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Thread: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

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    Newbie Cindi Eilers's Avatar
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    Default Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    She has been to the vet a few times over the last few months. A few months ago she had a large swollen mass by her upper elbow that swelled to golf ball sized. We took her in, got the Xrays and the vet said it looked like bone disease but the Sr. Vet called back to say it was some inflamation due to arthritis and he gave us some stuff, the swelling moved and then went down and we got her fixed up with pills, heat massage, etc. Now a few months later I noticed she looked like she was losing weight so we increased her food by 1/3 and she has lost 8 lbs since the last visit. We had blood work done which came back relatively normal except a little low in protein. The Dr. mentioned that her heartbeat was having irregular patterns and gave us an option of doing heart testing but said that at her age, it would have a low chance of doing much good at this point and had no guarantees. She is 9 and I know we have come to the end of her expected life expectancy and I love her so much but I also do not want to pay thousands of dollars on a very senior dog but I do want to prolong her life and make her as comfortable as I can. I am looking for nutrition packed supplements that would be very appealing to her. She eats the grain free version of Taste of the Wild in the red meat version both dry and wet and she is on supplements for her joints. My vet has suggested that the breathing and heart problems would cause her to have less of her food being digested so I upped her feedings and we quit doing anything heavy outside, turned up the ac and bought her lots of treats. I saw scrambled eggs added to her plate might be a good idea, the vet has prescribed her some beta blockers to see if the heart irregular beats can be slowed down a bit (which I haven't started yet) what else can I do for my dog to make the end of her life as comfortable as possible? The weird thing is she is happy and not in pain, the vet also said with these kind of problems she doesn't know she's sick and doesn't hurt and might just die suddenly, which sounds so awful but I guess its better than watching a dog go through something painful. I am assuming this problem is common with bulldogs so I figured I might find the most ideas here. I am not looking for heroic expensive measures, I am accepting that she has had a great life and she is a wonderful dog, just cheating a little bit more time out of this situation. Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    Welcome to EBN... So Sorry this is happening--- not knowing what your baby is going through is so hard. I lost my 9 yr old suddenly in November so i can relate to your wanting to comfort and steal some time

    Weight gain... Small meals all day long could help adding the eggs is a good option too.

    I am sending lots of prayers for you and your girl
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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    e.

    Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    Welcome to EBN - I am sorry that you are going through this with your senior girl. I don't have much experience with aging seniors but it sounds like you are doing everything right to make your baby as comfortable as possible. At least she seems to be happy and not in pain. I am sending positive thoughts to you both.
    Happiness is a warm bulldog!

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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    An idea for optimum absorption of nutrition from egg is to boil it
    very soft (gooey in middle) and cut in 4 quarters w/ shell on, okay
    to eat & extra calcium, give as separate treat a couple x daily.

    Good fats to give (for energy) are avocado slices (peeled & pitted).
    Halve then halve that so give a quarter 4 x daily. Coconut oil is great
    too, some it will not agree with so do not start with anything else but
    as separate supplement and slowly at first, 1/4 tsp daily for 2-3 weeks
    then add 1/4 tsp, stay at that for a couple months & see how it goes.

    Do the above, ONE thing at a time, observing her & poop consistency
    for 2-3 weeks so if any of them mess up her tummy or poop, you'll know
    what did it.

    Green lipped mussels come to mind as a possibility to add in meals and/or
    fermented fish for digestion health & a probiotic.

    I send big hugs to you & your beloved girl, please continue to share her with
    us, thank you and welcome to EBN.


    My 1st bully, Brutus
    RIP beloved boy.

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    Newbie Cindi Eilers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    Thank you for your replies. I ordered some nutri cal and some dynes vanilla liquid calories. I will make her some eggs tomorrow and I am stacked with treats. Tonight she was rolling in the grass without a care in the world so I took pictures and video for later. I knew they have breathing trouble and have short lifespans but I never understood the connection to heart and oxygen levels. My vet said she will either just die from her heart or get to the point she can't lose anymore weight. I have a logical mind so it might be morbid I know what is going on but it might give me some ammunition to keep a few more days weeks or months.

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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    I'm sorry this is happening, but that's life. You could try puppy food for her. Senior dogs digestive system don't work so well any more and nutrients don't absorbe any more, puppy food in more digestible. Fsh oil is good for many things and has calories. So happy that she's happy though.

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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    Don't have anything to add as it's evident that you're doing things right. Will keep her in my thoughts and will pray that she keeps being happy. Love how you described that she still rolls around in the grass, she sounds like an adorably sweet girl.
    "I am normally not a praying man, but if you really are up there, please save me Superman!'' - Homer J. Simpson

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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    Welcome to EBN I can relate to this having an 8 year old bulldog girl, it's heartbreaking knowing their time is running out and I'm thankful for every day and every moment I get with her. I realize I could take her to the vet and have tests and even operations done but I'm not convinced it's the best thing for her as she's healthy and happy as it is.

    My husband wants to check if she's got a soft palate and if so do surgery... I'm hesitating even doing the check as I know she will be stressed and confused. It might be selfish of me... I don't know... maybe it's my fear of losing her in a situation like that's the issue. My only concern is her breathing as she sometimes wakes up and coughs, sounds like she's got phlegm in her throat. She also gets tired quickly and pants a lot then, but when still and not excited her breathing is good. Her heart is probably taking strain from her breathing issues but I still think she's better off just living her life happy than going through surgery...

    Just like you I'm fully aware of the fact that I might not have much time left with her but I try to do the best of the time we do have. Every night I sit with her until she falls asleep, I tell her how much I love her and how special she is. She gets lots of treats and there is no rule in the house that's not broken when it comes to her. If she barks I'm there catering to her needs. She's despite her age the most playful of all our dogs, she's still spunky and very naughty. She rolls in soil, she redecorate the place by moving her beds around and she knows if she barks or reaches out to me with her foot she'll get a cuddle or a treat.

    I give her Greek yogurt and coconut oil with her meals. Every other day she gets an egg and whenever we have meat she gets some of that too. We share fruit or veggie almost every day as well, she loves melon and pumpkin but will also happily eat banana, green beans, mango, apple, carrot... basically anything actually

    Senior dogs are the best, there is something very special about them <3 I hope you can cheat time and still get years with your special girl.
    You were born with the ability to change someone's life, don't ever waste it.



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    Newbie Cindi Eilers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    I love this dog (Bailey), she replaced a bully (Bella)I had brought in for spay and soft palate surgery. I noticed Bella wasn't eating but when I called the vet's office they would say it was probably the surgery so I didn't bring her in for 2 days. By the time I got her in, they said her lungs were 90 percent filled with fluid and she died...and I was heartbroken. I am still angry at myself for not bringing her in the next day but I had no idea that the soft palate surgery wasn't what was making her lose her appetite. I had her at the emergency vet and they called to tell me she died..then they called to tell me they revived her and then they called to tell me she died again, worst pet experience of my life. I immediately found another puppy that looked almost just like her and brought her home (this one, Bailey) and cried over her and held her all day every day for a long time. The vet offered to bring her home after the spay to keep an eye on her because now I am super paranoid but I stayed at the vet's office during the surgery and got her right after she was ready and watched her like a hawk. I have another bully, he's 10, and I hate to say this but he is an awful dog, he is dog aggressive and very stubborn and we have used the Ceasar method the whole time. He got those head tremors when he was a year or so old, he swallowed a ROUND rock and blocked his intestine so we had to get emergency surgery and we kept the rock and even today at 10, he's very healthy. I got him from a back yard breeder, and he's a terrible quality bully and his legs are way too long and his body isn't as stout so I guess he will live forever. His name is Brando, and I love him but just not the same as Bailey, who has been the peaceful, sweet natured and gentle dog of my dreams who was there for me to cry on and fawn over for so long. The lesson here is that if you ever do get the soft palate surgery, don't attribute lack of appetite to the surgery right out of the gate, it might be something else and I wish I had known. 9 years later the thoughts of this other dog that died (Bella) still can bring me to tears.

    Last night I fed Bailey everything I could and gave her the beta blocker and she threw it all up (2 cups of dry food and third a can of 15oz wet, I knew it was too much but I just wanted to fill her up). I know it was my fault, I shoveled the food in and way more than she should have eaten, so lesson learned. Today she got 1 egg and a small bit of puppy food and I will skip starting the beta blockers until tomorrow so I know what I am giving her is not making her sick (eggs are new for her) I also let her chew up some whismies, does anybody know if they are indeed safe? She loves to chew in the sun outside and I really want to make sure whatever she is chewing on won't make her sick or hurt her like I hear rawhide does. Thanks all for the well wishes and concerns and I know this is the awful part of dog ownership, but it doesn't make it any less awful and does help to share with people who have bullies!

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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    When one of my older rescues started. Losing weight it was sometimes due to pain ....maybe dental or arthritis . Ask vet to check Also lots of food at once can be very bad for any animal . Small and slow stays in .

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    Newbie Cindi Eilers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninanet View Post
    When one of my older rescues started. Losing weight it was sometimes due to pain ....maybe dental or arthritis . Ask vet to check Also lots of food at once can be very bad for any animal . Small and slow stays in .
    Bailey has arthritis and is on something for it but her appetite is fine. I actually posted my video from last night of her rolling around without a care in the world. This dog acts so happy and fine (Im a terrible videographer, I didn't realize until a few mins in I could actually zoom on her! Im 50something so sometimes these new things take a minute to figure out and I saw I can bring it here if I upload it to youtube, so I did
    I will post it when its done processing, I have learned a few new skills in the last few days...do not shovel too much food in your dog, how to zoom a video on my cell phone and how to upload to youtube, woot!

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    Newbie Cindi Eilers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Aging bulldog losing weight rapidly

    https://youtu.be/qNz5zDRjNHw

    AND I learned to trim videos haha

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