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NLH2154 01-15-2014 12:52 PM

Weight gaining.
Hi. I'll start by explaining what's going on. Tyson, my shepherd, came to us as a stray. I was not entirely sure he was purebred until the owners came looking for him. I don't know how treated him, but he would not allow them into the yard. It was easy to convince them to let him stay. He was emancipated when he came to us. He is approximately 14 months old and weights just under 70 lbs. However, his muscles are filling out and he is not putting on any fat. I understand that his ribs should never be completely invisible, but his hip bones are very visible and it seems to be causing him discomfort while he's in his crate. I've had him about 4 months with no changes.

Now I'll explain what I've done to help him. After 3 vet visits he has been wormed for tapeworms, put on a steroid to help with growth, and his blood work thus far is negative for heart worms and other parasites. I have him on a medium protein no grain formula food that has fat content added into it. Yet still no changes. He's not near as bad as he was when he came to us but I know he needs to gain more weight.

He is also very active. 3-4 hours a day playing fetch and also tug of war. He runs with me when I to the track to run. Maybe someone on this forum has had a similar experience.

Cassidy's Mom 01-15-2014 01:18 PM


Originally Posted by NLH2154 (Post 4838361)
He was emancipated when he came to us.

Emaciated. :) Can you post a picture? His weight is not out of the ordinary for his age, but that doesn't mean he's not underweight, it's just hard to tell without being able to see him.

Sp00ks 01-15-2014 01:29 PM

Well, he was emancipated as well I suppose.... ;)

doggiedad 01-15-2014 04:12 PM

maybe you have a smaller GSD. some are smaller than others.

Gretchen 01-15-2014 07:58 PM

No one in my family (human or animal) has ever had a problem not gaining weight!
How much and often do you feed him? Do you think adding something healthy like and occasional egg or can of sardines might help? Or feed 3x day?

I just wanted to say how kind it is of you to rescue this dog and give it a loving home.

JackandMattie 01-15-2014 08:25 PM

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My rescue came to me at eleven months and weighed 63 lbs (the same as my adult female Weimaraner). I could see his rib cage, his backbones, hip bones. It was very distressing. I tried all kinds of kibble, added silk balls, etc, and several months later he was still barely pushing 68 lbs. Vet checked out fine. No parasites, perfect bloodwork, etc. and even if I tried to feed him more and more, he would just stop eating when he was full, and I had to pick it back up to keep the Weim from becoming obese :)

Then I spent several months resigned to the fact that I just owned a skinny dog who was not interested in food. He was healthy in every other respect, and I understood he didn't need extra weight at that young age (leaner is better), but owning a dog who looks like he is being starved is hard to handle.

So I picked back up on my research, and made a discovery and a very drastic change. We went prey model raw. For the first time ever, I watched him get excited for his dinner and eat with gusto and abandon. And granted, he was approaching his second birthday, so it was about time for him to start filling out, but the change was remarkable. He packed on some weight and more muscle, and the Weim slimmed down and also started looking more defined.

And in the end, I could have kicked myself for all the time spent looking for the perfect formula kibble, hours wasted preparing crazy recipe silk balls, etc., when all it took was to feed the dog a ridiculously simple, naturally canine diet. Doh!

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NLH2154 01-15-2014 10:27 PM

Well emaciated is no longer a term I will use for his weight. Mainly because he has almost doubled his weight since he was found. I was actually passing his lean build off because of the constant exercise. However my vet advised me that Tyson should be putting some meat on over his hip bones.

As to what brand dog food I use, it's divided in two parts. One I leave dry dog food down for him all day so he can eat it as needed. Two I mix a cup of dry dog food in with cooked ground deer meat and add in some vitamin additives his vet prescribed. I use Nuetrena dog foods. The last food advice his vet gave me was to ween him off of higher protein foods.

The one thing I won't do is cut back on his play time. His drive to chase prey is something we both enjoy.

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Twyla 01-15-2014 10:43 PM

It may be that he is a slimmer GSD.

Woolf is 3 yrs old 27 in tall and a slim 69 lbs. - aka Mr Tall and Skinny. He has 3 cups a day divided in 2 meals + toppings of fish, beef or chicken and I use the roll food for training treats. Woolf came to us malnourished as well.

You may want to consider changing his food to 2 meals instead of grazing. Easier to judge how much he is eating. You may find also that he is hungrier at one meal or the other and adjust amounts as needed.

NLH2154 01-16-2014 12:41 AM

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It's hard to catch a pic of him when he's not sleeping.

Harry and Lola 01-16-2014 04:48 AM

I was going to suggest testing him for EPI, but if he has almost doubled his weight since being with you, then he is clearly digesting his food.

When I need to fatten mine up, I feed fattier type meats such as lamb ground mince and beef ground mince (not the lean one, choose the cheapest one which has more fat). When they need to lose weight I feed kangaroo (very lean)

I wouldn't leave dry food all day for him to nibble at, as they usually don't because it is not very palatable and if he is not eating all of it, then actually he is only getting between 1 to 2 cups a day - this is not enough for a 14month old.

Try feeding him ground mince (fatty one) about 200grams mixed in with 2 cups of dry food and mixed up with some water and your vitamins - feed this both in the morning and in the evening. Aim for 4 cups of dry and 400grams of raw until he has gained appropriate weight.

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