Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

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Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby suzanne » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:33 am

I got a Pit Bull back in October. He came to me after being treated for hookworm and was down to 53lbs. I dewormed him again when he got here and started feeding him. Initially I was feeding Nature's Domain Salmon & Sweet Potato, he was getting 4cups per day plus 1 cup at night before bed, so he was getting 1,680kcals per day. He steadily gained weight and hit 58lbs. I switched to Canidae because I thought I could feed a little bit less and I can buy a bigger bag. He is getting 4cups per day which is 1,872kcals per day.

Canidae vs. Nature's Domain is only .5% higher in fat than Nature's Domain - but is still higher in calories per cup.

He isn't gaining weight, just maintaining. I had hoped he would hit 59-60lbs, he just has a little back bone left to cover. I feel like 4cups is a lot to be feeding him, someone recommended TOTW but it is ridiculously expensive [and I have 3 dogs]. Their Salmon formula is comparable in kcals and is only .5% higher in fat. Their high prairie one is higher in fat, but is still rather low in kcals per cup. I have fed the Salmon formula before and had to feed the same as I was feeding with the Nature's Domain. Although now looking at all of this, maybe even though the canidae is higher in calories they are 'empty' ones because it isn't quite as high in fat? [14.5%].

Anyway - I just ran a fecal and it came back negative, he had blood work back in September and everything came back in the normal ranges. He isn't overly active, he's in a crate most of the time on weekdays because I bring him to work with me, I do play with him over the lunch hour but he's not ridiculously active. On the weekends they play pretty hard out in the yard but they aren't running for hours and hours.

Any thoughts? Raw isn't an option because one of my dogs cannot eat raw without getting violently ill. I don't think switching over two of them and feeding kibble otherwise would really be cost effective. I'm not trying to be overly cheap but with 3 large dogs I would like to make the food stretch as much as I can.

Ideas? I'm going to talk to one of the vets I work with today to see if she has any input. I have a horse who is a hard keeper but I've never had a dog that is!
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby GoingPostal » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:05 pm

Is he young? When we first got Nero I had to feed him 4 cups a day or more just to maintain weight, same thing he didn't gain and we tried a few different foods, now that he's 4-ish he's down to eating 2 cups a day, Ripley we just got 4 months ago and I guess she's almost 2 but same problem, 4 cups of TOTW and she was still dropping so I switched to Diamond Naturals, it's grain in but I've heard dogs gain weight better on that and it's easier on the checkbook with the amount of food we were going through, she still eats 4 cups a day though. I'm hoping she'll drop off eventually, she weighs about 60 pounds, Jersey on the other hand weighs 45 pounds and eats slightly over 1 cup a day and is hard to keep weight off, Nero is 55 pounds and we go back and forth between 1.5 cups to 2.5 cups depending on activity. Every dog is different.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby FBODGRL » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:55 pm

Any pictures? Also is there a reason you couldn't switch back to the natures domain?
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby suzanne » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:39 pm

GoingPostal wrote:Is he young? When we first got Nero I had to feed him 4 cups a day or more just to maintain weight, same thing he didn't gain and we tried a few different foods, now that he's 4-ish he's down to eating 2 cups a day, Ripley we just got 4 months ago and I guess she's almost 2 but same problem, 4 cups of TOTW and she was still dropping so I switched to Diamond Naturals, it's grain in but I've heard dogs gain weight better on that and it's easier on the checkbook with the amount of food we were going through, she still eats 4 cups a day though. I'm hoping she'll drop off eventually, she weighs about 60 pounds, Jersey on the other hand weighs 45 pounds and eats slightly over 1 cup a day and is hard to keep weight off, Nero is 55 pounds and we go back and forth between 1.5 cups to 2.5 cups depending on activity. Every dog is different.


He's 3 years old. [Birthday is in June]. I talked to one of the vets I work with and she suggested that he just has a high metabolism.

FBODGRL wrote:Any pictures? Also is there a reason you couldn't switch back to the natures domain?


I could switch back but it seems to be pointless when the food I am feeding now is higher in calories and at least I'm feeding 4cups vs 5 per day.

This is the only picture I have from when he was at 53lbs:
Image

Now:
Image

He looks fine - it isn't that he HAS to hit 60lbs but I also don't want him to drop weight either because he doesn't have a lot to lose.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:45 pm

If you've only had one negative fecal, check another. Hookworm is difficult to eradicate and the last resuts may have been a false negative.

How are his stools?
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby suzanne » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:26 pm

AllisonPibbleLvr wrote:If you've only had one negative fecal, check another. Hookworm is difficult to eradicate and the last resuts may have been a false negative.

How are his stools?


Talked to the vet today... we're going to run another fecal [on everyone] in 3-4 weeks. His positive fecal was on September 26th, he was given panacure for 3 days, he came to me October 22nd, I gave him a drontal. Last night is the first fecal I have sent out.

His poop is pretty normal, on occasion it is on the soft side, like the last little turd is usually soft. The entire time I've had his his poop has been normal, he did have really runny stuff when I initially switched over to the Canidae. When I got him he came with some Beneful attached to his crate when he got off the plane - so that is what he was eating before I got him.

Blood work was all fine on September 26th. Also - with the panacure treatment he was also treated with Trifexis which is supposed to kill intestinal parasites as well. I just peeked at his records today and forgot he had been given that.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:58 pm

I wouldn't put a single extra pound on that dog... if you do, you will make him fat.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby FransterDoo » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:00 pm

I think he looks fine now. Why are you worried about him losing weight enough to have to put extra weight on him?

If he's a fine weight now (which it looks like he is) and his poops are fine and he's negative for parasites, then I don't really see the need to pour extra calories and fat into him?
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby suzanne » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:11 pm

FransterDoo wrote:I think he looks fine now. Why are you worried about him losing weight enough to have to put extra weight on him?

If he's a fine weight now (which it looks like he is) and his poops are fine and he's negative for parasites, then I don't really see the need to pour extra calories and fat into him?


The point of my post isn't exactly for him to be gaining weight. Right now he is in the low end of his ideal weight range, however I cannot cut his food back and at almost 1900kcals per day he should be gaining. I would still like to see him hit 59lbs to put a little extra over his ribs and his spine - if he drops 1-2lbs he will be boney again. I don't have a good picture looking over him, but he really is just a couple of pounds into his ideal weight range. That picture makes him look kind of chunky but he's not.

The point of my post mostly is that I feel like I am feeding him a ridiculous amount of kibble just to maintain the 4lbs I put on him. I just wanted to know if that was normal for this breed for them to basically be "hard keepers".

Here you can kind of see how small his waist is:
Image
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/p ... G_5029.jpg
[Direct link because photobucket is being slow to resize it!]

This picture at least shows his ribs to waist and that there isn't much fat there:
Image
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby BrokenAquarian » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:52 pm

He doesn't need any fat. He needs muscle.
Exercise will do the trick.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby FBODGRL » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:42 pm

BrokenAquarian wrote:He doesn't need any fat. He needs muscle.
Exercise will do the trick.



X2

Also if I am reading this right we are only talking about a 2 month time span of him being at a low weight and gaining. I wouldn't have him gain more. It is possible that once things level out he may need less to maintain. I don't think the breed in particular has difficulty maintaining/keeping on weight IMO.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby Savage Destiny » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:10 am

He doesn't need to gain any weight at all. He definitely needs some muscle, but any extra weight added on by dumping more calories into him will just make him fat. Muscle will make his weight on the scale go up, and fill him out so he doesn't look so lean. Exercise, however, is what's required for that, not more food.

You want him at the "low end" of his weight range, its healthier for him. From the pics, he looks perfect weight wise, he just needs muscle as I said before. You don't' want fat over his ribcage, really you don't want much fat at all, especially if he's going to be active.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby Shoshana » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:44 am

I agree - he doesn't need more pounds. he just needs more muscle. I'd also keep watching his poop to make sure he doesn't have tapeworms. My vet said they don't actually test for them - they wait till they can be found in the poop before treating. I don't remember what she gave us - it was just one pill so I don't know if it's one of the ones you mentioned.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby FransterDoo » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:36 am

Some dogs are hard to keep weight on and some can get chubby in the blink of an eye. It depends on the individual dog. Each of mine are very different and if effects how much food they get. For example, my younger pit bull tends to put on weight in the winter very easily - my little terrier is 14 pounds and in great shape not matter how much extra food he gets.


Don't let your dog be chubby. It's not good for their joints and their overall health. Just because most of us people, and heck most pets, carry around extra weight doesn't mean everyone should - at all.

I'd suggest some exercise. Do you have a soccer field or tennis court that's empty sometimes? Does he like to play fetch? Search on here for a "flit pole". Playing tug is also great exercise and muscle building.
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Re: Feeding a lot and no weight gain.

Postby suzanne » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:43 pm

Shoshana wrote:I agree - he doesn't need more pounds. he just needs more muscle. I'd also keep watching his poop to make sure he doesn't have tapeworms. My vet said they don't actually test for them - they wait till they can be found in the poop before treating. I don't remember what she gave us - it was just one pill so I don't know if it's one of the ones you mentioned.


He doesn't have fleas or tapeworms. He's been dewormed 3 times, with 3 different products.

None of my dogs are overweight, one of them has hip issues and she's on the lower end of her weight range as well for her hips. I'm NOT TRYING TO MAKE HIM FAT. I want to know why he's eating almost 2,000kcals just to maintain the weight I have put on him. My 40lb dog is eating 2cups per day, my 55lb dog is getting 2-3cups per day depending on what we're doing, he gets 3-4 if we're riding a lot.

I do take him to the barn to run around, we have a spring pole that he plays with also. All I was saying is that he is not getting so much exercise that he should require that much food. The only time I have ever fed that much has been when I take a dog riding and we go for 10-15miles per ride.

Thanks for the input, he either has a high metabolism or he's still got some worms.
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