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Thread: Muscle Wasting in Senior Bully

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    Default Muscle Wasting in Senior Bully

    I'm curious if anyone else has noticed their senior bully losing muscle mass. My girl is 11.5 and over the past year she has lost the roundness in her face and her legs are kind of bony and no longer have that thick muscular look. She is on steroids every other day which I suspect could be the culprit. Typically people have difficulty keeping weight off of their dog but ever since she began steroid treatment a year ago to treat an autoimmune disease we've had trouble keeping her weight up despite increasing her food. I wonder if it could possibly be a symptom of Cushing's disease. She was tested for Cushing's about 10 months ago but it could have been a false negative.

    Anyone have any thoughts regarding muscle wasting or had a dog exhibit this symptom with Cushing's?
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    Default Re: Muscle Wasting in Senior Bully

    Vetoryl (trilostane) Capsules, the latest drug approved to treat canine Cushing's,

    I haven't dealt with Cushing's in years. One thing I do know is that we all lose muscle mass as we grow older(I have for sure) and a diet high in potassium, such as adding broccoli and other vegs. with potassium is beneficial with Cushing's. There is probably info about this on the net.
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    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"

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    Default Re: Muscle Wasting in Senior Bully

    Quote Originally Posted by Manydogs View Post
    Vetoryl (trilostane) Capsules, the latest drug approved to treat canine Cushing's,

    I haven't dealt with Cushing's in years. One thing I do know is that we all lose muscle mass as we grow older(I have for sure) and a diet high in potassium, such as adding broccoli and other vegs. with potassium is beneficial with Cushing's. There is probably info about this on the net.
    As of now she has not been diagnosed with Cushings but when she began excessive drinking and started having accidents during the day the vet thought it might be Cushings and tested her for it. Come to find out it was a symptom from her antibiotic (which I had suspected) and was told nope this wouldn't be a symptom... so hundreds of dollars later and 5 days after stopping the antibiotic the excessive drinking and accidents stopped. That's when I realized that meds affect people/animals differently and just because it isn't a "known" or listed side effect that doctors acknowledge it doesn't mean the problem isn't being caused by the medication. I keep going back to the symptoms of cushings though and muscle wasting is a symptom as are blackheads and poor skin/coat. She does have an autoimmune skin disease so that could explain the skin & coat issues but we don't know for certain. There just isn't much out there on muscle wasting so I am at a loss. At one point we thought it must be cancer b/c we were feeding her more and she was still losing weight-and she ate all of her food and never had diarrhea so that wasn't the problem. Maybe it's just a sign of aging and the fact that she has barely any fur from her skin disease makes it more obvious.
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    Default Re: Muscle Wasting in Senior Bully

    One concern in feeding older dogs a high-protein diet has always been the potential effect on kidney function. It has long been believed that feeding a food with a lower protein content would protect the dog’s aging kidneys by lessening the workload. Recent research, however, proves that the right type of protein does not damage the kidneys, and feeding a lower protein diet does not protect them. In fact, even senior dogs who only had one kidney and were fed a high protein diet outlived seniors who were fed a low protein diet. A similar finding was made regarding long-held concerns about high protein and liver disease. Some doubted the benefits of the low-protein diet for seniors long ago: back in 1994, in an article in Veterinary Forum (September 1994), Dr. Delmar Finco stated that "benefits from a reduced protein diet typical of existing canine geriatric products have never been proven, and the possibility exists that reduced protein diets are not in the best interest of the geriatric patient."
    My initial concern in switching Mojo to a higher-protein food was that even with the coming exercise he might gain weight, which would place stress on his already-weakened back end. But my worries were unfounded, as protein and carbohydrates actually supply the same number of calories. Plus diets that are high in carbohydrates contribute to inflammation, which is the last thing an older, arthritic dog needs.
    I am currently switching Mojo over to a version of Innova called Senior Plus, which has 24% protein. There are other quality brands available that have higher protein levels for seniors as well. Of course, your vet should be consulted about any potential changes in your dog’s diet, especially if there are pre-existing medical conditions. I am letting my dog training clients with older dogs know about these developments, and Mojo and I are grateful to have found out as well.

    I am sorry I misunderstood about your dog having Cushing's. Usually Cushing's animals gain weight. The above article was on the internet. Maybe it would help.......
    "
    “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough,all the components of my heart will be dog,and I will become as generous and loving as they are"

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    Default Re: Muscle Wasting in Senior Bully

    Quote Originally Posted by Manydogs View Post
    One concern in feeding older dogs a high-protein diet has always been the potential effect on kidney function. It has long been believed that feeding a food with a lower protein content would protect the dog’s aging kidneys by lessening the workload. Recent research, however, proves that the right type of protein does not damage the kidneys, and feeding a lower protein diet does not protect them. In fact, even senior dogs who only had one kidney and were fed a high protein diet outlived seniors who were fed a low protein diet. A similar finding was made regarding long-held concerns about high protein and liver disease. Some doubted the benefits of the low-protein diet for seniors long ago: back in 1994, in an article in Veterinary Forum (September 1994), Dr. Delmar Finco stated that "benefits from a reduced protein diet typical of existing canine geriatric products have never been proven, and the possibility exists that reduced protein diets are not in the best interest of the geriatric patient."
    My initial concern in switching Mojo to a higher-protein food was that even with the coming exercise he might gain weight, which would place stress on his already-weakened back end. But my worries were unfounded, as protein and carbohydrates actually supply the same number of calories. Plus diets that are high in carbohydrates contribute to inflammation, which is the last thing an older, arthritic dog needs.
    I am currently switching Mojo over to a version of Innova called Senior Plus, which has 24% protein. There are other quality brands available that have higher protein levels for seniors as well. Of course, your vet should be consulted about any potential changes in your dog’s diet, especially if there are pre-existing medical conditions. I am letting my dog training clients with older dogs know about these developments, and Mojo and I are grateful to have found out as well.

    I am sorry I misunderstood about your dog having Cushing's. Usually Cushing's animals gain weight. The above article was on the internet. Maybe it would help.......
    Thanks, I am always trying to learn more especially since we had a rough time last year. My poor girl had a terrible MRSP infection, during which she was diagnosed with the autoimmune skin disease. She's been on soooo many meds and was very sick in Dec. and it was around that time we had her tested for Cushings. From what I understand some dogs will exhibit slight symptoms but test neg. and then a year later be positive. I hate to spend money going on a wild goose chase - we've been down that road and stopped counting after we hit $12,000 in vet expenses last year. I recently switched her to a raw diet and I have seen some positive changes in her skin. Prior to that she was on a higher protein kibble. I found it interesting that both my dogs lost weight when we switched to the grain free/higher protein kibble. It seems like my senior girl is anything but textbook. Most dogs gain weight on steroids but she seems to lose weight. I read an article somewhere that stated long term steroid use could cause muscle wasting but the vet says they tend to gain weight. We were able to get her to gain weight when she went off the steroid for a few months and now that she is back on it I notice she is looking thinner and has lost 1.5lbs. It's been a constant battle for the last 15months but she feels good now and that's what's important to me. I just worry about her because she is my baby.

    We finally have her down to every other day steroids and fluconazole (anti yeast) med 2x per week.
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    Default Re: Muscle Wasting in Senior Bully

    Could it be her thyroid? Humans can lose or gain with thyroid issues, maybe hers is somehow impacted?

    My my girl is 9 and I have only noticed her brindle marking beginning to lighten, but nothing else has changed.
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