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Old 04-08-2010, 03:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Weight Loss Question *now turned URI's*

In the midst of dealing with my 13 year old dog, who we just found out is now in both kidney and liver failure and needs sub-Q fluids every other day - but who we don't want to euthanize because he still has zest for life and is very happy, it seems Chloe has decided she might be sick too.

Chloe - who has been eating, drinking, pooping, peeing all normal except for eating maybe 5 less kibbles a night than normal has all of a sudden started dropping weight this past week. I had cut some of the higher fat foods out of Puff & Chloe's diet 3 months ago because they both had started gaining weight quite rapdily despite being full grown. Chloe did slowly lose a little bit of weight before reaching a healthy steady weight for the past 1.5 months. But this past week and a bit she suddenly started dropping and is now down 20-25g from what she was 1 week and 1/2 ago.

At first I thought it was just random fluctuations and it did go up and down a bit for the first few days, but now she's definitely dropping 2-3g of weight each day. I've been feeding her baby food and a/d and I do have a vet appt for all 3 hedgies on Saturday. But what could it be? Everything else seems normal (although I know this doesn't neccessarily mean anything) and she's still eating enough food, plus the extra mealies I've been giving her to try keep her weight from dropping anymore.

I've also noticed a bit of balding on her back, but I don't want to treat with revolution until I know she's not sick for sure (you're not suppose to give it to sick animals). Could mites cause weight loss? Or could she have worms maybe? I do volunteer with a lot of rescued animals + I work at a vet clinic so despite all the precautions I take, I could have still transfered something. I am gonna do a fecal test on her on Saturday as well.

I did also just get Oakley last Saturday, but I have him in quarentine far enough away from my other hedgies, and I always try handle him last. I haven't yet treated him with revolution because I want to get him checked out by the vet first before I give it. He has dry skin, but doesn't appear to have any signs of mites, but I will treat all 3 hedgies as a preventative after we see the vet.

Or is it possible that she' s just all of a sudden started needing higher fat in her diet? She doesn't seem to wheeling/running more than normal, but maybe her metabolism has sped up?
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Question - why can't my pets just stay healthy?!

I wonder if maybe she is wheeling more and its causing her to lose more weight. I think they can tell seasons and weather changes and it might be that the spring time is making her more active at night. I noticed that last month when it started getting hot here that even though everything in the house has stayed the same that mine is up and about more and his activity levels have picked up. Im not sure about the mites or the bald spot but the weight loss seems like this could be a possiblity since she seems so healthy in all other ways.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Question - why can't my pets just stay healthy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgieonboard
I wonder if maybe she is wheeling more and its causing her to lose more weight. I think they can tell seasons and weather changes and it might be that the spring time is making her more active at night. I noticed that last month when it started getting hot here that even though everything in the house has stayed the same that mine is up and about more and his activity levels have picked up. Im not sure about the mites or the bald spot but the weight loss seems like this could be a possiblity since she seems so healthy in all other ways.
That's what I'm starting to wonder. The mix she's on is currently 6 foods that are 8-9% fat and two foods that are 12% fat. She was on a 4 foods - 8/9% fat and 4 foods - 12% fat diet before. Once the vet rules out any underlying problems, I will switch back to some higher fat foods.

I guess it's not different than dogs. Mine usually go on a lower cal food during the winter, and a higher cal one during the summer.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Question - why can't my pets just stay healthy?!

Are you weighing her multiple times daily? It's just that a long tube of poop can make up that 20-30g difference, so have you been weighing at the same time every day? (My boy has weighed 310 one night, and 330 the next. It scared me as well the first time his weight "dropped" and I kept weighing him multiple times daily, and the large margin of fluctuation will always be the same.)

If not, you should start weighing at 2 different times in the day.
For example... Morning checkups, you do that the same time everyday, so the amount of poop should be the same as well.
Another time would be immediately before you turn the lights off. Again, she should have still been in bed, so there shouldn't be much changes.
Another would be about an hour after she wakes up. Gives her the chance to empty her bowels first.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Question - why can't my pets just stay healthy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortalia
Are you weighing her multiple times daily? It's just that a long tube of poop can make up that 20-30g difference, so have you been weighing at the same time every day? (My boy has weighed 310 one night, and 330 the next. It scared me as well the first time his weight "dropped" and I kept weighing him multiple times daily, and the large margin of fluctuation will always be the same.)

If not, you should start weighing at 2 different times in the day.
For example... Morning checkups, you do that the same time everyday, so the amount of poop should be the same as well.
Another time would be immediately before you turn the lights off. Again, she should have still been in bed, so there shouldn't be much changes.
Another would be about an hour after she wakes up. Gives her the chance to empty her bowels first.
I have been weighing twice a day at the same time each day but only morning and night, so you're right there hasn't been much change cause she's still been in bed. I haven't weighed her an hour after she wakes up at night, so maybe I will try that as well. Hopefully it is just a fluctuation thing, that would make feel a lot better and a little silly for worrying!
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Question - why can't my pets just stay healthy?!

If you are weighing the same time morning and night and weighing her at night pre-poop, you will be catching any normal fluctuations and getting a true weight. It really doesn't matter if you do it pre or post poop as long as you do it the same all the time. They normally go up and down and it's when the highs and lows are consistently going down that you get the true weight loss. Weighing her again after she potties in the evening will give you another weight to go by but also continue the routine you have been doing.

How much has she lost? Is she eating the same amount? Counting her kibble right now is a good idea and since you are feeding a mix, do a breakdown of how much of each one she is eating. Possibly she is mostly eating the lower fat foods although usually they go for the higher fat as they are yummier.

My Smokey used to beef up in the fall and loose in the spring. He did it every year.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Question - why can't my pets just stay healthy?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
If you are weighing the same time morning and night and weighing her at night pre-poop, you will be catching any normal fluctuations and getting a true weight. It really doesn't matter if you do it pre or post poop as long as you do it the same all the time. They normally go up and down and it's when the highs and lows are consistently going down that you get the true weight loss. Weighing her again after she potties in the evening will give you another weight to go by but also continue the routine you have been doing.

How much has she lost? Is she eating the same amount? Counting her kibble right now is a good idea and since you are feeding a mix, do a breakdown of how much of each one she is eating. Possibly she is mostly eating the lower fat foods although usually they go for the higher fat as they are yummier.

My Smokey used to beef up in the fall and loose in the spring. He did it every year.
Well she was down to 510g this morning and 2 weeks ago she was fluctuating between 530-540g, which is a normal healthy weight for her. She seems to be eating an even split of all the kibble although 3 of the kibbles I feed are almost identical so it's hard to say for sure.

Both puff and Chloe hardly ate any kibble last night (puff has been fine up until now) so I syringed both about 2ml of medical recovery and 1ml of baby food. I will give them more tonight. Chloe's huffing/purring noises sounded a little off this morning and I heard Puff make a strange noise or two while she was sleeping. This is what happened last time when they developed URI's so I'm thinking now that maybe Chloes weight loss was an early warning sign. Were seeing the vet within 24 hours, so she'll let me know for sure.

Do you think this has something to do with Oakley? He's a good ways away from their cages but maybe they sense him and it's stressing them out? This would be Puff's 2nd URI (if she even has one, it's hard to tell this early on) in the past 4 months... I am wondering if I should do x rays to rule out other breathing issues? Although seeing as both Puff and Chloe are getting sick at the same time I bring Oakley home, it's most likely related to that.

Oakley on the other hand is just fine. I heard him squeaking this morning and I though "oh god not you too" but I'm pretty sure he was just doing some boy stuff haha.

Another thing I'm worried about is Oakley keep shaking his quills like he's itchy and now Puff and Chloe are doing it too. I'm almost positive oakleys given them mites but I'm scared to treat them if they're sick with URI's. I don't want to leave them suffering with mites either though. What should I do?

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Question - why can't my pets just stay healthy?!

Update:
Both Puff and Chloe ate zero kibble last night (lots of mealies, crickets and a bit of plain chicken breast though) and their stomachs were full from being syringe fed earlier so maybe that was it. No apparent wheeling went on for them either, so I think I'm going to start putting royal canin baby cat kibbles in their igloos with them, especially if they're going on antibiotics which is just gonna make the eating thing even less.

I also noticed this morning Oakley is sneezing now too! So I'm pretty darn certain all 3 of my hedgies have a URI. I suppose it's possible Oakley got it first from the stress of moving to a new place or had one to begin with from the shavings he was on at the SPCA, didn't show any major symptoms right away, gave it to Puff and Chloe, and then started showing symptoms himself? I don't know either way, our vet appointment is in 4 hours now, so I'm just going to syringe feed and try get fecal samples in the mean time.

I have a feeling we're going to be syringe feeding for at least the next week or two. I know you're suppose to try get 3-5ml of food into them 3-4 times a day, but Chloe is very difficult to syringe feed. My question is if I can't get enough into her in a day, can I give her lots of mealies and other foods like plain chicken, eggs, whatever she'll eat, as well to try fill her up?
I've been sprinkling acidophilus on all of their foods the past couple days, just in case they had something going on, cause I know it's an immune booster too, and I figured the fact that it prevents green stool couldn't hurt either since I've been syringing them new foods. So I will continue to do that as well.
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