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 Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)

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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:05 pm

@TheBadGuppy wrote:
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 know exactly the consistency all too well!  I was also the weirdo that watch my pup poop and inspected her poop for consistency and such! His BMs should be more firm but at least he is not losing any weight.  


@TheBadGuppy wrote:
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.  
What you could do is get a small bag of Natures Variety and mix in some with NB and see how he does and slowly increase the ratio to more NV than NB and see if he firms more.  If he does, then my guess would be maybe the potato in the NB.  If he firms up some on a mix of both foods, you'll at least be able to use up the NB so you're not wasting it.  You could also maybe donate the unused portion of NB to a rescue (if they will take it.  Rescues always could use food for their fosters.)


@TheBadGuppy wrote:
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!
At least his energy and demeanor has not changed so my guess it would be a slight case of IBS or food allergy.  This will just take time to figure out diet and nutrition for your pup.  It took me about 6 months to really get my female's diet dialed in.

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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:39 pm

My husband thinks we should stick to just Natural Balance for now. I do change his food too much, or try different things too quickly. Also, we didn't switch him over gradually. My thought was, if he's allergic to something in his Acana, then this can only make it better! Well... it didn't make it worse so i guess that's good haha. I'll give it another week or two and let his tummy settle in with this food (hopefully), and hope that works!

Just a note, I am still giving him coconut oil and probiotics to heal his gut.
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SunnySade
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:46 pm

The breeder we got Neesha from feeds a raw and dry diet. He also gives a uncooked beef bone from his local butcher each night. About a year ago he started it and he said the bone is a natural stool hardener. He said do not give them cooked bones because they will splinter and it takes out all the nutrients. He swore that almost over night all his dogs had solid stools. We were sent home with a few they were rib bones cut about 5" long. Hope this helps:)
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:52 pm

Thank you!

This is getting annoying. It's so inconsistent. I don't change feeding times or amounts on him. And yet one day can be great, and then the next is terrible! I would expect that if it's a food allergy, it would be consistently bad. One more week of this food, and i'm going to try the Nature's Variety.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:08 pm

Hello! Thought i'd leave an update now that it's been awhile.

So when i first started him on his new food, about 4 weeks ago, he was 42lbs. He is now 44lbs, as of yesterday, and having some very good bowel movements! He is now being fed FOUR times a day (which he is crazy about, and would probably love a 5th meal), 3/4 cup each time. I know it seems like a lot of food. But if he continues to have good bowel movements, then I am going to keep it at that for awhile.

We added the fourth meal because he started throwing up (just bile) in the mornings, and the vet said he is probably hungry (his last meal used to be at 7pm). So now he gets a midnight snack before bed time, and no more vomit! And doing 4 smaller meals per day has really improved his bowel movements.

I still have him on the Natural Balance LID because he seems to be doing really well on it, and I'd rather not mess with a good thing right now Razz I did try and add in some of his Orijen last week, and his bowel movements went bad again, and he became itchy. This was my final attempt to see if it really is something in the Orijen that isn't agreeing with him, or if it's the cold dry weather making him itchy. He was also starting to get some eye boogies. So i am pretty confident that he is allergic to something in there. Likely the chicken or the fish. I've cut out the Orijen again, and am keeping an eye on the itchies and the boogies Razz Bowel movements started improving too once we cut out the Orijen.

Also, absolutely no sign of lack of energy haha. The cold air just makes him want to run and play longer than ever!
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:10 pm

Update again! Natural Balance LID duck formula doesn't seem to be working anymore. I picked up a bag of Nature's Variety LID Lamb formula. Still transitioning him over to it, but his bowel movements have been amazing already and we're still only at 50/50 of our transition! These are the best bowel movements we have ever seen from him... EVER! I'm almost out of the old food, and am considering just fully switching him over now. We used to switch him VERY slowly because his tummy was so sensitive, but this one doesn't seem to bothering him one bit!

He still hasn't gained much weight, but I am hoping that this new food helps with that. Thank you so much Claudia for your suggestion! I hope this is it for our Gussy! My only 'complaint' is that I wish the kibble for Natures Variety was a little bier to encourage chewing haha. These are like little rabbit pellets! He loves it regardless haha. This kid loves kibble more than treats!
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cmanding
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:14 pm

Good to hear that he is doing well!
It'll take time, but now you know what works for him, you can try to venture off and try other foods, little at a time. If he goes soft again, you now have a 'base' to get him back to normal.

It took me about 6 months to dial in Ginger's food. And since, I have now added other proteins and treats.

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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:20 pm

Yah I plan on trying other types of food once I get some more meat on him! My main concern is just getting him gaining some weight first, then I can slowly see what he can handle and not worry too much that he's underweight or malnourished haha. So hopefully this is it for him, and that my next update will be that he's putting on some pounds! Stay tuned haha
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:38 pm

So Gus has giardia... AGAIN. Our dogwalker caught him eating poop at the park a couple weeks ago. Then last week, he had pretty bad bowel movements, and voila! Giardia again.

His bowel movements are still great (aside from the soft stool from giardia) with the Nature's Variety LID Lamb. But he still isn't really gaining any weight at all. We did a blood test last week as well to see if he had exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, but that all came back normal too. Kind of frustrating because I wanted some answers, and it's hard to keep doing all these tests, and still know nothing! We retest his stool for giardia in 3 weeks. Once that is all clear, we're going to take him to see a specialist. Sigh. He's still only 44lbs, and really skinny.

And of course... we never purchased pet insurance. Sad I just want to know what's wrong so I can start treating it!
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:14 pm

So I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me before but one of my friends went through this with her husky, Rosie. Rosie got giardia from drinking snow melt at the dog park last year, and she lost a bunch of weight and my friend has had a hell of a time getting the weight back on. Orijen works for Rosie, but it sounds like Gus is sensitive to it. Now that Rosie has turned 2, she had started to put weight back on and fill out and seems pretty healthy overall.

Dizzy has been on raw for a while now, and I recently tried to put him back on dog food for convenience sake. Well, that didn't work out so well and he got a hot spot, weepy eyes and tear stains, and itchiness, not to mention the stool issues. So we are back on raw for life now. The eyes are completely better, hot spot is getting smaller, and itchiness is gone. I also suspect he has an ear infection at the moment so I'm keeping my eye on that. It might also be helpful for weight gain, you can feed higher fat content meats like pork or beef to help with weight gain. Is raw an option for you guys?
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:23 pm

@TheBadGuppy wrote:
So Gus has giardia... AGAIN.  Our dogwalker caught him eating poop at the park a couple weeks ago.  Then last week, he had pretty bad bowel movements, and voila!  Giardia again.

His bowel movements are still great (aside from the soft stool from giardia) with the Nature's Variety LID Lamb.  But he still isn't really gaining any weight at all.  We did a blood test last week as well to see if he had exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, but that all came back normal too.  Kind of frustrating because I wanted some answers, and it's hard to keep doing all these tests, and still know nothing!  We retest his stool for giardia in 3 weeks.  Once that is all clear, we're going to take him to see a specialist.  Sigh.  He's still only 44lbs, and really skinny.  

And of course... we never purchased pet insurance.  Sad  I just want to know what's wrong so I can start treating it!


If your vet keeps putting it as Giardia in your records, you can always get pet insurance now, just in case it turns out to be more serious in the future. I know it won't help with the current costs, but could help big time in the long run. When I get pet insurance for Siku, giardia was one thing that they wouldn't cover, but if he doesn't have it within 6 months, then we were able to get it removed from our exclusions. Plus if you apply for it, and don't like the exclusions that they place on you, you don't have to keep it and can get your money back.

I agree with Jen, you could always try raw. Me and her were actually talking about it the other day, because I just started Nikolai on raw, and I really do believe that some dogs are just meant to be on raw. We have had a lot of issues with food for Nikolai in general, and he is now doing great on it, and I don't think we can ever go back to kibble. But it wouldn't hurt to try once you get the giardia cleared up! You might be pleasantly surprised how great Gus does on it.
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:29 pm

I am seriously considering it now! Just so scared to try new foods with him because his tummy is so sensitive. I swear, i just gave him a small little green bean once, and he had diarrhea that evening! Maybe it was something else, and I'm just paranoid now.

I was just expecting that after almost 2mths of this new food, and really good bowel movements, that he would gain at least 2-3lbs! But nothing!

We're going to a new vet now, and she seems more open minded in general, so I'll ask her about raw. She is pretty concerned that there is something else that is causing him not to gain weight since it has been so long. She was saying that they would need to do an intestinal biopsy to see if he has IBD. But I haven't actually seen the specialist yet so I'm trying not to stress about that until I have to. In the meantime though, I'm going to start doing my research on raw.

Thanks for the tip on the pet insurance Erica! I asked my vet about insurance, and she said that this wouldn't be covered. And that the biopsy wouldn't be covered either because it's all related to the chronic diarrhea. But I haven't actually spoken to any insurance companies about it. I was a little shocked at first because if ALL future tummy problems would be considered pre-existing, then it just didn't seem worth it!

Which insurance people are you with? We are leaning towards Trupanion.

Thanks for the replies! I really appreciate it Smile
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:36 pm

I do VPI, and honestly I have mixed feelings about them. I have had awesome luck with them and Siku but they have been a real pain in the ass with Nikolai's policy so I would just do your comparison and see which would be best for you guys and if it is even worth it.

I know what you mean, Siku's policy has actually some stomach issues that they won't cover because of when he was a puppy, but I've still found that the policy has been useful for other things, so its been worth me paying the $30 a month. I've had it for a year and a half now, and I still get back more money that I actually pay for his policy even with the three exclusions. Buts its just all about what makes sense for you guys.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:40 pm

Well, you could start with raw lamb since you know he does okay on lamb. Smile
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:08 pm

$30 isn't bad at all! I always expect it to be much higher. Definitely going to give myself a deadline to figure this out by this week!

Jen, I was thinking that when i went grocery shopping on the weekend and saw lamb! But lamb is so expensive too! Yikes! I'm sure there are cheaper options though. Just gotta look for it! If he's already eating lamb, do i need to transition him slowly to raw lamb? Sorry Sad I haven't done any research on raw yet! I wonder if he'll like it.... haha
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:14 pm

No transition needed, I think some people do, but mostly just because they don't want to waste the dog food. You can definitely just go cold turkey. I think there is a stickie on raw feeding which is where I learned a ton! But I'm happy to help in any way I can. Here is a great link on all sorts of raw info. Erica, sorry I forgot to send this to you!

http://dogaware.com/articles/wdjhomemade2.html
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:20 pm

Yeah, I have everything except basic care, like teeth cleaning or shots on my policy and if you don't like the monthly payments with them you can actually pay them the full year in advance and it turns out to be a little less than $30 a month because you save in processing fee's or something. Mine is with a $100 deductible, so everything over a $100 a year, I get back from them for the claims that I submit.

But you can also reach out to Megan (not Megan with Yuki and Link, the other Megan) and I believe she has Trupanion (If I remember correctly, from another thread) and she can tell you about them and their policies.

Thanks, Jen. I'll look this over.

Maggie, I also didn't transition Nikolai to it, and just started it. I just thought it might be easier on his system that way.

Edit: mbarnard0429 (that Megan)
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:06 pm

Our vet called yesterday to check up on Gus, and she suggested we try this HA (hypoallergenic) food after he's cleared of giardia. I think it's this one: http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/Product/HAHypoallergenicDogFood.aspx

And it looks TERRIBLE! No way am I going to feed him that.
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:29 pm

Uh. Yeah... Does the vet think the weight issue is an allergy?
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:40 pm

Well she said that 60-70% of dogs that have chronic diarrhea are due to food-response diarrhea. I already told her that we've already gone through this, and that I have basically figured out the food that he can handle. I didn't remind her of that when she suggested this yesterday. And to be fair, I've only seen her once. We only started going to her last week.

Also, I didn't mention this on this thread, but Gus was doing really well on the Nature's Variety LID Lamb, and then 1.5mths in, his poop started to be really dry and crumbly. Not all the time, but just sometimes. Someone on here suggested that it was because he was holding it for too long? The weirdest is when it starts dry and crumbly, then the last bit is slimy!

I'm just going to tell her that we don't want to feed him that. And I kind of just want to meet and speak to a specialist. Even if we don't do anymore tests, and we just try raw or something, I'd like to speak to him just to see what he thinks about this.
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PostSubject: Re: Feeding and Weight Gain (Pics)   Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:42 pm

Yeah, it sounds like its beyond the scope of a normal vet.
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