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.
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