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What Can I Do To Help Him Gain?


Guest GreytScott
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Guest GreytScott

So we've had Kingsley for 5 months now, and I was expecting that he'd have gained more weight by now. When I first saw him he was a bulky dog, fresh off the track. By the time the adoption was final he was very thin, every rib showing, dragon spine, hip points jutting out, etc. I'm pretty sure there're photos in one of my earlier posts. When we chose him we were informed he'd gotten tapeworm and had already had complete treatment. I'm not sure that the tapeworm contributed to the weight loss, or if he's just naturally a stick of a dog without the exercise and diet of a racing hound. At any rate, I wondered if there was anything I could do for my pup.

 

In the picture below you'll see how he looks as of today. The bowls he's eating from hold just under two cups of food, and he gets four of them every day at this point. Sometimes he doesn't even finish the food because he's full, though normally he'll do his best to eat every last pebble of food. His poo seems normal, it hasn't changed since we got him, not counting his initial loose stress stools during his first days with us. He doesn't seem to have any discomfort that might indicate issues. The food is an inexpensive kibble because we're in a rough patch financially and we've just got to make do the best we can, but I doubt is so bad that it's not sustaining him.

Aside from the normal extraordinary laziness expected of a couch hound, he's not sluggish or anything like that. In fact, in recent weeks he's been more perky and sociable than ever before! He seems perfectly fine, just so stinking skinny. Everyone who sees him asks about it. I must look like some sort of dog-starving jerkface. Advice? Questions to ask that I may not have thought of before? Anything that may help. Thanks in advance!

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I would test and/or treat for worms again. Almost 6 cups of food per day is a LOT of food, especially if he looks thinner and is losing weight. A tapeworm (or other worm) infestation could definitely cause the weight loss. Worms can be hard to treat, so he could very likely still have them if he was only treated the one time. That is where I would start.

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Some just do need the more expensive, therefore higher quality, kibbles, unfortunately. Jeffie is one of them, bless him. We had him on the same kibble they use for active racers for a long while and he was OK, though very thin. Recently he decided he didn't like it anymore and dropped weight dramatically, so that he was almost skeletal. I've now found a good quality puppy kibble that he'll eat (reasoning that the puppy foods tend to be higher calorie than adult foods) and he's beginning to put that weight back on, slowly.

You can try adding in things like sardines or mackerel in oil, but you might find that to get good results you are spending as much as if you bought a higher protein kibble.


But yes, certainly do check for worms again. It may be that the treatment didn't quite eradicate them, and tapeworms definitely do make dogs thin if they have enough of them.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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I would check to see if he still has parasites (tapeworm) just to rule that out. It looks like you are feeding him close to maybe 7 cups a day of food, which seems like a lot to me. Of course, I don't know how big he is. My large male gets 2 cups of kibble and 2 cups of home cooked a day and he is a healthy weight 80 pounder. Have a fecal test done and ask your vet about his weight.

 

You will probably gets lots of ideas here for putting on weight, but rule out any problem first. Good luck with your new guy. He is cute!

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Have his stool tested. Worms get knocked down by med but may still be there ... it's very common. He may still have tape - and hook - and - maybe others. I don't know what food you're giving - but if it's decent - it's way too much - and he's thin.

 

The dog has some kind of parasite. Get a stool sample to the vet.

 

I hope that didn't sound harsh - I don't mean to be. Been there - done that. That dog has worms. It's an easy fix - and the meds will cost you way less than all that food that's going in one end and out the other!

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Other than worming, I'd second the move to a higher quality/ higher calorie food. Hermon couldn't physically eat enough to maintain weight when he arrived with us (and would eat till he was full then throw up undigested kibble some hours later), so for a while he was getting kibble + raw. Then I lost patience and moved everyone onto raw which has done the trick.

 

The motto of my story isn't to move yours onto raw (although you might), but to look for ways to get more good calories without more bulk.

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test for worms but he doesn't look that skinny to me. it can take quite some time for dogs to really fill out and the vertabra often do show no matter what. it's their build and the curvature (roach of spine) is what makes them so flexible on turns. slow and steady w/ food, if he doesn't have the runs on his present food you can always add in dehydrated yams or biscuits(cookies) for treats. cheese used during training really puts on weight. but remember, it's the summer and dogs often drop some weight in the heat. don't worry, next winter they pick it up.

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Weird. I've found the reverse. Mine drop weight in winter but seem to pile it on in summer, I think because they want to do less in the heat.

i don't think your winters are as extreme as ours...if they didn't fill out they would freeze to death...

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My hounds maintain the same weight and body condition year round. Three of mine lure course and straight race in the fall, spring, and winter and everyone receives the same amount of food and exercise per individual, we just adjust the times. Our weather is mild enough year round (summer means we run dogs well before 8am and after dark) to maintain fit, active dogs.

 

In this case I would get a stool sample and check for worms again. They can be a pain to eradicate. Six cups of any food, even cheap stuff with tons of fillers, is a lot for a non-athlete Greyhound. Six cups is what my extremely high energy, (runs for hours upon hours a day) performance Ibizan Hounds get a day. I wouldn't freak out though. I would just get it taken car of as soon as you can. A little too thin is actually healthier than overweight and he's not sickly underweight by any means. You will find that even when he is at a fit, healthy weight people will comment that he is too thin because you will still see rib outlines and part of the spine and hip bones. I jokingly tell my adopters that if people don't comment that your Greyhound is too thin then it is fat. :P

Edited by GreytHoundPoet
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