Putting weight on a dog

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    My heeler lost a great deal of weight over a two week period. She was down to 18 pounds when she usually weighs about 27. The vet had no firm diagnosis, but after a good worming and a couple days on antibiotics, her appetite is definitely back.

    I am feeding her canned food to entice her to eat. At first I was lucky to get 2 cans a day in her, today she ate four. I feed her twice a day and keep opening cans until she quits gulping them down, then leave a can sitting in the dish to tide her over until next time. She acts like she's starved at each feeding time (because basically she is...she's so skinny).

    Is this ok? I don't know if she'll over-eat and end up barfing it back up or something. I know she won't put that weight back on over-night, but should I keep on giving her all she'll eat at each feeding? Add more feedings? Give her all she'll eat, but pace it?

    Thanks
    Jena
     
  2. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    I know when our pets get ill and then start to rebound back to health we want to give them everything they want but there is the danger of killin ghtem with kindness! I don't think overloading your dog is a good idea. In my opinion it would be best to feed the dog normal rations (with perhaps a few extra special goodies) and allow the dog to regain the weight at a slower rate. If the dog is eating the good I don' t think you haev to worry. By any chance was/is the dog on prednisone? That will ramp up the appetite as well as water consumption.
     

  3. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,208
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    GA & Ala
    You might try adding some corn oil to your dog's food, we do that for horses that are underweight, they like the taste and it is full of calories. What brand dog food are you giving your dog? Some are mostly filler that dogs cannot digest well. So even though they eat like pigs, they don't gain weight very quickly. My vet put my Pyr on raw liver twice daily as he got anemic and thin, he's old and doesn't do well in the summer time, won't hardly eat. He gained a lot of weight and his iron count is back to normal. Liver is cheap, it didn't take much, 1/2 lb. each feeding and Amos is a big dog, at 125 lbs normal weight. Your's probably wouldn't need near that much to give him back is iron count if it was low from being wormy.

    There's a lady on General Chat alot that sells all natural dog food. You might try a sample from her. I've found that Iams or Eukanuba do good with my dogs, they eat less but hold their weight and the rat terror will actually get fat if I let her have either one free choice.

    Hope this helps,
    Sidepasser
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    Jena,
    Did you see any worms passed in the dogs stool after worming. Hookworms are small, almost like a ball of yarn. The can take a real tool on the dog with losing weight, but so can roundworm or tapeworm. Also, the vet should check the hematocrit. Hookworms can make the dog anemic also. You might detect that by looking inside the gumline and not see it as pink as should be, or the eyes appearing more white. That test at the vet would be quick, though not that compelling. At least it would give a baseline about the blood level and need to build it up if need be. I might give a bit more liver for that.
    Also, it would be a good idea to follow up with a stool sample in a few days to let the vet see if the dog is clear of worms. Too bad this wasn't done previous to worming, as it can tell a lot about diagnosis for, or against worms as the cause of illness.

    Today my little dog barfed out all that she ate in the morning. It's just a passing upset, by the end of the day she doubled her intake of dogfood so it's not abnormal to have a rebound with appetite being a good sign. If the dog would persist with woofing down inordinate amounts of food day after day, then I would worry about that.
    Good Luck. We always feel so helpless when our pets can't tell us what's wrong. :(

    Rich
     
  5. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,126
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Oregon
    :) Firstly I have to ask just what you are feeding her? You didn't tell us that and it's important. Secondly I would want to know just what the Veterinarian did for her. Blood tests?, X rays? Check for heartworm?, other parasites? etc. Is she an intact female dog? Or spayed? Had puppies? when? Any symptoms? Does she feel good and is she playing like normal? What is her history as far as her family goes? How old is she? Is she on any vitamen/mineral supplements?

    How does she look to you? Her coat look nice and shiny?

    There's a whole lot of things here to think about and I'd be thinking of a second opinion and some testing. I'd also want to know what common diseases you have in your area. Mosquito borne, carried by wild birds, or rodents, other viruses..do people fish around there?. Does she tend to eat strange things like rocks? I am assuming she has all of her vaccines?

    Is she very high strung and excitable and does she run, run, run? has she changed her behavior lately other than being hungry?


    Start digging! LOL LQ
     
  6. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    You said you were feeding her canned food. I know it is something that she will eat but it is not especially good for her!! LOL Try a regular dog food, to put wieght on, maybe a puppy food. To entice her to eat brown up some hamburger, the cheaper the better and mix that with her food. You can increase it a bit, but not too much or she will get sick. But the addition of puppy food and ground beef will increase her calorie intake quite a bit.
    Good luck
    Alice in Virginia
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Messages:
    1,265
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    Zone Unknown
    I'd definitely check into exactly what parasites she had.

    And I'd switch her to a good dried food with some hommade rations on top. I use hunters' brands, specifically Black Gold and foods by Diamond. I have friends who have field trial and hunting hounds, and that's what they recommend --- they're great foods and very reasonably priced.

    I top off the dogs' meals with good homemade foods. If I won't eat it, the dogs don't get it --- they get everything from bananas to rown rice with carrots topped ontheir foods. If she's an older girl, she could benefit from some good oils, too.
     
  8. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    532
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    Mid-Missouri
    I'd suggest buying a good, high protein, easy to digest dry dog food....like Iams or Science Diet. Either of those brands have a variety from which you can choose. Add a small amount of canned food or browned hamburger or ground browned turkey just to entice her to eat it all. Canned food alone will not put on weight..it is mostly filler & water. Feed her several times a day instead of a large feeding. She will absorb more of the nutrients and feel more satisfied. You can also get some "Pet Tab" vitamins to give her the extra vitamins & minerals she may need. Your vet should recommend a diet designed to steadily put weight back on. Exercise will also add muscle.
     
  9. Bob Mc

    Bob Mc Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    California
    Nothing puts weight on a dog like meat. Feed a good dry dog food, and mix in meat scraps. There is a very real danger in over feeding a dog; the larger the dog the more danger. By letting the dog gorge herself, you are setting her up for a twisted stomach. Larger dogs are especially prone to this. The dog lays down and rolls over, and the stomach filled with food doesn’t roll with the dog. The result is a twisted intestine at each end of the stomach. The dog is unable to pass gas, and will bloat until the stomach ruptures; sometimes in as little as an hour or so. Death is almost inevitable.
     
  10. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    After a trip to your vet to check for heart worms and other parasites, buy your dog a good dry food. Check the labels. Make sure they don't get anything with ingredients like by-products. These could be road kill or worse. The lady we got our male Aussie from is a long time breeder and she made several suggestions of what to feed. She recommended Natural Balance, Nutro, California Natural, or Innova.
     
  11. netti424eva

    netti424eva Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    Have you thought about trying more variety in the diet. My dogs love eggs and milk, I give them plenty when the ducks are laying. Mine also enjoy cerials like rice and rolled oates made into porridge. I also give mine fried mince with added grated carrots and finely chopped silver beet.
    Cheers Netti
     
  12. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,489
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    She had been eating plain old dry dog food and doing fine on it. She went off that, wouldn't touch it and started losing weight. I almost suspect that she had a sore throat or something. I started canned food, as she would eat it. Tried science diet and she wouldn't go for it, even mixed with canned food. I'm buying Pedigree canned food.

    Her coat had been nice and thick, but it thinned out. All the thick undercoat is gone, leaving her looking a different color and cold. She is a very active dog, but slowed down. She would still run, but not with the frantic energy from before. She lives in a kennel, but I take her out when I'm doing chores (at least a couple hours a day).

    Vet checked for heartworm and anemia. She had a moderate fever, swollen glands and weight loss. I have not noticed any worms in her stools, even since the meds. I'm sure there's some there, but not enough to be visible.

    She is on the porch now so I can keep an eye on her and feed her more often. She was barking last night, which is a switch from the last few nights. It's not for a lack of anything to bark at, so I think she's feeling better. I don't want to put her back in the kennel until she gets her coat back and some more weight on her. Her bones are not sticking out quite as bad as they were.

    I have lots of meat and eggs I can feed her. I have all those darn beef hearts no one will buy....

    Jena
     
  13. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

    Messages:
    6,244
    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Raw eggs are good for them.
     
  14. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    When I could get beef hearts, that is what I mixed with liver to top off the kibbles. Now I only can get liver. Beef heart nearly impossible to find in the grocery stores around for several years now. :waa:

    Jena, another possibility might be something got stuck in her throat or gut. Odd things happen. When I worked years ago as a vet assistant a cat had a needle stuck crosswise at the tonsils. It couldn't eat which prompted the people to bring it for examination. The vet saw it and like houdini removed it with forceps was an amazing feat! Another time a chihauaha had a needle stuck in the intestines that showed only on x-ray. That one was a major surgery. Point is that both those cases the animals wouldn't eat and lost a lot of weight until problems were corrected. A bone or somthing might get caught up in their mouth, teeth, throat...etc. Once it's dislodged or removed, they eat and eat hardy they do when they know it's feels right. Just a thought.
     
  15. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,177
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    I will add red cell , just a few drops for the vitamins. Corn oil , bacon grease ect. Eggs are great , any organ meats too. Canned food is mostly water , so for what you are paying for the canned food make your own. Cook up some rice,hearts ,and some veggies, add a few drops of red cell and a tablespoon or 2 of oil. Now put it thru your food processor and you have a well balance meal full of fat and protein.
     
  16. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,980
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    Start feeding her what you eat. Raw meaty bones, leftover vegetables, a few small pieces of dried cranberry or raisins. The food you are feeding her is Walmart quality. Right now, she doesn't need fillers and water added to her food.
     
  17. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

    Messages:
    1,265
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    Zone Unknown
    The beef hearts and eggs would be good.

    I've had to feed entirely homemade diets before, for a variety of reasons (anal gland problems, things like that) and you need to be a little careful as doggie nutritional needs are a bit different than ours, but it's very doable and not that hard.

    If I were you, I'd start concocting broths and stews with a meat base and lots of added veggies and good fibers (brown rice is a favorite here), then add in the good meat and eggs. The broth will keep her hydrated and it also carries lots of good nutrients. The veggies and good brow rice will keep her regular :haha: and provide additional nutrients, and the good beef hearts and eggs will give her what she really needs.

    I'd probably top off with a good oil, like flaxseed.

    I agree with Maura about the leftover part, but I wouldn't give raisins or grapes, and stay far away from anything with onions --- onions can cause anemia, meaning they can really exacerbate whatever's going on with her.

    If you don't have Red Cell, get a good liquid iron-vitamin b complex and dose her orally once-twice a day.
     
  18. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,980
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    You can give dogs raisins. But if you overfeed raisins, it can cause kidney damage. However, you'd have to feed like, a pound or more. A couple of raisins a day will balance out the meat. Once she is up to her proper weight, you can even eliminate raisins and cranberries except for the occassional treat.

    My dog has been on BARF since he was three months old, and raisins are in the recommended food group (use common sense and do not feed the entire box in one sitting!)