tried dremeling? I dremel nails twice/week and then add a little prep H (yes, the hemorroid cream) to help the quick recede.

How to Dremel Dog Nails @ DoberDawn.com


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His nails have an unusually long "quick",one front foot especially,any shorter and your having a bleeder on hand...
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Did I read correctly in your first post that this dog DOES have cancer? I assume he's not being treated for it?? Not picking a fight just making sure I understand. Perhaps lack of appetite due to cancer?

At 10 years old, DCM would fit. One of the first signs is lack of appetite.

Your boy looks like my late boy Kai..or at least I think so. (in my profile pic).
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Since you're in New Braunfels, I'd request that your vet send a referral to A&M's cardiology department. Dr. Gordon and Dr. Winter are both very kind and can do an echo of his heart. Think the price was $260 last time I went + office fee.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Did I read correctly in your first post that this dog DOES have cancer? I assume he's not being treated for it?? Not picking a fight just making sure I understand.

At 10 years old, DCM would likely fit. One of the first signs is lack of appetite.

Your boy looks like my late boy Kai..or at least I think so. (in my profile pic).
The dog may have DCM, but the OP said the eating situation has been going on for 3 years. That would make me suspect this particular issue isn't cardiac related...if DCM was advanced enough to cause the dog not to eat, it's pretty unlikely it would have lived that long.

I second the recommendation to see an internist and think IBS is a good suggestion as to a possible cause.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You said sometimes he has the gas "in advance." That to me means he's already not feeling well and then decides to stop eating. Have you tried switching foods? If you want to stay within the Purina line, I have seen many sensitive dogs thrive on the Sensitive Skin and Stomach formula.

ETA: Purina also has a supplement called Forti Flora, which can help with gas and GI issues or can be given as you transition from one food to another.

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #20 (permalink)
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It might be worth trying the purina pro plan salmon and rice, my dobes have always done well on it without any gastric issues.

your boy could have an issues with one of the ingredients in his food, and occasionally will suffer with gastritis because of it.

google and research slippery elm bark powder, it is an excellent digestive aid and tonic.

Hugz to Doby!
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I would advise to never put an older dog on a senior formula as they are generally an excuse for a dog food company to lower protein when, in fact, senior dogs need more protein, not less, because a senior dogs digestive system becomes less efficent at digesting foods. I would also suggest you feed a higher quality food like Natures Variety Instinct and add a digestive enzyme and a probiotic both to his food, along with the slippery elm for a couple of weeks to a month. Try googling B Naturals Newsletter June 2012 as it covers this subject pretty well. I would check out the cancer with an onocologist. Good luck with your boy and I am sorry he is not well. Sounds like he has been a good fellow.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Sorry that I've been away from the site for some time,but I feel the need to update his condition....Yesterday,beginning at his breakfast time,he again would not eat and by 9:00 he had already vomited twice and was beginning to go down hill.I tried repeatedly to give him water,but he would turn his head.By noon he was so weak that he couldn't lift his head.After talking with my vet numerous times,I was able to get him into our vehicle,(mind you I only have one arm to work with),and rushed as fast as possible to his office.After examination,it was determined that he was shutting down rapidly and a decision needed to be made.We assembled our family there shortly after and gave him all of Love and reassurance that it would all be OK...As I'm typing this,I'm crying again wishing that I should have done more to help him,but I know he is not hurting anymore and I know we did the right thing...This dog is and will always be the BEST dog I/ we have ever had the privilege to welcome into our family.This dog was so good with my kids..You could open the front door to the house,go outside with him,and he would never let you out of his sight or attempt to run off.He was so gentle,loving,and played like a puppy all the time.He will definitely be missed and will never be replaced.My only regret is that he was only a few days away from his 11th birthday on December 18th,and he was going to get a doggie cake all to himself...We LOVE YOU,DOBY...You will always be in our hearts and prayers...His favorite trick was a "High Five",...So here's a High Five to ya boy.....Good Boy....
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Sorry for your loss, sending hugs and nubs your way. He'll always be watching over you.


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Old 12-12-2012, 01:38 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is, but that final decision is the most difficult and loving one you could ever make. Run Free, Doby.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Sincerely sorry for your loss.
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