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Too Skinny? Conflicting Vet Opinions


a_daerr
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Took Truman to the vet yesterday for his before-neuter checkup. I'm having him neutered at the vet we use for the adoption group because our regular vet quoted me a price upwards of $500. I thought that was kind of steep, since most of our adoptable dogs get spay/neuters, dentals, and vaccinations for around $250. Anyway, when I took him to this other place, the vet commented that he was really underweight! This was pretty shocking to me because, although skinny, he is still a puppy. He's a very lanky, tall boy who just keeps getting taller and longer. My regular vet said he was fine, and that he should fill out eventually. They weighed him at 73-pounds, but this vet said he should be closer to 85. She also said that it wasn't good that the bones in his spine, ribs, and hip plates are visible.

 

Now, keep in mind, he eats like a horse. I give him two cups of dry food in the morning, two cups at night, and a can of wet food everyday. Should I bump up his food intake? Feed him something different? I'm worried now!

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Young dogs have faster metabolisms. I wouldn't be too concerned that he's skinny because I believe that he will, in fact, fill out as he gets a little older...but if he still has spine and hips showing I would try and up his caloric intake more.

 

My 3yo 72lb boy eats 4 measured cups of good quality food a day, plus a dentastix and a half dozen small dog biscuits. I would think your younger and bigger boy would need a good deal more than that.

~Amanda

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Some vets don't know what a greyhound is supposed to look like. Especially puppies since they are so uncommon. One of the worst things you can do to a large breed puppy is cram him full of food just to make him fill out. Greyhounds are supposed to have ribs/hips visible to a certain extent. Can you post a picture?

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

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Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
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Up his food to about 3 cups a day. While having the last two ribs visible is OK, the spine, hip bones, and the rest of the ribs shouldn't be that visible.

 

My new boy was just about two when I got him and he is also a "lanky" boy who is underweight (I called him my giraffe - all legs that he quite doesn't know what to do with). He gets about 3 cups in the morning and again at night and he still has some more filling out to do.

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The board certified vet I used to use when I lived in Louisville said they SHOULD be pretty darn lean and that some (like my Slim) would remain that way(bony even) regardless of how much you tried to feed them. Lean dogs live longer and are usually more healthy IMO. Leerburg, whose system I am using to train my malinois, flat out says to keep them lean with a nice tuck. It has been my experience that this is particularly good for greyhounds because of the leg, spine issues etc so many greys have. They have a whole lot less pain and suffer a lot less if they don't have to support and carry around excess weight. I would probably up your boys food a little and then watch him carefully to make sure he doesn't gain too much. If he doesn't then you can feel pretty good that he is getting the optimum amount(might even try uping a little more etc.); if he starts to gain to much and lose his lean healthy physicque then I would cut back again. But thats an easy way to find out. You definitely do not want him to grow too fast-that would be harmful. I certainly wouldn't worry though. Many many more pet dogs are harmed by too much than by too little IMO.

Edited by racindog
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How old?

He turns one-year-old on 8/31/12.

 

Some vets don't know what a greyhound is supposed to look like. Especially puppies since they are so uncommon. One of the worst things you can do to a large breed puppy is cram him full of food just to make him fill out. Greyhounds are supposed to have ribs/hips visible to a certain extent. Can you post a picture?

That's what I was thinking... but this vet deals with a lot of greyhounds. Apparently, one of the techs also raised a greyhound puppy that has been seen there for awhile. So I would think they know what they're talking about? I don't know. I have a couple pictures of him posted under my Grapehounds Pics thread. You can see that he's pretty tall.

 

Up his food to about 3 cups a day. While having the last two ribs visible is OK, the spine, hip bones, and the rest of the ribs shouldn't be that visible.

 

My new boy was just about two when I got him and he is also a "lanky" boy who is underweight (I called him my giraffe - all legs that he quite doesn't know what to do with). He gets about 3 cups in the morning and again at night and he still has some more filling out to do.

I call Truman "the dinosaur" for the same reason!

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From one puppy owner to another, I would not worry about it. Truman will fill out with time, sounds like he is getting plenty of food, he is just a young dog and needs time to fill in. My last grey puppy took forever to get to her adult weight of 58# (female) and she was always lean. Jack, now 8 months is long, lean and lanky. He is going to be on the small side, weighed a whopping 38.4 lbs. at his neuter. Jack's neuter, done last week would have been about 300.00 dollars but I had to do some extra blood work so it was more expensive. My sister had her Aussie neutered at one year and it was more expensive due to his age? Good luck with the neuter, Jack bounced back fine.

Linda, Keeva and Jack

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We are going through the same thing with Lehto who is 15 months now and just 2 days ago we were at the vet.

Just to give you an idea, Lehto is the same shoulder height as our 3 year old foster greyhound is, but he only weighs 56 pounds at this moment.

I am not worried though, he is healthy and still needs to fill out.

And really, my vet wasn't worried either, she sees them rather a bit on the skinny side than overweight.

Lehto gets 4 cups of food, most of all our hounds and we have started to add some red meat to it.

And finally since a few days, he isn't eating like he is starved anymore.

 

To be honest, I had to get used to the greyhounds over here, most of the ones I have met up till now, unless they came straight from the track, look too heavy to me.

I prefer seeing some ribs as long as the dog is muscular also.

 

As for young dogs, I have seen so many growing up galgo's that grow faster than their owners can feed them, I am not worried.

Edited by galgomum
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From one puppy owner to another, I would not worry about it. Truman will fill out with time, sounds like he is getting plenty of food, he is just a young dog and needs time to fill in. My last grey puppy took forever to get to her adult weight of 58# (female) and she was always lean. Jack, now 8 months is long, lean and lanky. He is going to be on the small side, weighed a whopping 38.4 lbs. at his neuter. Jack's neuter, done last week would have been about 300.00 dollars but I had to do some extra blood work so it was more expensive. My sister had her Aussie neutered at one year and it was more expensive due to his age? Good luck with the neuter, Jack bounced back fine.

Linda, Keeva and Jack

 

Thanks, Linda! I think Truman was 40 pounds when we brought him home (16 weeks). So he has grown a lot, but not through the middle. I'm going to start giving him a higher calorie type of wet food (I bought Nutro chicken and oatmeal puppy formula) and see if that makes a difference. We are having a birthday party for Truman over Labor Day Weekend as a last hurrah before the neuter. :blowcandle

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Some vets don't know what a greyhound is supposed to look like. Especially puppies since they are so uncommon. One of the worst things you can do to a large breed puppy is cram him full of food just to make him fill out. Greyhounds are supposed to have ribs/hips visible to a certain extent. Can you post a picture?

That's what I was thinking... but this vet deals with a lot of greyhounds. Apparently, one of the techs also raised a greyhound puppy that has been seen there for awhile. So I would think they know what they're talking about? I don't know. I have a couple pictures of him posted under my Grapehounds Pics thread. You can see that he's pretty tall.

 

Just looked up the thread. He looks great! I wouldn't worry at all. Maybe what your vet sees is the lack of muscle tone, which is typical of greyhound puppies raised in pet homes. They don't get the same amount of daily sprinting that race-trained greyhounds get and, as a result, don't get as muscled up as the ones that are trained to race. Also, musculature aside, AKC greyhounds have such a different build from the NGA greyhounds. That could be another factor. Either way, you have nothing to worry about. He looks excellent. :)

| Rachel | Dewty, Trigger, and Charlotte | Missing Dazzle, Echo, and Julio |

dewttrigsnowsig.jpg
Learn what your greyhound's life was like before becoming part of yours!
"The only thing better than the cutest kitty in the world is any dog." -Daniel Tosh

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Guest LindsaySF

Can you post a photo?

 

Pups tend to be tall and lanky before they fill out, and they look funny for a while. I like to keep my dogs fit, but I also don't like them too ribby. I don't worry about hip bones, it depends on the build of the dog.

 

Just because this vet sees a lot of Greyhounds doesn't mean they know what Greyhounds should look like. Most adoption groups see a ton of Greyhounds but in some groups they are all fat. :)

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I looked up the Grapehounds thread with his photos, and he looks fine to me in those. Here's a link to that thread for easy reference. I'm assuming he's the taller, darker brindle. I don't really seen ribs in those pics, but maybe it's the angle? Or does he look more bony now? I really don't worry too much about weight in adolescent dogs. Especially if they are pretty active, many go through a lanky phase. If all or most of the ribs are visible, you can increase feeding by a little. Even in mature dogs, I'd rather see a healthy dog who is a little underweight, than one who is even a little overweight.

 

I agree that with Truman being a 1-yr-old AKC greyhound, he may look different from what the adoption group's vet is used to seeing. Most retired racing greyhounds are at least 18-24 months old, and NGA greys also have a different build than most AKC greys. The tech's greyhound puppy may be the only one that vet has ever seen.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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I wouldn't worry too much. If he's got serious dinosaur spine, maybe give him a bit more food -but I'd do the addition with meat. Hamburger, chicken, etc. straight up protein - not that I think you're underfeeding him. And - the extra food might not even make an appearace or weight impact. And bulk packages of burger of chicken are actaully less expensive than dogfood - more bang for your buck. And eggs! Add and egg per day to his food. Cheap and easy! Raw cracked on dogfood is just fine - throw in the shell and see if he'll eat it. Some do - some don't.

 

I've never personally had a grey that young - but think about teenage boys. They eat like hogs - and look like lanky twigs. Once your pup grows up, he won't eat nearly as much. He just hasn't filled out yet.

 

And - some greys just "run thin". My grey Diana, after years of being a super-skinny pet grey that I just couldn't put weight on to get her to "look" healthy - is now gaining pounds - but she still looks skinny - age is turning muscle to fat so the scale is going up- but she still looks skinny.

 

Worry more about health - energy level - overall appearance. Many greyhound-savvy vets don't know what a "normal" greyhoud should really look like because there are SO MANY overweight greys around.

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I'm another one in the don't worry too much camp unless he's truly emaciated, and it doesn't sound like he is. Your guy is in the scrawny adolescent phase. Besides, they are supposed to be lean machines. I like to be able to see the points of the hip bones, a faint outline of the spine--he shouldn't look like a stegosaurus--and 2 or 3 ribs (though the rib thing can vary based on the hound's build). It's hard on a greyhound to carry much excess weight. Alas, there are so many tubby greyhounds that your vet may be accustomed to seeing that.

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

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Oh my, I have seen your boy at grapehounds and he does look great.

Lehto was a lot skinnier at that age. I think I agree with Brindles, he could do with a bit more muscle, but that might be because I am used to my little muscle butt.

But believe me, your boy looks fine and he caught the attention of many with his looks

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maybe give him a bit more food -but I'd do the addition with meat. Hamburger, chicken, etc. straight up protein - not that I think you're underfeeding him. And - the extra food might not even make an appearace or weight impact. And bulk packages of burger of chicken are actaully less expensive than dogfood - more bang for your buck. And eggs! Add and egg per day to his food.

 

Nothing wrong with adding meat, unless you have a picky eater who might get more picky for fresh food. But personally, I prefer to just increase the dry dog food if you want to increase caloric intake. Most fresh food is going to be less calorie dense than the same volume of kibble since fresh food has a high volume of moisture. For example most dry dog foods average around 400 calories per cup, typically ranging from 300-500, with many of the higher end and grain-free foods closer to the 500. In comparison, a cup of ground beef or diced chicken breast is closer to 240 calories, and a whole, large egg is only about 75 calories.

 

And - some greys just "run thin". My grey Diana, after years of being a super-skinny pet grey that I just couldn't put weight on to get her to "look" healthy - is now gaining pounds - but she still looks skinny - age is turning muscle to fat so the scale is going up- but she still looks skinny.

 

I agree that some dog just "run thin". Everyone once in a while, I'll get a dog presented for an appointment because the owner is worried the dog is too thin. Most of the time, it's a young, healthy, active dog. If the dog is otherwise healthy, I don't worry about it and let the owner know that a little too thin is healthier than a little too heavy.

 

However, muscle weighs more than fat, so if an older dog is looking the same, but muscle mass is decreasing, I'd expect weight to also decrease...

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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Not that I am an expert by any means but I have met very few greyhounds that weigh 85lbs and aren't overweight. Peyton is a large male with long limbs and torso and he weighs between 75-77lbs. At his heaviest, he was 82lb, I believe, and he was flabby with poor muscle tone.

 

From the pics I saw, your pup looks fine to me. :)

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Thanks for all the helpful info! I see how much he eats, so I know he is well-fed. He definitely does have "stegosaurus spine" and his hips are bony. But after reading all these posts, my opinion is that he's going to end up being a big boy, so he will most likely fill out after his bones are done growing. Instead of feeding more, I'm going to supplement with canned food that has a higher calorie content. And instead of two big meals, I'm going to try three regular-sized meals. If he's still looking scrawny in a couple months, I'll try more add-ins. I think it would be hard to incorporate fresh meat and eggs when I have three, and they all want what each other has.

 

Rachel and Petra, thanks for the compliments on his pics! :)

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looked at the link, he's fine! don't worry. come to my vet- he LOVES skinny dogs! when felix was down to 74-5#s he though he looked GREAT! he went back to 77(which is really a big difference in my eyes) and my vet commented that he can't gain an ounce. felix is 29.5" at the withers(shoulders). give him time to fill out, and his roach back will soften up and be covered. it takes many months for the legs, hips, shoulders to even out. nothing grows together, and a good roach(but not too much) helps w/ turns while running. i'll see if i can find a pic of felix at 7 months, all ribs, high rear and big big ears. (only a mother could love!)

 

http://xa.yimg.com/k...178256/name/n_a

 

3 yrs, look at the difference...

 

http://xa.yimg.com/k...me/DSCN0037.jpg

 

btw....4 cups a day at 7 months and now. just receintly i started to reduce it to 3 3/4 every other day or on hot lazy summer days.

Edited by cleptogrey
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