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Discussion Starter #1
So came across this GSD that is in need of a foster home, and I was just wondering (the SPCA vet said that she is healthy) if it is possible for this dog to have gotten so morbidly obese from just lack of exercise and over feeding alone? Here is a picture of the dog

Is it possible for me to get this dog back in shape and to a decent size/weight or will she never be as slim as a GSD should be? Would me feeding her portioned meals and lots of exercise get her started in the right direction? I am going to foster her but would like to know if it is possible or if I am going to be attempting something that isnt going to work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Forgot to mention the dog is 4 years old
 

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Just like humans, lack of exercise and excessive food causes obesity. It'll probably take a while and you'll have to go at her pace but proper care should have her slimming down. Talk it over with the vet and they should help you come up with a plan for her
 

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Good question. The dog across the street from me used to look like that. She could barely walk. I don't know what the owners did, but she did lose weigh. But she's still a fat Lab. :) I would imagine that GSD can't do a lot of exercize at the moment.
 

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I'd put her on a raw diet first and foremost...it will help with the weight problem and then build muscle as she gets much needed exercise. If she has a thyroid issue, it usually presents in the skin/coat condition as well. How is her condition other than they obesity?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd put her on a raw diet first and foremost...it will help with the weight problem and then build muscle as she gets much needed exercise. If she has a thyroid issue, it usually presents in the skin/coat condition as well. How is her condition other than they obesity?
I was thinking a raw diet might be best as well but not sure how to start her out with it as she has only ever eaten low quality kibble. Other than her being obese she is in fair health, her coat and skin are ok a little oily but thats probably due to lack of proper grooming they said she hadnt had a bath since she was a puppy. She tested negative for heartworm as well... I will be taking her to MY vet to give her a second look over and maybe draw some blood work as well (out of my own pocket), and the SPCA normally covers cost of food for dogs in foster but I will tell them (because they can only afford low quality kibble) that I will pay for food while she is in my care. Im just waiting for the paper work to go through and I should have her in my care early next week.
 

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There are other signs of thyroid...loss of hair, usually symmetrical on both sides, greasy skin, thickening of nose leather, snarkiness.

I would run a thyroid test, it's only about $40. But my guess is lots of table scraps, overfeeding and no exercise caused this.
 

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Oh my goodness, that poor girl. She looks happy, but is going to feel waaaay better after you get that weight off. Good for you for fostering, and for going the extra mile taking funds from your own pocket to do right by her!
 

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Oh my goodness, that poor girl. She looks happy, but is going to feel waaaay better after you get that weight off. Good for you for fostering, and for going the extra mile taking funds from your own pocket to do right by her!
Thanks I try to do what I can. I foster often (I havent had a foster since Diesel died but I am ready to start doing it again as Penny is not so puppy anymore and is well trained so will be easier to manage another dog). Every month though I take in two large jugs of bleach (thats what they clean with) Lysol wipes, two large bag of kitty litter, two large bags of cat food and sometimes will take dog food in as well. When I have time I walk the dogs there but with the training Penny and I have been doing, my work, soccer and softball, volunteering other places my time gets chewed up pretty fast but as I said I do what I can to help, every little bit counts :) Just wish more people would make an effort as its really rewarding.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Our old girl always had a weight problem. The underwater treadmill took pounds off of her very quickly.
I will take her swimming often (I was told she likes the water) so Im hoping with a few walks a day, lots of play time and swimming with a good diet she will shed the pounds quickly, she will probably look like a completely different dog lol
 

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Start out slow on the exercise. You don't want her to be sore or stress her body. Any training treats should be her meals, take her for short walks throughout the day. Once she starts losing weight and building muscle, then take her swimming. You don't want her to get out into a pond or lake and not be strong enough to swim back.

Animals are no different than people. You can't expect a 300# person to swim a marathon the first week of getting into shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Start out slow on the exercise. You don't want her to be sore or stress her body. Any training treats should be her meals, take her for short walks throughout the day. Once she starts losing weight and building muscle, then take her swimming. You don't want her to get out into a pond or lake and not be strong enough to swim back.

Animals are no different than people. You can't expect a 300# person to swim a marathon the first week of getting into shape.
Oh I know lol but she will get there Im sure! She wont be able to join Penny and me for our 1.5 hour long walks twicce a day but Im sure I can take her for several shorter walks a day and swim in the semi shallow stream near my house, I of course will be going in the water with her and have a long line on her incase of any trouble :)
 

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Oh, that poor girl! She's probably just obese from overfeeding and underexercising. Before doing any strenuous exercise (anything other than walks), put her on a reducing diet. Raw would be great, meaty bones will give her something to chew on so she doesn't feel so... deprived. :) It's pretty easy to get the weight off just through diet. Don't be afraid to fast her for a day or two, and don't be afraid to feed her very small amounts for the first couple of weeks, even if she acts like she's starving. The quicker the weight comes off, the quicker you can start exercising, and the more she can exercise, the faster the weight will come off.

If she likes to swim, that is excellent for obese dogs. As she drops weight, you can start to lengthen her walks and perhaps introduce some roadwork with a bicycle at a gentle trot. Make sure her nails are nice and short before doing any exercise, chances are her nails have been neglected and she hasn't been wearing them down properly. If the nails are long, it can cause the foot to splay, which can cause pain and possible injury. But be careful--the blood supply to the nail grows out as the nail grows, so you may have to chip away at the nails little by little so that the vein recedes.
 

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RAW diet will definitely get rid of that "hay" belly! And quickly. No added carbs means no added sugars so no unnecessary calories.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well just an update, after everything was said and done I was accepted to foster this dog BUT in the end they decided that the other GSD that this one lived with their entire lives would be best suited to go together and I do not have the time/energy/money to take in TWO more dogs not just one.. But they have found another great foster home so I am glad :)
 
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