Severely obese lab...

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sebb0191
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Severely obese lab...

Postby sebb0191 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:26 am

I wanted to post this in here to see if I get any responses, seeing as he's not a bully breed. My parents have a three year old lab/rhodesian ridgeback mix, Finn, who is approaching 135 pounds now. He's WAY too heavy for his size, his ideal weight, according to the vet, would be between 100-105. I wanted to let you guys know what they've already done to help reduce his weight and see if anyone had other suggestions...

1. Cut his food to three cups per day, fed in one cup portions three times per day. He also gets a few raw green beans in there as well. He is on Iams Weight Control for Large Breeds. He has never gotten table scraps, and now they took away his milk bones. :sad:
2. He walks with my mom every single day for at least 45 minutes, but he does experience joint pain and begins to limp toward the ends because he is so heavy. He has been put on Rimadyl for this, but that's not a drug he can stay on for the rest of his life.
3. He has been tested for diabetes and thyroid issues, all of which came back negative.

My parents are really having trouble figuring out what to do. They started taking all of these measures when he hit 120 pounds, and has only gained weight since then. It's beginning to affect his ability to exercise and play with other dogs, which is only going to make his weight go up even more. Is there a different food that would help cut the weight, something low carb and high protein I'm assuming? Or does anyone know of any sort of disease that could cause this?

I appreciate the help in advance... and so does Finn!

msvette2u

Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby msvette2u » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:56 am

3 cups of food a day is too much. Plus, adult dogs do NOT need three feedings a day.
Although it seems harsh, cut him to 1 cup AM and 1 cup PM until you start to see weight loss.
I'd go to a regular food, too - a higher quality one, not Iams.
kirkland signature makes a good food as does Canidae, Diamond Naturals and a few others.

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sebb0191
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby sebb0191 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:59 am

Thank you for that... the vet had said that three cups would be what he would need, so I'll have my mom call the vet back and see what she says about two. I've been telling her for a year to switch that food to something better, but she doesn't want to pay the cost for that food. I'll try to reason with her that she's spending it all on vet bills when it could be spent on good food!

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HollyJoy
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby HollyJoy » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:27 pm

Iams weight control ugh! That stuff is HORRIBLE. It is guaranteed to make your dog gain weight. I would feed him a good quality (read: NOT something you can find in the supermarket), high protein dog food. Do your dog some good and get away from the Iams brand entirely. You want the first few ingredients to be a good quality protein source, not grain or corn (filler). The food may be more expensive, but they will need to eat much less of it. I've heard the kirkland as suggested above is a low-cost, high quality food.
Drop down to two feedings a day. Start at one cup twice a day. And do your own guestimation. If the dog is getting fatter or maintaining weight, he may need even less of the high quality food.

I hate to say it, but a lot of vets seem to like their animals fat. Typically (and especially with the bully breeds), if you can't feel ribs without pushing into the sides of the dog, he's fat. I know labs are almost always fat without rhyme or reason, so good luck figuring out what his idea weight should be. After seeing so many animals that go in and our of vet offices, and your everyday pets on the street, seeing a nice, muscular dog in shape, almost looks skinny. Recognizing healthy weight on a dog takes getting used to. Take a look at this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=73808 Seeing ribs on a dog doesn't necessarily mean they are too skinny.

AKC guidelines:
Ridgeback: Desirable weight: Dogs--85 pounds
Labs: dogs 65 to 80 pounds;

Ridgebacks are much sleeker and leaner built than labs. Does your dog take after the lab or the ridgeback? Either way, I see no reason why this dog should ideally be anywhere near 100 lbs. Can you post pics?

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HollyJoy
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby HollyJoy » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:30 pm

I just wanted to add, it's good to see you trying to help this dog. At three years old, no dog should be so overweight as to be having joint problems already. The poor dog, honestly. Your parents need to be more responsible about his food portions because silly labs will eat all day; they don't know what's good for them.

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Mya&theSiebenDackels
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby Mya&theSiebenDackels » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:07 pm

The family that lives down the street had a Amstaff like your parents Lab mix. They had an Amstaff named Allie who should of weighed around 40-50 lbs and weighed probably close to 80-85 lbs. She was severely obese and got no exercise. She lived in the house all the time and they just tied her to their front porch by a leash to use the bathroom. They spoiled that dog rotten and she got everything she wanted and all the love she wanted. I felt very sorry for her though and they were killing her with kindness. She could hardly walk and she would of been a beautiful dog if she was skinny and muscular. She developed joint and kidney problems and ultimately had to be put to sleep at 7 years old. They fed her 3 cups a day and fed her Iams.

I would suggest feeding Diamond Naturals Lite, Kirklands, Natural Balance or some other dog food that does not have a lot of fillers or corn in it.

I feed Mya(American Bully) who weighs around 75 lbs, 1 cup in the morning, and one cup at night. I feed Tank(Great Pyrenees/lab mix) the same amount.

I am working on getting some of my dogs to loose weight as well. Four of them are at their ideal weight, one is still a growing puppy and is at her ideal weight, 3 of them are a just a little out of shape and then Mr. Beau Beau(dachshund) who is almost obese which we are working on. He weighs 16 pounds when he should weigh 12-13 lbs.

I hope everything works out for Finn and that by Spring/Summer he has lost weight and is feeling great! :thumbsup:

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby creeping death » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:08 pm

Yep, better quality food DOES last WAY longer than store brands. I invest in a bag of California Naturals ($65) for my dog because she has a tendancy to gain weight fast, and shes allergic to almost anything! She gets fed two cups a day, AM and PM, and that bag lasts her 2X longer than when she was on Pedigree (+ less itchy scratchies).

So in reality, the amount your mom feeds her dog and the cost of that crap is about the same as she'd spend on high quality food, and get a lot cheaper as the dog loses weight. I also heard that certain "weight loss" formulas make dogs gain weight more because they are getting less of what they need (protien) and more of what they do not (carbs and grains).

Tell her to try this at least once. Buy a bag of normal adult dog food, that is grain, corn and wheat free (Kirkland is a good start) Feed him only 2 cups a day. She can spread his feedings out thorughout the day to make the transistion easier...fill a kong with his food to make him work for it. Then eventually only feed him in the Am and the PM with some healthy natural jerky treats in between meals to curb his hunger (if he has any). Guarenteed this dog will lose weight and be more interested in playing and cuddling than eating. :thumbsup:

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby cashisking » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:11 pm

I feed Cash Kirkland, two cups a day.
And he has never been grossly overweight.
Sometimes, if I feel he is getting chunky, i susbstitute one of his feedings with a raw meal that he has to work for- both physically and internally- to consume. Cash loves turkey necks.

Also, try making the dog work for her food- use a treat ball to get her to get up and move more often.
Find soemthing she can do that will raise her stamina without exhausting her joints- swimming is a great zero-resistance workout.
Hikes are also really good workouts.
Avoid walking on concrete, the hard ground can eat up bad joints.
You shoudl alos look into joint supplements- that can only help in the long run.

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby PitFriend » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:05 pm

An "ideal" weight of 100 lbs does still seem a little heavy, even for a large lab/ridgeback. Healthy big labs might be in the 80-90 lb range, but not much more. I agree that trying two cups a day is a good idea. If, over time, the dog appears to be losing too much weight, then you can add back a little bit more.

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby sebb0191 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:08 pm

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

It's so strange because he wasn't always like this. The weight really began piling on when his housemate passed away about a year ago. We thought maybe it was because he wasn't playing as much at the time, but he gets more exercise and plays more now than ever and the number is still going up. He doesn't eat constantly, he's never had food down all day, but I do agree that Iams is not a good choice. I've been trying to send her info about other foods, and I'm about to just buy the stuff on my own. I think my parents are honestly trying, I'm not trying to put them down or anything, but I don't think they are as educated about food options as a lot of dog owners are. My mom is just getting so upset because she's losing so much weight with their walking, and Finn keeps gaining it.

To be honest, the breeds are just the best guess we were given from the shelter. There's definitely lab in there, but rhodesian seems plausible. We've also heard great dane because he is so freaking tall - he's about 29 inches at the shoulder.

Here's Finn with my pit about 6 months ago:
Image

Here is is again, you can't really see how big he is, but it'll give you an idea of maybe what breed he might be.
Image

I've been looking at the food suggestions, and I'm forcing my mother to quit Christmas shopping for one evening and go look at food. She's definitely willing to try another food, just not too excited about the cost. We'll see how it goes!

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Rachel&Halo
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby Rachel&Halo » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:42 pm

Also cut out treats opt for healthier treats like cooked veggies or apples.

Keep up the daily exercise. What about a backpack?

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby akaspaddero » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:51 pm

Zoe has been overweight all her life (akc Lab mix). I tried subbing green beans in her food - but that just made her poo more.
BUT - finally I got her down from 65 - 56.
How I did this is below and this is my experience. What worked for Zoe may not work for the dog you are asking about.

We used the Innova Low Fat - that is the food she lost the weight on...I fed Zoe for the weight I wanted her to be - not the weight she was. besides those damn guides are general. Zoe isn't athletic (has had 2 CCL repairs) and mostly is a couch potato.
I fed her 1 1/2 cups of food - that is it. I switched to all natural treats. if she got a kong - it was stuffed with boiled chicken or lean hamburger (cooked).
I did increase her exercise - for Zoe - a roller blade or bike ride just around the block (had to be careful with her legs). Something to get her to just trot.

She is holding steady at 56 and currently eating Kirkland and raw (I rotate daily). When fed kibble - she still only gets 1 1/2 cups in evening. In am - she gets low fat cottage cheese with a few strawberries.



Again, the above is what work for my dog...

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby cashisking » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:08 pm

wow, I can see the Rhodie in him!

I too bike with Cash, but he's slim and trim and doesn't have joint problems.

Does he have good prey drive?
Maybe you could encourage him to Flirt, or lure course.

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby April » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:18 pm

Its true my uncle is feeding his puppy Iams and I'm feeding my pup Innova (looked at the ingredients and its better than Iams) Anyways his pup is fatter than my puppy, my pup looks like it might be under weight but shes really not.
So switching foods might help if your parents havent yet.

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby HersheyBear » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:52 pm

Has a blood panel been done? Hypothyroid can cause weight gain, and other conditions can too.


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