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My German Shepherd will not gain weight vet says she has no health issues?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your dog's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your pooch!

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Hailie

Hey leave my- family ALONE!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 31, '12 10:19pm PST 
Our three year old German Shepherd eats A LOT of food but will not put on weight. I have taken her to the vet for several checkups and blood work even a heart worm test and everything came back clear. She is fed twice a day and gets six cups of food per feeding. Still looks like she is being starved to death. She is very active and has been dewormed several times as well. What can we feed her that will put weight on her? She is a former stray that joined our family last fall. We tried free feeding her and she did gain a little but she was always knocking the feeder over. Its one of those hard plastic ones, I think she did it because she couldnt see the food in it. We noticed that one of our other dogs is the same way feed him out of a bowl and he gets skinny but feed him out of a feeder and he gains weight. I forget what the vet said Hailie weighs but she always looks thin.
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Ellie, CGC

Cookies?!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 31, '12 11:23pm PST 
Has your pup been tested for EPI specifically? I hear it is quite common for German Shepard/mixes. But it won't really show up on a regular blood test, you have to get a specific one. Even on extremely poor food, most healthy dogs would not have a problem putting on weight with 12 cups of food per day. I'm thinking there is something more going on here.

How are the stools?
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Hailie

Hey leave my- family ALONE!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 12:47am PST 
The vet did all kinds of tests. Her stools are fine. She has a very healthy love of food. She doesnt even get an upset tummy when she gets something different in her bowl. She will eat her food from a clear treat ball but not from the non see through feeder. She did put on some weight when she was free feeding but she dumped the feeder out and ate it off the ground so we are thinking of getting one of the feeders that has a bowl and a clear container so she can see the food is there and she wont go hungry
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 9:19am PST 
What are you feeding her? If she does gain weight when she eats more than 12 cups of the current food, maybe she needs something grain free or higher in protein so she won't have to eat so much.

She doesn't look underweight in the new pictures you added. Did the vet say she needs to gain?
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Hailie

Hey leave my- family ALONE!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 2:52pm PST 
Her vet said that her weight is a little low. She is 24 inches at the shoulder. Her parents are from imported working lines. Her mother is a search dog and her father a police dog. She has been on a couple grain free foods and she still seemed to be thin. She still shows her ribs but she is being fed daily. One of her house mates a Doberman will lose weight when he is fed from a bowl but if he is fed from a feeder he gains weight. Those pics I added were taken a few days after she was put on a feeder but she would dump it out and eat the food from the ground. She is very high energy so she seems to burn a lot of calories. Her sister Molly who belongs to my ex sister in law is the same way but is free fed.
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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 3:38pm PST 
I'm confused how you know her parents were working SAR and K9 dogs when you got her as a stray from a friend who found her in their yard?
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 3:39pm PST 
She looks fine in her pics. Frankly, it does not look like EPI at all. But, the TLI or trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI) blood test could be done. It measures the dog's ability to produce digestive enzymes. It needs to be done after a fast of 12 to 15 hours. It is not a routine test, and you must ask for it to be done. Seriously, with your past history of posts, it is difficult to offer you any advice. shrug
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Trixie Bean!

none so blind as- those that will- not see
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 3:47pm PST 
I too thought Hallie was a stray.. In fact I am sure there has been like 3 different stories about how you got her confused.. One story was that she was a stray, the second that she belonged to a friend and you were only looking after her for a while, and now this about her parents being a search dog and a police dog shrug

Anyway, the quality of the food you are feeding could ahve a lot to do with why she needs so much.
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 4:43pm PST 
Are you going off the pictures that are in your profile? I only ask because she doesn't look starved by any means. She honestly doesn't even look very underweight. I can see her ribs just slightly in a few pictures, which is fine.
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Conker

OBEY ME!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 7:48pm PST 
She looks fine in her pictures.

I'd try the tests that others have said above, and maybe check her thyroid levels. Though it's somewhat rare in dogs, hyperthyroidism (not hypothyroidism, which is the opposite) can cause the metabolism to speed up and feeding large amounts of food doesn't do much to put on weight. I don't know much else about it, though.
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