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Race Weight And Underweight -- Or Not?

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My 11 year old girl raced at 51 pounds until she retired at age 2 1/2. Since then, she's been as "heavy" as 53 and as low as 42. Lately, she's about 47 lbs. My vet is not thrilled about this. She eats well (about half raw, half cooked), and is on twice daily .4mg of thyroid (yes, I know, she probably doesn't need it, but that has been addressed with my vet). She doesn't have as much of her racing muscle mass of course and is really not thinner than many I've seen. She's as active as any other grey zzzzzz. I'm giving her 1600 calories a day. Any thoughts out there? Thx!

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Can't tell without a picture.


In general, you can't base your ananlysis of her weight on how much she eats - each dog is different and requires a different amount of food to easily maintain a good weight. You want your dog to be well muscled and in good condition, without extra fat pads over shoulders, hips, and waist. Her tuck up needs to be nice and high.


We had a grey come to us on thyroid supplementation. He was on it for several years because that was what was done back then when a dog presented with hair loss and no other symptoms. He was always hyperactive and were unable to keep weight on him - he was super skinny, all the time even though he ate massive amounts of food. Finally - duh - we stopped his thyroid pills (under vet supervision). Within a month or so, he had calmed way down, could concentrate, learned some commands, AND gained weight.


So don't dismiss the thyroid as a possible cause of her inability to hold a healthy body mass.

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

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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I heard Lee Livingood talk once at a grey picnic & she has a unique way of telling if a grey is under or overweight...

Make a fist - rub your fingers over your knuckles - if grey's ribs feel like that, it's underweight.

Rub fingers over the back of your hand - if grey's ribs feel like that, it's overweight.

Rub fingers over your fingers below the knuckles - that's how the ribs should feel!!


I thought that was a great visual...

Jeannine with Lili & Okie, the kitty sisters and Cody grey-girl waiting at the bridge (along with kitties Weenie & Merlin)

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Senior dogs sometimes have a problem getting all the calories out of what they eat. They can eat more than they did when younger and still have a hard time maintaining their weight.

And if a senior dog becomes ill, a skinny senior may not have the physical reserves needed to recover--no "weight cushion" to help with recovery.

My 10-year-old lost three pounds between check-ups, and my vet was not happy. I mixed up powdered goat's milk and started adding that to her kibble at every meal. She ate more eagerly, and she put the weight back on. (She's still two pounds lighter than her race weight of 55 pounds.)

Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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