I recently (within the last two weeks) noticed that my nearly 14 year old dog is looking kind of frail. His spine sticks out more than it used to, and it looks like his ribs do too. However, he is eating normally, seems to be acting fine, and was heartworm tested only last month (he's always on preventative). I'm stumped. My husband thinks that sometimes as dogs age their muscle density decreases, giving them that "older dog" look. I'm not sure. Like I said....no change in behavior.....but I'm wondering if this is normal?
Muscle atrophy does increase with age. That could be the cause, but of course an older dog could have other more serious issues which cause weight loss.
You could try feeding him a bit of extra protein, either as a higher protein dog food or, if you feed him people food, a bit of egg, meat, fish or fowl may help. Exercise is important to help prevent muscle atrophy also. If he has arthritis, lack of use of his legs can increase muscle atrophy further. Place him on Glucosamine supplementation, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, if possible.
Have a senior blood profile, and evaluation performed at the next veterinary visit.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.