Cocker Spaniel Losing Weight

by Doug Busher
(West Branch, Iowa, USA)

My Cocker Spaniel Is Losing Weight Fast!

My Cocker Spaniel Is Losing Weight Fast!

My 13 year-old cocker is losing weight fast. She doesn't want to go for walks or eat her treats which is most unusual.

She has had blood work done and it came back good.

What do I do?

I'm not ready to let her go, please help me.

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner and Author)

Doug, I'm so sorry - your last sentence broke my heart.

Your Cocker Spaniel is in her 'winter years' and won't be able to do what she could in her youth. She's slowing down and she won't want to go for long walks - perhaps she has a little arthritis?

Has your vet checked her teeth and gums? It may be she has problems in her mouth that could be causing her pain to eat. See if she'll lick a little peanut butter off your finger - it may be that normal treats are too hard for her gums and teeth right now.

Why not phone your vet and ask him to expand on his findings? He says the blood work is good, but what's his opinion on her condition? What does he think is ailing your Cocker Spaniel?

For now, I recommend you spend lots of quality time with her. Sit by her side and cuddle her, look into her eyes and talk to her.

If she's not up to walking far, then leave her and let her rest. What's the harm?

We all need to let our dogs go sometime and I truly hope it's not your time yet.

Good luck Doug.

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Older Cocker Weighs Less Now
by: Brian

My Cocker Spaniel is a 16 year old female, buff colour. I'm told the normal age range is 12 to 14 years. She has been in our family 11 years. During her younger years she weighed about 25 pounds - (11-12 kgs) right on the line between small and medium dog size. Now she's 18 to 19 pounds (8-9 kgs). The Vet is not concerned because she's a senior that has slowed down a lot. She eats a diet for dental health. I include a small portion of food for seniors and sometimes a little "puppy food." She picks through it to get the smaller bits first which I see as a good sign. From time to time she turns her nose up at a certain flavour of pill pocket or the piece of meat I put here twice-daily medicines in.

Switching the flavours regularly helps. She's not a pill-spitter; that is a dog that eats the treat the pill is in then spits the pill out. Hopefully the pill comes out where it is easily seen. We used to have a dog that knew to go around a corner to spit the pill. My girl is much slower now. She needs to be carried up and down stairs. If she tries going down stairs on her own she falls. The tops of the stairways are shielded to keep her from trying. Cockers follow from room to room even if it means falling down the stairs to be with her people.

Arthritis has stiffened both back legs. On carpet she can lay down and get up on her own. On laminated floor she has to be on a blanket or large towel. Her paws slip on the laminate. Keeping her nails clipped and trimming the hair between paw pads helps but is no longer enough. If I hear her scratching I help her get up.

She only barks once a year. If she gets stuck on laminate or caught by a chair leg she will make a sound like a yawning moan then wait for help. She nibbles all day long instead of feasting once or twice like she used to. The amount consumed remains constant.

Bathing is once a week now. With age she gets malodorous quickly even though she doesn't get dirty outside. Her leg problem makes her get pee & poo on her butt. I give her "bum baths" in the kitchen sink. She's still gentle in nature-has never liked baths. Treats and wrapping her in a big fluffy towel afterwards while laying on my lap or beside me on the couch helps her forgive me.

I need to empty and refill her water bowels more often now. She spills more and often tips the water bowl over while trying to get up. Her droopy ears get in the water every time now. Cockers have big paws for small dogs. She no longer drinks while standing. She lays with her front paws beside the bowel to drink. Getting up is hard. Sleeping is a big part of her daytime routine now. She stirs to get comfortable but goes right back to sleep. Her legs and eyelids twitch more often suggesting dreaming.

She's had 1 seizure that I know of. While laying on her side her legs moved fully and rhythmically. It lasted less than a minute without waking up. It kind of looked like running at a full gallop. Afterwards she slept for about 10 hours-well past her usual get up in the AM time. She pooped without waking up. First time that happened. The Vet is aware of it. He sees her every 3-4 months. She's been my medicine dog comforting me after 3 major surgeries including treating a cancer.

The groomers do not want to clip her any more because she's unsteady on her feet and has some lesions on her skin that open easily during clipping. This angers me because they willingly took money to clip her when it was easy. Now they do not help care for my best friend during her old age. I clip her hair now which she likes even less than bathing. I do it in small doses just to keep it from getting too long.

My Cocker Spaniel is my best friend. I dread her imminent death. I am nearly in tears writing this but I want to share what I've experienced with other dog owners that have a geriatric pet. I too am a senior with arthritis and ailments that accompany aging. At least I am home most of the time so she's not alone very often.

Cocker Losing Weight
by: John

Yes, I agree. Go back to your vet and ask why your dog is losing weight. You do need an answer. I can't believe your vet let you leave without understanding what the problem was. Okay, so the blood work shown everything was normal, but it's obvious your dog is suffering from something.

I really hope your dog is okay.

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