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 Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)

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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:11 pm

Hello!

So i tried to do a search on this, but wasn't really finding anything so i thought i'd start a new post.

Gus just got over giardia (he had it for 1.5mths!), and because of the constant diarrhea and soft stools, he wasn't gaining any weight for that length of time.  He is 8mths now, and at 47lbs and very skinny.  You can kind of see his ribs.  Since he got over the giardia, he is slowly starting to gain weight again.  For the first week after he got over his giardia, he had good bowel movements, but recently he has been having soft stools.  I am feeding him 1.5cups (twice a day) of Orijen Large Breed Puppy.  I also noticed that he's been scratching himself a lot (not sure if that's just me being paranoid though!)  His stools seem to harden up a little if i give him some canned pumpkin, but after 2 days of no pumpkin, it softens up again.

I realize that i may be overfeeding him, but if i need him to gain some weight, is it a good idea to feed him less?  Will he still gain weight if i feed him less?  

I am also considering switching him to a different food (that would be the 4th time now! and it's not because he doesn't like it.  This kid will eat anything!).  Since the canned pumpkin seems to help with the stool, I was thinking that maybe he just needs more fibre, so i was thinking of switching him to Acana as I've read that some other people have done this.  But I can't seem to figure out whether Acana has more fibre or not! AAAAAhhh!!!

Anyways, thought i'd see what other people have tried or think about this before i either start feeding him less, or switch his food.

Thanks!


Last edited by TheBadGuppy on Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:16 pm

I had a similar problem with my pup. It seemed like he pretty much always had soft stools. For him, it was over feeding. He now gets 1.5 cups per day total, 1.25 in the morning and .25 at night. Since I cut back on the amount of food, his stool has been pretty good. Still gets soft if I give him too many treats or chewies, but overall he's pretty much normal. I also add a probiotic supplement called gastriplex that is a huge help. Your pup might need that too if he was on antibiotics to kill the giardia.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:35 pm

Thanks for the quick reply!

For the feeding, I just have to ask and I know this is going to sound so silly, but are you just using a regular measuring cup? As in, those measuring cups you get for baking? It just seems so little for such a big dog haha. And he always looks up at me like he's still hungry!

As for the probiotic, I have considered it, and asked my vet about it. He didn't seem too keen on the idea, but i think he's not very big on holistic nutrition. Which is kind of annoying because then it's really hard to get some advice on it! Will plain yogurt help too? Or is that not a good idea?
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:42 pm

Sorry! One more question, where do you get gastriplex? I live in Canada, so I'm not sure if i'll be able to find it.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Yes, just like what I would measure flour in. I agree, it does seem like so little, but Dizzy doesn't look underweight in any way. When I was trying to feed him 2.5-3 cups, he was chunky and always had a soft stool, but didn't have giardia. Now on 1.5 a day, his stool has firmed up and he still has plenty of husky energy. Although, he too acts like he's starving every time he eats. I honestly have no idea what his limit would be, he's never left anything in his bowl! I think he would eat until he puked honestly. You can try yogurt, I did, but it just made his diarrhea worse, it might work for Gus though, the only way to tell would be to try it. :)The reason I went for gastriplex was because it has some other ingredients that help digestive health although I can't remember what exactly. My vet office has both holistic and regular vets and they approved of the supplement. :)Also, they need less as they get older, and putting weight on very quickly isn't healthy either. I would say, try cutting back by a quarter cup every couple weeks or every week to see if it helps. I think most vet's idea of a dogs weight is too high. I had a vet tell me Dizzy was too skinny when all the husky people were telling me he was chunky, and the husky people were right. To answer your second question, I order it from amazon. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:15 pm

If overfeeding is causing the soft stool, I would stick to feeding an amount of Orijen that keeps him firm. To help speed up the weight gain you could feed him some extra treats that aren't as rich as Orijen, say some dehydrated meat/organ treats or bits of raw ground beef or even sweet potato treats for example.

You use a standard 8 oz measuring cup for measuring portions.

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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:12 pm

Thank you so much for your replies! In my opinion, Gus is definitely underweight (I should post a picture!). He's quite a bit taller and longer than most huskies that we meet, and his visible ribs are worrisome too. Not to mention that his coat isn't as thick as other huskies, it really doesn't help his scrawiness.

I do agree with letting him gain weight slowly though. My plan is to cut his food down a bit, and i'll keep monitoring his weight to make sure it still goes up. I'll try and give him some plain yogurt tonight too and see if that helps. I'm sure he won't be picky about that haha.

Thanks for all your tips! I think i just get paranoid because people comment on how skinny he is, and it gets to me because the portions look so small.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:50 pm

So i cut his food down to 2 cups per day (1 cup in the morning, 1 in the evening). And that seemed to help A LOT! For almost a whole week, we've had solid poops! Even after his neuter, which i was kind of expecting to mess with his tummy a bit. But today, we had some soft stool again... I'm starting to wonder if it's maybe from too many liver treats. I was practicing loose leash training with him, and even though i break up the liver treats into REALLY small pieces, he still gets probably at least 4 whole treats total. And then i give him more liver treats when i have to give him ear drops.

Maybe the orijen AND liver treats is just too much protein?
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:02 pm

Liver is a sure way to loose stool with my puppy. For training, I just use his dog food (and take that into account in his daily amount), and string cheese (higher value for tougher situations).
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:11 pm

I use dog food too! But he seems to get crazy with his dog food! I don't know what it is. He gets more wound up over eating his dog food than just getting treats! As in, he'll jump and howl and be a little frantic! And he is a food guarder with other dogs only. But i've noticed that he ONLY guards his food, but not treats! Is that weird? For that reason, i try not to bring kibble with me when we're training outdoors where there is a potential for another dog to come up to us.

any other suggestions for treats for sensitive tummies? Smile
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:34 pm

That's funny, Dizzy loves his food too. Zukes jerky works for him, but I haven't used enough to really tell if it would upset his tummy. Honestly skim string cheese is the best thing I've found for him. I was worried it would cause loose stools, but it has the opposite effect (just like in people). Smile I just pinch off tiny bits. It's also convenient to keep in your pocket because you can wrap it back up if you need to.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:59 pm

Hello!  I am back with sort of an update...

I switched him over to Acana.  He was just too inconsistent on Orijen.  Also split his meals up into 3 smaller meals.  Total of 2.5cups per day.  His stool is still somewhat inconsistent.  But i do find that it is better when he gets the smaller meal (it's 3/4cup, 3/4cup, then 1cup).  Still no weight gain though Sad Do huskies just go through phases where they don't grow for awhile?!?!  I'm started to get worried, and have consulted a nutritionist, but haven't heard back yet.  I took some pictures for you all.  This is underweight right?

He is quite tall for a husky.  The last time i measured him (about 2mths ago), he was 23inches tall at the withers... give or take 0.5inches.  I've never measured a dog before haha.  He doesn't appear to have a lack of energy.  If he doesn't go to daycare, or his dogwalker doesn't come for that day, and he just stays home with my husband, he is still quite active at night and wants to play.  So there's no lethargy.  Anyways, i guess i'm just curious as to whether other people experienced this with their huskies where they stopped growing for awhile, and then started growing again?? I am constantly praying for a growth spurt to kick in!  



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techigirl78
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:25 pm

Looks underweight to me. He looks like my lexi looked a few months ago. She is an adult, but I put her on puppy food after talking to the vet (3 cups per day mixed with wet food). She gained about 5 lbs and now her top view looks much better. I think it took like 3 months to get more weight on her as it is a slow process. In the middle, she got sick again which never helps. I also fed her 3 times per day like you instead of two for a couple months and it seemed to not upset her tummy as much.

My Lexi wasn't lethargic either after getting over her illness and I wanted her to calm down some and not burn her calories away (mind you she is almost 12 now). I think it just takes a long time for active dogs who get exercised to put on weight. She had weight gain of 1-2lbs per month.

My puppy is about 22.5" tall and weighs 57 lbs. It seems like a ok weight for him, but for some reason he seems a little more muscular then other huskies. He is around 7 months now and he continues to grow, but much slower now.

When reading on huskies, it seems many stop growing around 6-8 months then hit maybe 1-2 more growth spurts before 18-24 months. I think 22" is tops for standard, but many huskies go well above it. Only time will tell how much taller Gus gets.
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:12 am

Eek! Definitely skinny! Ideally, you want to see a "shadow" of the last rib on the side view with a nice tuck. Top view you should see a waist and once again a bit of the last rib.

Good job splitting the food up into multiple meals. Too much food in one meal = big poop/not as much fat and nutrients getting absorbed. I mentioned this in the other underweight dog thread but, have you tried Satin Balls? They were suggested to me as I increase Bae's exercise regime come winter (we're going to be skijoring a couple times a week eventually, running 4-5 days a week right now). Bae is already a skinny minnie and any weight loss and he'd be a little running skeleton. The meat, oils, and fats in the Satin Balls add weight easily and dogs absolutely love it. I'll be making it myself soon.

Bae is on TOTW Pacific Stream (3.5-4 cups a day) right now but will be switching to Eagle Pack Power to get some more calories plus some satin ball action. Budget friendly food with a tasty raw boost on top!

Link: http://www.holisticdog.org/Nutrition/Satinballs/satinballs.html

I think Huskies have very efficient bodies. After being bred to run and run and run on not that much food, I'm sure their ancestor went a day or two without adequate food. The lack of energy loss or lethargy is because Huskies are so hardy! Run all day, meal or no meal.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:14 am

AAAAAH I KNOW!! Sometimes, when i see how skinny he is, I get all panicky because I get so worried about him! Thank you all for your tips and advice! I think the 3 meals per day is helping with his stool anyways. As for the weight gain, I'm still keeping a close eye. I heard back from our nutritionist, and she has suggested a couple things to help get his belly healthy first, and see if weight gain follows as a result of that. Hopefully, my next picture post update will be that of a healthy husky husky! Smile
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:02 am

Something that might help with both the weight gain and soft stool is adding some raw with a high-ish bone content. I've been doing half raw, half dog food for Dizzy for a few weeks now and I like the result (kibble in the morning, raw 12 hours later in the evening). If his stool gets loose, a sure fire way to get it firmed up by the next bm is a meal of pork vertebrae. When I first started incorporating the raw back in, it took about a day for him to adapt, but since then, his stool has been better than ever with occasional soft-ish mashed potato texture. The pork also is high fat, so that might help Gus pack on the lbs as well. I ran out of the supplement I was using a couple of weeks ago and decided to go without and see how it goes. I haven't needed it since, thank goodness, and I think his belly is finally balanced.
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:42 pm

Thanks Jen!

I picked up all the supplements that the nutritionist suggested for Gus. I am going to start him on it tonight, and hope that it helps. I'm just hoping that getting good bowel movements consistently with him will help with weight gain. If that doesn't, I will likely bring him to the vet again for more testing.

He did have his thyroid tested a while back. And the vet had a suspicion that he could have Cushings disease. We did the test, and it was negative, so at least I know it's not that. I'm wondering if he could still have giardia?!?! We tested again after his last round of medication and it was negative, but I've read that the tests are not always super accurate. His stool isn't so soft (or even diarrhea like) for me to suspect giardia again though.

Fingers crossed! Stay tuned Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:49 pm

I hope they help and he feels better. Smile Dizzy has an infection going, and I have to start him on antibiotics tonight. I'm sure it's going to get his tummy all out of whack again, and I'm not looking forward to the rebalancing act. Sad What supplements did your nutritionist recommend?
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:59 pm

She suggested:

- Probiotics - to counteract all the medication he was on during his giardia
- Slippery Elm - to help with mucous production - until his stool hardens up
- Chia Seeds - helps with gut inflammation
- Coconut oil
- Spirulina powder - not sure exactly what this does, but supposed to be good for their gastrointestinal tract

It seems like a lot... and believe me, it wasn't cheap either haha. Everything i bought is human grade. Ultimately, I would like to just have him on probiotics and coconut oil (or fish oil). And i'm sure ALL of these together might be overkill. But if it works, I'm all for it! At least for awhile until his belly chills out a bit and stabilizes. Then i'll probably start weaning him off the other items.

We're going away on vacation for 5 days soon, and my sister is going to be staying at our place and taking care of Gus. Just prepping his meals is going to be a handful now haha! I hope she's up for the challenge Razz
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:46 pm

Hello!

Back from our vacation! Gus was a very good boy! What a relief haha.

The supplements don't seem to have helped much with his bowel movements. But our nutritionist says that it can take a very long time to heal a gut.

To add to the equation, Gus has been quite itchy lately. We live in Canada so it's getting pretty cold these days. I wonder if it's just the cold weather and the heat at home (we haven't even turned our heat on!). I spoke to our regular vet yesterday, and he suggested switching his food to a Limited Ingredient Diet. He suggested Natural Balance. I looked it up and it's not the greatest food, but there aren't many options for LID. I know Acana has 2 LID formulas, but they are not grain free.

Anyone else ever have an itchy dog problem that was solved with switching foods? I don't even know where to start if we start going down the is-it-a-food-allergy road Sad 
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:31 pm

I think I read through most of the information. I may have missed some things so forgive me if it's already been stated.

I'm starting to think it could be a slight food allergy of some sort if he is having inconsistent stools and if he seems very itchy. Other than doing allergy testing (if there is even that for pets), you could try doing a bland, homemade diet with just two ingredients (one protein source and one fiber source) to eliminate all but two ingredients. This would also help 'reset' his tummy if he does have a sensitive tummy. Typically, I say eggs and a veggie you know he likes (I have done carrots, green peas and green beans). Eggs because it's a neutral protein source as some pups may have allergies to chicken/poultry or fish.

For starters, for a growing pup, you could do 4 eggs (I do hard boiled because you don't need to oil the pan if you do scrambled) and about 1.5 cups of one veggie, twice a day (or if you feed three meals, you can do 3 eggs and 1 cup of veggie, 3x a day). He should firm up within 24-36 hours. Monitor him also if he itches less. If he seems to itch less, then you'll kind of know that at least part of him 'itching' often could be part of a food allergy.

I know a couple of pups that allergic to potato (white or sweet) so try to find foods that are grain free and potato free. Nature's Variety Instinct has a whole line of grain free and potato free kibble and I know one husky owner with her pup being allergic to potato has had success with it. This line also has a LID formula with duck, but if you look at all the formulas in this line, it doesn't have a lot of ingredients in it. So you could see how he does on Nature's Variety Instinct first rather than doing a homemade, two ingredient diet, especially when you're concerned with him being thin.

http://www.naturesvariety.com/Instinct/dog/kibble/all

If your pet store does not offer this and you'd like to try it, you can get it at a discount here:

http://www.naturalk9supplies.com/filter.aspx?T=SC&MID=79&TID=1




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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:15 am

Have you thought about / considered going raw?
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks for the tips Claudia! He seems to be doing ok-ish on the Natural balance right now. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being a good bowel movement), he has been almost consistently at 3 or 3.5. With the occasional 4. The itchiness seems to have gone down a bit too, though not completely. My friend's puppy was a bit itchy lately too and i'm starting to think that it could be the weather. Any tips for if it just the heat and cold weather?

How long do you suggest I keep him on a food before I try something else again? We started the Natural Balance on Wednesday, so it's been about 5 days now, and he had a pretty good BM this morning. I always expect results overnight, and I know that when it comes to the tummy, it can take awhile to adjust. I just need to set a deadline for myself to prevent me from worrying constantly.

Angela, I haven't really considered a raw diet yet. I don't really know anything about raw diets. Is it supposed to be better for their tummies and easier to digest?

So i have a poop question haha. This is somewhat graphic, so i apologize! Sometimes, when he has a BM, it will be good and firm, then the VERY VERY last bit that comes out is super soft. Almost bordering on diarrhea. Anyone have any idea what that could be? Is that overfeeding?? I am still sticking to 2.5cups per day with the Natural Balance (even though it says 3.5cups per day for his weight).
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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:00 pm

@TheBadGuppy wrote:
Thanks for the tips Claudia!  He seems to be doing ok-ish on the Natural balance right now.  On a scale of 1-5 (5 being a good bowel movement), he has been almost consistently at 3 or 3.5.  With the occasional 4.  The itchiness seems to have gone down a bit too, though not completely. 
So BM consistency is soft but can be picked up?  If so, that should be OK.  They shouldn't be really hard but it shouldn't be like soft ice cream where it holds shape but it'd smear if you try to pick it up.  If it's a little soft, but you can pick it up, that's OK.  Also good to hear that some itchy-ness has subsided.  

What formula of the Natural Balance are you feeding?  Have you checked into Nature's Variety Instinct if it's available to you in your area and if it's affordable?


@TheBadGuppy wrote:
How long do you suggest I keep him on a food before I try something else again?  We started the Natural Balance on Wednesday, so it's been about 5 days now, and he had a pretty good BM this morning.  I always expect results overnight, and I know that when it comes to the tummy, it can take awhile to adjust.  I just need to set a deadline for myself to prevent me from worrying constantly.
If he seems to be doing OK on Natural Balance, then give it some time to see if his BM consistency gets better if it's still on the soft side, maybe a month.  You don't want to switch foods on him too quick and too often because that can upset a pup's tummy too.  However, if he gets worse or isn't getting any better, after a few weeks, then look at Nature's Variety Instinct (since it does not have potato and it's grain free) and make a switch slowly over a week to 10 days.


@TheBadGuppy wrote:
I haven't really considered a raw diet yet.  I don't really know anything about raw diets.  Is it supposed to be better for their tummies and easier to digest?  
Going to a raw diet could be beneficial for your pup's tummy issues and itchy-ness.  I know a few pups with allergies that went raw and have done very well with their medical issues.  There are a few threads on raw diets on here that can help you get started.  


@TheBadGuppy wrote:
So i have a poop question haha.  This is somewhat graphic, so i apologize!  Sometimes, when he has a BM, it will be good and firm, then the VERY VERY last bit that comes out is super soft.  Almost bordering on diarrhea.  Anyone have any idea what that could be?  Is that overfeeding??  I am still sticking to 2.5cups per day with the Natural Balance (even though it says 3.5cups per day for his weight).
I think if you're overfeeding, you'd see most, if not all, of his BS in a soft to diarrhea consistency.  If he's only been on NB for about 5 days, maybe he's still trying to adjust although I would think 5 days is enough time for his tummy to settle unless he has a very sensitive digestive tract.

Maybe see how he does on NB over the next 10-14 days to see if he'll improve with BM consistency.  Make sure to also monitor his demeanor to make sure he's still as energetic and playful as usual.  Any change to his mood, personality or demeanor may be he's got something else going on that needs to be checked out by a vet.

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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:04 pm

Thank you Claudia!

His stools aren't firm, but they aren't soft. If i had to compare it to something, I would compare it to refrigerated goat cheese... sorry for that image haha. So it appears firm when it's coming out (i'm that weirdo that crouches down to watch her dog poop!), but then when you pick it up, it's quite soft. It does smear sometimes, but not all the time. If you're gentle when you pick it up, then you can probably do it without smearing (again, sorry for that image!). I was always expecting something just a bit firmer than that. If he was gaining weight consistently, then i probably wouldn't worry so much about that. but the combination of soft-ish stool and no weight gain (but no weight LOSS either) concerns me.

I'm currently feeding the Duck+Potato formula. I WISH i had read your message before I bought it now! Nature's Variety Instinct is available, and probably easier to get than Orijen or Acana, so that will probably be my next one to try if this doesn't work out.

He doesn't seem to have a lack of energy. When he gets to the dog park, he is non stop! When he is at home, he does seem to prefer cuddling or sleeping though. But if you pick up his toy, he's right up in your face again. This is pretty normal behaviour for him, so I'm not too concerned about that.

I'll give the Natural Balance another week or two, and see if that helps. Thank you again!
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