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Hi, I am new to this forum. I hope someone can help me or at least put my mind to rest.
I have a 17 month old female who does not like to eat. This has become such a problem that her ribs are protuding (sp) and her hip bones show. I have taken her to numerious vets over the last year; they seem to be more concerned with the fact that she is not fixed. I was hoping that her lack of appatite (sp) would get better in her 2nd year, but so far this is not the case. Any help, direction, ect you can give would be greatly appreciated. Below are some details and what I have tried so far.
General dog details
1. She now weighs around 55 pounds.
2. She is only eating 2 - 3 cups a day and probably 3 out of 7 days less than 2 cups of food.
3. Her dam weighed between 60 - 70 lbs and her sire weighed around 90 lbs.
4. She is full blood American GS, short haired.
General Health
1. Teeth look good; no noticiable signs of any infection. This was verified by a vet in September.
2. Stool look good too; semi soft; goes 1 - 2 times a day.
3. Coat is shiny with minimal/average shedding
rarely vomits
What I have tried
1. Changing dog foods. I currently have her on Timber Wolf. Expensive I know, but as little as she eats I need to get top quality in her.
2. Adding hamburger meat (tried cooked and raw); bacon (cooked); chicken (cooked) to her food. 50% of the time this will get her to eat all her food. The other 50% she may eat half of her food.
3. Giving her a dose of Cyproheptadine. This came from a vet. It is normally for allergies, but it is also suppose to be an appeite (sp) stimuli. I only give her this when I am absolutly desperate (she hasn't eaten a full 4 cup meal in 3 or more days). This only works about 50% of the time too.
___________
As a side note, I am considering breeding her next year (when she is 2). If I can't get a good handle on this eating though.....:eek:
 

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How much exercise is she getting?

Is she more interested in raw food?

Have you tried adding a high quality canned food to her meals? what about low-fat cottage cheese or scrambled eggs? There are lots of things you can add to kibble to make it tastier and more appealing. I would cut the bacon out entirely though.

Has she ever had any digestive problems? Does she ever appear nauseous? What does she do when you put her food down?
 

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Sorry I can't offer any advice to help you, but there are many on this forum that can give you knowledgedable information. Welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for responding. Here are my answers.

How much exercise is she getting? We play fetch every day and she plays with my 4 year old male. I would say she gets moderate exercise.

Is she more interested in raw food? Some days yes, some no. Nothing seems to be working on a long term consistant basis.

Have you tried adding a high quality canned food to her meals? what about low-fat cottage cheese or scrambled eggs? There are lots of things you can add to kibble to make it tastier and more appealing. I would cut the bacon out entirely though.
The one time I tried canned dog food, she would not touch it at all. I have tried the cottage cheese and the eggs. I have also tried cooked vegetables. Nothing seems to work on a consistant basis.

Has she ever had any digestive problems? Does she ever appear nauseous? What does she do when you put her food down?
I have had her since she was 8 weeks. She has never had any digestive issues. I think she has maybe vomited 3 times since I got her. As for what she does at feeding, she is trained to wait until I give the go ahead to eat. I usually give the go ahead as soon as I have put the food down and stepped back. She always goes to the food and usually takes at least one bite. From there though, she may or may not finish her food.
 

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I hope you find a solution to this problem.

The only thing I can think of is getting a second opinion from a different vet.
 

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Hi, I am new to this forum. I hope someone can help me or at least put my mind to rest.
I have a 17 month old female who does not like to eat. This has become such a problem that her ribs are protuding (sp) and her hip bones show. I have taken her to numerious vets over the last year; they seem to be more concerned with the fact that she is not fixed. I was hoping that her lack of appatite (sp) would get better in her 2nd year, but so far this is not the case. Any help, direction, ect you can give would be greatly appreciated. Below are some details and what I have tried so far.
General dog details
1. She now weighs around 55 pounds.
2. She is only eating 2 - 3 cups a day and probably 3 out of 7 days less than 2 cups of food.
3. Her dam weighed between 60 - 70 lbs and her sire weighed around 90 lbs.
4. She is full blood American GS, short haired.
General Health
1. Teeth look good; no noticiable signs of any infection. This was verified by a vet in September.
2. Stool look good too; semi soft; goes 1 - 2 times a day.
3. Coat is shiny with minimal/average shedding
rarely vomits
What I have tried
1. Changing dog foods. I currently have her on Timber Wolf. Expensive I know, but as little as she eats I need to get top quality in her.
2. Adding hamburger meat (tried cooked and raw); bacon (cooked); chicken (cooked) to her food. 50% of the time this will get her to eat all her food. The other 50% she may eat half of her food.
3. Giving her a dose of Cyproheptadine. This came from a vet. It is normally for allergies, but it is also suppose to be an appeite (sp) stimuli. I only give her this when I am absolutly desperate (she hasn't eaten a full 4 cup meal in 3 or more days). This only works about 50% of the time too.
___________
As a side note, I am considering breeding her next year (when she is 2). If I can't get a good handle on this eating though.....:eek:
I know you have spent good money on that food but it is not a high quality food. Your dog sounds like a classic "mid-grade" dog food dog. Adding stuff or changing foods just makes this worse.

Feed a mid-grade food and I will bet you she gains weight and does better.

You can't go wrong with Pro Pac. No toppings, no mixing in.

Tough love, in three days she will be begging to eat.
 

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could it be she doesn't like the Timberwolf? My dogs would not eat it. There are a lot of good foods, it might be a matter of experimenting to find one that she will eat.
 

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That doesn't sound like much exercise. Have you ever tried upping the exercise (taking her hiking, swimming, running, etc.) to see if that would make a difference?

It sounds like the OP has tried a variety of grades of food without success.
I strongly disagree with the tough love approach (as in, they will eat when they're hungry).

The canned food that has worked for every dog I've ever known to be a picky eater is Merricks. It's a natural, gravy-style food.
 

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I don't agree with the tough love approach in this case either. What would it gain with a dog that has no interest in eating?

Jax would go through stages where she wouldn't eat. I switched her to 100% RAW and haven't had a problem. The most she got, of TOTW, was 3 cups so about 2 1/2 was normal. Personally, I'm not sure that there is a problem with the amount your girl is eating.

Not sure of your girl's bone structure but 55 lbs on a female less than 2 yrs old doesn't sound bad. Could you post pictures of her? Is it possible she is just going through growth spurts and her bones sticking out is just the gangly period they go through?

And before you decide to follow through with breeding her, please contact a reputable breeder and ask for their opinions and knowledge.
 

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I don't agree with the tough love approach in this case either. What would it gain with a dog that has no interest in eating?

Jax would go through stages where she wouldn't eat. I switched her to 100% RAW and haven't had a problem. The most she got, of TOTW, was 3 cups so about 2 1/2 was normal. Personally, I'm not sure that there is a problem with the amount your girl is eating.

Not sure of your girl's bone structure but 55 lbs on a female less than 2 yrs old doesn't sound bad. Could you post pictures of her? Is it possible she is just going through growth spurts and her bones sticking out is just the gangly period they go through?

And before you decide to follow through with breeding her, please contact a reputable breeder and ask for their opinions and knowledge.
That's exactly what I was thinking.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all. As for the tough love, she inadvertantly got it while we were gone for 4 days. I feed her and my male enough food for the 4 days and my male eat all of it in 1 day. She ate well and then some for about 3 days after we got home, then went back to her old eating habits.

As for changing dog foods, below are all the ones I have tried (from "junk" to top of the line).
Petagree (sp), dog chow, perina (sp) one, timber wolf, perniel (sp). Silly dog even will refuse dog treats like bacon if she is not hungry.

I will try the suggested can (Merricks) and dry (Pro Pac)dog food. Any idea where I can get it? I have a walmart and a tractor supply near me. I go into Dallas once a month and I have a Petsmart and a Petco there.

I will also up her exercise.
_____
As a side note, in your opinion, is it a bad idea to breed her just based on these eating habits? I know that many personality trates from the female is passed on. Other than eating, her health checks out to be good (according to the vet).

Again, thank you everyone for your suggestions.
 

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Thank you all. As for the tough love, she inadvertantly got it while we were gone for 4 days. I feed her and my male enough food for the 4 days and my male eat all of it in 1 day. She ate well and then some for about 3 days after we got home, then went back to her old eating habits.

As for changing dog foods, below are all the ones I have tried (from "junk" to top of the line).
Petagree (sp), dog chow, perina (sp) one, timber wolf, perniel (sp). Silly dog even will refuse dog treats like bacon if she is not hungry.

I will try the suggested can (Merricks) and dry (Pro Pac)dog food. Any idea where I can get it? I have a walmart and a tractor supply near me. I go into Dallas once a month and I have a Petsmart and a Petco there.

I will also up her exercise.
_____
As a side note, in your opinion, is it a bad idea to breed her just based on these eating habits? I know that many personality trates from the female is passed on. Other than eating, her health checks out to be good (according to the vet).

Again, thank you everyone for your suggestions.
Can you get TOTW where you are at?

It's a high quality grain free food.

I buy a 30 pound bag for $39.99

I made a thread about their formulas, here is the link
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/diet-nutrition/144385-totw-formulas.html
 

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Thank you all. As for the tough love, she inadvertantly got it while we were gone for 4 days. I feed her and my male enough food for the 4 days and my male eat all of it in 1 day. She ate well and then some for about 3 days after we got home, then went back to her old eating habits.
I'm confused? Where did you leave them while you were gone for 4 days that he was able to eat all their food in one day?

As a side note, in your opinion, is it a bad idea to breed her just based on these eating habits? I know that many personality trates from the female is passed on. Other than eating, her health checks out to be good (according to the vet).
What health checks has she had? Do you know her pedigree? Does she compete in any shows or trials?
 

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IMO, if you haven't done the proper health testing and haven't titled her (which to me is a test of what your dog is) then she shouldn't be bred.

I'm still not convinced that she isn't eating enough. It sounds like she is eating an appropriate amount. Pedigree, Purina are junk but still they recommend about 2-3 cups per day so if she is just off her food for a couple days a week then I would think she is going through growth spurts or her body is not absorbing the nutrients appropriately but the amount of food she's eating sounds correct to me.

whoa..missed the 4 days alone part...how long ago was that? how much weight did she lose the four days she didn't have anything to eat?
 

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I'm still not convinced that she isn't eating enough. It sounds like she is eating an appropriate amount. Pedigree, Purina are junk but still they recommend about 2-3 cups per day so if she is just off her food for a couple days a week then I would think she is going through growth spurts or her body is not absorbing the nutrients appropriately but the amount of food she's eating sounds correct to me.
This is a good point. What are her stools like? Is it possible she has a digestive problem that hasn't been diagnosed yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I see the additional posts....Pictures can be a challenge on my computer, but I will try to get something on-line this week.
Maybe my expectations for eating is too high. I only have my male to compare to and he eats 4 1/2 cups a day (more if I would let him). He is fixed and I noticed this increase in appiete (sp) since I got him fixed; he still weighs about 80 - 85 lbs.

I really do not want to get her fixed, because I have always had a negative experience when my dogs have gotten fixed (outside of GSs). Their appiete always seems to be unstoppable (e.g my male eating 4 days of food for 2 dogs in 1 day) and their health seems to go down.
 

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LOL You guys are posting faster than I can keep up. (I soo appreciate it).

---Alone for 4 days - at my ranch. This was the first test to see if both dogs could be left for a long weekend. My male has always been able to do this, but this is the first time I have done this with my female. Obviously the test failed so I will not be able to leave her for a long weekend. She did loose about 5 lbs; through lots of convincing (me to her) I got her weight back up to about 58 lbs.
---Side note, this not eating issue did not just show up. I have had this problem from the day I got her at 8 weeks. Every meal takes convincing to get her to eat. I am looking to see if there is a better way.

---So 2 -3 cups a day is ok at 14 months? My male was eating 5 - 6 cups a day at this age (before I got him fixed). Maybe I am being overly worrying.

---As for breeding, she is not registered. I got her from a Dallas cop where I saw both the sire and the dam. There are no trials or shows to compare against.
The breeding is going to be a one time thing. Rose (my female) could throw white (her dam did and her great granddad was white). She has got an ideal "home pet" personality; type 3 temperment (scale of 1 (shy) to 5 (very alpha); minimal alpha tendencies and only with my male; very curious but uderstands I am alpha and has never challenged me for the status. My mother and my husband's oldest son is wanting an off spring based on her personality and the posibility of white pups. I am also wanting a pup to start from the beginning for handicap training for my husband. Rose is doing great in this training, but she has bonded completely with me (as I wanted) and I am needing one for my husband. I have also had 2 other puppy requests.
Breeding will not be a permanent thing, nor will it be for profit. I am only looking as this for a one time thing.
-- Stools - semi soft; medium brown in color. I have had a vet do a full blood and stool work up ($500 worth) and everything came back normal. The only exam she has not had is the hip dysplesia (sp).
 

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I hate to hi-jack the thread here, but I'm facing a bit of a similar issue.

A bit of background..

My breeder suggested I feed a partial raw mix w/ Royal Cannin LBP kibble. When she came home I followed that suggestion and noted she itched a bit more than what I think is normal for a flea-free pup. So I researched here, and got my pup on Innova LBP kibble still doing the partial raw feeding. After a while (when she finished the first 30lb bag of Innova) she wasn't eating much. I chalked it up to her being a picky eater and figured she had just gotten bored of the Innova. Well found out our hiking trip had given her the opportunity to drink out of a pond infected with Giardia and Cocidia (sp?). The vet explained that was likely the cause of her eating habit change. I still noticed a little itching and went back to the specialty feed store and talked to their nutritionist who suggested I try a grain free food, and I tried the Natural Balance Duck and Potato blend if memory serves me right. She didn't really seem too enthusiastic about eating it, but back then she was "puppy-gone-wild" when she knew it was chow time. But her little tummy did not agree with that food.. Very upset puppy tummy! So I went back to Innova and did until recently. She's just turning 1 year of age and I have tried Innova Adult, and EVO (Red meat formula) and she just doesn't eat anything other than the raw stuff I give her. Occasionally she'll nibble at it, but if I had to put some figures down, I'd say she's eating 2-3 cups a week of kibble.

However, she's currently going through her 2nd heat cycle and came into it just as I ran out of Innova LBP and switched her to the EVO/Innova Adult. Could her cycle be affecting her eating habits? She still eats her chicken legs and other raw food like normal, but just seems a bit disinterested in her kibble.

I've tried adding a splash of low sodium chicken broth over the kibble to entice her, but she'll sniff, give it a lick and taste and then walk away disinterested.

She's very healthy and has no health issues past or present to speak of. She's about 24" and weighs right around 63lbs. Very fit dog with tons of energy. We exercise daily with no less than 2-3 mile walk/hike. Occasionally she treks alongside me as I venture off into the desert with my mountain bike on 5-6 mile excursions.

Her typical diet was 2 cups of kibble in the AM w/ a chicken leg (or similar) and the same again in the evening. I've never had to spice up her kibble to get her interested in eating. She used to be so excited for chow time and would make a mad dash for where her food bowl was and sit for me while I prepared her meal. She would eat her meal in a single sitting. Now she's somewhat excited, probably because she knows I give her the chicken/ect to start, and put her kibble down while she's crunching bones/ect. But she'll go up to and sniff the kibble, and that's about it.

Is this just a "female thing" she's going through because of her cycle, or does this sound like another issue? I haven't seen the need to take her to the vet because her energy levels are normal as well as her drive to perform during training. She seems her normal self other than her not wanting to eat kibble..

I'd be grateful for anyone to share their thoughts. Even if it's just to put my mind at rest. Thanks to you all in advance, and my apologies to the original poster for using your thread!
 

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---As for breeding, she is not registered. I got her from a Dallas cop where I saw both the sire and the dam. There are no trials or shows to compare against.
The breeding is going to be a one time thing. Rose (my female) could throw white (her dam did and her great granddad was white). She has got an ideal "home pet" personality; type 3 temperment (scale of 1 (shy) to 5 (very alpha); minimal alpha tendencies and only with my male; very curious but uderstands I am alpha and has never challenged me for the status. My mother and my husband's oldest son is wanting an off spring based on her personality and the posibility of white pups. I am also wanting a pup to start from the beginning for handicap training for my husband. Rose is doing great in this training, but she has bonded completely with me (as I wanted) and I am needing one for my husband. I have also had 2 other puppy requests.
Breeding will not be a permanent thing, nor will it be for profit. I am only looking as this for a one time thing.
-- Stools - semi soft; medium brown in color. I have had a vet do a full blood and stool work up ($500 worth) and everything came back normal. The only exam she has not had is the hip dysplesia (sp).
Please do not breed your dog, there are already way too many animals dying in shelters everyday because people "wanted a puppy from their dog" or they wanted to make a quick buck or their unaltered animal got out and bred with another dog or strays that keep reproducing. So please go take a look at your local animal shelter, more than half of those dogs in there will not be making it back out. :teary:

You should be worried that you might not be able to find homes for all of them. What if she gives birth to 12 puppies? If you cant find homes for them are you going to take care of all 12 puppies? You would be responsible for bringing all 12 of those puppies into this world so it would be your responsibilty to take care of all the ones that dont find homes. It will be your responsibility to make sure they dont end up in the shelter and get put to sleep. Chances are one of your puppies is going to be bred and then their puppies will be bred and then their puppies will be bred and you will be a BYB that contributed more puppies to the world when there already isn't enough homes for the puppies that are here now.
 
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