Re-Building his muscle mass - Labradors Forums
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Old 25-03-2019, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Re-Building his muscle mass

Hi Everyone,
I have a fantastic 11 year old dog (Oliver) who has suffered badly with his health over the past 12 months. All started with a snake bite (adder) that resulted with his red blood count crashing through the floor. Vet kicked started his recovery with steroids that quickly resulted in blood count returning to normal. However, the steroid treatment resulted in diabetes and that is when the real problems started. Took months to get this under control and it was only when a new young vet joined the vets practice and she luckily specialised in this disorder. Within three weeks fully under control. However, the diabetes resulted in loss of sight (cataracts) and unable to rectify this until the diabetes was totally stable. 2 months later my vet referred Oliver to the Eye Veterinary Clinic in Leominster Herefordshire where they operated and returned his sight. Just like having a puppy all over again - brilliant. However the big problem with diabetes is the erosion of muscle mass (Oliver lost 5 kg of muscle mass) and weight loss now became the problem. However we have turned this round and he is now slowly, very slowly, regaining weight. Limited exercise and hydrotheraphy . Any more ideas of how we can help him regain his weight loss.
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Old 25-03-2019, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Diabetes in dogs is very hard to manage, although easier in males than females, because of the hormone rush caused by seasons. I had to have my Katy spayed as an emergency when she started to come into season. Katy was 9 when she developed it.

Sugar cataracts are almost invariable because as dogs cant tell us when the start to go hypoglycaemic we have to err on the safe side. (Humans can feel it coming on and eat a sweet biscuit or the like.) The cataract surgery is not as straight forward for dogs, and the operation was perfected by Prof. Peter Bedford. But it was too late for Katy. At the time when he was working on the procedure my friend and myself held a number of dog shows to raise money to buy a phacoemulsifier, (The machine used to break up the cataract.) Peter is a very clever man and although now retired from the RVC he is still the head panellist on canine eye health testing. (I was actually with him last Thursday.)

If you now have the sugar level stabilised the muscle tone should soon start to improve. Consistency in everything is the key. I never changed her food so her sugar intake was always the same. I also fed her 3 times a day to try to spread the sugar intake throughout the day rather than peak loading. I even controlled her exercise so the burning off of the sugar was constant.

I took a urine sample every day, and using clinitest tablets checked the sugar level with dipslides, then injected her accordingly. (Are you doing the same thing, or have things moved on since Katy died over 30 years ago?)

But Diabetes is very debilitating and affects various other parts of the body. With Katy her circulation deuterated until I finally lost her at about 13.5 years old.

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Old 26-03-2019, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks John for your note. As you rightly say diabetes is a long term problem and requires constant monitoring. We check Oliver`s sugar levels with weekly blood tests (vets). We have been extremely lucky with our vet she has a vast knowledge base and puts the senior partners to shame. New thinking backed up with years of research.

Our Ophthalmologist who carried out the eye operation would, I am sure, be known to your friend, Christine Heinrich who we now know to be considered by vets as the current top consultant in the UK. Oliver has been fitted with lenses to sharpen up his sight. How times have moved on, its incredible.
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Old 26-03-2019, 09:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, I know, or rather know of, Christine Heinrich. She is another of the eye testing panel.

Since the time of my Katy I have got the idea that I was testing too often. And that was leading to getting side tracked by small variations in sugar levels. But that was the thinking in those days. Katy was born in 1974, so at 9 years old when the diabetes started would have been 1983. 36 years ago! Where have the years gone! I had to take her to the vet for two weeks, to get her stabilised. At that time I was a department foreman in an engineering factory and used to take her to work with me first thing, get the department started and deal with urgent matters then slip her to the vet at around 8am, before taking her home and returning to work for the rest of the day. I had a good second in command who could keep things ticking over until I got back to work.
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Old 27-03-2019, 10:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Have you tried physiotherapy? My dog is 12.5 years old and suffers with muscle wastage due to problems with his mobility as he has ED, HD and collapsed discs in his neck which means he can't walk very far. I started Jack on physiotherapy about a year ago. He has weekly sessions and I do exercises and use a TENS machine daily on him between the physio visits. While Jack hasn't managed to regain all his lost muscle, we are managing to maintain what he has got.

I hope you manage to find something that helps soon.

Cheryl and Jack
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