Skinny dog won't put on enough weight no matter what. I can't take it anymore.

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Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 4:16pm PST 
This mostly just a rant, but if anyone has been in this situation and found a solution, I'd love to hear about it.

I've had this problem for the past 2.5 years, and Daddy's former owners had this problem for about three years. Daddy just won't keep weight on, no matter what we try. He's had numerous tests from full blood panels to fecal tests run. His veterinarian stated he just has an outrageously high metabolism after we ruled literally everything else out. He eats twice as much food than at least a couple of Bull Mastiffs on here and also twice as much as a semi-acquaintances 95 lb high energy dog that gets regular runs at the park or dog park and his own yard; Daddy weighs under 70 lbs.

One of the problems is food related. If I give him too much food (more than 5 cups a day, his usual) no matter what food, grain free or grain inclusive even working up to that point, he gets really bad diarrhea and then LOSES weight. But giving him the standard 5 cups a day isn't cutting it either. Locally or even within an hour and a half drive of here; or possibly more, I haven't checked further than that. The highest calorie foods I can find or even special order is Natural Balance Ultra Premium Formula, and EVO. These foods are both quite expensive, especially EVO which is twice as much as the Natural Balance. Dog food where I live I've noticed, even in the entire state and next state over tends to be a lot higher than anywhere else I've seen barring online (and then online has the insanely high shipping to get to where we live). Everything seems to be more expensive here though, and I'm not even sure why since it's such a small and insignificant county where there's VERY little job opportunity (the people I know who've moved from here have moved for that reason alone).

I don't take him out into public anymore. I can't deal with the judgemental, discriminating looks of people, or the constant "oh my god he's so/too skinny." People automatically see me with a probably too lean APBT and assume the worst and most of the time I know they don't believe me when I try to explain the situation. I feel like crap every time I look at my own dog because of how "skinny" he is. All veterinarians he sees keep telling me he needs to gain weight; like I don't already know that, like I haven't been put in financial restraints just trying to keep weight on him.

His eating habits and the expense of his food and veterinary care alone are why I can't do more rescue. I own a small scale rescue and it has to remain small scale. I don't have a problem with that really but I'd like to do more, but pet food and vet care around here is so expensive, and this dog's food problems just seem to get worse and worse. He used to at least keep a little more weight than usual on the Natural Balance; now he doesn't. There is nothing medically wrong with him except that he gets seasonal allergies in the summer until the summer passes. He gets plenty of food, love, vet care whenever he needs it and annually. I just don't know what to do anymore. It just kills me. I'm ready to scream and pull my hair out.

Edited by author Tue Apr 6, '10 4:18pm PST

Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 4:34pm PST 
I don't have any advice--I am sure others do, but I wanted to give you lots of hug and support!!!

Hats not cats!
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 4:56pm PST 
My parents have an ABPT who is extremely skinny. They take her to the vets regularly and she's had numerous tests. The vet says she's thin, but very healthy , so don't worry! This dog eats like a pig. My parents have given her calorie supplements and everything. The bottom line...she's healthy, very energetic, very happy....just skinny. You can only do what you can do.


Noise Police
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 4:56pm PST 
You could try supplementing him with home-cooked or raw for awhile to see if that makes a difference. Maybe he can't properly digest kibble and doesn't extract the full calories. It can't hurt; chicken quarters are a heckuva lot cheaper than EVO! It could be my imagination, but it seems to me like Hazel fills out a little when we add home-cooked chicken to her diet.
I know how you feel about the judgemental people. Hazel is thin too - you can see most of her ribs and her waist is very well defined - but we feed her plenty. It doesn't help that the dogs they're being compared to are often overweight!
Cassie 6/9/2000-10/14/2012

Feed me!!!
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 4:57pm PST 
Have you thought about trying raw? Or have you tried satin balls? We had to use satin balls for our bc's for a while as they were too skinny.
Mr. Krumm

Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 4:59pm PST 
Hi Daddy! I feel your pain! I constantly hear how thin Krumm is. It does make you feel like you're doing something wrong, but I don't let it bother me. I would rather him a bit under weight than over weight. He is a tall boy, and he weighed 76 lbs at his last appointment. Hopefully, he weighs 80 now, but who knows. I've put him on a raw diet hoping to get his weight up a lil bit. It might be working, who knows. He cuts himself off at a certain amount of food. He is also an American line shepherd... Anyway, don't let the scrutinization get to you. You know he's healthy, and he is maintaining his weight comfortably. I wouldn't feed him more if it gives him diarrhea. As long as he doesn't have anything medically wrong with him, then you're set. Everyone else can piss off! lol Like I said, there is nothing wrong with a healthy, skinny dog!big grin I'm jealous of Daddy and Krumm's metabolismwink

I'm a trilingual- dog!
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 5:07pm PST 
I'd suggest raw too.. I know it's a big jump and you have lots of other dogs, but I think it would help. You would be able to add fatty cuts like sporting sledding dogs up north get..

Still, it's hard when people judge. I hope something works out with you. We're just lucky our skinny skinny dog is also fluffy.

Somewhere there- is something I- can eat..
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 5:23pm PST 
I know how you feel about the judgemental looks! Sheesh! Some people!

I second (or third) trying homecooked. I have a friend who has 5 dogs (4 large, 1 giant), and she swears by it. Says it ultimately saves her quite a bit over buying premium kibble. I think especially in a case like yours where you are really limited, homecooked might be a way to go. Also, don't limit yourself to chain grocery stores. Call around, or look in your phonebook. Butchers have RMB's and are usually cheaper than a chain store, plus if you have any ethnic markets, that can be a great way to score some deals on meats and large bags of rice/veggies. My friend who does homecooked cooks one huge batch on her days off and then freezes portions for the week. I also know she is usually a week ahead, so that way she has a cushion if she isn't feeling well or doesn't have time one week.
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 6:03pm PST 
Is he neutered? Sometimes they don't keep weight on if they are intact. Also, have you considered if he has an allergy? How often does he get diarrhea? If he has it often, then the food doesn't stay in his system long enough to absorb the nutrients. When you changed his dog food, did you change the protein? Kali had similar symptoms, and we had to change her dog food 5 or 6 times before we found one she can eat. We tried beef, lamb, turkey and chicken based foods. She couldn't have any of them. We finally found California Natural Herring & Sweet Potato. She has thrived on it and gained 25 pounds. We had to put her on a diet. There are others out there if he can't have fish either, like marsupial based, reptiles, etc. We are prepared to change again if the time comes. Sometimes dogs will develop an allergy over time to anything they eat, but the odds are there are too many choices to go through within their lifetime. Good Luck!

Boomer Did It...
Barked: Tue Apr 6, '10 6:16pm PST 
Spot had the same issue. I won't give you the long boring details, but we've just gone raw and love the results all around.cheer
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