Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

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Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby BigBadPibbul » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:48 am

I'm sure some of you remember the thread I posted a while back about Chino exploding.
Well I'm happy to report that she's down to 61.8 pounds. Still way too butterball but coming along. She's lost just under 7 pounds which is amazing considering how light we're having to take the exercise so she doesn't aggravate her wrists. She's gone from two or three circuits around the dog park twice a week with no energy to play after and one block on the asphalt at home daily to five or six laps around the dog park three times a week with a little play time after and three blocks on the asphalt at home daily before she gets tired.
She seems to be able to take a whole lot more on softer ground, not surprising i guess. We're going to try to ramp up the laps around the dog park this week before letting her go for play time with her elderly Akita friend, probably just going to add a lap for now, I'm not quite comfortable trying to get her to jog or run yet.

I'm almost too ashamed to show you guys these pictures, I feel like such a horrible momma. The vet says bulldogs are prone to obesity but that doesn't help me feel any better for letting it happen to her. Soon enough though she'll be back down in the low 50's and we'll both feel a whole lot better.
Sorry for the poor quality, cell phone pictures are never the greatest, especially in low light conditions.
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IN this one she's up on the arm of the recliner so some of her fat bunched up around her waist a little more than it does when she's standing on level ground.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby ProudMommy77 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:02 pm

BigBadPibbul wrote:The vet says bulldogs are prone to obesity


My vet has never said that, or any other vet I have dealt with. American Bulldogs, aren't any different than any other breed of dog when it comes to obesity issues. They have a thick build naturally, which is a desired trait. What are you feeding?
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby BigBadPibbul » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:21 am

Right now she's on Iams weight control. She seems to really like it and the large breed has really big kibbles so it takes her longer to eat it than the regular kibble because of the funny shape of her mouth.
In spite of the diet dog food, another suggestion by the vet mind you, and reduced portions, only small pieces of raw white chicken for treats, and absolutely no people food or edible chews she's just not loosing weight very quickly at all.
We added three extra laps at the dog park yesterday, we got to go after dark because they were playing baseball in the field next to the dog park and the big stadium style lights were on. It was nice out and there weren't many dogs to play with so I think Chino was more focused on doing her laps and not playing lazily with the elderly dogs like usual.

This is really driving me nuts, I think I'm loosing more than she is and I don't give one toot about me right now. Granted seven pounds is a good loss for a dog, I think, I'd still really like to see her back down within her normal range. I'd like to get her down to 52-55 at least, she'd still be chubby but not a lard-o like she is right now.

She did sneak a snack at the dog park last night though, she found a humongous cicada that had fallen out of one of the trees and she chowed him down like he was candy :crazy:
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby ProudMommy77 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:36 pm

did you have her thyroid checked? I am not sure what to tell you, other than reduce food, and increase exercise. I don't do dog parks, nor do I recommend it for any bull breed. Try hand walking her, or swimming, low impact, but a good work out.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby rgyoung777 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:32 pm

It would definitely be a good idea to have her thyroid checked if you haven't already.

I don't know how long it took her to lose the 7 pounds she has lost thus far, but just like with people, you want the weight loss to be gradual, not rapid.

I don't want to contradict your vet's advice, but there may not be anything wrong with feeding regular dog food in a portion with the same caloric amount as a serving of Iams weight control. I tend to think weight control kibble is a little gimmicky. Either way, feeding her a quantity that is appropriate for her goal weight should work. Also, have you considered feeding her meals using a work-to-eat toy such as a tug-a-jug? She'll burn a few calories while working to get the food out of the toy, and since it will take her longer to eat, she may find it more satisfying than eating the same reduced portion of food out of a bowl.

I also second the recommendation for longer duration, low-impact exercises such as walking and swimming. Since she's carrying so much extra weight, you're right, running is definitely not the best idea as far as her joints and cardiovascular system are concerned. And yeah, I'm with proudmommy, it's a good idea to steer clear of the dog park unless it's totally empty. Just increase the leash walks you're doing, and see if you can find a place for her to do some swimming. If she doesn't like swimming, just walking in chest-deep water along a lake shore is good because it's even lower impact than regular walking and has the potential to burn more calories and build muscle due to the increased resistance of the water. Walking in loose, sandy soil or on dry sand are also good for the same reason--they're easier on the joints than asphalt, and she'll have to work a little harder (and thus burn more calories) because the surface is loose.

All of this is just my two cents, of course.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby BigBadPibbul » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:42 am

I'm with you guys on the anti dog park thing, we usually avoid them like the plague, but we have been going with Chino late in the evening, when there's nobody there and meeting up with several other owners and their dogs, all of whom are tubby and all of whom enjoy each other's company. Chino's favorite is an elderly Akita who makes her look super model skinny :(

She had her thyroid checked a couple of months ago when her weight became an issue for her joints, I was told she was just fine, we also had Xrays done on her wrists to make sure thatthere wasn't another issue at play.
We are going to take Chino in when Stormy has her "geriatric" exam here in a couple of weeks and have Stormy's vet run her blood work again just to be certain that everything is indeed alright. My trust in Chino's vet has definitely fallen low, he was amazing with Turbo through all of his chronic problems, but I think he's reaching the point when he should think about retiring. She'll also be having her yearly blood work done in September for the blood donation thing the dogs do so we'll have a good comparison of levels I think.

Diet dog food, I'm not a fan, I'd never used it prior to this. I decided to try it out when the vet suggested it because I figured any extra help to get her trimmed back down was extra help and certainly couldn't hurt.
She has a bit of trouble with her jaws and teeth when it comes to eating, she's got the under bite typical to the breed but her teeth don't line up as well as they should so she has a little trouble keeping a hold of and chewing some foods, she has the most trouble with small sized food be it kibble or a little piece of a snack she dropped. Probably doesn't help that she's one of those dogs who feels the need to chew everything instead of sucking their food down and barely chewing or even tasting it.

I'm not too sure how well Chino would do with the work to eat toys, she gets bored of most things really quickly, she'll go and bring back a ball a couple of times then lay down and look at you like you've lost your mind if you try to get her to bring it back one more time. It's worth a try though.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby ProudMommy77 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:09 am

BigBadPibbul wrote:She has a bit of trouble with her jaws and teeth when it comes to eating, she's got the under bite typical to the breed but her teeth don't line up as well as they should so she has a little trouble keeping a hold of and chewing some foods, she has the most trouble with small sized food be it kibble or a little piece of a snack she dropped.


how far is she undershot. I am not sure if you are forgetting I have ABDs, and yes they are all undershot, but have no issues eating small, large, medium things, they are a bit more messy when eating, but that's it, no problems picking up things.

BigBadPibbul wrote:I'm not too sure how well Chino would do with the work to eat toys, she gets bored of most things really quickly


if she is hungry she will figure it out. :thumbsup:

BigBadPibbul wrote:Probably doesn't help that she's one of those dogs who feels the need to chew everything instead of sucking their food down and barely chewing or even tasting it.


no eating slow is good, not a bad thing. Paver is not a fast eater, neither is Sky.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby BrokenAquarian » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:59 am

BigBadPibbul wrote:In spite of the diet dog food, another suggestion by the vet mind you, and reduced portions, only small pieces of raw white chicken for treats,



The pieces may be small, but how much are you giving in a day?

For an overweight dog - it's best to get the whole day's worth of food and portion it out. Use some of that as treats - not any extra food.

How much of the Iams are you giving her a day?

*I also vote for getting her on a high quality regular kibble - not a gimmicky diet food.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby rgyoung777 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:30 am

BigBadPibbul wrote:Diet dog food, I'm not a fan, I'd never used it prior to this. I decided to try it out when the vet suggested it because I figured any extra help to get her trimmed back down was extra help and certainly couldn't hurt.

The Iams diet dog food is a weight loss food because it's low fat--nothing more special than that. Obviously all a reduction in fat means is that there are fewer calories per cup than in an equal serving of regular dog food. Fat always seems to be the component in food that gets demonized and avoided over protein and carbs simply because it's got more calories per gram than the other two, but people forget that fat is a great source of energy and fats are vital and necessary for our bodies to function properly. IMO, "reduced fat" stuff is just as much of a gimmick for dogs as it is for people, if not more so. Pet food companies feel they can charge a premium for diet foods even though there isn't anything particularly special about them. The bottom line is that many consumers are willing to pay a premium price just for the sake of convenience. These diets appear to exist mostly so owners don't have to change the serving size that they feed to their dogs (either because they feel guilty about having to feed less, or because it's convenient).

I know you're not that type of owner, so if you opt to go back to what she was eating before, all you need to do is compare calories and figure out how much you need to feed (by weight) of Chino's regular food to equal a serving of the diet food, and switch back to that. You could even pour the appropriate serving of her regular food into whatever you use to portion out her food and mark a line on the container so you don't have to weigh it out every time. You'll save money because the bag of food will go further than the diet food, and Chino will get to have yummier, higher quality meals.

I'm assuming that you're feeding Iams ProActive Health Large breed a day, which contains 313 kcal/cup, and that translates to about 40 calories an ounce. I'm going to pretend that you feed a 1.5 cups a day (12 ounces, 480 calories) and another ounce of chicken breast (for a total of 526 calories, assuming the chicken is cooked. Cooked chicken is 46 cal/oz, raw chicken is 31 cal/oz), and that you've decided that you want to feed a premium food like Nature's Variety Prairie Salmon formula, which contains 420 kcal/cup, or 52.5 kcal/oz. I'm no math whiz, but according to my calculations, you'd be feeding 9 ounces of Nature's Variety and 1 ounce of chicken breast to come in at slightly less than the caloric content of the weight loss kibble (518 cal). Obviously, adjust these calculations based on the actual amount you're feeding. Weigh out a day's portion of the diet kibble as well as treats, calculate the calories per ounce of each and then go from there when figuring out her day's allotment of the regular food and treats. Per MissKiwi's suggestion in your other thread, if Chino's weight loss has slowed down dramatically, or has stopped altogether, you can try factoring in a further 10% reduction in the amount you feed and doing so every two weeks until she resumes losing weight (with the Nature's Variety plus chicken breast scenario, a 10% reduction would be down to 471 calories, or 8.1 ounces of kibble plus another ounce of chicken breast given as treats).

By switching to a regular dog food that isn't charging you premiums based on the weight loss gimmick, you can feed her a better kibble. I agree with BA that it's a good idea to portion out meals and treats for the whole day just so you can be sure that you're not feeding too many calories and impeding her weight loss accidentally.

I'm not too sure how well Chino would do with the work to eat toys, she gets bored of most things really quickly, she'll go and bring back a ball a couple of times then lay down and look at you like you've lost your mind if you try to get her to bring it back one more time. It's worth a try though.

If she's at all food motivated, trust me, she'll enjoy the tug-a-jug, especially if she's hungry enough.
I got one for Lucy this week and despite the fact that the first time I offered it to her she seemed to lose interest in it before she'd finished getting all of the food out, the second time I gave it to her she played with it enthusiastically and kept at it until every kibble had been removed. I'm thinking now that the first session wore her brain out since it was her first encounter with a work-to-eat toy.
Hunger has a way of inspiring intense interest in dogs, so I bet she'll go for it, especially if you make it a fun game and encourage her when you introduce it to her. She will be able to smell the kibble inside and hear it as well, and she will have to work for every single piece, which is exactly what she needs. :)
Again, good luck to you and Chino. Keep us posted on her progress, and let us know what she thinks of the tug-a-jug (if you end up getting one). :thumbsup:
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby BigBadPibbul » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:44 pm

ProudMommy77 wrote:
how far is she undershot. I am not sure if you are forgetting I have ABDs, and yes they are all undershot, but have no issues eating small, large, medium things, they are a bit more messy when eating, but that's it, no problems picking up things.

She's undershot by somewhere between 1/4 and half an inch, which usually, as you know, isn't a big deal with ABDs. Her problem comes in with the way her teeth line up, her front teeth are perfectly aligned top and bottom, or at least as close to perfect as they can be with the under bite, her molars though don't line up quite right, it's almost like she can't get the food between them to chew it. I say she has an issue with small food because she can't seem to get one little thing between her teeth to chew it and will drop or spit it out repeatedly until she can find a good grip to chew it. I suppose I should be more specific when describing some things ;)
ProudMommy77 wrote:
BigBadPibbul wrote:Probably doesn't help that she's one of those dogs who feels the need to chew everything instead of sucking their food down and barely chewing or even tasting it.


no eating slow is good, not a bad thing. Paver is not a fast eater, neither is Sky.

What I mean here is that I wouldn't feel the need to fuss with kibble sizes so much if she were one of those dogs who inhales their supper lol She's very delicate when she eats which I think is a good thing in the long run, I know I can get full on a slice of Pizza if I'm on PBF and it spends a hour sitting on my plate getting nibbled away while I cruise and type replies where if I'm not occupied I can plow back half a pizza in no time flat :oops:

BrokenAquarian wrote:The pieces may be small, but how much are you giving in a day?
For an overweight dog - it's best to get the whole day's worth of food and portion it out. Use some of that as treats - not any extra food.
How much of the Iams are you giving her a day?

She gets little chunks of chicken cut down from frozen breasts, I'm not 100% certain on the weight but it's just enough little cubes to make almost 1/4 of a cup in a standard measuring cup.
The recommended amount of the Iams, for a dog in her size bracket, is 2 and 1/4 to 2 and 1/2 cups daily. We reduced her down to 1 and 3/4 cups because on the suggested amount she just stalled out.

She seems to be stalled out again now. We're almost out of the diet Iams, and yes it is the Iams Proactive Health Weight Control Large breed. I'm seriously considering taking her back to a 100% raw diet like we had her on when she was having her skin issues. I don't know though, I want what's best for her and what's going to help her trim down. I've got three days worth of diet kibble to figure out where we should go next.

Rgyoung777
I do kind of feel guilty about feeding her less but I know that it's what she needs, I'd rather feel bad because she's not as full than feel awful because she's got a ton of weight related health issues later on.
I'll look into the tug-jug when I get paid Friday, I haven't seen them but I haven't looked either.
I think part of her trouble has been the fact that she's just so blasted lazy, she'd rather lay on the couch and snooze or watch TV, yes she watches TV, than play with the other dogs or play with one of us. I haven't seen her go off on a Zoomie in ages. I think though when she's lost a little more and is more comfortable moving around it'll be a little easier to entice her to play and terrorize the house like she used to.

This whole thing is rather alien to me, I've never had to deal with an overweight dog, any dogs personal or foster I've had weight issues with in the past have had issues gaining and maintaining weight. Give me a skinny dog and I can make him just shy of slightly tubby in no time flat.

Any suggestions on food types for Chino are more than welcomed. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the support and information guys! I've been doing a darn good job beating myself over this and it's great to be able to hear good input and suggestions as well as constructive advice to help Chino get healthy.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby FBODGRL » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:39 pm

You can always add veggies in to the kibble to take up for what you are not feeding.
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Re: Chino's obesity. (pictures this time)

Postby rgyoung777 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:14 pm

A tug-a-jug in the med/large size is appropriate for medium to large dogs, and that size is around $11 from Amazon.

I do understand about feeling guilty about your dog being hungry, but maybe it will help you to feel a little less guilty if you consider that dogs are always ready to eat, to some degree, because of their evolutionary history as scavengers and opportunistic predators. Because their wild and semi-domesticated ancestors didn't get regular meals, they had to be able to gorge on food whenever it was available. This instinct persists despite domestication and despite the fact that our pets get regular meals.

My dog is always ready to eat.

Bulking out her meals with low-calorie (and low-sodium) canned veggies is a great idea--just remember to factor what calories they do have into her daily allotment.

As far as food recommendations go, I don't know what your budget is, but I have been extremely happy with the Nature's Variety Prairie line of foods, especially the Chicken, Beef, Venison, and Salmon formulas. The kibble size is fairly small, though, so that may be a problem for Chino.

I think you're right, by the way--she probably doesn't feel like being active because of the weight, and it's likely you will see an increase in her energy level as the weight continues to come off.

I also think you've got the right attitude about this whole thing, and I'm confident that you'll find a strategy that works, which means that you and Chino are going to see this through. :thumbsup:
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