Doh… vet said she needs to lose about a pound

  • First Basenji's

    Bowpi had a vet appointment yesterday to look at a wart-like thing that's been on her front left leg. They aspirated it and said it was basically a little lick granuloma that was just sitting on top of hardened skin and it's not going away because she keeps worrying it. I think she licks it just because it's there, not that it's itchy or painful, since she lets us touch it no problem and it's actually pretty easy to distract her when she starts licking. However, in the past couple weeks, she's been obsessing over it, coinciding with a bout of environmental itchies that seem to be plaguing the entire household, so we finally just asked them to give us some meds to make it go away.

    Anyway, I'm not really very concerned about that minor skin irritation. What kind of surprised me is that the vet suggested that Bowpi should lose about a pound. She's 7 years old, at exactly 22.0 pounds right now. You can grab rolls off her side and her neck, but honestly, I thought it was just an acceptable amount of loose skin, since she has such a nice waist and she's always had a pretty deep chest.

    She gets plenty of exercise. Every day, we do about an hour of a good off-leash walk in the afternoon, including more intense running around if she finds the right play partner, then another 30 - 45 minutes on-leash evening walk. When she's not outside, she basically SLEEPS all day. 🙂 What a life…

    I think at this point, the only thing I can modify is her diet by trimming back. She gets less than 1/2 a cup of fish-based kibble in the morning, then about 4 - 5 ounces of various things in the evening: dehydrated raw, raw chicken, raw turkey, whole raw fish, or sometimes homecooked stuff. Anyway, I always suspect that the BF is overfeeding her in the mornings (based on what I see him putting in the bowl when I am around), but of course I've got no way to prove it... 😉

    This is how she looks now --

    You can kind of see the "rolls" on top, on her back.

    Showing her sitting pudge (and the warty/scabby lick spot on her front left leg)

    Okay, maybe this angle makes her butt look big…

    But from this angle, I don't think she looks so bad?

    Well, maybe I can get her to lose half a pound. But if she's got some extra rolls despite it all, I think she's doing okay for a lady of her age and energy levels…

    She was 24 pounds when she came to us. One of her previous veterinary records said she was as heavy as 28 pounds at some point. Now THAT I can't imagine!!

  • She looks great to me. If you want and she likes them, try some canned green beans in her food. My b's love it.

  • Looking at the last and first picture she looks to be in good condition… She has a visible tuck up. 🙂

  • First Basenji's

    Yeah, I mainly look for tuck, too. I guess there's fat underneath the skin rolls around her torso area that she could lose. But I feel like that would make her skin hang weird and loose, since she's never going to lose skin. It's loose enough to bunch around her armpits and elbows sometimes.

    I dunno. I'm inclined to think that as ladies age, we're allowed to be just a little rounder in some parts, and some areas of our skin just get tired. 😉

  • I wouldn't worry about it. Unless she is unusually small, she is right on breed standard for a bitch. And from your pictures, she doesn't look fat to me. Lean is great on a dog that is working its ass off, but unless she is running hard from dawn to dusk, I think she looks just fine! 🙂 (another thing I have learned from horses…...and it is true for dogs that having a pound or two extra can help immensely if they are ill, off their feed, and lose weight rapidly. You don't want an obese animal, but one that is rail thin doesn't have the reserves to make it through a challenging illness. JMHO)

  • Some b's have a greater tuck up than others, so IMO it's hard to go by a tuck up. Shadow, pudgy old boy that he is, gets about 3/4 cup of food a day and is a 27 lbs. He is pretty big, but he still has a great tuck up. He really should be only about 22-24 lbs. But, he's old, has a few issues and I'm not giving him less than that a day.

    I think she looks good. If she's happy and healthy otherwise and gets lots of exercise, I wouldn't worry too much over 1 lb.

  • I think she looks great. While pictures are not like putting hands on, but I don't think she is overwight?…..

  • I am not sure I would worry about 1 lb. If it were 5 then maybe, my female is overweight right now but has lost a few pounds and will continue to lose during the summer. I always tell her she is at her winter weight still. But she does need to lose a few, heck so do I!! I think she looks great.

  • I know I am a little rounder in many places than I was years ago 😉

    Also Menchi says wrinkles and skin are beautiful 😃

  • First Basenji's

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. We will carry on as usual… more or less, but not much less. I do like the idea of holding onto a "reserve" pound. 🙂

    I guess I was surprised because she's really not the one whose weight I obsess over... I tend to be more critical of the hypothyroid fluffybutt, Bowdu. When he puts on weight, it's a lot harder for him to lose it.

  • I sympathize with Bowdu!

  • I would say that she's not at all overweight. Loose skin is good for a Basenji. In my opinion the best way to test whether a B is overweight is to look for fat around the ribs! I know pictures can be misleading.

  • I think she looks just fine. If you trust this vet and they know the Basenjis, you might give that vet a call and ask them to explain the basis for the overweight statement. Maybe with communication the Vet can clarify why they think she is overweight. Sometimes the answer is much better straight out of the horses mouth.

  • First Basenji's

    I do trust and like this vet. I don't think she necessarily knows specifically about Basenjis. When she stated her evaluation, she grabbed the loose skin around Bowpi's chest area and pointed that out as the specific area that could be trimmed back. She said she's looking good, but losing a pound would make her even fitter for "her kind," by which I think she meant sighthound.

    Which leads me back to a subject that I think I've talked about before here – sighthounds generally carry less fat than average, but not all are supposed to be "skinny" in the same way. I don't think B's generally look as skinny as some other sighthounds, nor are they supposed to, even though they're grouped together. I think I even recall reading in a breed book that you should be able to lift a Basenji by its loose skin (not that this is something anyone would make a habit of). Let me see if I can find that reference... If I find it, maybe I'll bring it up next time we check in at the vet. 😉

  • @curlytails:

    I think I even recall reading in a breed book that you should be able to lift a Basenji by its loose skin (not that this is something anyone would make a habit of). Let me see if I can find that reference… If I find it, maybe I'll bring it up next time we check in at the vet. 😉

    I have also seen that remark made of Basenjis, and in fact I had one bitch who didn't mind me doing that at all! Basenjis should have loose skin. Certainly all of mine have been that way.

  • Curlytails, There is a simple solution. Get an opinion from another vet that is well versed in Basenjis. If your vet wanted to be well versed in Basenjis, don't you think she would spend the time and effort educating herself on her own?

  • Our breed standard calls for loose and pliant skin. Losing weight is not going to lessen the loose skin. Nicky probably had enough skin for two dogs and a good thing too because they took a huge square of it out when he had his cancer surgery 3 years ago. He still has loose skin, just not as much.

    If she has clearly visible waist and you can easily feel her ribs when she is standing then she is probably at a fine weight.

  • A dog of most breeds would have to be seriously overweight for loose skin to dissappear, and losing weight would only make it looser.

    A better guage is to run your finger over the rib cage. If you have to push in more than a very slight pressure to feel the ribs, the dog is carrying extra weight. Tuck from the side should be visible, but also from above when standing. A seated or curled up dog will look like it has a thicker waist than a standing one just like we do

    She looks fine to me. Very happy too.

  • First Basenji's

    She is very happy indeed. 🙂 Just got back from a couple hours at the beach today, whee!

    Anyway, I took her to the vet for a weigh-in last month. She checked in (after a big ol' poop around the corner) at 19.7 pounds! I could not tell the difference with my eyes, and I really didn't think I'd been cutting back so much… the vet should have no complaints now. Her appetite and energy levels are normal, her skin and fur are nice... I guess I'll keep doing what I've been doing, but she can get raw eggs twice a week again and I won't feel so bad about slipping her an extra treat every now and then. 😉

    I thought these were interesting pictures of her loose skin from around the time I weighed her last month:

    The only thing now is I have to watch it even more carefully with the Comfortis, since both dogs were given the dosage for 20-40 pounds. I wasn't giving her the full pill anyway since I've heard of several dogs react badly to it when they were at borderline weights. And she is borderline, with weight that apparently fluctuates more than I can easily perceive.

  • First Basenji's

    She does indeed look in great shape! I loved that shot of her 'pudge sit…' LOL! My older girl Candi had a 'licking granuloma' on her foot, right above the metatarsals. Anyway, did the Vet visit, went through the antibiotics, went down a bit, then returned. During her 10 days on antibiotics, I was rubbing Novalsan antiseptic cream on it and covering it (not too tight) with a torn piece of ace wrap that had velcro on it. Believe it or not, it stayed on all night for the first 7 days, then she figured out how to take it off and I would take it off for her to go outside. The time it stayed on however, did help the granuloma to finally recede-I believe. Because I was not going to take her back for another round of anitbiotics. They just have to stop the licking. It is gone,but the scar is there with no hair growth. Hope you can conquer this for her sake!

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