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Skinny? Or Not?


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51 members have voted

  1. 1. Rainy's weight?

    • You're starving that dog!
      37
    • Just right
      14
    • Too chunky (this might be impossible)
      0


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Rainy is a lovely girl. I chose "just right" because I would not say she is starving; and I agree with the poster who said it is better to err on the thinner side.

She reminds me of my Lea (now 9 yrs old)when we first got her last year. She seemed a little too ribby to us, so we increased her food a bit and put a couple of lbs on her. We call it her "pet weight" :-)

A few ribs still show, but she is far from overweight.

Theresa (Tess)

Mom to Elliott (Sol Flasher) and Lea (PTL Lea)

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According to the numbers she doesn't need thyriod meds. But now I feel like a horrible mom! We've been dealing with noise phobias that branches into car phobia, etc since July 2011. We have tried multiple anxiety meds, natural remedies, behavior modification, positive associations, ignoring her, forcing her to deal with the fears.... Every blasted thing! The vet finally suggested a trip to the U of Penn. After she was so drugged that she ran into a wall and split her eye open on Christmas, I decided to just try medicating her thyriod. Even though it's been tested over and over again. Soloxine = instant normal bomb proof dog again within 3 days. Next time I will insist on trying this first then anxiety meds. Live and learn.

 

Actually just got a phone call from the vet. Her t4 is at 3.6 so we will reduce it down by .01 and retest in another month ;-)

My girl had multiple symptoms of hypothyroid & the blood work pointed to it as well. One of her symptoms was the sudden onset & rapid increase of fearfulness. The fears were about the first symptoms to resolve.

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She's on the skinny side for me.

 

I understand about medicating for the anxiety, but too much thyroid can be as bad. Over-medicating will cause her to lose weight or not be able to gain any. She might become a bit hyper-active, and be unable to focus or concentrate. Her body temperature may run a few degrees higher and she might always feel like she has a fever. Her organs will be working harder and this will be hard on her down the road.

 

Getting her to as small a dose as possible will help. I definitely would not begin any new physical training regimen until you have this problem solved.

 

What anti-anxiety meds have you tried with her?

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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I tend to keep mine at racing weight but we are also very active, we walk several miles every day, they get to run several times a week and I feed them a raw diet which keeps their weight down. Both boys are very muscular and basically look more or less the way they did when racing. I think your grey may be slightly thin but her muscles are also well defined so maybe a couple of pounds but not more then 2-4lb. It also depends on the dog's overall build and bone structure, (just like with people!). My Onyx is very lanky, very long and tall and while he is in good shape you can still see the last few ribs and the tips of his hips. He is so classic looking, has the best gait, he trots like a show dog. He is thin but not skinny-that is just his built. Jasper, my other boy is really solid and kind of stocky and very muscular. His butt muscles are huge and he has a very deep chest, you can see the last few ribs but barely the tips of his hip bones, although you can feel them. There is no fat on him, he is at racing weight but looks "fatter". So I think the greyhound overall build contributes to their overall appearance.

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According to the numbers she doesn't need thyriod meds. But now I feel like a horrible mom! We've been dealing with noise phobias that branches into car phobia, etc since July 2011. ..... Soloxine = instant normal bomb proof dog again within 3 days.
It is a very bad idea to give thyroid meds if the dog doesn't have low thyroid. They'll make any dog "brighter" and more active, and have the potential to cause early and irreversible kidney damage, cardiac damage, and bone lesions.

For the most part, I agree about not treating with thyroid supplement without a confirmed diagnosis on a thyroid panel. I also agree that hypothyroidism is probably one of the most overdiagnosed/misdiagnosed conditions in greyhounds, and there are a number of greyhounds who are on thyroid medication who don't need to be.

 

However, the situation described here is a bit of a dilemma. When you have an obvious clinical improvement, do you still believe this dog doesn't need Soloxine? And we're not talking about a dog who is "brighter and more active". We're talking about an obvious reduction in anxiety and phobic behavior. This is not the first time I've heard of responses like this, and while we do have to be careful about assessing owner interpretations, I don't think we can discount these cases either.

 

Because of their normally low T4 and free T4, it is easy to misdiagnose a greyhound with hypothyroidism. But if we ignore these numbers, and only look at TSH, it is also easy to underdiagnose hypothyroidism as well. According to Antech (one of the major veterinary diagnostic labs) up to 1/3 of hypothyroid dogs can have a normal TSH. So given that information, I have to believe that there are some greyhounds that are truly hypothyroid, but can't be diagnosed with the blood tests that we have available.

 

If there is a reasonable clinical suspicion of hypothyroidism, I don't think there's anything wrong with doing a Soloxine trial to see if there is any clinical response. If there is no observable response, I wean the dog back off the meds after a couple months.

 

I'll even go so far as to be a devil's advocate and say that compared to most meds, thyroid supplement is fairly low risk. While the potential for problems is there, I've seen lots of dogs (both greyhounds and other breeds) who have been on a lifetime of thyroid supplement who probably didn't need it, and I can't say I've ever seen any who developed problems because of it. As long as the dose is kept conservative, the risk of problems is low.

I usually try and keep a pound or two extra around 9/10 years of age. When mine have hit around 11, any small illness has resulted in weight loss so I like to make sure they are at least 5 pounds over their racing weight.

I agree with allowing seniors to carry a couple extra pounds, but I'm cautious about using racing weight as a comparison point. Racing weights aren't standard, and I've seen some dogs come off of lower end tracks at 'racing weights' that are significantly underweight, and need to gain 10 lbs to look good.

 

On the flip side, some dogs (esp. males) are very muscular at their racing weight, and when they lose muscle mass with retirement and age, they may end up needing to be under racing weight to be at a healthy weight. My boy Wiki raced at 70-71 lbs, and he now looks good at around 64-65 lbs. He'd be quite overweight at 5 lbs over his racing weight. Rather than looking at a number, I prefer to look at body condition.

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When you have an obvious clinical improvement, do you still believe this dog doesn't need Soloxine?

 

 

If the numbers are equivocal -- e.g., normal TSH but very low fT4 -- then it's certainly worth a try. If the numbers aren't equivocal -- if all is well normal -- then I would be looking at an interpretation issue, time, or other illness that resolved on its own.

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What anti-anxiety meds have you tried with her?

 

Buspar (I think that's what it's called) Prozac, Xanax (high doses help a little but makes her very loopy and uncoordinated), Clomicalm, Amatriptalym, the calming collar, rescue remedy, DAP collar, spray, diffuser, Theanine, melatonin, I'm sure there are a ton of others that I am forgetting. It's been a long year and a half!

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Jessica

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Here's a picture of her from Greyhound Data

Greyhound_Ph_Make_It_Rain-_3.jpg

 

She doesn't even look like the same dog anymore... That has her racing weight listed as 63lbs, but when I brought her home her weight was 55lbs according to that vet paperwork. She was really skinny and having peanut butter sandwiches for lunch at that point.

 

We had her T4 tested multiple times since her anxiety started. Her level 4 years ago was at 1.2. Her new levels after this anxiety started hovered around .08 and .09. Her TSH or full panel came back with normal functions 3 months ago.

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Jessica

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Guest 2greys2cats
Here's a picture of her from Greyhound Data

Greyhound_Ph_Make_It_Rain-_3.jpg

 

She doesn't even look like the same dog anymore... That has her racing weight listed as 63lbs, but when I brought her home her weight was 55lbs according to that vet paperwork. She was really skinny and having peanut butter sandwiches for lunch at that point.

 

We had her T4 tested multiple times since her anxiety started. Her level 4 years ago was at 1.2. Her new levels after this anxiety started hovered around .08 and .09. Her TSH or full panel came back with normal functions 3 months ago.

I am at work so I can't go back and read the whole thread, but do you have another grey at home? I went through a similar thing as you with my female and nothing fixed it until I got a second grey. It was truly a miracle.

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I am at work so I can't go back and read the whole thread, but do you have another grey at home? I went through a similar thing as you with my female and nothing fixed it until I got a second grey. It was truly a miracle.

 

I do have another grey. Rainy was always the solid bombproof hound that helped borderline spooky Sunshine. They really do work better in pairs. :)

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Jessica

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Guest lynne893

Agree with most of what everyone else has said. I'd get her up to 65-68. We feed our girls 4 cups of Nutro dry food every day, but when we boarded them with our greyhound rescue last summer, they scolded us for them being too thin and said we needed to feed them more. We came back from our vacation and they'd definitely gotten a head-start on fattening 'em up for us :)

 

I do look back at pictures and realize they were pretty darn thin :)

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I try not to go by ribs, but she does have a few more spine points showing than I would like... still has a nice back fat strap going on the top. I have a picture somewhere of Sunshine looking emaciated! She's my piggy porker. Is all in the angle

 

 

Um ... that's not a 'fat strap', those are her latissimus dorsii muscles. I found this site on a random Google search which will explain where they are. If you can see them defined as well as they are on Rainy, it's time to worry that she's losing too much weight, IMHO. That and ... well, I don't like the loss of muscle at the shoulder. Compare her with the diagram in the massage article and you will see that this probably means a noticeable loss of the anterior part of the latissimus dorsi as well as her trapezius.

 

The dimple you can see at the top, behind her shoulder blade is particularly worrying - I've usually only seen that on the senior seniors who are losing muscle mass. She doesn't have huge shoulder muscles in the picture of her in racing condition, but they're much more developed there. Others might disagree - I am, after all used to looking at one underweight dog (also through anxiety and because he's a senior) and one whose shoulders are over-developed being a rear leg tripod!

 

I agree with allowing seniors to carry a couple extra pounds, but I'm cautious about using racing weight as a comparison point. Racing weights aren't standard, and I've seen some dogs come off of lower end tracks at 'racing weights' that are significantly underweight, and need to gain 10 lbs to look good.

 

On the flip side, some dogs (esp. males) are very muscular at their racing weight, and when they lose muscle mass with retirement and age, they may end up needing to be under racing weight to be at a healthy weight. My boy Wiki raced at 70-71 lbs, and he now looks good at around 64-65 lbs. He'd be quite overweight at 5 lbs over his racing weight. Rather than looking at a number, I prefer to look at body condition.

 

I agree with this 100%. 'Racing weight' is a good ball-park figure to go with, but you have to use common sense. Did the dog look good at 'racing weight'? If not, do something about it, don't just randomly add 5 pounds.

 

Here's a picture of her from Greyhound Data

Greyhound_Ph_Make_It_Rain-_3.jpg

 

She doesn't even look like the same dog anymore... That has her racing weight listed as 63lbs, but when I brought her home her weight was 55lbs according to that vet paperwork. She was really skinny and having peanut butter sandwiches for lunch at that point.

 

Now there, she looks great!! I'd be aiming for that. :)

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Um ... that's not a 'fat strap', those are her latissimus dorsii muscles. I found this site on a random Google search which will explain where they are. If you can see them defined as well as they are on Rainy, it's time to worry that she's losing too much weight, IMHO. That and ... well, I don't like the loss of muscle at the shoulder. Compare her with the diagram in the massage article and you will see that this probably means a noticeable loss of the anterior part of the latissimus dorsi as well as her trapezius.

 

The dimple you can see at the top, behind her shoulder blade is particularly worrying - I've usually only seen that on the senior seniors who are losing muscle mass. She doesn't have huge shoulder muscles in the picture of her in racing condition, but they're much more developed there. Others might disagree - I am, after all used to looking at one underweight dog (also through anxiety and because he's a senior) and one whose shoulders are over-developed being a rear leg tripod!

 

 

I agree with this 100%. 'Racing weight' is a good ball-park figure to go with, but you have to use common sense. Did the dog look good at 'racing weight'? If not, do something about it, don't just randomly add 5 pounds.

 

 

Now there, she looks great!! I'd be aiming for that. :)

 

Interesting website! Thanks for the link. I think I'll try those massaging techniques this weekend. If that's pure muscle up there it's awful squishy... :hehe

 

Don't all greyhounds have that dip behind their shoulder? That's where they get the double extension from... I could be wrong though. There is about 4.5 years between those two pics so yes I would imagine there is some loss of muscle up in her shoulders, since she now pretty much rules the couch. :ghplaybow

 

I noticed about a year ago that her body started to change. She now carries some jiggly fat down in her front chest/armpit area that was never there before. I imagine it's just part of aging. Nothing stays the same forever!

 

Rainy sure is enjoying her extra food and I think she already looks like she's packed on some more weight. I've just been tossing her an extra giant handful-handful and a half of food (we feed raw and are on ground stuff right now), 2 large milk bones in the morning (instead of the normal 1), and an extra chewy right after dinner in addition to the one they get right before bed.

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Jessica

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Don't all greyhounds have that dip behind their shoulder? That's where they get the double extension from... I could be wrong though. There is about 4.5 years between those two pics so yes I would imagine there is some loss of muscle up in her shoulders, since she now pretty much rules the couch.

 

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. The 'dimple' I was talking about is not in her top line (her spine) where - as you rightly say - there should be a dip. And yes, it's that 'hinge' that makes the double extension gallop possible, as I understand it.

 

What I meant is like a hollow, or depression, on her side a little way down from her back. It's just behind her shoulder. There'll be one on both sides, of course. Usually it's because of muscle loss, which is why it's often seen in seniors. I don't know how old she is, but I'm guessing not yet senior?

 

Sounds as if you're feeding her good stuff to get the weight back on though. If she can take dairy, you can try a drink of millk for supper, too! That's what mine get, mostly to help keep weight on Jeffie-the-bonebag!

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I agree, she's on the skinny side. Some dogs are hard keepers and are just always that skinny no matter what, but if she's lost weight, then that's another thing.

 

A few things about racing weight and older dogs - I also agree that if she's older 9+, then she's definitely skinny... I've seen older dogs get sick and drop 3-5 lbs in the blink of an eye and go from skinny to emaciated. You don't want a fat senior, but something more than what you are looking at now (I didn't see if she's older or not though...).

 

Second - I think racing weight is a great guideline for dogs 2, 3, 4 years post active racing retirement. But when you start looking at the senior ages, it goes out the window. Princess raced at 62 pounds. At 13, she weighed 54 and was what I call "old skinny"... loss of muscle was the real reason, but her ribs/spine looked fine. There was no way she could have been anywhere near 62 pounds anymore, and it was a struggle to keep enough weight on her to stay at 54! As their body composition changes, so should the guidelines you use to establish a good weight.

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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Sorry, I wasn't very clear. The 'dimple' I was talking about is not in her top line (her spine) where - as you rightly say - there should be a dip. And yes, it's that 'hinge' that makes the double extension gallop possible, as I understand it.

 

What I meant is like a hollow, or depression, on her side a little way down from her back. It's just behind her shoulder. There'll be one on both sides, of course. Usually it's because of muscle loss, which is why it's often seen in seniors. I don't know how old she is, but I'm guessing not yet senior?

!

I'm still lost but I'll look at her once she stands up again. LOL right now she's curled and snoozing. She's 8 now will be 9 in April, so she may be a senior according to some. I'm in denial! She's a spring chicken!

 

I actually used to culture Kefir milk for them and they would get 1/2 cup a night with their dinner. Now I just use probiotic pills. Much easier for the amount of traveling we do. I don't want to add any more to her super meal since she's already getting almost 3lbs at one sitting. That's a lot for one little belly. Maybe I'll see if she will drink milk for breakfast? She might have to fight the cats off.

 

Honestly I'm not too worried. She'll pick the weight back up as we go along. If she wasn't hungry I would be panicking! She's been a little imp the last couple days. Stole my seat on the couch a few minutes ago! Was quiet proud of herself... Then she stole hedgie from Sunshine yesterday. She's the calm mature one and doesn't usually get silly like this.

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Jessica

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Second - I think racing weight is a great guideline for dogs 2, 3, 4 years post active racing retirement. But when you start looking at the senior ages, it goes out the window. Princess raced at 62 pounds. At 13, she weighed 54 and was what I call "old skinny"... loss of muscle was the real reason, but her ribs/spine looked fine. There was no way she could have been anywhere near 62 pounds anymore, and it was a struggle to keep enough weight on her to stay at 54! As their body composition changes, so should the guidelines you use to establish a good weight.

Wow! That much under her racing weight suprises me... Guess I won't panic to much if it comes to that in the next few years

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Jessica

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It was all muscle mass loss - her legs were little spindley things! Her back end troubles limited her activity levels, so it was just a natural thing. Here's what she looked like at 54 (ok, she's lying down, but she didn't do a whole lot of standing at 13+ :P)

 

CIMG2152.jpg

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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How gorgeous! She doesn't even look that old. Just soft and fluffy

 

Ok I just compared Rainy's shoulders to Sunshine's (pudgy 5yr old) shoulders and they both are built the same. Same dips and muscle ridges. So I'm officially confused, but I'm there a lot so it's Ok.

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Jessica

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Update! We went to petsmart last Saturday a week after her vet trip and she weighed in at 66.2lbs. Her reign of extras is over. Poor kid keeps staring at the door that leads to the cookie cupboard. LOL

 

Thanks everyone for your opinions!

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Jessica

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