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#1 iWantToBelieve

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:12 PM

Just picked Ryleigh up a few weeks ago and have her scheduled for a vet appointment next Wednesday (the place was booked!). In the mean time, I have noticed how skinny she really is... Her hip bones are the main thing that I caught on to--they are VERY prominent. A friend of mine that does dog training and such instructed me to feed her four cups of food a day (two in the morning and two at night). I am feeding just the regular Wellness Brand dry food with some Science Diet so as to not upset her stomach when switching over. She is two years old and came from the shelter that I work at. She doesn't always eat, but she poops on both of her walks every day. She acts normal otherwise (besides being horribly skittish if you have followed her story!). Any advice is appreciated... I can get photos later if anyone would like to see how she looks.
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#2 Rave

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:47 PM

Four cups of food is too much volume to put into a Border Collie (or any medium-sized dog). You run the risk of bloat, not to mention more volume in equals more volume out.

Think QUALITY NOT QUANTITY. You need to find a higher fat/calorie food, or add fat/calories to her food, some examples of what you can add: high-fat yogurt, hamburger, chicken, sardines, canned salmon. Also pay attention to the protein, some proteins are "hotter" and some dogs will burn through them like water. Try a different protein (my dog goes through lamb like water, she has to have chicken). Also make sure you're not feeding a no-grain food; when you're trying to put weight on a dog you want carbs.

What is the percent of protein and fat in her current food?

#3 rushdoggie

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:04 PM

Also, FWIW: I have a friend with a GSD that she could not keep weight on. Vet checked her as OK, she seemed healthy enough except too thin. Friend accidentally bought beef food instead of chicken food and decided to go ahead and feed it, suddenly GSD filled out and almost got fat. The chicken didn't agree with her.

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#4 iWantToBelieve

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:29 PM

Protein is 22% and fat is 12%. Ingredient list:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Tomato Pomace, Rye Flour, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Tomatoes, Rice Bran, Whitefish, Natural Chicken Flavor, Carrots, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Ground Flaxseed, Ground Millet, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins [Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement], Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite], Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (added to preserve freshness), Taurine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Chicory Root Extract, Garlic Powder, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products, Rosemary Extract.
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#5 bc friend

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:33 PM

One of my foster dogs simply would not gain weight on a chicken based diet - even with extras (cottage cheese, yogurt, etc). I switched to a lamb diet and within 2 weeks the dog was at a normal weight with no digestive issues. I don't think any specific diet is right for all dogs - they are each an individual with their own metabolic isues!

#6 Rave

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:48 PM

Protein is 22% and fat is 12%.


That's on the low end, I'd look to increase that.

#7 iWantToBelieve

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:51 PM

Alright. Food suggestions other than Wellness or should I just switch over to the lamb formula? Thanks for the input all. :)
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#8 Rave

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 03:56 PM

I'd first go look and see what's available to you at your local stores. Just go browse through and read labels, looking at percentages and ingredients (take a notebook or smart phone to jot things down!) and of course prices. I'd look for something around 24-26% protein and 15-16% fat. The fat is more important than the protein IMO. Perhaps try a fish-based food instead of the chicken.

Also try to find the list of "good" foods put out by Whole Dog Journal. It would be a good starting point to differentiate the Alpo's from the Orijen's.

#9 Journey

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 04:14 PM

Also look at the Kcal per cup not just the protein and fat ratios.
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#10 PSmitty

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 06:39 PM

How tall is she? How much does she weigh? It's not unusual for border collies to be on the skinny side. Will is at a perfect weight, but even so, his hip bones stick out more than my other dogs. So, I don't know. Anyway, good suggestions above...
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#11 juliepoudrier

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 09:16 PM

Oatmeal (people oatmeal, not the instant) is also a good way to put on weight.

I look for something that has a protein:fat ration of 3:2. I also add fat (safflower oil, salmon oil, coconut oil) if I want to improve the amount of fat going in.

Kcal/cup is also a good measure. The more punch a cup of dog food packs, the less you can feed. Wellness is a good brand, but she may do better on something else, or one of the more specialized Wellness products.

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#12 Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:58 AM

Transition very slowly, but I'm sure you know that.

Many small meals a day. Beware of the high sodium content of canned fishes. It's counter productive to building muscle.

I use the Healthy Select soups and stews or whatever low sodium house brands are available to top kibble.

Myself, I just crock potted meat so I control the protein and fat. Sweet potatoes are cheap here in NC. Squash, Zucchini, carrots, a medium potato. A dried eggshell chopped fine for calcium. The actual food isn't a science, to be honest. It's just a few weeks.

The next part is frosting. If you are also dealing with low appetite, low energy, crunchy coat, these will do the trick for you, assuming your dog has been checked for serious health issues at the vet. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

I grind up human B-50 Complex, one per day with the bedtime meal. B vitamins stimulate hunger, helps digestion, ease trauma, and support healthy tissue turnover.

PRE-biotics. These are soluble fiber. Probiotics can seriously blow up the gi of an undernourished dog. Prebiotics provide a happy place for the dog to develop probiotics on their own. Look for GAG's, inulin, etc. Or feed steamed pureed veggies which provide prebiotics. Check it out in Wikipedia.

This sounds crazy, but that liquid glucosamine supplement helps put on good weight, on a severely malnourished dog, like nobody's business. My theory is that the gastro-intestinal tissues are damaged and supplying straight building blocks for repair helps kick start things.

A sprinkle of No Salt on the food helps the body revert to normal metabolism from ketone use. It also helps build muscle tissue.

No Salt is Potassium salt. You find it at the grocery store with the salt. When I say a sprinkle, I mean like you should be able to count the crystals.

I add avoid dairy, wheat, and egg the first three weeks.
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#13 Olivia

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 08:54 AM

So you've only had her a couple of weeks? She's 2 years old and how tall and weighs how much? How is her coat? How is her energy level? If she is improving at all I wouldn't rush into a lot of changes. If she were living with me I would change her from Science Diet to the Wellness and feed her 1.5 cups-ish twice a day and add in some supplement oils. Then give her some time. Body condition takes time to change and probably isn't going to change over just a week or two.

All of my border collies were skinny little things at 2 years old, just busy busy.

#14 Crawford Dogs

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:35 AM

[quote name='iWantToBelieve' timestamp='1310502551' post='393448']
Protein is 22% and fat is 12%.

You should take in a fecal sample to your veterinarian for a fecal float and I would switch to 30% Protein, 20% Fat (typically sold as Performance/High Protein). I've had a few BCs that did well on the type of diet you're feeding now but I've also had some that need to be on a 30:20. For example, my 18 month old pup eats 2 cups of a 30:20 diet that has almost 600 kcal/cup and I still have to keep an eye out to make sure he's not burning off his muscle. When switching him to adult food I discovered that he required 5-6 cups/day of the typical maintence diet (similar to what you've been feeding) and switched to Performance (30:20). Good luck!


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