Help for skinny Shephard

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.
User avatar
Misskiwi67
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 10498
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:37 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA

Help for skinny Shephard

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:14 pm

Hey all,

I need some ideas for my parents GSD. He was purchased from a BYB 2 years ago, and neutered at 5 months. At 9 months of age, he weighed 85 lbs and was probably 3-5 lbs overweight, and my parents eskie was about 15 lbs overweight, so I asked my parents to start measuring the dogs food each day instead of free-feeding from an automatic feeder.

At about a year or so of age, Chance stopped eating well. My parents have tried switching foods (from Nutro to Chicken Soup to Science diet, now on Purina ONE), mixing in canned food, people food, and the Iams gravy.

About 3 months ago, my parents finally got fed up with fighting him and went to the tough love approach. He gets 3 cups of food in the morning, and if he doesn't finish it, he gets it again in the evening.

Chance now weighs 72 lbs, and has a body condition score of 2 out of 9. He is one step shy of being taken away by animal control.... he's THAT skinny.

Everyone I've talked to says a dog will not starve himself to death. I say they lie. This dog has been to the vet several times, seen multiple vets, and we're all shaking our heads.

Please say somebody out there has some ideas for us!!! My current plan is to pick up a bag of Innova for him tomorrow. At 557 calories per cup, I'm hoping we can at least keep up with him before he goes downhill any further...

Here's my parents beautiful dog when he was still fat and happy. He's still happy, but for the first time in my life I wish a dog was fat again.

Image

User avatar
mommy2kane
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 5364
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 8:57 pm
Location: Woodbridge, VA

Postby mommy2kane » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:32 pm

What have the vets said? No explanation?

I have no idea what to tell you, but I do hope he starts eating better. Good luck.

msvette2u

Postby msvette2u » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:35 pm

I'm assuming pancreatitis has been ruled out?

User avatar
Misskiwi67
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 10498
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:37 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:46 pm

He's never acted sick or shown any reason for lack of weight other than just plain not eating. He should be eating close to 2000 calories a day (assuming 85 lbs ideal weight) and we're lucky if he'll eat 1000... he eats enough for a 50 lb dog, and pretty soon he's going to be one!

User avatar
pblove
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 15599
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:28 pm
Location: east coast

Postby pblove » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:58 pm

what about trying some vanilla Ensure for now?
It is not the answer but might, either,

1. keep him from loosing any more weight while you try to find something he will eat
2. might actually help him gain some much needed weight??

has his thyroid been checked?

User avatar
Misskiwi67
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 10498
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:37 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:02 pm

pblove wrote:what about trying some vanilla Ensure for now?
It is not the answer but might, either,

1. keep him from loosing any more weight while you try to find something he will eat
2. might actually help him gain some much needed weight??

has his thyroid been checked?


Yes, he's had a bunch of bloodwork done, with everything turning up normal. I'll be taking him to work with me on Wednesday to get an updated weight and I'll be scanning his record too...

User avatar
okiegirl
Newborn Bully
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:42 am
Location: OK

Postby okiegirl » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:48 pm

Boomer just has to be free-fed. I fought him for 9 months and he got sickly skinny before we just gave up and went back to free feeding. He still gets a measured amount per day; it's just available all the time – and he usually gets it all down.

Having one free-fed dog in a family of five wasn't easy, but we got it done. There's a bay window area where his bowl is that's off-limits for all the other dogs. Access to that room is also controlled in case of food aggression issues, which we've never had.

It's not an ideal solution, but if you have a dog that isn't food-motivated and is starving himself, it's an option.

The food can make a huge difference too. Again, just my personal experience, but this same 60 lb dog was losing weight eating 8 cups of Timberwolf per day. It may just be a matter of finding a food that works for Chance. Shepherds are known for having sensitive systems, so don't be surprised if a super-dense food like Innova doesn't work either.

If all else fails you (or your parents) can make some satin balls and feed them as treats.

Good luck and I hope you get something figured out!!

REACTiON
Adolescent Bully
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:33 am
Location: Guam

Postby REACTiON » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:15 pm

i may not be an expert but this is what i have experienced when i tried to put weight on two dogs.

first, does the shepard have an exessive amount of energy? does he get to play... go for long walks/runs.

usually a dog that has a lot of energy but doesn't get to burn it off will not eat... even though it is hungry. i've seen it with a friend of mines dog, he thought if he just kept feeding it and keeping it inside only allowing it to go outside to use the bathroom will put weight on him... he was wrong. he ended up eating less and less to the point where it was one or two bites then thats it.

you want to make your dog tired... after that give him just a little water and wait about 30 - 45 minutes and then feed. i would feed half of what he usually eats for the first 3 days then 75% of what he usually eats for the next 3 days then his full servings after the 7th day.

it works, trust me... i helped my friend with his dog and within 3 months he put on about 15 pounds and filled out nicely.

think of it as a human... if you stayed inside with out exercise you will notice your eating habbits to get smaller and smaller.. then it gets to the point where a couple of bites and you're already full.


another thing i can suggest is feeding the dog cooked rice mixed with kibble... for some reason my dogs love rice, so if your dog will eat it... let them. atleast to get there weight up.

last suggestion i have is something my brother told me... the stray dog i rescued that had a litter became very skinny... where she was just skin and bones. my brother picked up some butter milk and told me to give her 1 cup between meals so in total she had about 2 cups per day. she put on weight fast.



it would really suck to lose a dog to animal control when in reality it's not the owners fault. good luck! hope i helped!

User avatar
Cody
Matured Bully
Posts: 415
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: 150mi east of North America's center

Postby Cody » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:20 pm

After Cody's surgery the vet recommended puppy food to help him gain weight.

My dog doesn't eat enough if he's just feed out of his food dish unless its canned. I have found if I dump food out next to him or near his favorite resting spots he eats it right away. Hand feeding also works well with him.

User avatar
Murfins
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 4374
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:26 pm
Location: Okotoks, Alberta

Postby Murfins » Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:28 pm

I would double and triple check medically.

I would also feed satin balls to get the weight on and maybe slowly incorporate it into his kibble. I would keep trying different kibbles.

Good luck, I hope this gets cleared away.

User avatar
miette
Adolescent Bully
Posts: 331
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:02 pm
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Contact:

Postby miette » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:35 am

i know that canned wet food is more effective in gaining weight that dry kibble. I hate to suggest this, b/c he might grow VERY accustomed and not want to eat anything else, but maybe a good quality wet food and something added with a strong aroma and flavor, like bacon grease to entice the dog to eat. Just a thought.

what does the vet say?

User avatar
star_frances
Pit Bull Forum Addict
Posts: 1889
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:54 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Postby star_frances » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:04 am

Do his teeth check out ok?

User avatar
bahamutt99
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 10059
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:56 am
Location: west TX
Contact:

Postby bahamutt99 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:13 am

Olive oil daily in the kibble made Loki a little heifer.

User avatar
Maryellen
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 13469
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:09 am
Location: NJ
Contact:

Postby Maryellen » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:37 am

how are his stools? has he been checked for a pancreatic deficiency? its common in gsds. or you can try satin balls.... what about a blockage? have xrays been done ? if he is just not interested in the food either the food is going bad/moldy, or he has something going on.... gsd's are known for a HUGE amount of health problems...

User avatar
Misskiwi67
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 10498
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:37 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:32 am

Maryellen wrote:how are his stools? has he been checked for a pancreatic deficiency? its common in gsds. or you can try satin balls.... what about a blockage? have xrays been done ? if he is just not interested in the food either the food is going bad/moldy, or he has something going on.... gsd's are known for a HUGE amount of health problems...


No, x-rays have not been done. If he had a blockage (intussisception is common in dogs his age) I would expect to see intermittent vomiting or diarrhea at a minimum, and lethargy of some sort. His stools are good, but I will definately be keeping a closer eye on them the next two weeks.

The more I read and talk to people, the more I'm starting to think his problem is behavioral. He just plain doesn't get enough excercise or mental stimulation, so he's ADD and the slightest distraction will prevent him from eating. So my parents get worried and stand over him and tell him to eat (I've done it too), and slowly but surely we've made eating NOT fun, and we're making his aversion to food worse.

I'll be spending the next two weeks turning meal time into a game, and we'll see if that doesn't help a bit. I'm also planning on trying to convince my dad to take chance running instead of going to the gym... we'll see what happens.

Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas... without so many opinions, I really don't know if I could have worked it out. I may not have the problem entirely figured out, but I think I might be onto something for sure...


Return to “Health Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests