Failure to thrive - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Failure to thrive

Is this a thing in puppies? I’m at my wits end. Seiran has not been gaining any weight, and has in fact been losing weight.

She was seen by the vet weekly for this, who is also concerned, so a full blood panel, stool and fecal sample were run on her. She came back negative for all parasites (including the two I can never spell giardia and coccida?), no tapeworm, or other internal parasites. Had stool samples from all 4 dogs sent to the lab as well, they are all clear. literally all blood and stool samples sent to the lab came back negative. No food allergies, no grass allergies, no anything. Sonogram and X-ray done to make sure there was no internal blockage as a precaution. Kidney and liver enzymes and functions normal, blood count normal.

You can see all her ribs at this point, and just starting to see her hip bones and spine. She was originally on 4 cups of Fromm large breed puppy, and was fine. Started noticing a little weight loss and stupidly assumed it was a growth spurt, increased her food to 5 cups. Still losing. Vet recommended increasing to 6 cups, and adding in eggs and sardines (rinsed and dried). Still losing weight. Increased her to 7 cups per meal, and then increased the frequency from 3 times a day to 6 times a dayS Put her on a prescription food in between regular meals, still losing. Switched her completely to prescription food, with the same feeding schedule above, still losing. Decreased her activity levels, still losing. She is down to 26lbs. We had her teeth checked because of the jaw injury, thinking maybe it was causing her pain, but teeth are fine, and she doesn’t have any issue eating.

She’s always been given probiotics, we do not train with treats because she is more toy driven. If she wasn’t my dog, and I saw her in someone’s yard, I’d likely call AC for a wellness check.

Her activity levels are still through the roof, and she plays, trains, and acts completely fine. Coat is still shiny, but is beginning to have a rough hay like texture. I just really don’t know what to do. The vet has sent all her lab work, xrays, and sonograms to a colleague for second opinions. The waiting is killing me, I can just watch the weight drop off. The vet kept her for three days to evaluate her, monitor her vitals and food intact, and she dropped weight in their care as well.

Has anyone experienced this? Have any recommendations within a days drive for a specialist if my vet can’t get answers? I’m in southern AZ. This is well beyond the normal lanky stage as they hit growth spurts and shoot up and not out.
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post #2 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 12:53 AM
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Has she been tested for EPI?

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post #3 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, it was the first thing they tested for after all internal parasites. She also has no issues with loose stools or diarrhea. She has normal, firm, formed stools.
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post #4 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:07 AM
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That doesn't sound like a failure to thrive? If she is happy, playing and training, she has good energy. If she was laying on the living room floor all day refusing to eat, I would see that as a failure to thrive.

How old is she?

How does her poop look?

Mine has always been thin. No matter how much I feed her. I had her eating a pound of NW Naturals beef, per meal, 3 times a day and putting boiled sweet potatoes on top. No weight gain. She just has a fast metabolism.

You can try raw, but it takes a lot to put weight on them. When I went to Ziwi, that is what finally got her to fill out. People still give me crap about her being too thin, but I think she is just right. Shasta is 19 months and 62 pounds or so.
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post #5 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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She was born March 3rd of this year, so just at the 6 month mark.

Stools are perfectly normal. Solid, well formed.

I didn’t look up failure to thrive, just was the closest comparison I could think of. I didn’t know it was possible in dogs.

I wouldn’t be so concerned if a) my vet wasn’t concerned and b) she’s experiencing fast constant weight loss. She went from 46lbs to 26lbs in a month and a half.
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post #6 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:31 AM
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Okay, I may be wrong...but I'm going to bet there is NOTHING wrong with her, other than she's a normal, healthy, active dog who's going through the 'bottomless pit' stage of development. Keep feeding her, loving her, maybe TRY to decrease her activity a bit so she's not burning so many calories. Eventually, her metabolism will slow as her growth slows, and she will gain weight.

I've seen SO many similar posts by people worried about their young, growing dog's weight, and 99% of the time there is NOTHING wrong with them.

I have to confess, this is a pretty extreme case, though, but since her energy level is good, I think she's okay. The rough coat could be because this is SHEDDING SEASON. I have been up to my armpits in dog hair for over a month now, and the old coat does feel a little rough as it is about to shed out.

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post #7 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
Okay, I may be wrong...but I'm going to bet there is NOTHING wrong with her, other than she's a normal, healthy, active dog who's going through the 'bottomless pit' stage of development. Keep feeding her, loving her, maybe TRY to decrease her activity a bit so she's not burning so many calories. Eventually, her metabolism will slow as her growth slows, and she will gain weight.

I've seen SO many similar posts by people worried about their young, growing dog's weight, and 99% of the time there is NOTHING wrong with them.
I’ve seen the plethora of posts as well, and all the pics posted look like normal awkward lanky stage. Seiran’s body scale according to the vet is at a 2 right now. And I know growth spurts can cause some skinniness, but dropping 20lbs in a month in a half seems outside the norm. Those posts always said there dogs weren’t gaining, but they weren’t losing either.

I fully appreciate the feedback though, and will cross my fingers that this is all it is.
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post #8 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:40 AM
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Wow, that is a big drop!

You might want to stop with the probiotics to see if it makes a difference? Give her some raw commercial beef or Ziwi. The beef seemed to have the most fat in it to get Shasta to put weight on. Every time I tried something different, she would always loose weight.

Every time I mentioned RX food, my holistic vet laughed. It is just a rip off.
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post #9 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:26 AM
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Have you considered a false negative on the tests? Maybe redo some of the tests and send to a different lab.
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post #10 of 209 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Have you considered a false negative on the tests? Maybe redo some of the tests and send to a different lab.
I’m thinking that will be my next step. That or ask my vet for referral to a specialist. She eats all her food like she is starving. Which is what she looks like. I was tempted to put one of the adults large bowls in her crate, fill it to the brim, and let her free fed, but I also don’t want to make her sick either.

I’ve been in touch with her breeder, and she hasn’t had any of the other owners in this litter with this issue. DH’s best friend also has a pup from the same litter, though his is a male, and he’s doing fine too. I started to think it may be something in my home causing this, but all the other 3 dogs are fine, no weight loss at all. Plus she is always supervised, or crated when she cannot be supervised, so I would have noticed if she was getting into anything the other dogs weren’t.

My mind just keeps spinning trying to figure this out.
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