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Hi, I am new to this site and need some advice. I adopted my first GSD from a shelter where I volunteer 2.5 years ago and she is now a 4.5 yr old, spayed female. She came from a neglect situation and missed the first couple vital social years locked in a bathroom with another GSD used for backyard breeding. I got her when she was 60 lbs. Obviously we did a normal vet check and tried different foods to entice her to eat. I figured it might just be stress from being bounced around and the other dog she was with was a RG of food and she had some bite marks on her face (shallow cuts). I have tried hand feeding, raw feeding, cooking, making eat a game with playing Frisbee (her all time favorite thing to do), food with training, leaving it down for 20 minutes and giving her time limits, switching different products I have tried evo, taste of the wild, nature's logic, california natural, natural balance, and so on that I have lost track. I have tried adding toppers, moist food only, putting it in kongs, I add hotdogs which is about the only treat she thinks is a good deal, but not even consistently. It is like she will eat when she wants and when the moon and stars align. I have been to the vet multiple times over the first couple years of having her with no abnormalities on ANY of the testing. I have used a couple vets and they both originally believed it to be behavioral because she was a very repressed dog for a year and a half and this past year she has really started coming out of her shell and is much more confident and happy. She used to be very shut down so I listened to them however, with her becoming a well-rounded shepherd I was hoping the food issues would change. It hasn't. This past fall I started some serious work ups for any medical abnormalities. We went to an internal medicine specialists and tested for Addisons, EPO, ran chemistry panels, another CBC, sent fecal out to specialty lab, ultrasound and I am not sure what else. We realized she is on the low side of B12 so I now give injections and we are shooting for the possibility that although she does not have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency maybe treat her for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. She is now on an antibiotic for that and weekly B12 injections and it has been 2 months now with no improvement in weight or appetite. Her teeth are clean, she is energetic (5 mile walks/runs daily and Frisbee games), her coat is shiny, stools are a normal consistency, and I think the only abnormality is she gets yeast infections in her ears sometimes. She appears to have no N/V, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, or pain. Basically, I don't love the idea of keeping her on an antibiotic if she doesn't have to be and I was hoping someone out there has any ideas I haven't thought of or has had experience with a skinny GSD like this. She is a good girl and I am new to this and would love to give her the best rest of her life that I could so I am open to any ideas or comments that I am going crazy and this could just be normal sometimes. THANK YOU!
 

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Do you have some pictures of her? From the top looking down and a side view? That would help. Since you can't really determine a dog is skinny just by a weight--you go by their individual body condition, it would help if we could see her (and we love pictures anyway). She has definitely become a picky eater. Not to say that there is something else going on-that I don't know. :) I did have a picky eater that tried really turned his nose up for a good 5 days. I just left him alone and finally he started eating and never looked back. The only reason I fret at all over the eating habits of the dog I have now is he is 13 years old and quite fit... but that also means he doesn't have any stores if he goes off his feed and I worry that it's because of illness so I do hover and encourage him. But I don't give him anything different other than his usual dog food.
 

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I am new to this so I hope I uploaded the pictures right! I posted some from different angles. When I first got her for the first few months I did keep her on science diet that she was used to with pedigree moist food and then slowly started switching her to evo first.
 

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I was trying to leave it alone but I'm paranoid that she is too thin! If she looks normal to most people I will leave it alone and stop being crazy haha but she is my first dog and only dog and I am young and so is she so I want her to be healthy then I will relax!
 

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She doesn't look overly thin - but I think she appears more that way because she is seriously lacking in muscle tone. If you can swim her do, endurance exercises, climbing etc. Once she builds those muscles up she will look more balanced. Right now her head looks a little small for her body because her shoulders are so unsculpted.
 

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I don't think she is overly thin. I would not worry about it. I would try to work her muscles to build them up. Chasing a ball works different muscles than just a walk.


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Yes I agree I don't know why that is. We can't find anything with her lab work and we literally go hiking every weekend. She hates water. What else could help her gain muscle? I take her almost every where and we are outside almost daily. We do a lot of dog play dates so we stay active and social but ya she doesn't seem to ever put on muscle. Could this be genetics, medical or is it that I am not doing the right exercises? She appears to have awesome endurance, a couple weekends ago we did a 6 mile hike with my cousin and her aussies and they played the entire time and we went to the top of a mountain and she was tired at the end but still wanted to play frisbee after dinner.
 

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Tough one! I have a hard keeper with atypical Addisons. You said that they did a stim test for Addisons and it came back normal? My boy also had indications of SIBO and always struggled with weight. He is on small doses of steroids and has been happy and healthy for over a year now (crosses fingers it continues).

Before he was diagnosed, slippery elm, digestive enzymes and probiotics seems to help. Oh, and we also found a godsend of a food for him, Eagle Pack Power. It helped him gain much needed weight and good stools! He continues to maintain great weight on that food. It was the only food (after tying nearly all that you listed) that he could tolerate.

I know I'm probably biased toward Addisons, since I have a dog with it, but the disease is really good at acting like multiple other conditions. Good luck!
 

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Tough one! I have a hard keeper with atypical Addisons. You said that they did a stim test for Addisons and it came back normal? My boy also had indications of SIBO and always struggled with weight. He is on small doses of steroids and has been happy and healthy for over a year now (crosses fingers it continues).

Before he was diagnosed, slippery elm, digestive enzymes and probiotics seems to help. Oh, and we also found a godsend of a food for him, Eagle Pack Power. It helped him gain much needed weight and good stools! He continues to maintain great weight on that food. It was the only food (after tying nearly all that you listed) that he could tolerate.

I know I'm probably biased toward Addisons, since I have a dog with it, but the disease is really good at acting like multiple other conditions. Good luck!
Thank you so much. This was the advice I was looking for because I did test for Addison's! All of her tests came back normal and there appears to be no structural abnormalities upon imaging studies. We are leaning towards SIBO because her one blood test (I am not looking at her labs in front of me and can't remember which ones) showed a possibility that it could be that although not definite because still in normal range just low normal. She was also tested for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and that came back normal, which is what SIBO runs with. I've been treating her with Tawlin powder which is an antibiotic to suppress the overgrowth of bacteria. **Another question if it doesn't seem to be working and has been on it for 2.5 months should I stop it or can it take awhile to see results?:confused:. She is still getting B12 injections.
Currently she is eating the California Naturals kangaroo and will tolerate eating it for me if I add in tripe which I just started last week and realized she lovessssss it! Motivating me incorporate more raw but I can't go fully because she still isn't into a lot of the essentials. I am absolutely looking into Eagle Pack Powder. Desperate for things to work! Oh, and I do use probiotics and digestive enzymes and I like keeping her on them! I need to try slippery elm. I am so happy someone has had the same problems (well not that you had to experience them but to know you are ahead of me and figuring things out!). Thanks for the support!
 

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This is going to sound a little off the wall, but I had a dog exzactly like yours. Weighed 60 pounds, but she was oversized so looked horrible. Would go sometimes 3 days and never touch a meal. tried all the best foods, treats, antthing we could think of. Ran test after test and everything came back normal. Finally my vet sugestted trying cimitadine, an antacid, same compound as in Tagatmet OTC. Worked wonders! Within 3 mos. she was a healthy 80 lbs. ... Just something you might think about...
 
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