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May Ask the Vet

Dr. Moser

Dr. Moser

This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about choosing the right food for a dog with SARDS and a dog developing fatty nodules.

Q: We have a 10-year-old daschund that has Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS) and is also excessively hungry. We are feeding her Complete Health® Super5Mix® Just for Seniors, but it is hard to keep her satisfied and keep her weight down. Any suggestions?

A: Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS) causes loss of visual function in any breed of dog; blindness results in days to weeks. The cause is still being investigated.

Before the onset of permanent blindness, the dog may exhibit clinical signs similar to Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) increased food and water intake, urination and body weight.

When you go to the veterinary clinic for follow-up; have your vet measure the body weight and estimate the body condition score.  Then, based on examination findings, a program can be established to help control body weight.

Don’t free choice feed (leave foods out all the time); rather feed a premeditated number of calories per day in a meal fashion– two to three times per day.  This increases digestive function and satiety.

Here are 3 feed management suggestions for a 15 pound dog (desired weight) that needs about 350 kcal of energy per day:

#1  Feed 1/3 cup of Just for Senior dry kibble three times per day.   (340 kcal)

#2   Feed ½ x 6 ounce can of Senior Recipe wet food in the morning. (90 kcal)

       Feed ½ x 6 ounce can of Senior Recipe wet food at noon            (90 kcal)

       Feed ½ cup of Just for Senior dry kibble in the evening.              (175 kcal)

#3  Feed 1/3 cup of CORE® Reduced Fat kibble three times per day. (350 kcal)

Monitor your pet’s progress by measuring the body weight twice a week.  Adjust the caloric intake depending depending on the desired effect on body weight.  Encourage your dog to exercise by going for a daily walk.

Q: My lab eats Wellness® Large Breed Adult Health, is 9 years old and has begun to develop fatty nodules.  Is there a special food to prevent and reduce fatty deposits?

A: A lipoma is a benign fatty tumor commonly found subcutaneously in overweight dogs.  They should be evaluated by your veterinarian.  Many times a “watch and see plan” is adopted; you measure the lumps monthly and record the results to monitor change; then discuss findings with your vet at the next wellness exam.

Adipose (fat) tissue was historically thought of as inert storage of energy for later use.  Current research has shown an important secretory role for adipose tissue.  Adiposites (fat cells) have the ability to release high levels of chemical mediators called adipokines.  Adipokines influence appetite, energy intake and expenditure, satiety, insulin responsiveness, and inflammatory response.  In addition to interference with movement and structure, lipomas are metabolically active and can impact overall health.

There is not a special “low lipoma” diet but since your dog is probably overweight, you should discuss a weight reduction program during your veterinary appointment.  Walk your dog onto a scale at the clinic and get an accurate body weight.  With the vet’s help, learn to assign a body condition score.

Also, measure how much food and treat calories (energy) the dog eats every day.

Because weight loss is desired, decrease the current total amount of Wellness Large Breed Adult Health dry kibble and treat calories offered by 20% daily.  One 8 oz. measuring cup of Wellness Large Breed Adult Health kibble contains almost 340 kcal.  Feed small frequent meals (three daily) of measured amounts of food.  Do not free feed and use treats sparingly.

Keeping your pet active will also help achieve weight loss goals. Walking your lab regularly and encouraging active play can help your pet get fit and stay fit. Be sure to weigh your pet frequently so that you can monitor progress and continue to adjust the diet as needed.

5 Responses to “May Ask the Vet”

  1. Debbie says:

    In regard to the answer to the question about fatty nodules, it doesn’t necessarily happen with just overweight dogs. I have an almost 11 yr. old female, and an almost 9 year old male, both spayed/neutered as puppies. One is just a little overweight and the other is normal weight, and they both have the fatty nodules. Both get walked every day. Interestingly, both eat the same amount of food every day–2 cups dry, even though the male weighs 65 pounds and the female 45. The male is the one thats slightly overweight, thus showing the difference in metabolism. I have wondered if the fatty deposits have anything to do with hormones, esp. given the fact both dogs were “fixed” when quite young. I have always given them good quality dog food, and they have been eating the Wellness brand for the past year.

  2. Diane says:

    We have a 10 year old male beagle who also has fatty deposits on his under belly. Vet says they are benign; however I have noticed another one recently, which concerns me. He is 98% muscle and acts like “Underdog”…fast, agile, & full of it! Not overweight! I am not sure if these are more like cellulite for dogs? He has eaten Wellness, mostly reduced fat, for the past 8 years…so not sure why he has these other than perhaps hormones as the prior writer indicated (?).

  3. candi says:

    I have a question I have a boston terrier and I know that they have a problem with gas but just resently it has gotten so severe I had to put him outside because we couldn’t breath it smells like rotten eggs its horrible I only give him natural or holistic treats when he gets them and I have been feeding him natureschoice food we have been changing his food fairly often but I buy 30 lb bags so it not like 1 once a week I’m changing it because he either doesn’t eat it that I change it or the gas but it is horrible this time and its worse at night. I was thinking about changing both my dogs to wellness or blue buffalo because that is what my other dog is eating and she is fine. can you help

  4. Brenda says:

    My dog had previously been diagnosed with a fatty tumor about 7 months ago. It grew bigger and he went to the vet nearly a week ago and it was diagnosed as a mass cell tumor. Besides that he was diagnosed with diabetes. The vet now has him on insulin and said to buy him a grainless dogfood. Low carb and high protein. He has lost weight because of the diabetes. I was told at the the dog food store that all foods in a certain isle were grainless but they weren’t and I bought him Super 5 Mix which another vet – same ofc. – said thought that would be okay this time around since had no corn or wheat. Is close to being gone now and was going to nuy the grainless. Dow you suggest I get the low fat or the original? I was originally thinking about the fish until I saw it may be high fat. Since he’s underweight, what do you think?

    I found your article on fatty nodules extremely interesting! I was only told it was unknow what caused them. Wish I’d have known then. Thank you

    Also, do you know of a substitute for steroids for Maxie since he can’t take them now that we’ve discovered he’s diabetic. The oncologist won’t be in until tomorrow and I don’t even know if she’ll talk to me voer the phone. Wanted some questions answered first before I decide if I want to make an appt. have been laid off and would rather spend the money I have on his quality of life.

    Any other advice you could give me regarding his condition would also be greatly appreciated!!

  5. bonnie says:

    I have been feeding Wellness senior dog food to my wire fox terrier, he is 13 years old and suddenly became sick, we thought he ate something because he always eats everything off the floor and outside. We took him to the vet and the vet said his blood sugars are very high and he may be diabetic, two months ago he had a tooth pulled and his teeth cleaned and the blood work was normal does this happen that quickly. I think I am giving him the right food for his age. Please help.