Balloon dog

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I know I have been giving the dogs more treats since being unemployed and home most of the time, but they each get the same amount and the bigger-statured dog has gained a TON of weight while the smaller one has not. This is a female, 9yo lhasa apso who went from about 22 pounds, which was about 2-4 pounds overweight, to 29 pounds and she still seems to be gaining. She has been seen by a vet twice in the past few months, although not specifically for the weight question. I haven't changed their brand of dog food and have cut treats in half. She goes outside and walks around the backyard and seems fine- just very overweight.

    Do female dogs get the middle aged bulge like women can? Do their metabolism change or should I be concerned about a more serious health problem causing this? It shouldn't be wworms because they are on preventative medications for fleas and I don't see her eating dog food any more than she had in the past.
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Yes, as fixed dogs age, they, just like humans, tend to put on weight.

    However, that said, if you have a fat dog, your dog is eating more than it's metabolism requires.

    Your dog needs to be checked for thyroid issues, but most likely it is just her taking in more calories than she is burning off. The fact that they other dogs are not gaining on the same amount of food is meaningless. Just like us humans, dogs're individual in terms of their dietary needs.

    Talk things over with your vet and ask his help in setting up a diet and exercise plan for your dog.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks! She's not spade but I suppose that's a neglible point. Menopause?
  4. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Dogs do not experience menopause. I'd also consider talking to your vet about spaying her.

    Being 'entire' for all these years sets her up for both a potentially lethal uterine infection called pyometritis, AND breast cancer, which is an awful lot harder to treat in dogs than in humans due to the way it spreads.

    Another thing to consider is that her weight puts her at very high risk for arthritis and injury to the ligaments in the 'stifles' (equivalent to our knee joint).

    A complete tear is crippling, extremely painful, and costs plenty to repair. It's a long, painful recovery as well. Plus, if the dog blows out one ACL, odds are good the other one will follow in fairly short order.

    Your dog is beyond fat, she's morbidly obese. In fact, if she's put on that weight in such a short time, keep an eye on her water consumption. If it goes up, have her into the vet as this can be a sign of the uterine infection.

    Believe me, the spay under these circumstances is way more $$$ than a routine surgery.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think she has stopped going into heat- at least I'm sure she has slowed down. She never did do much more than spot a little and "get in the mood". LOL! I haven't seen that in about a year. Our other dog is a neutered male so that is why she was not spayed to begin with. I don't know if there's any point in spaying her if she's stopped cycling.

    I will talk to the vet though. She is "tall & lanky" for a lhasa so 2-4 pounds over weight was not a big deal- obesity though is different and I know it is a health concern in itself. She was on the thin side the first few years of life, then the 2-4 pounds overweight (that's my estimate- she went from thin at 18 pounds to having a little belly at 22 pounds), but this surge in "ballooning out" has just happened over the past few months. The only change I know of is her stopping cycling and me feeding her treats more often, which I now have cut in half or more. I can get the weight off, I think, and difficult child will help when he comes home because it's his dog and he likes walking her and so forth. But I do want to make sure that she doesn't have a health problem that is causing this. I guess there is a decrease in calories she's burning off because difficult child played with her a lot and he's been gone all year- she's as energetic as a pup- kind of a "happy-go-lucky" sort of dog.

    Of course, if she ends up being quarantined with basicly no exercise, the weight might be an issue until after she's released (Feb.).
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    A LOT of female dogs do not show overt signs of being in heat other than perhaps some slight swelling of the vulva.

    Many do not bleed or even spot at all.

    Spaying is a major investment in your dog's future health. It's not something you only should do if your dog is in contact with entire males. It's about a lot more than avoiding an unplanned pregnancy.

    As female dogs age, their heat cycles may become irregular or even "silent" where no outward signs are shown, but the dog is still fertile.

    The extreme overweight can also throw cycles out of whack. The weight is even more concerning as Lhasas have longer backs than many other breeds and are hence more prone to spinal problems ranging from arthritis to disc disease.

    Personally, I'd take her in for a 'tuneup', get her health care going properly, and feel a lot more secure about her remaining healthy while in quarantine.

    While you are checking out the other stuff, ask the vet to take a good look at her teeth. Lhasas are prone to misaligned bites that can really start causing dental problems in middle age.

    Any dental work can be done at the same time she is spayed assuming it is a standard spay.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok- I'll discuss it with the vet and work on getting some weight off her. It would be nice if she was spayed while quarantined in a way, but you have a point.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    It'd probably be much better to have her spayed before she has to go to quarantine. This way you are there to watch her during her recovery and can act on any problems that might be missed in quarantine.

    The spay is no real big deal so long as her overall health checks out OK. It is the same surgery as a complete hysterectomy in human females, but due to dogs and cats being able to walk on all fours, they bounce back a lot quicker.

    She'll likely need just an overnight stay in the clinic, a couple of days worth of painkillers, and probably a special collar to prevent her chewing at the incision.

    It is possible that your regular vet may not recommend spaying her. I've seen it happen with older dogs, but usually only with those that have underlying health conditions.

    Check also with your local Humane Society as many of them offer spay/neuter clinics at a steep discount.