Eden’s annual checkup

Eden at the vet | Doggerel

Eden had her annual check-up at the vet on Friday, and I’m happy to report that she got the all-clear! After those exhausting and expensive months figuring out her health issues (which turned out to be a heavy-duty case of giardia, which somehow kept disguising itself in tests), it’s relieving to know that she’s finally healthy.

She’s up to 55 pounds now, which is also great. During the giardia struggle, she was down to a very skinny 43 pounds, which was just terrible. The vet said she could still probably gain a few more pounds and still be in a healthy range. She eats so much already and we’re never hesitant with the treats, because I think (a) she is burning calories all day long, as she is rarely ever still, and (b) she may just be one of those dogs with the high metabolism who will always be thin. Obviously, we will watch her weight conscientiously, but I’m happy with a trim, healthy pup.

Eden at the vet | Doggerel

Thanks to fish oil, her coat is also looking very shiny and healthy, and the vet commented on how much better her skin looked.

Behaviorally, I was dismayed by her nervousness at the vet. While we were waiting, we got to practice a lot of calm/settle behaviors, and she was happily focused on me and relaxed, but when the vet/technician came in, she was quite uncertain about their intentions (although she went up to greet them individually). She hadn’t displayed this kind of anxiety there before, and so it surprised me. She was very averse to being handled by the vet and the technician, but she was still taking treats from me throughout, and she was able to cool down once they stopped trying to check her out. I’m not sure what this means, except that we need to work more on her comfort level in being handled by strangers. The vet also mused on whether this burst of anxiety could be related to the recent conclusion of her second heat.

Regardless, we’re glad that our little psycho is finally in a good, healthy place!

Eden at the vet | Doggerel

How are your pups doing physically? Any good news to report?

Eden’s first vet visit (with us)

Waiting for the vet
Skinny puppy waiting for the vet.

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?