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Old 03-09-2012, 09:22 PM
 
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I switched my elderly lab to a new vet, who is an old vet who started a new practice that we just found again.

She wants him to gain weight, muscle weight. I'm not even sure if that's possible since there is muscle wasting.

All of the other vets said he was a good weight for his weakened bone structure. He has arthritis in his spine.

But she says she'd like to see an additional 5lbs of muscle weight if possible.

She mentioned switching to puppy food for more protein. She also mentioned feeding him eggs with his current food.

Any ideas on the best way to increase the protein to increase muscle weight as opposed to fat weight?
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:34 PM
 
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Maybe adding egg is the way to go. This website says that egg is the standard protein that all proteins are measured against:

Dog Food FAQs: Protein
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:36 PM
 
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If he has a weaken bone stucture, it might not be a good thing to add weight. It could cause spinal or other fractures.

Dogs are probably like people....the inactive ones will add fat. The ones that move around and are active will have more muscle.

Also, additional protein could cause problems if there is any kidney malfunction. It's not as easy to digest.

Be careful about this.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:43 PM
 
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That's what I thought too, Pedgett.

But since posting this thread, I read up on it.

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy

He doesn't have muscle mass because he as muscle wasting due to the disease, not do to inactivity.

He needs to gain muscle mass or he may become paralyzed sooner.

I'm just hoping it's not too late. I wish I had tracked down this vet last year.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:29 AM
 
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hmmmm, I can see the point then. Let's hope it works for him. I'd really use the eggs.

I wonder if tuna fish and salmon would be helpful.??????
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:01 AM
 
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I've read the omegas in fish will be very helpful.

I'm thinking I might switch him to a fish based quality dog food and add the eggs.

I'll give him the real fish whenever we are having fish for dinner, which is a few days per week.

I sure hope it works for him.

On top of it, I need to step up the physical therapy. I can do most of it myself, but there's a water treadmill that will really benefit him. I might not be able to afford that.

I'm in the process of doing my research and figuring our a monthly budget.

So far, I've decided on:

Increasing Protein via eggs
Supplements
Dog food change (haven't figured out which type of dog food, hence this thread)
Home Physical Therapy
Dog Chiropractor

I'd love to add the dog treadmill. I'm going to call the rehab facility and get pricing.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I have to say Hopes, it is remarkable he has lasted this long when I remember it was over as year ago - maybe 2 -when you were planning his departure. You must have been doing something right. To what do you attribute his recovery? How old is your beloved lab?
Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
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Be careful. The only experience I can speak of is from Artie, who is 8 years old and has a very sensitive stomach:

When his kibble is too high in protein (i.e. too rich), his stomach rebels. That's why I feed him grain-free Taste of the Wild (alternating between fowl flavor and bison/venison flavor) and that works really well for him. I'd also alternate the fish flavor but Artie's stomach reacts poorly to salmon.

A couple of time per week, I make him a scrambled egg, which I add to his kibble. He LOVES it and it causes him absolutely no stomach issues. This is what I do: I whisk an egg in a bowl, microwave it for 42 seconds (yes, I've timed it so it's just right), break it up with the fork, and refrigerate it for at least 15 minutes so that it's cooled off. Then, I further mush it up when I add it to his kibble to ensure that it gets incorporated (he loves the egg, but will skip the kibble if I just put the egg on top or if the pieces are too big).

Good luck!
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I have to say Hopes, it is remarkable he has lasted this long when I remember it was over as year ago - maybe 2 -when you were planning his departure. You must have been doing something right. To what do you attribute his recovery? How old is your beloved lab?
Good luck.
He is 16. They say that dogs with Degenerative Myelopathy only live 6 months to 3 years after being diagnosed. We're on 4 years from the first signs. I'd guess he has lasted this long because he wasn't overweight before it started, and we kept him as active as possible (not via "walks", I'll explain).

When his back end completely gave out in December 2010, he was pretty much paralyzed. We got him out of his doggie bed every hour and carried him outside to do his business. We stood holding him and helping him walk around the yard. He looked pathetic out there but he got stronger and stronger. That was a year ago. We still take him outside in the yard with us every hour or two hours.

Last night, I found this website with physical therapy for dogs with Degenerative Myelopathy.

Exercises, Stretches and Links for dogs with Degenerative Myelopathy

Many of the exercises we have already been doing due to the terrain of our yard. The only exercises we didn't do was the water treatmill, stretching exercises, and the sit/stand exercises. The first vet told us not to make him sit. That was a mistake. Well, we shouldn't make him do anything but we sure should have worked on helping him regain the muscle strength to sit/stand. His problem isn't getting up from a lay or a sit, but going from a stand to a sit. It might be too late to work on that.

Anyways, by sheer accident we provided him with fairly good physical therapy. I just knew that his muscles would further weaken if we didn't get him up and using them. But we didn't take him for walks, just out in the yard, because I didn't want to overstrain his joints.

We are now going to start short walks in the neighborhood. Nothing major because we need to be careful to not overdo it. We're also going to add the stretching exercises in that website link. And we might consult a physical therapist for guidance on the sit/stand exercise.

That's my best guess to our success.

Our other secret is Cheerios. My peekapoo lived 22 years because she ate Cheerios. I think this heavily fortified cereal is a great suppliment, better than vitamins because nutrients are absorbed better via food than pills.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:44 AM
 
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I agree with Dandj. Our older dog got very sick from a premium salmon dog food. It said it was easily digestible but when I called the company, I was informed that some dogs do have problems with it because it can be difficult to digest. Never understood putting "easily digested" on a product when they knew that really wasn't the case! Also, I would be concerned that the puppy food would be too rich and cause diarrhea. Our dog weighed 75 lbs and dropped probably 5 lbs it was much easier for her to get around. I think keeping the weight down so the dog can move around more would be beneficial.
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