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I adopted a 3 year old intact male GSD 2 1/2 weeks ago. He had been in a kennel with an older spayed female. The old gal is quite chubby, while he is quite thin - it appears she got/took more than her fair share of food!

He was neutered last week, and had to have his teeth cleaned. Pre-op bloodwork was done, and revealed nothing out of the ordinary. He weighed 84 pounds, but has a pretty big frame and you can easily feel his ribs and hip bones. He is reasonably active and appears to enjoy, and keeps up with, my 2 year old GSD.

He gets 2 cups of Canadae All Life Stages dry dog food twice a day with a little canned food to hide some supplements once a day, plus treats at least twice a day, and a hard boiled egg every other day. He eats it all, as I feed the dogs in their crates to make sure there are no food issues between the two.

If he doesn't start to gain a little weight in about another month, I am thinking of asking the vet to do some tests on him. Thyroid and diabetes tests come to mind. He was wormed regularly at his former home, but I could ask for a test of a stool sample too. What other tests would you recommend for my skinny guy?
 

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Well, 84 lbs doesn't *immediately* strike me as being thin. How tall is he?

My guy is 25.5 inches tall and weighs 80-82 lbs, just kind of depending on the given day that I weigh him (we drop by the vet's office and weigh him whenever we're in that neighborhood. He loves the staff, and I figure it's always good socialization for him.) He's muscular, and lean, but perfectly fit.

As your boy eats better food, like the Canidae your feeding and gets lots of exercise, he's going to gain muscle mass. He'll likely get more toned and look lean. That's good. If his weight is stable, it *might* be exactly where it should be.

The guideline is that we should be able to feel their ribs, but ribs shouldn't be visibly pronounced; they should have a nice curvy hourglass figure when we look down on them from above; and they should have a "tuck" from their chest up to their abdomen when you look at them from the side. I can feel my guy's hips but I can't see them protruding. Does that help?

What did your vet say about his weight? Can you post a photo of your boy? Is it possible that he just looked emaciated up against the girl? A healthy GSD does look lean (even thin to laypeople). But that's exactly where we want them.

Post a photo. You'll get lots of helpful input!

As for tests (if you decide they're necessary), I'd run complete blood count (CBC), a blood chemistry screen, T-3 & T-4, a urinalysis, a stool sample check. If everything is going in and coming out fine, I think those tests will catch most of what could be going wrong (if anything).

If you have soft or runny stool issues, vomiting or similar, well, there are a lot more tests that can be run. But you don't appear to have any of those?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input! I realize he shouldn't be overweight, especially since I had x-rays done of his spine and hips while he was under anesthesia, and he has a little arthritis in his spine. His stools are on the soft side, but he is still on antibiotics from his surgery and that may be the cause. I did not notice soft stools prior to surgery, or immediately thereafter.

I am not panicking about his appearance of being thin - yet. He is getting more exercise here, and he now gets to eat all of his food without interference. He appears happy, bright, and energetic - not at all sick.

Lisa, what is EPI and TLI?
 

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Originally Posted By: LisaTIf underweight, I would test for EPI by having a TLI run, but be sure to fast him good before the test.
Agree.. When a GSD is eating well still chronically underweight, EPI always comes to mind as a possibility.

Originally Posted By: bluetick what is EPI and TLI?
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
It's a digestive disorder where due to a malfunctioning pancreas, the dogs do not produce the correct enzymes to properly digest food. Basically, and EPI dog can be malnourished, and even starve to death, no matter how much he eats or how good the food is. In the vast majority of cases, it can be easily managed by adjusting diet and adding some enzymes to the food.

TLI is the name of the test that is used to determine if a dog has EPI or not.
 
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