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Main > Dog not gaining weight (13 replies)

by DesperadotheGSD on 08 April 2009 - 03:04

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I have a 10 month old, neutered male GSD that is just not gaining weight, and as this is my first GSD I'm not sure whether I should be worried.

He is approximately 26 in. at the whithers (give or take a few in. for wiggling around) and he has been weighing just under 60 lbs for about the last month (59.5 last time I weighed him). He does look thin (tucked waste and abs) but you can't see any ribs except occasionally the last one. I've tried feeding him more but when I do he just leaves the extra in his dish.

Other than the weight problem and a little pano in his left fetlock (are they called fetlocks in dogs?) he seems to be pretty healthy. I've wormed him recently and he's got bright eyes, lots of energy, and a thick shiny coat.

by Sam1427 on 08 April 2009 - 03:04

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We need more info. What are you feeding him, how much, and how many times per day? Did he stop eating after being wormed or is this an ongoing problem? What kind of worms did he have? Did your vet diagnose pano and worms? What does your vet say about your concerns? 

Bright eyes, lots of energy and thick shiny coat are good, of course. Could be he's just going through a "thin" phase. Worms will do that to a dog. BUT, nobody here can see your dog so more info is necessary.

by VonIsengard on 08 April 2009 - 03:04

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There are a lot of foods out there excellent for putting weight on a dog, and healthy things you can add to encourage them to finish. As sam said, we need more info.

by JLB82 on 08 April 2009 - 04:04

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Can we see a recent picture of him, are you sure he is 26 inches tall, thats a big boy for 10months, My dogs did go through a skinny stage during growth spurts, and they always caught back up. Are you still feeding him puppy food?

by RONNIERUNCO on 08 April 2009 - 04:04

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by MVF on 08 April 2009 - 04:04

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Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 06:57 am
26" and 60 lbs is very thin, although I agree that more detail is needed.

Can you afford a decent food?  Higher quality, add meat or egg or fish or all three.  Do something!  26" and 75 at his age would be fine.

by giri11a on 08 April 2009 - 14:04

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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 08:57 pm
Not that I'm an expert, but 60 pounds does sound awfully light. Have you had a fecal sample checked for parasites lately? A general de-wormer may not be enough since there are several non-worm parasites. Your first stop should really be a vet. When we got our GSD as an 8 wk pup he seemed really skinny to me, but he had been receiving regular de-worming treatment at the breeder's. We brought in a fecal sample to the vet, and it turned out he had coccidiosis and required a specific medication for that.

Later, our other dog got giardia, and required a specific medication for that, too (giardia is carried in rain, by the way, so keep your dog away from puddles and rivers, and provide lots of easily accessible FRESH water if you leave them alone outside for any amount of time). We didn't even notice anything was wrong that time, both our dogs seemed perfectly healthy and active, no diarrhea or anything. Our vet just insists on a fecal sample for every checkup. For a good reason too, it turns out.

A dog with a parasite can still seem perfectly healthy! I would definitely be taking some poo to the vet if I were you. An unpleasant drive, but worth it (I suggest double or triple bagging). And make sure it's fresh! Some parasite tests are for larvae that hatch if left too long, and you'll miss the diagnosis. Try and get some poo the MORNING OF the appointment. If your dog isn't "performing," try feeding him and then running him, that should get the works pumping. And if that still doesn't work, you can probably drop some off later with the receptionist (what a great job!).

If it's not an infection, I'd start cooking, as well as making sure your dog's getting a good quality dog food as others have already suggested. If you don't know where to start, either ask people here what they use or go to a specialty pet store, NOT Petsmart or Pet Co., or whatever you have where you live. We use Canine Caviar, by the way. It's expensive, but it's what the breeders were feeding him, and we figured they knew what they were doing.

My GSD doesn't have the greatest appetite either, in general, so sometimes I'll cook some brown rice and ground beef (about 3:1 if I remember correctly, I have to look it up each time) and mix it in with the kibble. He'll gobble that down like he was starving, when normally I have to bring him back to his food and make him eat three times per meal (if I can get just a single piece of kibble past his teeth and point at the food and say "eat" he usually starts eating). I got the recipe from a cookbook called "Real Food for Dogs" with a bunch of dog-safe recipes. I'm sure you can find recipes online, too. Our dog still looks a little skinny, until you feel his chest and hindquarters--he's all muscle, and weighs 85-90 lbs (we don't have a scale at home, but he's just about to turn two so I imagine he's put on a little weight since his last vet's appointment when he was 85 lbs).

Hope that helps!

by animules on 08 April 2009 - 15:04

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Running your hands down his sides you should just be able to feel the ribs, not a layer of fat.  If you can barely, sometimes, see a rib he is probably not too thin.  Too many dogs are too fat so that's what people expect to see.

by Two Moons on 08 April 2009 - 15:04

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This is still a young dog,
They have growing spurts and sometimes their energy is going elsewhere.
Don't know about the Pano,  but I wouldn't get too upset as long as he's active and eating good.
He's growing, its just not going where you think.

by SitasMom on 08 April 2009 - 20:04

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Try changing to a different feed. The ingredients seem to be changing without notice and dogs know what's good for them or not.

I used Eagle Pack for about a year dogs loved it, bought a new bag and the were off their feed. Wouldn't touch the stuff. Looked out in the yard and it was full of puddles of poop. Don't know why, but I haven't purchased another bag of that stuff.

Something with more carbs, or try topdressing with a  few table spoons  of "drippins" from what every you happen to be eating. 

"He does look thin (tucked waste and abs) but you can't see any ribs except occasionally the last one. " I don't see anything wrong with this description.


by snajper69 on 08 April 2009 - 21:04

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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 02:31 am
lol stop, most dogs are too fat any way. If he dose not want any more it means he had enough. You worry about his weight when you can hardly see a one rib, I can see at least 2 (sometimes 3-4 depends on a day) on my dog. She is 9 months 55lb you can see evrysingle muscle in her body, less is better at that age.

by Sam1427 on 09 April 2009 - 01:04

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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 02:30 am
The OP hasn't replied yet. Must not be too concerned.

by Frenchy chick on 09 April 2009 - 12:04

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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:04 pm
Hi There,

I also have a GSD, who is thin.  He is the granson of Flip von Arlett, and also Erasmus van Noort.  There was a time when he wouldnt eat, but he is eating now but is still very thin.  I feed him on Italian dog food, Nuova Fattoria, its the only thing he likes! I try to give him an extra goblet full every night.   I used to cook him chicken as well, also liver and kidney but it didnt make any difference so i stopped.  He has been wormed, and has had a liquid parasite treatment.
He is very tall though at 68 or 69 cm, and has a rounded back?   He is very active and has alot of muscles, only muscles actually as ther is no fat what so ever!  His rib cage dosent look too bad but his backbone is very sharp.
He has been tested for all sorts of stuff, (cost a fortune too)  but all is ok.  I think its just that he is to active. 
What else could i try?  Some people say he is a great dog and others say he is horrible, its really quite hurtful at times, because i love him to bits.  He is very alert, and has the most beautiful eyes.
Should i give him a vitamin supplement?  Also what is the name of the author of the book - Real food for dogs?

by snajper69 on 09 April 2009 - 13:04

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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 02:31 am
Don't give him nothing else, you dog "likes only one kind of food" because you are mixing too much, my dog will eat whatever I'll serve and if she dosen't like life is tough oh well. Thin is good, people that say you dog looks horible most likely like only fat dogs lol ;) if you have quite few that say he looks fine it means he is fine, most people over feed their dogs, very few underfeed. Dog will not starve himself to death.

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