Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
urge to herd

Putting weight on Gibbs

Recommended Posts

Gibbs is a little too slender, a pound or 2. The ortho vet remarked on it when I took him for a check-up a couple weeks ago. I've tried simply feeding him a bit more, all that does is make him poop more. He's getting Costco brand kibble and about a quarter cup of training treats daily, if not more. I'm not going to do a raw diet.

He's got a great appetite, good coat, bright eyes, etc. There's noticeable muscle wasting in the left thigh, which has the knee with worst damage.

Ideas?

Ruth & GIbbs, who is always happy about the prospect of food. Any food.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Satin balls.

You can look it up; there are various recipes. I have made  them by just mixing good quality ground beef (not the lean kind) with cream cheese and oatmeal, rolling up into little bite size balls and feeding throughout the day. You can add other things, too, but I have always just kept mine simple.  If you don't want to do raw meat, there may be a cooked version; I don't know.

I would also check the caloric content of the food, and supplement with another one that has a higher calorie count,  feeding both at the same time, just to add some. Another thing you can do is feed cooked chicken, including the fat. I always boil the chicken I am feeding the dogs, and you can pour the resulting juice, which is mostly fat, over his kibble, which adds nutrition and calories both. And he will most likely love it. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, D'Elle! Chicken is a main stay in this house. Will buy some tomorrow. And I'll look at satin ball recipes as well, I'd forgotten all about those.

Pupdate will follow!

Ruth & Gibbs

PS - I don't object to feeding raw, I just don't want to mess with it. The satin balls sound like a good compromise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I trust your judgement, Ruth, and I know you trust your vet, but keep in mind that most vets are used to looking at obese pet dogs, so their 'yardstick' may be a little skewed from our working-dog perspective.  I've found that our senior dogs tend to do better if they are on the lean (not skinny!) side.  Having said that, I don't mind if the dogs carry an extra pound or two in the cold weather, even though they are in the house.

Good luck - hugs to you and a good ol' skritch for Gibbs!

Amy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I get that. Gibbs has weighed 40 lbs, or very close to that, for years. His ribs have always been 'feelable' but not prominent. The reason the ortho vet remarked on it was that he'd lost a couple pounds in 2 months, and I was feeding him the same amount I always have, about 1 and a quarter c of kibble divided into 2 meals. Plus treats, those are never in short supply.

I'll start with just a couple oz of the satin ball recipe added daily and then take him to the same vet to weigh him after a month.  Will keep you all updated.

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't remember how old Gibbs is, but a lot of older dogs loose muscle mass and require a significant amount of additional food to maintain their weight. I've really had to up Bodhi's food intake in the past year.

Here's the Satin Balls recipe I have (sorry for the weird formatting):

  10 pounds hamburger meat [the cheapest kind]
    1 lg. box of Total cereal
    1 lg. box oatmeal
    1 jar of wheat germ
    1 1/4 cup veg oil
    1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
    10 raw eggs AND shells
    10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
    pinch of salt
 
Here's a variation for a half recipe:
 
Satin Balls Half Recipe

5 lbs cheap hamburger patties (for high fat %)
1/2 large box Total cereal (about 6 cups cereal) 
1/2 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 7.5 cups oats) 
5 raw eggs
1/2 of 15oz jar wheat germ (about 2 cups) 
packages unflavored gelatin
5/8 cup vegetable oil (this is pretty close to 2/3 cup) 
5/8 cup unsulfured molasses
 

Best wishes for Gibbs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gibbs turned 12 in October, so not ancient, but definitely a senior. My other b collies have gained a little weight as they aged and I've had to really watch what how much they ate, I'm used to that. This is my first time dealing with unanticipated weight loss. I've remarked previously on the Boards that Gibbs has had more skeletal issues than my other 3 b collies put together. Lower back pain so bad he almost couldn't stand,  shoulder pain, and the  tear in acl ligaments in both knees.  I think there's another issue that my memory banks won't pull up right now.

We are frequent flyers at the emergency vet clinic. You'd think these dogs have secret pocket calendars so they can look at an upcoming 3 day weekend and say, "Ooooh, time for an emergency trip!

Ruth & Gibbs

PS - Amy Gibbs says thanks for the extra scritch. He soooo loves getting his rib cage scratched and massaged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

     I'm kind of hijacking your thread but what did you do about Gibbs' lower back pain?  My 13 year old is having issues too.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries, Aschlemm. The back pain was a while ago, a few years at least. He was pretty much on 'bed rest', the Gabapentin the vet put him on helped him relax. It just gradually got better. I actually did try swimming therapy with him for that, now that I think about it. There was an RVT in my area who had an above ground pool that she used. He really, really hated the water so we quit that. Maybe that could help your dog?

He's on Gabapentin again for his knee/acl damage.

R & G

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aschlemm, have you considered chiropractic? I'm doing this for Bodhi, who has some soreness and heat in one rear leg as a result of lower back subluxation.

Acupuncture might be another option.

Best wishes.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I made the meat mixture this afternoon and just gave Gibbs a very small amount with dinner. He has no problem at all with a little meat mixed in with his kibble. The veterinary hospital is close to where I live, so I can pop in and weigh him whenever. It's pretty cool, it's a step on scale in the lobby, so no appointment necessary at all.

Will keep you all pup-dated.

Aschlemm, I hope you find something that works for your dog.

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The great Weight Gain Experiment is coming to an end. Fed him the satin balls for a week now. No change in weight at all, AND he's pooping even more. The stools are well formed, no problem there.

It seems this boy is doing well at around 38 pounds. I'll probably use up the satin balls gradually, phase them out. Not worried anymore.

Thanks for the input and support, folks!

Ruth  & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too funny!  What goes in, must come out.... :lol:

It's probably loss of muscle mass in this senior dog, as others have suggested.  As long as he's doing as well as it seems, I'd agree to not obsess about it at this point.

Happy 2020!

Amy

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, Amy Coapman. As experiments go, I got what I needed ~ confirmation that he's a healthy weight and I can take that to the vet for the next visit. 

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, urge to herd said:

...As experiments go, I got what I needed ~ confirmation that he's a healthy weight and I can take that to the vet for the next visit.

UtH, I don't mean to be argumentative but to offer some other possibilities.

1) a week really isn't a very long time to know that he won't eventually begin to gain some weight. I may be wrong, of course, but if this were my dog, I'd probably try it a bit longer to be sure. Actually, it may have been my dog. I don't remember how long it took Bodhi to start gaining weight when I started feeding him more, but I do know it wasn't immediate. I remember being surprised that he didn't respond to the initial increase like he used to when he was younger and would gain weight really easily from small increments. Increased his food more than I'd thought I would have to.

2) If Gibbs truly isn't going to be gaining any additional weight as a result of increased food, then, again if it were my dog, I'd be asking why not. More calories in should result in weight gain and I'd be concerned that if that weren't happening something may be amiss in his metabolic process and at the very least I'd want to understand if this is normal or if there's something I should be concerned about.

I don't know the answers, just offering some food for thought (pun intended). . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probiotics might be worth adding.

 

FWIW, I’ve been really happy with how Kenzi is doing on Bright Mind 7+ kibble. It’s higher protein/higher calorie. Maybe a kibble that just has higher calories would help

Share this post


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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...