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Old 11-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Change in body composition?

Hello everyone, i am new to the boards but have been reading and learning quite a few things that i will be trying on my 8 yr old baby girl Daisy. For starters she has the same skin irritations and conditions that most others post about and we are knee(and wallet) deep in the skin battle. This post is about something i've noticed in her figure that has me bothered but vets dont really seem too concerned about. For starters, daisy has always been a small bassett ranging from 45-50 lbs. But in the past 6 months i have noticed a change in her body complexion. In other words, she now looks frail, with her ribs and hip bones easily noticable. Her weight has not changed significantly(+/- 2lbs) but her figure has. Not sure if this can be attributed to her getting older, but i thought 8/9 was not old enough to see such a dramatic change in her body. Her appetite is up but nothing out of the norm and she is having regular bowel movements. I have changed her food to more expensive brands and have not seen a major difference in her. Could thhis be attributed to the antibiotics and prednisone she's on for the skin? or could there be something else vets have missed? or is this normal?

Also, she has had fecal tests and other tests as i first suspected worms, but all came back negative... Anyone seen anything similar? Any help or advise is appreciated...
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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prednisone has the oposite effect however as dogs age they loose muscle mass as the body does not process protein as well. I would look for a higher protein food but what you describe could simply be she is actual of a more ideal weight and was actual over weight before.

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People don't know how to determine the correct weight for their dogs. Dogs vary in height, bone structure, and muscularity, so there is no one correct weight for a dog of any given breed. The best way to determine whether a dog is overweight is to test 3 different parts of the body: the neck, the ribs, and the hips.

  1. <LI type=a>To check the neck, press your thumb and index finger deep into the side of the neck just ahead of the shoulder, and pinch them together. If your fingers are more than 1/2" apart, the dog is overweight. (Note: this is where old dogs tend to carry most of their excess fat, and they may actually be thin in other locations.) <LI type=a>To check the ribs, stand with your dog beside you, facing his butt. Place your thumb on the middle of his spine half way down the back and spread your fingers out over his last few ribs. Then run your fingers up and down along his skin. You should be able to feel the bumps of his ribs without pressing in.
  2. To check the hips, run your hand over your dog's croup. You should be able to feel the bumps of his two pelvic bones without pressing down.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "I would never want my dog to be that skinny!" Think about the Olympic athletes. If you want your dog to be an athlete then it is only fair that you do what you can to help him achieve the body that he will need to perform and stay healthy and injury free for many years.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Murray has some muscle wasting due to getting older- he's 10 1/2 now- his spine is visible now and his flanks are sunken, although his weight is what it always has been.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have noticed my 9 year old Vinny looking that way,it happens right before your very eyes. If her lymph nodes are not big it is likely it is a part of aging.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think I'd ask my vet to do a full blood profile. There's no doubt that some muscle tone atrophy can be expected as a dog ages, and for sure, I've always felt that 8 is a kind of threshhold for Bassets - once you get them through this age, they live on for another 4 years or so. But sometimes they don't!! To put your mind at rest about what's going on talk to your vet. Nobody knows their hound better than their owner, and even if you just have a feeling about her, he should listen to you.
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