Skinny Guy

Hi,
I adopted a "BRAT" 8 months ago. When I got him he was so thin (16-17lbs) and his hair was dull and full of dander.
I have his hair all straightend out (by good food and vitamins) and I had his weight up to 22lbs.(even then he looked a bit thin)
However he has been looking a bit thin so I took him into the vet to be weighed and he is back down to 17lbs! I feel like such a bad mom, and all of this has happend in the last month. He has lost 3 lbs in the last 2 wks.
I had a blood pannel ran and the vet said everything looked normal.
-He is on Royal Canin puppy food (its higher fat)
-He gets treats all the time (he was neglected before I got him- so I am going to spoil him to make it up:) )
-He is 3.5yrs old
-tests neg on falconi strips
-he does run ALOT
-he acts normal and has normal energy–infact he outlast my Mothers 1yr old basenji in the B500

  • you can see his ribs and hip bones, not emaciated, but if I saw this dog at the dog park I would think he needed more food.
    -He has full access to food
    -he is a bit nervous- due to the home I got him from

I am just concerned, the vet thinks he may just be a thinner dog. But that answer seems too easy and I would like to put about 8lbs on him and find out what is going on.

Anyone else have an idea?

Thanks

Sounds like you are doing everything right.

One question is, are his stools normal? And did your vet check for worms? I am imagining he did, as that is a pretty easy guess for unexplained weight loss.

Depending on how tall he is,20lbs might not be too out of range for a male basenji. And unless he is quite tall, your goal of 25lbs might be too much. I have a male that is a little tall, and lightly built, and he looks heavy at 25lbs, and ideal at 22. I agree, though that it is alarming that he lost 3lbs in two weeks without changing his eating patterns.

Good luck, and let us know how it is going. 🙂

Andrea Walters
Quercus Basenjis

Toledo, Ohio

I've met a few picky basenjis, and Sid is definately a picky eater, or I should say was a picky eater. He has gotten a lot better now that he is a bit older. His appetite got MUCH better after we brought Burrito home. Some things that help to keep their appetite up is to not let them free feed, give them a ration of food 1/2 -1cup 2x a day seems typical for pups around 20-25lbs. Allow it to sit for 15 mins, and then take away what ever he doesnt eat until the next feeding. Every so often I "skip" a meal with my guys as well. Some dogs just aren't interested in eating if it is constantly available.

I've also noticed that on days were I bring them out to really run (I haven't done so in a couple of weeks because of the heat) that Sid will loose weight really easily. They can burn off a lot of calories running around. I add a bit of wet food along with his dry on the days that he really runs too. It helps to give him a few extra cals. Goodluck 🙂
kim~

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That is a great point, Kim...I missed that in the post.
Andrea Walters
Quercus Basenjis
Toledo, Ohio

A very small percentage of hypothyroid dogs actually lose weight instead of gain it as a symptom. So you may want to make sure that is something that your vet checks.

More likely though is that if he is a nervous or anxious dog that he is just burning a lot of calories. It is amazing how much calories that burns but I have a male who when intact during breeding season would eat nearly twice his normal amount of food and still lose weight. During that time he was just so anxious that he just burned through the calories.

I agree with others that have suggested feeding him twice a day and if he does not finish his food within a reasonable amount of time, pick it up. If he is a picky eater he may miss a meal or two before he learns that he needs to eat when fed but don't worry. Not only will this encourage him to eat when fed, it will give you a much better idea of exactly how much food he is really eating.

To help with the nervousness you may want to consider somthing like a DAP. They can be bought at Petco and Petsmart and release a calming pheremone. My experience is that it takes a little while to work but I did notice some decrease in anxiety in my male when we used it.

Lisa

thanks for the input.
I had tried the 2x a day before and felt sorry for him.- however I only tried it for 3 days:o
I will give that a try. I bought some vitagravy that had some increased calories. and he is getting a bit of table scraps now. so I will try the 2x again along with the gravy and scraps (all at the same time)
He has been wormed recently- that was my first thought.
They did not do a thyroid panel on him. I will wait to see how his new 2x feeding works.
It could also be that he loses weight in the summer- he is more active than when I got him (November).
He is a small basenji (not sure how tall) and I was just throwing out a number- but I will go by looks.
Thanks all for the input, I will keep you updated on Skinny Squiggy 🙂
I will also try and get some pictures on here- so I can brag about my furkid.

Hi…I know I have a tiny girl and she was always underweight. All that was said about exercise is true for her too (loses weight easily & quickly), but I think 2 things helped my B girl gain weight: 1) reduced anxiety (believe it or not with an underground fence!) and 2) having her wormed with a generalized wormer at the vet for giardia, etc. - I also switched from an all-in-one heartworm, flea control to seperate heartworm pills and topical flea and tick protectiion. I hope this helps.

I also have a skinny guy. He is up to an almost healthy 23 pounds now, but he is still ribby and you can see his hips pretty easily. He is a bit on the tall side, but I'm really not sure where his ideal weight would be. We've tried many of the same things you have. He is a picky eater, and while very food motivated for training, once you give him the treat he actually ignores it. Our boy is a bit younger though, only 1.5 years. After having him checked thouroughly at the vet, our vet believes he is simply a very active adolescent and as he ages he will start to carry the weight better. The vet says he's in excellent health, and while he's a bit underweight, it's not enough to be concerned about as it might be normal for him. He has the metabolism I wish I had! Good luck with Squiggy!

I have a noneater…. when she gets to the ribby stage, I force feed her. No amount of additives... not cream cheese, not canned food, not real food, interest her. Even with barf dinners she will eat a little some days and leave the rest. Fortunately she lets me put a spoon in her mouth and swallows but it is a pain. We have had every test known to man including full thyroids run... she simply doesn't care about food. She will eat "treats" but not any that could healthily be her main food source.

That said, free feeding is usually not a good idea and especially not with overweight or underweight dogs. Setting meal times and taking food up is a biggie. The gravy stuff might be good, depends on what it is. Most I have seen are pretty icky ingredients. Adding in something simply like a couple of tbs of olive oil can give some good calorie boosts. The other thing is that if hte treats you give aren't higher calorie than the regular food, your treats may in reality be contributing to weight loss as they fill up but don't add weight. A good rule of thumb for a thin dog is at least 19 percent fat content. Its a lot easier to feed a dog a higher fat than more volumn of a lower fat food (ie 1/2 cut high fat compared to 1 cp of lower fat).

I post the following link while knowing that there are exceptions. Sayblee will nearly starve herself to death, and certainly down to unhealthy (backbone showing) weight. There are meds (crypoheptadine) to help eat more, btw, but as long as she willingly lets me feed her, I am putting it off.

http://www.westielovers.com/westieworld/picky.html

@DebraWhoLivesDownSth:

I have a noneater…. when she gets to the ribby stage, I force feed her. No amount of additives... not cream cheese, not canned food, not real food, interest her. Even with barf dinners she will eat a little some days and leave the rest. Fortunately she lets me put a spoon in her mouth and swallows but it is a pain. We have had every test known to man including full thyroids run... she simply doesn't care about food. She will eat "treats" but not any that could healthily be her main food source.

That said, free feeding is usually not a good idea and especially not with overweight or underweight dogs. Setting meal times and taking food up is a biggie. The gravy stuff might be good, depends on what it is. Most I have seen are pretty icky ingredients. Adding in something simply like a couple of tbs of olive oil can give some good calorie boosts. The other thing is that if hte treats you give aren't higher calorie than the regular food, your treats may in reality be contributing to weight loss as they fill up but don't add weight. A good rule of thumb for a thin dog is at least 19 percent fat content. Its a lot easier to feed a dog a higher fat than more volumn of a lower fat food (ie 1/2 cut high fat compared to 1 cp of lower fat).

I post the following link while knowing that there are exceptions. Sayblee will nearly starve herself to death, and certainly down to unhealthy (backbone showing) weight. There are meds (crypoheptadine) to help eat more, btw, but as long as she willingly lets me feed her, I am putting it off.

http://www.westielovers.com/westieworld/picky.html

I have him on a higher fat/calorie puppy food and have been feeding more treats (checked to make sure they were also high in fat and calories) and he is not so ribby anymore. In fact he is doing quite well. We are on an eating schedule of some sorts in the fact that he eats at night twice even though I leave it out still. but we have a routine that is working and keeping him healthy looking.
Thanks all!!

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