Ask the Vet About Weight Loss in Dogs and Cats

Ask the Vet About Weight Loss in Dogs and Cats
Dr. MichaelDym
Dr. Michael Dym

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: Oct 12, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: I'm seeing my female dog ribs
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Question:I have a female dog mixed a family member gave her to us. She eating health through out her whole life but now I see that she getting skinny and her ribs is showing. She was a chunky dog and now she is skinny what should I do. They are some foods that she likes and some of the food she doesn't like. She eats wet dog food. Sometimes she will eat the dry food but I have to put wet food inside the dry food so she can eat. The last thing she been trying to eat dirt and rocks and I dont know why.

Answer:There are MANY causes of weight loss in a dog - everything from intestinal parasites to cancer and about a million in between. Intestinal parasites are easy to treat, but you need to know which one(s) she has - there are many - if you start just guessing, use a broad spectrum dewormer that covers whip worms, like Panacur - there is a link to Panacur in this link about causes of weight loss and potential treatments, both over-the-counter and prescription: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/causes-weight-loss-dog-cat-37.htm

Date: Sep 15, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Overweight by 10 pounds
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Question:My male Yorkie is overweight and it is causing medical issues on joints and energy etc He does not want to move much. Acts depressed. How many calories should my medium size Yorkie consume. He weighs 23 pounds. I find conflicting info. Please Help,I feel so guilty for him getting so big. It doesn’t seem like we feed him that much. He has had blood work to check for medical conditions.???

Answer:There is no set amount of food because all dogs ahev their own metabolism. Cut whatever you are feeding him in half. Be sure your veterinarian has specifically checked his thyroid. There are many lower calorie foods (with and without beef) available. The prescription diets will work better but are more expensive. BUT, overall, there is no secret to weight loss (with them or with us) - weight loss occurs when you reduce the calories and increases the exercise, even if you work with the food you are feeding, but you usually need to dramatically reduce the amount to get weight loss because cutting it just a little will be a maintenance amount and will allow them to maintain their current weight. Dogs usually enjoy the second part of the weight loss equation = exercise - even if it's just daily walks.

Date: Sep 1, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Eats but not gaining weight. Has never been a big cat always skinny. No urinary or GI symptoms
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Question:

Answer:I really need to know a LOT more about your cat, do a physical on him/her and run some bloodwork, so see your veterinarian if it continues or worsens. If your cat is over 10 years of age, you are kind of describing hyperthyroidism, so that is one (of many) possibilities - it is easy to diagnose and usually pretty easy to treat.

Date: Aug 21, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Weight
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Question:My dog is a Dachshund mix that the vet says ideally he should be 15 to 17 lbs. he's slightly more anywhere from 17 to 18 lb I already have him on a weight management diet we exercise regularly and he's even had his thyroid checked which came back normal is there anything else I can do to help him

Answer:There are many lower calorie foods available. The prescription diets will work better but are more expensive. BUT, overall, there is no secret to weight loss (with them or with us) - weight loss occurs when you reduce the calories and increases the exercise, even if you work with the food you are feeding, but you usually need to dramatically reduce the amount to get weight loss because cutting it just a little will be a maintenance amount and will allow them to maintain their current weight. Dogs usually enjoy the second part of the weight loss equation = exercise - even if it's just daily walks.

Date: Aug 7, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Weight loss
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Question:My 3yr old English bulldog has been coughing an spitting out clear liquid and has had weight loss. I was thinking he might have worms his vet won’t be able to see him until 2 weeks because of the pandemic

Answer:Coughing can have MANY underlying causes so I'm glad you are seeing your veterinarian as soon as you can. In the mean time, yes, go ahead and deworm him with a good broad spectrum dewormer that has FENBENDAZOLE as the active ingredient, like this product: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Safe+Guard+Canine+Dewormer-prod12324.html

Date: Aug 1, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Weight loss
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Question:I have a 2.5 year old Bernese mountain dog. In December 2019 he weighed 108 at his heaviest. He now only weighs 97 pounds, however he is eating and acting normal. Is this something I need to worry about or is it normal for him to fluctuate in weight from time to time. We did switch his food admirer learning of the weight loss to something a little higher quality

Answer:I would need to see him to really be able to say for sure if this is acceptable: like to see if he is a normal weight for his frame at both weights. Since he had a diet change and no clinical signs (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) it may be normal but definitely contact your veterinarian if it continues.

Date: Jul 19, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Weight gain
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Question:How to help my Yorkie gain weight and keep the weight.

Answer:There are MANY causes of weight loss in a dog - everything from intestinal parasites to cancer and about a million in between. Intestinal parasites are easy to treat, but you need to know which one(s) she has - there are many - if you start just guessing, use a broad spectrum dewormer that covers whip worms, like Panacur or Safe Guard - there is a link to Panacur in this link about causes of weight loss and potential treatments, both over-the-counter and prescription: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/causes-weight-loss-dog-cat-37.htm

Date: Jul 2, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Incontinence
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Question:Ginger is a 72 lb Belgian Malinous mix. She’s on 50mg of Proin twice a day. She still leaves small puddles of urine. Suggestions? Thanks

Answer:Occasionally they will have a chronic urinary tract infection that is adding to their incontinence so have your veterinarian screen her for that - usually pretty easy to treat. The usual Proin dose for dogs is 0.4-0.8mg/pound every 12 hours so she's pretty maxed out on that. If she has no UTI, ask your veterinarian if adding an estrogen derivative like this one might be right for her - will need to be based on her blood work, but will probably help: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Incurin+Tablets-prod11742.html

Date: Jun 12, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Calories
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Question:Hello, so I went to the vet today and the cat I adopted is obese. She said I need to start feeding him 330 Calories a day, however I cannot figure out how much food that is. I feed him the Hills Science Diet for Sensitive Stomachs. Thank you.

Answer:That's kind of a lot of calories - I bet she won't really lose eating that much, but it looks like it has 524 cal/cup. IF she were mine, I would start her on 1/4th of a cup twice a day - that's not quite 330 calories but I fell like she'll lose weight better. Certainly if she's losing too fast, you can increase her a little.

Date: May 3, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Unexplained weight gain
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Question:I have a nine year old lab catahula Mix. She seems to have gained a lot of weight in a short period of time. Her diet has not changed in any way. Other then this she's a happy and healthy dog

Answer:Have your veterinarian check her thyroid, especially if cutting her calories and increasing her exercise doesn't help her lose weight. Here is a link to our article to read about hypothyroidism: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/hypothyroidism-in-dog-13.htm

Date: Mar 30, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: 2
Topic: My Lab Sadie seems fart, & snore
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Question:My lab Sadie Seems to be having stomach issues. She is a rescue from hurricane Michael here on the coast of Florida, I have had her for over a year and she has had chronic ear aches I take here to Dr. Barr at Vets Pets and he treats the infection, it goes away for approx 6 or 7 weeks and seems to come back, her stomach has been bothering her for a several weeks now, wondering if it was the antibiotics use over the last year so started giving her probiotic powder mixed in her food but stomach still very loud and when she passes gas it runs me out of the room ;-) my question is with C-19 most Vets are closed and was wondering if I should continue probiotics or stop? I have been giving for 2 months, her general smell and happiness has improved and her stomach doesn?t bother her EVERYDAY but definitely at some point in the week it always kicks a fuss. I order the same food on line it?s a lamb mixture. What can I do to help Sadie FEEL better?

Answer:Chronic ear infections are usually secondary to allergies - often food allergies - work with your veterinarian to find a truly hypoallergenic food (lamb is not hypoallergneic), then consider allergy testing after a strict 8 week food trial. A referral to a veterinary dermatologist is always an option as well.

Date: Mar 23, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Fatty tumors
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Question:My Portuguese water dog is getting older she?s turning 12 in November, is overweight and has started to grow Fatty lumps. What is the best dog food for her to lose weight, and what supplements can I give her that are healthy and will make the bumps go down. It seems like she is getting some bumps on her limbs so it?s making it harder for her to get up and down the stairs. Thanks

Answer:There are many lower calorie foods available. The prescription diets will work better but are more expensive. BUT, overall, there is no secret to weight loss (with them or with us) - weight loss occurs when you reduce the calories and increases the exercise, even if you work with the food you are feeding, but you usually need to dramatically reduce the amount to get weight loss because cutting it just a little will be a maintenance amount and will allow them to maintain their current weight. Dogs usually enjoy the second part of the weight loss equation = exercise - even if it's just daily walks. There are no supplements that shrink lipomas - surgically removal is the only thing that makes them go away but that is often unnecessary if they are diagnosed by your vet as benign lipomas. Weight loss will help shrink them a little.

Date: Mar 22, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: 2
Topic: bloating
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Question:My dog is bloated, loss of appetite, excessive drinking & urination, confused, stumbling. He's a 12 yr old Kaiken. What might this be?

Answer:Could be MANY things, most of which need immediate medical attention: cancer, diabetes, toxin exposure, etc etc etc. All treated very differently so go ahead and have your veterinarian check him out.

Date: Mar 7, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Weight management
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Question:I had to neuter my golden retriever a year ago dec. he has gained 25 lbs so far. I switched him to hills science diet weight management back in July. He is in the house but has his own back door. He gets regular exercise and daily runs and we train for hunt tests daily. He does not lose weight. Is there a testosterone replacement or something for dogs to help him lose some weight?

Answer:Goldens are predisposed to hypothyroidism, so since you have already tried cutting his calories and increasing his exercise, I would definitley check his thyroid at this point.

Date: Feb 25, 2020
Category: Unexplained or Unhealthy Weight
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Health
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Question:Many 5 year old red nose pitbull is really really skinny, he hardly eats his food. His poop is really watery and now looks like it has some blood, I?m not sure what I could do to help him?

Answer:There are MANY causes of weight loss in a dog - everything from intestinal parasites to cancer and about a million in between, so a diagnosis from your veterinarian is ideal. Intestinal parasites are easy to treat, but you need to know which one(s) she has - there are many - if you start just guessing, use a broad spectrum dewormer that covers whip worms, like Panacur - there is a link to Panacur in this link about causes of weight loss and potential treatments, both over-the-counter and prescription: https://www.1800petmeds.com/education/causes-weight-loss-dog-cat-37.htm

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