Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

About a month ago I took on a semi-rescued border collie, unneutered male. I say semi-rescued because he wasn't necessarily abused, but used on a rural farm's breeding program and spent most of his life kenneled or handled by a 6 year old. He threw two litters with mange, and the owner agreed to give him away. His owner was the sister of friend's friend, asked if I wanted him, so I took him. He's been a great dog so far and the only issue I have is eating. He's a larger border collie and should weigh, minimum, 10 pounds more than he does now. He has put on some weight since I've gotten him. 10 pounds would make him still quite lean, but at least not the almost emaciated he is now. Since he's not overzealous about marking and is good natured, I'm not worried about neutering him until he has more weight on. Right now, he doesn't have much weight around his spine and I can feel it protruding. He basically has free choice Prairie brand food right now with the bowl filled twice a day, assuming he's eaten any of it. There are days where he doesn't eat, and days where he eats 3 to 5 cups of food on his own. While he's not dropping weight, he's certainly not putting any on. I doubt it's anything physical, as he's been checked and the farm did vaccinate, worm, etc. Teeth are good, everything is good. He does show interest in food at certain times of the day (usually in the evening or when I'm gone and he is kenneled with the food), but only eats small portions.

 

He's a very timid dog and stays curled at my feet for hours at a time. He's much more comfortable when I go check on my own horses, and we work on commands out there. He's learned come, sit, roll over, shake, wait, go through, get in the car, out of the car, and leave it. He knows now, while he doesn't have to be friendly, he can't run away if I ask him to do something, which he's handled well. He's not a fear biter, never showed any aggression, is friendly towards other dogs, but doesn't have normal dog behaviors like chewing...on anything. He has no idea what a chew toy or rawhide is or what to do with it. He doesn't show interest in human food, even if left alone with it, and the short period I mixed some human food with his just led to him eating less and dropping weight. He won't approach the cats unless they come to him, doesn't bark, doesn't whine, and really is a very easy dog to get along with. I just would like to put weight on him.

 

Are there high-calorie foods out there that I could try? He doesn't show an interest in canned food, btw. I tried that. It just got nasty sitting in the bowl. The more time goes by, the more he does eat, bit by bit, but I'd like to help that process along. Any help would be appreciated!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking this guy in! The first several months in a new home can be very stressful. Even though you're giving him a wonderful life, it's very different from what he's used to.

 

As long as his energy/coat/eyes seem healthy, I wouldn't worry right now. We brought our Shoshone home weighing around 32 lbs. Every time I took her to the vet, he'd remark on how skinny she was. It took us about 6 months to get her up to 35 lbs.

 

you've had him vetted/checked for worms, right? If all that is good, then relax and enjoy him. His personality will emerge more and more.

 

Thanks again,

 

Ruth

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had good luck with several very thin dogs using a very high fat food. Currently most of my dogs are on limited rations since I started feeding Red Paw. this is the best weight food I've used, but availability is limited.

 

In the past I've hd good luck with Science diet Active and Pro Plan (forget which one but very high protein/fat ratio) but always had to add a great product called Xtra-Bloom Wate. this is a high fat supplement (and I am not much for supplements but this one really works!)

 

Over the years the combination of the Wate and high protein/fat foods has helped recondition several dogs. Additionally check him for worms even if they dewormed him, it does not mean they got the ones he had.

 

I have a friend whose dog was extremely thin (and I like my dogs thin so this dog was REALLY too thin) tried the Red Paw and his dog is now in good weight. Initially I told him to add some of the Wate. This dog was a very picky eater but gobbled the Red Paw right away. You can check the Red Paw web site for locations that carry it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also commend you for taking this boy in and trying to give him a better home.

 

I second the suggestion to do fecal to check on whether the 'worming' he received before you got him cleared him up. The previous worming may not have been 100% effective, or he may have been re-infected.

 

As others have suggested, you may want to try a higher fat, higher protein diet and/or add a supplement specifically for weight gain. Also, maybe he doesn't like the kibble you are feeding him. Not that it isn't a good quality food (I am not familiar with Prairie brand.), but he may not like it. I ran into the same problem with my girl dog and Natural Balance dog food. I would also try finding something, anything really tasty and tempting so you can add it to his food to get him excited about eating. Don't give up!!

 

Two other thoughts crossed my mind: behavioral issues and gastric upset

Again, my girl dog, Ritz, is also a very timid, fearful dog. She will not eat her dog food unless her immediate surroundings are quiet. Any person or dog or cat walking by, any loud noise - or even mild noise, almost anything --- and she just stands in front of her dog bowl and looks around until all is perfect in her mind. Perhaps your dog needs the right 'environment' - whatever he thinks that is.

 

BTW, I am not a fan of leaving kibble out for free choice eating. I prefer to feed twice a day. Even my finicky girl dog has her bowl taken up and put away if she hasn't eaten it in 5-10 minutes. You can bet that she eats much more vigorously the next feeding. IMHO, twice-a-day feeding is better for monitoring amount of food eaten, rate of eating and general temperment of the dog when eating - all of which are good indicators of general health and demeanor.

 

Gastric upset: A long shot might be that your dog has an upset stomach - either because he is still stressed at being in a new environment or due to some physical basis. A friend of mine has/had a very finicky dog that recently got a prescription to deal with itchy skin. Ever since he started the meds, the dog's appetite has improved tremendously. Sorry, but i don't know the medication or any specific details beyond what I just wrote.

 

Good Luck. I wish I could give your dog a few of my extra pounds.

 

Jovi

 

Jovi

Link to post
Share on other sites

You might also experiment with protien sources. A lady I know with a GSD couldn't keep weight on her otherwise seemingly healthy dog. WHen she bought a beef based, rather than chicken based, variety of the same food brand by accident and decided to feed it rather than bring it back, her dog gained weight. Seems she had poor tolerance of chicken.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have a thin dog that does well on fish formula foods, only certain ones though. He seems to have food allergies. He also gets prozyme in his food to help his body absorb the nutrients and much as possible. Those 2 things have really helped this dog who throughly checked by the vet several times!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep all this in mind as I play around. The food store recommended moving away from any carbohydrate-based foods if I wanted to put weight on him, so we're now trying Orijen. He seems to like the taste much better. I'm also noticing he does want it to be peaceful when he eats. He usually eats when he's kenneled and we're away or if my boyfriend and I have both sat on the couch near his kennel and are doing something calm. I tried only feeding him twice a day and removing it, but he just ate less. I could try it again if I have more confidence in that he does want the feed, but doing that for days didn't make any difference.

 

Thanks everyone!

Link to post
Share on other sites

what finally got weight on Happy was feeding her 3/4 of her food in the am and 1/4 for supper..odd I know, but she was only 29lbs(21" tall) and eating almost 4lbs of raw a day! attached in a pic of what she looked like. she tested out in exellent health at the vets, and the vet suggested feeding her 3/4 of her daily food intake in the morning, instead of half/half , it actually worked like a charm, she gained a good amount of weight and I was able to cut her food intake back by more then half and mantain her weight.

 

good luck with the orijen though, my friends Husky/shepherd had a lot of weight issues till they put her on Orijen, within 2 weeks she looked amazing :)

post-2754-015868400 1315086834_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you had his thyroid levels checked? It's a fairly inexpensive test, and it might be his problem. I had a Collie bitch once with no obvious symptoms except that she was a bit too thin and uninterested in food. I had a hunch she might be hypothyroid, and though my vet was extremely dubious that she might be hypothyroid we did the test and she was. A few weeks on the thyroid meds and she started eating well and put on weight.

 

I also had a Siberian Husky once that had a strange eating pattern. If you offered her food every day, or left kibble out free choice, she wouldn't eat enough to keep a sparrow alive. She was all bones. Bur if you fed her every other day she would eat a good meal in one "sitting" and hold condition.

 

When I used to show Collies we would sometimes have a dog that was hard to keep weight on and we used to give them 1/4 lb. of raw, full-fat hamburger, hand-fed in addition to their regular food. It would put weight on them pretty quickly and made their coats glow.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep all this in mind as I play around. The food store recommended moving away from any carbohydrate-based foods if I wanted to put weight on him...

 

 

Really? Thats surprises me as I feed carbs to my scrawny elderly dog to keep weight on him, and avoid them for my wanna be butterball dog to keep her from resembling a pumpkin.

Link to post
Share on other sites

re: no carb diets for dogs. EVERY DOG IS DIFFERENT! Yes, more protein/fewer carbs might help your dog, but it's not a hard and fast rule.

 

I had Shoshone on a no-carb diet years ago to try and help her allergies. She lost a lot of weight, her coat got dull and rough, and she was listless. All this while I was feeding her 2x/the amount recommended for a dog her size.

 

After 2 months of her getting worse and worse, I put her back on a good kibble. In a couple weeks, she had gained 2 lbs, her eyes were bright and her coat got much better.

 

Look to your dog as to what works or doesn't work for him. As you experiment, keep an eye on him to make sure the changes are helping, not hurting.

 

Good luck!

 

Ruth

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...