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Thalice
Dogsey Senior
Thalice is offline  
Location: Wales.UK
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 504
Female 
 
23-12-2009, 12:12 PM

How to put weight on older dog?

Flash is a 10 & half year old English Setter - my first born from my first litter and so very special. He is quite a large framed dog and I have never been able to get enough weight on him to fill it out. As he is older now, he looks really boney and I dont want people to think he is maltreated !

He is picky with his food and doesnt have a particularly good appetite and wont eat in bulk. I need a high calorie food which is not high protein - he is too old for that and one that is palatable and not too bulky.

He has just been on a course of steroids for a skin problem and I took the opportunity to feed him up and he almost looked 'normal'. However, as soon as the steroids stopped, the appetite is gone and he looks scrawy again.

He is regularly wormed and vet checked recently - all blood/urine levels normal.

Has anyone any suggestions ?

Thalice's Mum
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JoedeeUK
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23-12-2009, 12:29 PM
This link might change your mind about feeding low protein to an older dog.

I've never fed a low protein diet to any of my older dogs, in fact my X breed Sam-me was on a performance food diet all the time I had her from around 7-9 yrs old until she died 11 1/2 years later. It was the smae high protein diet that my Border Collies were & are still fed on(raw diet & holistic dry food)
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scorpio
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23-12-2009, 01:32 PM
Hi Maud,

I had the same problem with Tyler, I retired him from the show ring after his junior classes as he looked like I starved him..it was awful and I tried everything to get the weight on him but nothing worked.

As he got older I worried about him falling ill and not having anything to fall back on bodywise so I had him neutered...I don't usually do that except for medical reasons..but took him to the vet for advice and they did find, (albeit benign) a small lump in one of his testicles which made me feel happier about having him done.

He never looked back, his coat didn't go wirey but he looked a million dollars and had a lovely little body on him, right up until just before we lost him a few months ago.

I know it sounds drastic and I wouldn't ever encourage anyone to go down that route, I prefer to let people make up their own minds on that one, but it worked for him...I was just so worried about his later years as the setters can tend to go a bit scrawny once they get to their twilight years.

Sheree xx
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Petticoat
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23-12-2009, 01:38 PM
This is something I have worried about with Jamie, though vet and breeder thinks he is okay, he is too skinny for me, if he is ill he drops weight and he can be very fussy, even now being fed on a combination of raw and naturesdiet/wainwrights. He is three years old now and I am thinking of having him neutered next year if it will bulk him up a little. Not something I really like the thought of, but Jamie is a skinny boy and when he leans into you, you can feel all his ribs....
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RedyreRotties
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23-12-2009, 03:18 PM
Some things I find beneficial in getting some weight on dogs:

Eggs. Scrambled, sunny side up, or raw
Carbs. Rice, pasta, oatmeal
Whole milk dairy. Yoghurt, cottage cheese
Canned fish. Salmon or mackerel (use tuna sparingly)
higher fat meats such as hamburger (this I would feed either raw or made into a large patty and quickly seared on both sides)

I should say that I have been a raw/home feeder for well over a decade.
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Thalice
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23-12-2009, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the article Jodee, makes for interesting reading. However, Flash is not your 'normal' geriatric !! Firstly there are very few foods at 34 percent protein and raw only provides 12 percent. I dont want to change his percentage, I just want more calories in a small package - all foods seem aimed at weight reduction. I have had him on an 'Active' plus tripe which he ate whilst on steroids but only nibbles at now - poor lad.

How do I make him feel hungry ?

Sherree and Claire - I have considered castration especially as I hope this may also have an effect on his skin problems and as as I dont intend to breed from him. His coat is already awful and curly so thats not a problem. I just dont want to submit him to unncessary anaesthetic.

He is quite depressed at the moment and doesnt want to get up in the morning - its all very worrying.

Thalice (and Flash's) Mum
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scorpio
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23-12-2009, 03:39 PM
Originally Posted by Thalice View Post
Sherree and Claire - I have considered castration especially as I hope this may also have an effect on his skin problems and as as I dont intend to breed from him. His coat is already awful and curly so thats not a problem. I just dont want to submit him to unncessary anaesthetic.

He is quite depressed at the moment and doesnt want to get up in the morning - its all very worrying.

Thalice (and Flash's) Mum
I know what you mean Maud, having lost a 2 year old english following a sedative for a routine procedure I cringe whenever mine have to have any kind of anaesthetic. All I can say is that Tyler seemed quite an old boy for some time and I never thought he would make old bones, but having the op at 9 years old changed him literally overnight into a puppy again, he was full of beans and joined in all the games and chasing around. He was 11 1/2 when he went to the bridge, and was very playful until those last few weeks.

I wish you the very best of luck whichever route you take. xx
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Petticoat
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23-12-2009, 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by Thalice View Post

Sherree and Claire - I have considered castration especially as I hope this may also have an effect on his skin problems and as as I dont intend to breed from him. His coat is already awful and curly so thats not a problem. I just dont want to submit him to unncessary anaesthetic.

He is quite depressed at the moment and doesnt want to get up in the morning - its all very worrying.

Thalice (and Flash's) Mum
I know what you mean too Maud, the only reason I am so reluctant to castrate Jamie is the anaesthetic risk, as I know Sheree lost her beloved boy early and you don't always know there is a problem until its too late...(I know this first hand as I myself am an anaesthetic risk with my blood pressure dropping too low when I am under... )
Jamie is incredibly fussy he can't tolerate the BHT additive and does better on the diet he is on now, but I also would like him to bulk up a little bit more...
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