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Losing weight and hungry.

Species: Dog
Breed: Bassador
Age: 8-11 years
My dog Knock has lost a lot of weight, he currently weighs about thirty pounds and when we first got him he was fifty. Here are his symptoms; ravenous appetite,frequent small loose stools, eating his feces,there is some blood in the stools, straining to get a small amount of feces out. The vet put him on metronidazole and that did not help the diarrhea at all, she said he had a lot of bacteria overgrowth, so the next trip she put him on prednizone and tylan and those did not help either. She felt his belly again and said she felt a firm mass and that was not good. Does that always mean cancer? I feel so bad for my dog, every morning he is waiting for his breakfast. He wants to eat everything in sight and he drinks just fine. He also is constantly licking his bottom. But he also is depressed, I have confined in the dining room and I know that is making him sad, I think he thinks he has done something wrong. This is very hard and I wish I had some hope. Also I have him on a bland diet of chicken,brown rice,yogurt,and veggies all mixed together.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi,

I am concerned about the symptoms that you have mentioned for Knock. The symptoms of weight loss, loose stools and a possible mass in the abdomen certainly do sound like cancer. It is hard to tell though without doing further tests such as xrays or maybe an ultrasound.

It sounds like your vet is concerned about severe inflammatory bowel disease and is doing all of the right treatments. However, it is often hard to tell the difference between inflammatory bowel conditions and cancerous conditions of the bowel.

Has Knock had any blood tests done recently? A pancreas condition could cause similar symptoms. You could ask your vet about the possibility of something called EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency). This is much more common in German Shepherds though and is really a long shot. EPI is treatable but is expensive to treat.

It's hard to know how to advise from here. The best advice I can give is to trust the advice of your vet. If she says that things do not look good then it may be time to consider euthanasia.

Please let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

What about the fact that his appetite is so good and he is drinking, I thought dogs did not want to eat when they had cancer in an advanced stage. Also, can the mass be anything else, something he swallowed, I have given him rawhide bones and he devours them. And what about flax seed oil and cottage cheese, I have read that is a good thing to give a dog with cancer.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

When I see a dog who is eating ravenously, losing weight and having loose stools then one of the possible causes is that the intestines are not absorbing the nutrients properly. So, food goes in, doesn't get processed properly and causes diarrhea. Because the nutrients aren't being absorbed, the dog feels like they are constantly hungry.

There are some cancers that can cause the intestines to not absorb properly. Again, some forms of inflammatory bowel disease can do this too.

The symptoms don't match a foreign object such as a rawhide. It really shouldn't cause his appetite to increase. You would also expect to see some vomiting.

Regarding flax seed oil and cottage cheese, there is probably no harm in adding these in small amounts to Knock's diet. The omega 3 in the flax seed can have some health benefits but it's not going to be a miracle cancer-cure.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.