So, I feel like a bad dog guardian again. (What’s new these days?)
Yesterday morning, we took her for her first check-up with us. (She had recently had a full vet visit/annual/all the vaccinations when we adopted her in January, so that’s why we waited until now.)
And it turns out that Eden is 15 lbs. underweight. Whoa. I’ve always known she was skinny, but I chalked it up to her being a gangly, gawky adolescent and how much energy she expends every day. I figured she would catch up soon enough. We feed her 4 cups of kibble a day (a cup more than Pyrrha; 375 kcal/cup), so I wasn’t that concerned. But, apparently, I ought to be, because she needs to bulk up. A LOT. She currently weights 44.4 lbs., and at 8 months, she should probably weigh 57–60 lbs. She just isn’t building muscle or seemingly maintaining any of the protein that she should be from her food.
She’s been having off-and-on loose stool issues (gross, but what’s dog blogging if not gross?). The vacillating nature of this problem didn’t cause me greater concern; some days it would be pretty normal; some days, soup. We got the results of her fecal sample this morning, and she’s clear for all worms and parasites, which is good. The fact that she’s been on Heartgard since we’ve had her also makes whipworms* rather unlikely. (*Whipworms were the leading guess at the vet’s office.) So, now I’m wondering if she has giardia, which would explain the vacillating poop-firmness situation and her inability to gain weight.
The vet put her on a week’s worth of the antibiotic Flagyl, along with the probiotic FortiFlora to help even things out. (Flagyl is also a common treatment for giardia.) I’m hoping this helps! Poor little skinny girl. I feel bad for not being more concerned about it earlier, but I’m glad she went in when she did.
Otherwise, though, she seems totally happy, normal, and energetic. The vet asked me, “Is she lethargic?” And I chortled. “Ha! God, no. I wish she were lethargic.” Joking, of course…
Sigh. I feel negligent. Hoping that this pair of meds will turn things around for her quickly! I’m ready to see a fatter puppy!
Have you dealt with these GI/underweight issues with your dogs before? What has helped?