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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all, I've been on this forum since I got my GSD 3 years ago. I've used this as a fantastic resource to research many questions that I've had. I'd like to post and get some input. My guy was the runt of the litter. He was 8 lb at 9 weeks and very slowly gained weight as he grew. Breeder said he was not eating well and was picked on by his litter mates. I've always let him eat as much as possible and anything to entice his appetite. He's just never been a big eater. He's fluctuated in weight. At 26in' height full grown, he is currently 55 lb. He was 62 lb in February and has lost weight. He's always fluctuated between 55 and 60. He's always been lean. I had a blood panel done on him in 2018 to check things and my vet for the first two years (I've moved and miss my old vet so much ) and I worked together on different diets and options to try to help him gain weight. He could just be a lean dog with a high metabolism? As far as exercise goes he gets about 1-2 mi of walking per day and lots of fetch sessions/play.
He's had a gastropexy (personal decision I made with vet) and he's always had a sensitive stomach.
Recently he has had diarrhea, very rarely happens. Could be from changing food recently (Wellness CH) so going back to RC GSD mixed with Victor Pro Plus. I found that combo has given him the best weight when he hit 64 lbs. Since the diarrhea continued for a few days I took him to the vet to make sure he didn't get something from the beach and we did a fecal sample. No parasites or Giardia. I'm thinking about doing some blood work (want to rule out EPI) and will most likely move forward with it if things don't improve with weight once we go back to his old food routine and we clear up the bowel issues with the medicine prescribed. Is It possible that he could have lost so much weight in five or six days from not eating a lot and having so much diarrhea?

Doctor said he could just have a sensitive stomach and to stick to some probiotics and a food that works but this is a new vet and I'm just concerned about the weight loss over 4 months. *Side note as I'm writing this I realize that I was only feeding RC GSD from March through May with Ziwi mixed in. I wonder if the Victor Pro plus mixed in helped put on the extra weight? ( Mixed in VPP from November- February Because just VPP alone has stool was too hard)

He's very happy healthy dog otherwise. I guess I'm seeking some comfort and words of advice from some more experienced GSD owners. This is my first GSD. I chose him and I knew what I could be getting as the runt and being sold without a health guarantee from the breeder because of his size. I'm okay with that because I chose him, love him and will support whatever journey we go on. He is my world! I'm being completely transparent about what I walked into when I decided to bring him home.
I'm just seeing if anyone has heard of similar situations or has had a dog that was just leaner and smaller or maybe anyone has advice or words of wisdom for me. Thanks for listening and having this forum available and reading my long rant! Here's some pictures for you to see his size. Top 2 pics are current weight at 55lbs. Bottom two around 60 lbs. Also including a weight log that I've kept on my phone since I've had them to try and remember to track his weight as he grew.

7/14/19: 8 lbs
10/14/17: 29lb
12/6/17: 44lbs
12/27/17: 50lbs

1/18/18: 53 lbs
2/22/18:54 lbs
4/14/18-58lb
6/2/18-56.2lbs
6/14/18- 59lbs
6/29/18- 58lbs
9/6/18-59lbs
9/29/18-58.6lbs
9/22/19-60 lbs
11/23/19-59lbs
12/28/19- 62lbs
2/27/20-64lbs
5/10/20-55 lbs
 

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I'm not a vet so take this with a large grain of salt:)A shepherd I owned in the past had the same sort of weight/stomach issues as your dog.What worked perfectly for him was a product called Prozyme.It helps them be able to digest the nutrients when the pancreas is not working correctly.It's an over the counter product.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not a vet so take this with a large grain of salt:)A shepherd I owned in the past had the same sort of weight/stomach issues as your dog.What worked perfectly for him was a product called Prozyme.It helps them be able to digest the nutrients when the pancreas is not working correctly.It's an over the counter product.
I am so glad you commented because you helped me remember my old vet told me this was an option in 2018 after our first blood panel even though it was normal. I never did because I finally got him on some food that helped him gain but i will try this per his recommendation and your reminder if things don't improve :) Was mainly posting to get input. I've always advised with my vet for medical concerns but was interested in hearing from others and you really helped my memory!!!
 

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Good!Glad your memory was jogged:)Best of luck to you as you figure out a plan.
 

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I would try something by Pan-tenex if you are going to go that route. It is much stronger at about the same price so you can feed much less and get more bang for your buck. It can be bought online.
 

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I'd test for EPI before you give those enzymes if I were you. As was advised to me by a vet when I was going thru something similar w/ my dog. My vet told me it is not a good idea to give those enzymes if there isn't an actual pancreatic insufficiency. I did have my dog tested for EPI and he didn't have it.

Here is what I learned. I was feeding food that was too rich for my dog trying to get weight on him. He does better with non rich but high amt.

That's what I feed him now and he does way better. He eats Victor multi pro which is lower fat, cal and protein by far. I add in a percentage of Victor High Energy during his busy season. If he has really worked hard physically he cannot hold weight on the multi pro but he can only tolerate the High Cal stuff when he is really training hard. He can only go up to about 50/50 Multi Pro and High Energy before he will get loose stool. But I can feed him MORE multi pro without upsetting the apple cart

His activity level and calorie demands and weight all fluctuate throughout the year mostly due to seasonal dog sports that he does and I just try my best to adjust him as needed. Right now he is a little thinner than I like but right before covid hit he was a little chubby. The difference is tracking weather. I know now if I up his food too fast he'll get upset stomach so it is better to let him get thin and increase his food more gradually.

Took me at least the first 2 or 3 years of his life to figure him out.

Thank goodness the other one is a lab who is a garbage disposal and thrives on literally anything
 

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I wanted to add that my dogs have a weight range. We are active fall through spring and they will range anywhere between a setpoint plus five pounds. In the summer we do nothing and their appetite lags from inactivity and heat. They will lose weight and range from the setpoint to five pounds less. Overall, that is a ten pound range within seasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello all, I've been on this forum since I got my GSD 3 years ago. I've used this as a fantastic resource to research many questions that I've had. I'd like to post and get some input. My guy was the runt of the litter. He was 8 lb at 9 weeks and very slowly gained weight as he grew. Breeder said he was not eating well and was picked on by his litter mates. I've always let him eat as much as possible and anything to entice his appetite. He's just never been a big eater. He's fluctuated in weight. At 26in' height full grown, he is currently 55 lb. He was 62 lb in February and has lost weight. He's always fluctuated between 55 and 60. He's always been lean. I had a blood panel done on him in 2018 to check things and my vet for the first two years (I've moved and miss my old vet so much ) and I worked together on different diets and options to try to help him gain weight. He could just be a lean dog with a high metabolism? As far as exercise goes he gets about 1-2 mi of walking per day and lots of fetch sessions/play.
He's had a gastropexy (personal decision I made with vet) and he's always had a sensitive stomach.
Recently he has had diarrhea, very rarely happens. Could be from changing food recently (Wellness CH) so going back to RC GSD mixed with Victor Pro Plus. I found that combo has given him the best weight when he hit 64 lbs. Since the diarrhea continued for a few days I took him to the vet to make sure he didn't get something from the beach and we did a fecal sample. No parasites or Giardia. I'm thinking about doing some blood work (want to rule out EPI) and will most likely move forward with it if things don't improve with weight once we go back to his old food routine and we clear up the bowel issues with the medicine prescribed. Is It possible that he could have lost so much weight in five or six days from not eating a lot and having so much diarrhea?

Doctor said he could just have a sensitive stomach and to stick to some probiotics and a food that works but this is a new vet and I'm just concerned about the weight loss over 4 months. *Side note as I'm writing this I realize that I was only feeding RC GSD from March through May with Ziwi mixed in. I wonder if the Victor Pro plus mixed in helped put on the extra weight? ( Mixed in VPP from November- February Because just VPP alone has stool was too hard)

He's very happy healthy dog otherwise. I guess I'm seeking some comfort and words of advice from some more experienced GSD owners. This is my first GSD. I chose him and I knew what I could be getting as the runt and being sold without a health guarantee from the breeder because of his size. I'm okay with that because I chose him, love him and will support whatever journey we go on. He is my world! I'm being completely transparent about what I walked into when I decided to bring him home.
I'm just seeing if anyone has heard of similar situations or has had a dog that was just leaner and smaller or maybe anyone has advice or words of wisdom for me. Thanks for listening and having this forum available and reading my long rant! Here's some pictures for you to see his size. Top 2 pics are current weight at 55lbs. Bottom two around 60 lbs. Also including a weight log that I've kept on my phone since I've had them to try and remember to track his weight as he grew.

7/14/19: 8 lbs
10/14/17: 29lb
12/6/17: 44lbs
12/27/17: 50lbs

1/18/18: 53 lbs
2/22/18:54 lbs
4/14/18-58lb
6/2/18-56.2lbs
6/14/18- 59lbs
6/29/18- 58lbs
9/6/18-59lbs
9/29/18-58.6lbs
9/22/19-60 lbs
11/23/19-59lbs
12/28/19- 62lbs
2/27/20-64lbs
5/10/20-55 lbs
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I wanted to share an update, The vet we saw Sunday finally called back, we talked about my concerns and I asked about EPI and if we should consider blood work. She suggested to wait and see how things go before testing as GSD are prone to so many sensitive stomach issues. I know my guy has been picky and not a big eater since I got him so it's always been a bumpy road.
Then I contacted my old vet out of state who we had seen for 2 yrs. He was gracious enough to chat with me as he knows we worked on lots of diets when he was a pup and even tried Entice once to try to help increase his appetite. He also said to give it 2-4 months back on our old food combo and add high calorie canned every once in a while if it will encourage him to eat more and then we can revisit if he doesn't improve. He took the time to explain the pancreatic issues dogs and GSD can have and we talked about enzymes. He said it was highly doubtful that my boy had issues as he'd have many other symptoms but if things don't improve we can revisit and consider blood work before we start anything else.
I am glad to have heard from others who have experienced similar situations. Looking back he dropped weight like this one other time in summer when he was 1.5 yrs so the heat aspect is interesting to consider. Hopefully we'll be back to normal soon! He's already eating more and firming up with stools now that we're back on our regular regimen. :)
 
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