Hello Everyone. Sorry this is SO long...just want to give good info.
I have 2 Chocolate Lab Puppies (Littermate Brothers) that are almost 9 months. I have noticed a couple of real big changes in one of their behaviors. I'll give a brief history on the changes.
1.) Brady had a diarrhea problem for a few days so we brought him to vet and they put him on antibiotic to treat symptoms. There were no parasites found, they just said antibiotics can help with any bacteria going on in bowel. Diarrhea cleared up after a couple of days on medicine and strict rice & chicken diet.
--we added back his regular dog food (Eukanuba LB Puppy) slowly over 1 week's time. Not long after that we started noticing that Brady didn't jump right in and chow down his food like normal....we would hand him a few small handfuls and he would take it and then eat on his own...but it almost seemed like we had to get him interested in it. This has been getting increasingly worse...he now waits a good 5 minutes to start eating and will never finish his whole serving. I only feed him about 1 & 1/2 Cups twice a day so it's not like he is overfed. And we don't feed him table food, except for a few carrots for treats now and then. And I know 5 minutes is not a long time for a dog to start eating, but my 2 have ALWAYS chowed down immediately side by side (like a competition), so to see Brady slow down is a mystery. And again, he NEVER finishes his food. I even tried cutting it down a little and he didn't finish all of that either.
-DO YOU THINK HE GOT A LITTLE USED TO THE CHICKEN AND RICE AND IS NOW SORT OF "BOYCOTTING" HIS REGULAR FOOD? DO DOGS EVER JUST GET SICK -OF THEIR FOOD AND WE NEED TO SWITCH TO ANOTHER KIND???
2.) The puppies were just fixed last Friday (I had to keep putting it off due to Brady having diarrhea, ear infection and then a laceration on his foot....so that all set us back a little). Ever since we got them home, Brady is acting like he doesn't want to go in his crate (which he usually LOVEs and most willingly goes in all the time). He seems OVERLY CONCERNED about his brother, Bear (keeps smelling his head and butt and private areas). They both are having a little yellowish stool, Bear's is runny, Brady's is not. The vet said that is common with the Rimadyl (anti-inflammatory) and the Antibiotic they are on due to skin irritation around their private area (caused from excessive rubbing of the hanging sac) sorry for the descriptive. And I am noticed EXCESSIVE panting on both of their parts (especially Brady) at night time. Now it is NOT hot in my basement at all, so it can't be from that.
-COULD THE PANTING HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH HORMONES AND BEING IN HEAT OR SOMETHING? OR THE MEDS?
-COULD BRADY HAVE SOME SORT OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME AND ANXIETY GOING ON??
Right now Brady has been in his crate for over 10 minutes laying down and he is still panting really fast. Do I need to call my Vet???
PLEASE HELP!! I don't know what the heck to do!!!!! ANY SUGGESTIONS AT ALL WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!
I apologize for the horrible LENGTH of this topic!
Loss of appetite and panting are both signs of illness. What did your vet say?
We have a call in to the vet this AM. Can Rimadyl cause these symptoms? He started taking it when he lacerated his leg and is taking now following the neutering. His appetite change definetly could be related to starting the Rimadyl. The panting happens mostly at night. We thought it might be due to being in heat? Him and his brother both pant a lot at night. I don't even know if male dogs ever go into "heat"...but it seems to me as though they do have some sort of that feeling. I'll keep you posted on what the vet says.
Let me respond to your concern about Brady's recent eating behavior.
I suspect that the diarrhea and taking the antibiotic were coincidental with the change in eating.
Most Labs are gluttons and need to be limited by their owners in how much they eat. My first Lab, Bess, was that way. A few self-limit themselves and rarely overeat. My Puff is in that rare second category.
I ran a JL poll a few years ago and found that about 85-90% of owners characterize their Labs as gluttons while 10-15% rate their Labs as self-limiters.
Labs, as 8-9 week old puppies, usually eat 2-3X the normal amount an adult dog at that same weight should eat. That continues up to about 6-9 months when the 2-3X begins its decline to level off at just 1X. As they begin more closely approaching adult weight, obviously the less they need to eat more "to grow on."
My Puff is an example: At 9 weeks age and 6 lbs. weight, she barely ate a full cup a day. But that increased as she developed and grew -- up to the point she was eating 5 cups a day (divided in 2 meals) at 8 months age and 50 lbs.
Then she started skipping meals, sometimes for a complete day or more. When she began eating again, it was less than 5 cups. Then we stair-stepped down in skipped meals, resuming again but eating less, until we finally arrived at 1 1/4 cups 2X/day (362 kcals/cup) when she was a little over a year old and weighed 62 lbs.
So I suspect that's what's happening to Brady. And while "self-limiting" may run in families, it's not at all unusual for Brady to be a self-limiter while brother Bear is not. I don't think Brady's loss of appetite at this age is something to be highly concerned about. You may be able to use his intake as a guide to what's a healthy amount to feed Bear.
BUT the panting concerns me and I suggest you call your vet about that.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Just a quick add-on...
I supposedly could be wrong (I'd be pretty surprised) but I'm pretty sure male dogs do not "go into heat", especially not after being neutered. ???
The other stuff I'd discuss with the vet for sure.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue