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I could do with some weight gain advice, please

(27 Posts)
Lougle Mon 05-Nov-12 21:59:27

Patch had terribly offensive wind, fairly loose fluffy big poos, too. I read around, and asked at the behaviourists and the vets.

Burns Potato and Pork was suggested. I introduced it very gradually, 5 weeks ago, over 10 days. He seemed to like it and is still very enthusiastic about it. However, he has lost 2.5 kg in weight.

I contacted Burns today, and they said that he's probably getting used to the lower fat content of Burns. They suggested adding an egg or two in with his meals, and/or some vegetable oil.

I told her how thin he'd become, and that I could see his ribs, but she said that she thought perhaps I'm overthinking his shape, because her dogs ribs can be seen when lying down.

BUT he's led next to me. I can see each and every rib. I can see each vertebra of his spine. His hips feel bony. In fact, my DD's carer came in today and said 'he looks like a concentration camp dog'.

I've done my best to provide him with a good quality food. His bowels seems so much better, but the weight loss is a worry. He's almost 1, and now weighs 15kg, down from 17.5kg 5 weeks ago.

Lougle Mon 05-Nov-12 22:01:40

I've uploaded a quick photo of his back end.

LoveDogs Mon 05-Nov-12 22:21:23

How much do you feed him? Is he a very energetic dog?
Maybe he just needs more of it?

Our girl who is 3 has quite a lot to eat, she has porridge for breakfast and then a third of a large tin of meat at both lunch time and in the evening, although some people might think that's quite a lot because she is a small dog, she has sooo much energy that she burns it all off anyway.

Scuttlebutter Mon 05-Nov-12 22:26:55

He looks like he is part sighthound in which case he should be pretty lean. Provided you are worming regularly, I really wouldn't worry too much.

If you wanted to add a little weight, you could feed a bit more, or I'd add things like tinned pilchards a couple of times a week, some lightly poached chicken, maybe some scrambled egg occasionally. Can you use small pieces of cheese as training treats? Looking at those pics, I'd add maybe a kilo but beyond that he'd be fine, and I'd also be looking at muscle/tone/fitness.

Most vets will happily confirm they see far more overweight than underweight dogs.

Lougle Mon 05-Nov-12 22:29:37

He has 200g per day, split over 2 meals. That's the recommended amount for a 20kg dog already.

If we'd been feeding him according to his starting weight (17.5kg) he should have been having 175g per day. Feeding him according to his current weight would be 150g.

So, he's actually having more than a dog of his weight 'should' have.

Lougle Mon 05-Nov-12 22:34:15

Scuttlebutter, all the photos bar the first one, were taken before he lost weight.

The top photo (upside down hmm) is the one which doesn't do a particularly good job of showing his contours.

To clarify, when he's led beside me, I can see 6 ribs, and count all his vertebrae on his back end. His hip bones are also visible and quite angular.

The 4th and 6th photos are how I think he should look - sleek and covered, but no excess fat. He looks quite angular and scrappy at the moment.

Scuttlebutter Mon 05-Nov-12 22:50:31

Only saw the first pics the first time I looked. Having seen more, he's a gorgeous little chap smile. What you are describing is a bit too thin, but not by very much. I'd not be too worried about that weight. Quite a lot of people find their dogs are lean on Burns, but I think that's because it's not full of cereal/fillers. You often find dogs are a bit leaner on raw/BARF diets too but I don't think that's a bad thing.

How about giving him a small extra meal once a day - say a chicken wing (raw) or giving him some nice hi calorie treats like a Kong wiht peanut butter or cream cheese or pate?

Also, do you think he has finished growing? And sometimes the feeding guidelines aren't helpful if your dog is doing a lot more than average - with being a busy little terrier, I imagine he's always on the go?

PseudoBadger Mon 05-Nov-12 22:54:40

To get weight onto my dog when he was very underweight I increased the amount i was feeding him and had to feed him that split into 4 meals (or it just went straight through).

Lougle Mon 05-Nov-12 23:01:14

Useful advice, thank you smile he's like a 4th child, such a worry!

Some yummy treats will go down well, I'm sure. He'll be very grateful to you, he loves his food grin

I think he's probably finished growing upwards - I haven't noticed any increase in height for a while. Whether he's finished outwards, who knows?

4 meals per day is doable also.

I've been looking at photos of Whippets since you mentioned sighthounds...remarkable similarities in the shape and the way they carry themselves. I'm almost sure he's not pure Staff, whatever the breeders said.

Scuttlebutter Mon 05-Nov-12 23:30:28

Pure Staff!!! shock Erm, no. grin Not that there is anything wrong with pure Staffie, but if your pup is a pure Staff then my greyhound is a Labrador wink My sighthound comment was based on purely looking at his back end rather than the front. I think there is definitely some pointy in there at some stage.

Lougle Mon 05-Nov-12 23:36:57

I might pop over to the pointy thread and have a nose grin

He is the most beautiful boy. If we can only sort out his fear (and his reaction to the Westie who has had to go and live at Mum and Dad's sad) then he'd be the perfect dog.

tipsycat Tue 06-Nov-12 08:04:06

Is his poo back to normal or still different? My lovely hungarian viszla lost a lot of weight recently, and his poos were loose, yellowish and more of a cow pat than a poo! He has now been diagnosed with a pancreas disorder and we are having to add powdered enzymes to his food to allow him to digest it properly. This was diagnosed after blood tests, but apparently the weight loss and funny poo were the indicators.

Inthepotty Tue 06-Nov-12 08:13:00

I switched my dog over to burns and he did at first lose a bit of weight, however I just fed him an extra, small meal at lunchtime for a few weeks. He's put it back on but in the form of muscle around the chest.

Inthepotty Tue 06-Nov-12 08:16:05

Agree with scuttle that back end looks very houndy!

Walkingchloe Tue 06-Nov-12 08:17:42

I would not be happy about that level of weight loss in 5 weeks. And you certainly shouldn't have to add eggs or vegetable oil to a complete, balanced diet. I would go back to your vet and ask to see the vet nurse who specialises in nutrition (hopefully your practice has one). I'd also get him off the Burns and on to a good brand of advanced nutrition dog food such as Pro Plan or Royal Canin. They both have helplines you could call for advice. You'll get specialised advice for Patch from them and it won't be to start adding ingredients to a diet your dog is losing weight on. Google for the numbers or they are on the back of the feed bags in specialist pet shops or Pets at Home stores. Hth.

ditavonteesed Tue 06-Nov-12 08:22:49

I have a similar problem with my spaniel who is about the same age, I wonder if some of it is age, he is very bouncy, I have found that barking heads is the only thing that stops him having the runs, I was feeding him double the recommended amount, he started to out a bit on so I dropped it, he now looks ok so I have dropped it to the recommended amount and he seems to be keeping the extra weight on. I have tried everything and this seems to be the only thing that agrees with him.

toboldlygo Tue 06-Nov-12 09:03:56

Burns is way, way better quality than Royal Canin or Pro Plan - don't look at the marketing hype, look at the content.

Can't see photo on phone, will pop back later to comment further. smile

Lougle Tue 06-Nov-12 09:31:02

His poo is perfect now - small, firm, dark, but not constipated. His wind is non-existent now, too. Before, it almost burned my eyes, it was that acrid.

Since Scuttle said that he looks quite 'sighthoundy' I've been googling and I have to say he does!! When he is outside, if he's wanting to come in, he puts his paws on the window sill and stares at us - his neck is so long and his head so small that we've always joked he looks like a little gopher grin

I'll have to put a more recent photo up, but he's long and lean, with a sweeping chest which goes high under the hips, if that makes sense. Not stocky at all. His face doesn't have a 'stop' that I can see, which Staffs normally have. He can run so fast, but then when we get home he's quite happy to flop all day on the sofa. Very, very people orientated (not good with other dogs, unfortunately, at the moment. Too afraid of all dogs, but then aggressive with our Westie, who has had to move to Mum and Dad's for his own safety). He's also very sensitive to discipline, and responds much, much better to clicker training. Food is his God.

He's loving the egg with his food, lucky boy.

SpicyPear Tue 06-Nov-12 12:13:16

No feeding advice but just come on to say what a beautiful boy he is. As scuttle says, a very lovely "sturcher" by the looks of things smile

Lougle Tue 06-Nov-12 14:12:13

Ahh thanks, Spicy smile He is beautiful. He's laid beside me, huffing away in his sleep grin

Scuttlebutter Tue 06-Nov-12 14:19:44

How about a "whiffie" - combo of whippet and Staffie - it's a really nice name. grin

Lougle Tue 06-Nov-12 14:45:31

Whiffie - would have been a great name before we changed to a food that doesn't give him wind grin

Lougle Tue 06-Nov-12 16:06:12

Ok, photos up, which show just how 'pure staff'' he is grin

SpicyPear Tue 06-Nov-12 16:13:46

Haha. I have a staffie and a jack russell x whippet. No need to tell you which one he looks most like smile

OldBagWantsNewBag Tue 06-Nov-12 16:31:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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