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Discussion Starter #1
We switched Jackson from puppy food to large breed when he was 6 months. Then we switched both our dogs to Wellness from Nutro. But, EVERYONE has commented on him and how sickly skinny he looks. He is growing, but not gaining weight. So I took a good hard look at him today, and he really is very very skinny. His ribs and his spine stick out. All you have to do is look at him. He gets plenty of treats with training as well.
I was thinking of switching him back to puppy food to see if that helps. Or should we seek the vet? He eats 2 cups in the am, and 2 cups in the pm. He acts normal. He does act like he is starving at food time. Like he has never eaten before.. He is 7.5 months, and is 77lbs.
I have an appt with vet on Jan 26th-and he wants a stool sample. But, since Jackson is acting normal-should I be concerned?
 

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Go to the vet with a stool sample. If his ribs are really showing like you say they're showing, he definitely needs to be seen by a vet if he hasn't already just to rule out possible worms or parasites.

When was the last time he was at the vet by the way? What did they have to say about his weight the last time you were there?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He was at the vet in October-he was given the ok for everything. he was smaller, and I don't think he appeared so skinny. But, my other shepherd was really skinny her whole life until we switched to the Wellness. Now she has filled out -at 8.5 years old-and she looks great. her coat is completely different. This switched was great for her. I am thinking that maybe Wellness isn't for him. Not sure though..But weight wise he is ok..
 

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I would definitely make sure that he doesn't have worms and let the vet look him over. I would consider keeping him on some puppy food until about 12 months. A mix of 50/50 puppy/adult is what was recommended to me by my vet.

What does the bag of food say about how much you should be feeding for his weight/age?

German Shepherd Growth Chart and Puppy Growth Rate and Weight

According to this height/growth/weight chart for GSD's he sounds like he's in line with growth but he does sound thin for a GSD at least. And, of course, every dog is unique in how they grow, develop, weigh, etc.

I have seen several male puppies of different breeds go through a huge growth spurt, get tall and lanky and then fill out so it might be something as simple as that.

If you want to you could always add a little extra protein like an egg to his diet. I've seen other people add a little cheese, cottage cheese or yogurt but I don't have experience with adding those to food except as little treats.
 

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Can you post pictures of your pup? Can you actually visibly see his ribs or can you just feel them?

Most people are used to seeing fat dogs so when they see a healthy dog, they think it's too skinny. I used to get tons of comments on how skinny lucy was when she was a puppy, but really she was a perfect weight. Ribs easily felt but not seen is the ideal body type if you ask me.
 

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Shasta eats 6 cups of Nutro daily plus training treats and she weighs around 70 pounds. She is too thin for my husband at her current weight, but just right to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Our older shepherd was always getting comments on her weight, but she was actually the way she should be. Esp because alot of the shepherds are overweight-she may have been a tad skinny, but with the Wellness, she filled out some, (and after bloat surgery she lost tons of weight)-but now she looks great..
Jackson-you can see his ribs, and definately see them as well. He is as tall as our 8.5, and he has a huge head. I will try to post a pic tomorrow. I kind of think he is very skinny. maybe more than he should. But our vet said to take him off the puppy food becuase of his growing too fast.
I don't really want to give him people food if I don't have to.
I have no experience with worms. Because its winter here, I don't look at or pick up poop. Are there any symptoms I would need to look for?
 

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You don't pick up poop? What happens when you're out walking and he goes to the bathroom?

Regarding the puppy food, what kind is he on? Is it a large breed puppy or just regular puppy? You want something low in calcium to slow growth as much as possible.

He may not show any signs at all, but if he's always hungry and not putting on weight, it can be a worm or parasite issue, but only a vet is going to diagnose that. If my dog were having these issues, I'd make an appointment asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Neither of my dogs ever poops on walks. I don't know why.. They just never have. They poop in the back yard, and over winter no one picks up. We have a service pick up in spring and it has worked out great for us for years.
Jackson is on Wellness Large Breed Adult Food since he was 6 months old. He gets 4 cups daily.
I have sent message to vet to see him asap. Thanks.
Like I explained earlier-no experience with worms-so thanks for helping me.
 

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The wellness large breed adult or puppy is fine. They're both low calcium foods, so no reason to switch if you don't want to.

As for the worms, just get him tested and go from there. I've never had experience with them either, but thats why we bring our dogs to vets. They're the professionals and they'll set you in the right direction with what to do if that is the issue.
 

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Shasta eats 6 cups of Nutro daily plus training treats and she weighs around 70 pounds. She is too thin for my husband at her current weight, but just right to me.
wow. kimba is 66 lbs and gets 3 cups a day (usually orijen/acana/canidae grain free) and she is super active.

6 cups seems like a crazy amount of food.
 

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Take him to the vet and get him weighed. The vet will let you know if he looks to thin. Get his stool checked and I would consider a blood panel to rule out anything there.

I do not mean to scare you but when our Rio was 8 months old he was diagnosed with renal failure. In hindsight he was always very thin, had a very narrow behind.
 

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Six cups of food??? WOW My female is 4 1/2 yrs old and gets fed a raw diet. She is given 1 cup in am and 1 cup in pm. She is at 70lbs. I dont weigh her food like some do with a raw diet, I just go by how she looks. Too skinny feed more, too fat, feed less. I have been told that dogs on a raw diet tend to carry a heavier weight so you feed less. I have read a couple of threads about renal failure. Not something I am familiar with. How does one get it?? Just wondering.
 

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Six cups of food??? WOW My female is 4 1/2 yrs old and gets fed a raw diet. She is given 1 cup in am and 1 cup in pm. She is at 70lbs. I dont weigh her food like some do with a raw diet, I just go by how she looks. Too skinny feed more, too fat, feed less. I have been told that dogs on a raw diet tend to carry a heavier weight so you feed less. I have read a couple of threads about renal failure. Not something I am familiar with. How does one get it?? Just wondering.
Usually it comes with older age but can also come from illness. In the case of our pup it was just a bad deck of cards he was dealt at birth. Our breeder had never had a case but things can happen when you breed. My hubby says maybe momma stepped on him or something. His kidneys just did not grow but no one knows why.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
well, our vet wants a stool sample. And then today, my daughter was petting him, and he growled at her and snapped. He has NEVER EVER done that to anyone, and then I was rubbing him, and he did the same thing, so I showed my hubs and he winced and growled again. It appears that when we touch a certain spot on his lower right side between the belly and right hind leg, his tail goes between his legs, and he growled at me. It think there is something more going on here...
But, we went out and looked at his poop in the yard-HOLY SH#$!!! he has eaten everything and his poop is full of toy stuffing, and he even ate part of my kitchen sponge. So, I am wondering if he ate something and its stuck and now he hurts? He is still acting normal-eating normal and pooping normal. But, we are taking him to see vet..
 

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Six cups of food??? WOW My female is 4 1/2 yrs old and gets fed a raw diet. She is given 1 cup in am and 1 cup in pm. She is at 70lbs. I dont weigh her food like some do with a raw diet, I just go by how she looks. Too skinny feed more, too fat, feed less. I have been told that dogs on a raw diet tend to carry a heavier weight so you feed less. I have read a couple of threads about renal failure. Not something I am familiar with. How does one get it?? Just wondering.
I am confused by this post. You feed a raw diet, and portion the meal by cup vs weight?
Kibble is portioned by cups~raw is by weight, not cups.
My rawfed dogs get an average of 2# a day split between meals. They don't "carry a heavier weight" but are very muscled. Not chesty either.
If they were to put on weight, I'd reduce the portion size.
 

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Oh my, I would take him to the e-vet unless your vet is still open. Wishing you best of luck.
 
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