About a year after the loss of our 16-year-old golden retriever Minnie, we decided we were ready for another. We fell in love with Zoe the moment we saw her. She was a little ball of energy and friendly. One thing we noticed, though: Her brother was almost twice her size. Now she is 2 years old and only 39 pounds. She has always been a finicky eater, but what worries us the most is her lack of energy. For the first year, her activity level seemed normal, but now she sleeps most of the day and night. She won't fetch, run, or play with any toys. When we walk her, she walks slowly and will sometimes just stop in the road, refusing to move. However, if two of us go on the walk, she seems to move a bit faster.
We have invisible fencing in our yard, but she only does her business there and then wants to come in. The only other health issue she was treated for was head tilting, which the vet blamed on congestion. She also has some dental issues and will require a cleaning next year. Her diet consists of dry dog food, rice, carrots and biscuits, but some days she only eats a few treats. I decided to feed her dry food because I had heard it was better for her teeth. I would appreciate any thoughts you might have on our little Zoe. We just want to do what's best for her health and happiness.
R.M., Shelton, CT Apr 24, 2011
You most probably acquired the runt of the litter -- in other words, the pup who, in competition with other developing puppy embryos in their mother's uterus, was almost crowded out and had a small placenta. So her development became impaired early on, even though she was "a little ball of energy" when young. I would suspect a congenital/developmental abnormality of the heart or hydrocephalus, which could account for some of her symptoms and dull behavior. She may next develop seizures. The best treatment is tender loving care and appropriate medications as symptoms surface.
4/28/2011 2:42:22 PM #
I would have this dog screened for a liver shunt....smaller size, lack of energy, etc are red flags for this. If the lack of energy more apparent after sheetss? It can be fixed if it's a shunt.
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