Muscle mass loss in large breed dog

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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Barked: Thu Jul 14, '11 1:29pm PST 
I currently own a female saint bernard that is almost 8 she is having problems with her back hips and slowly down alot, we noticed that she is losing muscle mass and weight, is this common when artritis or hip dysplacia is present ? When can i feel her to get her to gain alittle, i know alot of weight isn't good but I want to keep her looking healthy

Barked: Thu Jul 14, '11 1:41pm PST 
Researchers have also discovered that seniors, much like puppies, do not metabolize proteins as efficiently as younger adults. This means that your pit bull senior citizen not only requires more protein (40% or higher is ideal), but better quality protein. Protein digestibility of dog food ingredients varies greatly from near 100% to less than 50%. High quality protein sources include eggs, muscle meats, and some organs like liver, kidney, and heart, while low quality proteins derive from plant sources such as corn and wheat as well as inferior animal sources like meat & bone meal and by-product meals.

this is some info i found when i was researching for my old guy (9yrs.)when everyone was telling me to cut back on his protein. i increased his protein by 10% a year ago and he is doing great!


Giving my paw- can get me- anything!
Barked: Thu Jul 14, '11 1:46pm PST 
Muscle loss, in my experience, has never been a good thing. If your dog is eating the normal amount and still losing weight then I would advise an immediate vet visit. I do not know, or think, that arthritis can cause muscle loss. I don't want to alarm you or be negative, and it may be something else, but when my dog, Mama, started losing muscle mass around her spine, we soon found out she had the late stages of cancer and we lost her a few days later. I also knew someone that needed my advice with their cat. When I went to see her, she lost a lot of muscle mass and I told her she needed a vet NOW. Sadly, she was put to sleep that same day.

I hope nothing is wrong but I wanted to warn you that this situation should be dealt with urgency. Keep us updated. hug


I'm spoiled but- not rotten!
Barked: Thu Jul 14, '11 2:35pm PST 
Has she seen a vet? I don't want to alarm you either but Dolly, a female 8 or 9 yr old Saint, has muscle mass loss in her back leg and she has been diagnosed with bone cancer, which is pretty common in these large breed dogs.

Please take Sugar to a vet. Your profile says 4 yrs of age?
Tucker, CGC,- TDI

Bloggin' Dog
Barked: Thu Jul 14, '11 2:36pm PST 
Sugar, what you're describing is fairly common in older large or giant breed dogs, and part of it can be attributed to what Sebastion was mentioning. The other part of it is that the muscle atrophy that occurs, generally as a result of the dog exercising less because of joint pain, etc. as they age. There are supplements that you can use to try to alleviate some of that, as well as prescriptions such as Rimadyl that can be obtained through your vet if you and your vet both feel that the need is that acute.

I'd certainly give a lot of credence to what Sebastion was discussing regarding the senior dog's need for more/better quality protein, so it might be worth evaluating whatever you are feeding to see if there is a change that can be implemented that would help.

Barked: Thu Jul 14, '11 3:04pm PST 
Yes she has been to the vet and diagnosed with Hip dysplacia,,,,,although now they are thinking maybe a neuro problem that messages are not getting sent to her back legs, its so confusing, as you can see i lost my Tank at only 3 years old to bone cancer just started limping one day and the next day he couldn't walk, had to put him down the following day so this does worry me. We have another vet visit next week,,,so I should know much more. Its just so heartbreaking to know this breed suffers from these problems.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Fri Jul 15, '11 6:23am PST 
older dogs can loose weight...
or gain weight.
those are two common issues in senior dogs.
misty is loosing weight now...and my rat terrier is a big belly'd dog.
but both issues can be serious and a visit to your vet is a good idea.
especially with weight loss.
it can have a lot of serious cuases,especially with seniors.
illnesses and pain can cause weight loss.
i would go to my vet.
big hug
Ginger- M.I.A.

my first and- finest
Barked: Fri Jul 15, '11 9:13am PST 
Sugar- do you mean Degenerative Myelopathy when you say vet suspects a neuro problem? DM is relatively common, especially in large breeds in seems. It's not curable, and always gets worse, but at least it's not painful and with management the dog can still have a good life for a few years. It's what I always suspect (after arthritis) when an older dog has hind-end weakness.

If you get a diagnosis of DM, contact your dog's breeder (if you can.) It's a dominant mutation, which means one of the parents had it too, and they've certainly produced other puppies with it.
Aina- Aloysius de- LeMaitre

work hard, play- hard
Barked: Fri Jul 15, '11 9:37am PST 
Consider canine warm water swim therapy with a therapist. It may be in an underwater treadmill, a pool, or a XXXL jacuzzi type tub. But always with a therapist. You donʻt need lots of sessions all all the time, only effective controlled sessions with a patient, knowledgeable pro. You can learn more through the professionalsʻ association: http://www.iaamb.org/

Also, consider adding in massage, reiki, tellington touch, acupressure, and/or acupuncture. Ask the therapist to teach you techniques you can routinely use at home as well. These are all powerful modalities to help with your situation. I had some muscle mass reduction due to cruciate issues but between all these modalities, my body responded quickly and very well. I love ʻem all!!!

Member Since
Barked: Mon Apr 1, '13 6:24pm PST 
one word "ADEQUIN"
through your vet. Get two shots and you will see AMAZING RESULTS. You don't need the full 10 series of shots.
Forget about gloucasimine.
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