Severely obese lab...

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.
msvette2u

Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby msvette2u » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:49 pm

Many folks do not understand the importance of a good diet for dogs.
Purina used to be the gold standard when I was growing up - now we know better.
Live and learn.
At least they are trying. Kirkland's a good food, especially for the cost. I could think of worse ones!
No wheat, soy, corn or by-products which is more than you can say for Ol' Roy or Purina or even SD.

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WackyJacki
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby WackyJacki » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:41 pm

I feed two dogs a raw diet for less then $50/month.

Kibble = carbs = FAT.

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sebb0191
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby sebb0191 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:15 am

Oh Finn... you're just so difficult to figure out!

The most recent thyroid tests came back normal. Both the T4 and T3 tests were within the normal range for his breed, and the TSH was on the low-normal end of the spectrum. My vet said he believes there is another problem internally.

He calculated the kcals Finn would be able to eat in one day to maintain the weight he is at now based on his height. According to this calculation, Finn should be able to intake 1,650 kcals per day and not lose or gain weight. With the food he is on now, that's a little over 5 cups of food per day. He is on two and a half!!

The vet said it's as simple as when people are trying to lose weight. If what he is intaking is more than his body needs, he will gain weight. However, Finn is intaking half of what his body can hold. He said he should be dropping weight drastically with the amount of food and exercise he is receiving.

My vet is puzzled, I'm getting frustrated, Finn is fat, and my pit is getting upset every time I come home with Finn's smell on me and he didn't get to play with Finn!

At this point, I'm not sure if I should send his blood samples to Dr. Dodds. I'm sure a 3rd opinion couldn't hurt, but I don't want to waste time pursuing something when we could be looking for another diagnosis. My vet has suggested more blood tests - one for Cushing's Disease (which I don't agree with because of everything I've read about where Cushing's dogs carry their weight). He said he was very encouraged by even the slightest loss in weight because, typically, dogs with some sort of pituitary tumor will never experience any sort of weight loss until the tumor is removed.

For now, his suggestion was to get him in a dog park. He said Finn may just be genetically prone to carrying a lot of weight, although there is no way to ever know for sure because he was from a shelter. I explained that he goes on walks, but he said that will never burn as many calories as it will to full out sprint in an enclosed location. A dog park also gives Finn the opportunity to rest if his joints hurt, whereas he has to keep going when he goes on a walk. The dog park lets him determine the amount of activity he wants, which, the vet said, maybe be much more than we thought he needed. I like this idea, although I'm not a huge fan of dog parks, because it will allow Finn to show us how much exercise he needs, rather than us determining how much he gets based on what we want to do.

For now, we're going to keep the amount of food he's on (and give him more green beans :) ) and get his happy butt in the dog park to see how much he wants to run. We'll see how it goes!

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jazminesgranny
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby jazminesgranny » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:39 pm

Misty my lab mix started doing the lab spread as she got older.. so we changed up her diet she gets 2 cups of food a day 1c morning 1 at night NO TREATS the food is measured out to ensure the correct amount, we also take her to the desert to run with the other dogs 3x a week it took time but she's lost weight and is at normal weight for her where I can feel her ribs without effort. She was having joint issues due to her added weight and that is now gone. Weight loss in dogs is like humans it does not happen over night it took about 3 -4 months to really see the weight loss.

We have 4 dogs, we get kirklands from costco and we are very happy with it.. the dogs are doing well on it too

On the trips to the vet do you see any changes in the scales?

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sebb0191
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby sebb0191 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:36 pm

jazminesgranny wrote:
On the trips to the vet do you see any changes in the scales?


On this last visit, he was down to 133.1 lbs from 134. Not a huge change, but it was something! This was the first time we'd seen his weight go down even slightly since we've owned him. It was almost like he grew through the puppy stage, but at a year when you'd think they'd stop, he just kept going. But we do not know his breed mix for sure. He's definitely got lab in there, and he's got the white chest and paws like a rhodesian, but he's very tall, so we've been told there's great dane in there too. His hair is longer than most labs I've seen, so we've also been told there could be Golden Retriever, which could be the reason for the seizures since they're prone to seizure disorders.

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby sebb0191 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:24 pm

Ladies and gentlemen... it appears we have a diagnosis for Finn!

My vet had requested to see the results from the first vet visit when they tested his T4 levels. The results they acquired were significantly different from the ones my vet received in his test. So he looked at the times of day they were taken (early morning and later in the afternoon) and decided he wanted to see Finn right in the middle of the day to draw for another test. He said the TSH tends to fluctuate throughout the day, so we may have just caught him at the wrong time when we did the first test. We took more blood, and TA-DA! TSH came back way too high.

Am I surprised? No. Am I thrilled he is finally going to get the medication he needs? Of course!! I feel bad it took this long to get something going, but I hope we're on the right track now!

msvette2u

Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby msvette2u » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:01 pm

That's great...
FTR - kibble isn't an automatic fattening agent - I had Tristan on raw and he gained a lot - because his raw diet was too much for him (it's tough to create a healthy raw diet for a 12lb. dog, or it was for me!)
I've seen other rawfed dogs who are pudgy as well.
All our dogs are kibble fed now and none are overweight, even Tristan has thinned out since we cut back on his intake.
The real formula is: caloric intake that exceeds calories expended/burned = overweight; whether those calories are from protein/carbs in kibble or plain protein in a raw diet.

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sebb0191
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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby sebb0191 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:33 pm

msvette2u wrote:
The real formula is: caloric intake that exceeds calories expended/burned = overweight


That's why everyone was so confused; no matter which way we looked at it, it didn't add up to yield a very overweight dog. My vet kept saying "input has to be less than output" to see weightloss, and input was SO greatly less than output that the problem had to be something inside Finn. I'm just glad we figured it out. Hopefully this is the beginning of a skinny Finn!

msvette2u

Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby msvette2u » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:41 pm

Oh yeah, well in the face of an undiagnosed illness all bets are off the table -I'm glad it's been figured out!

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby Leslie H » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:54 pm

That's great that you and your vet persevered. I'm glad that you've gotten to the bottom of this puzzle.

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Re: Severely obese lab...

Postby pblove » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:08 pm

I am so gld he now has a correct diagnosis and hope he will soon feel well.


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