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success story! from underweight to superweight

October 28th, 2006, 11:30 AM
i posted this in another thread, about "force feeding" a fussy dog to achieve a proper weight & health/ energy levels.

today hubby went to weigh the doggies at the vets and hurrah! dakotah has gained 12 lbs in the past 2 months, thanks to us *making* him eat a super-healthy diet! whooohooo! we are soooo thrilled.... in August he was a thin, lethargic, mopey dog whose hip-bones and ribs and spine protuded from refusing meal after meal... i was exhausting myself trying to come up with something he would eat... one day we were fed up (sorry for the pun) and said "you don't wanna eat? well too bad, you ARE eating!" and we sat him down and forced the food down his throat.

We also brought him to a holistic vet who gave us homeopathic granules to clean out his liver and pancreas, we switched his diet to 3/4 raw and 1/4 kibble (mix of EVO and a variety of other holistic kibbles), and force-fed him twice per day for a few weeks. After that, he had a complete blood-test when he broke his tooth and that showed perfectly normal and healthy organ functions, so we were on the right path.

Now we feed him his breakfast so we're sure he has adequate calories and nutrition during the day, and ;most evenings now he's hungry and excited to eat his dinner on his own (raw meaty bones or kibbles n'goodies). if he doesn't, then we feed it to him. about one day per week we give him a break though, no meals if he won't eat on his own.

We are adding a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme to his meals lately (after a bout with horrible gas thanks to Merricks dry!) and it has helped immensely.

The verdict? August: 107 lbs. Today: 119 lbs! He's growing up to be a big boy just like his daddy. And it's pure muscle, you can still see his ribs move under his coat when he runs or stretches, and they are easy to feel when you rub his sides. you can't pinch any fat anywhere, he looks and feels like a ton of bricks! :highfive:

We are sooo thrilled, you cannot imagine the hell we went through with this boy... now his metabolism has kick started (more muscles = body needs more calories, hence he is actually hungry now as opposed to just lethargic and on starvation mode). He is spring-loaded with marvelous happy energy and good mood, he is bursting with health and we couldn't be happier.

So if any of you have a fussy, underweight dog who won't eat anything and you're at your wits' end... and the vet has cleared your dog as being healthy, just fussy... this might be something you should consider too! :dog:

October 28th, 2006, 12:26 PM
That's great, and interesting. How do you push dry kibble down?

October 28th, 2006, 12:42 PM
How do you push dry kibble down?

we don't... :o since his diet is now 3/4 raw, and 1/4 kibble, we either:

-mix 1 cup of kibble with raw ground, boneless meat for his breakfast (binding is a raw egg, or pureed baby food, or yogurt, etc). that means his evening meal is raw meaty bones.

-or he eats the kibble portion of his diet by himself for his evening meal (mixed with canned food, or baked liver chunks, or other goodies). that means his breakfast was, or contained, home-ground whole raw chicken with bone.

in all he eats about 2.5 to 3 lbs of food per day (sometimes a bit less, once in a while a bit more). He only poops twice per day, nice small ones!


October 28th, 2006, 01:29 PM
That sound great. Our youngest one is terribly fussy, as she will NOT eat her food unless we mix her dry kibble with SG's Ocean Fish & Turkey canned food or with cooked, wild salmon. Fortunately, she hasn't suffered any nutritional deficits, but we still would like her to eat regularly without having to constantly mix stuff with her dry kibble.

She's been on a few different dry foods, i.e. Puppy Eukanuba starting out (YUCK), SG Wolf Cub, SG Hund-n-Flocken Lamb, and now Timberwolf Organics Lamb, Barley, & Apple. She hates it all! I read on another post that you mentioned quite a few different canned foods that dogs can eat, such as tuna, canned mackarel, sardines, etc. Do they all need to be rinsed first to wash off excess salt, and how much can they eat in one meal???

October 28th, 2006, 01:45 PM
Good job TD!
those picky eaters, such a problem :rolleyes: .

October 28th, 2006, 02:06 PM
Excellent to hear :thumbs up

October 28th, 2006, 02:35 PM
HOORAY FOR THE BEANIE!! And :highfive: for you!!! Your furbabies are lucky to have such a dedicated mummy and daddy!! :angel:

October 28th, 2006, 03:17 PM
thanks everyone! we are on :cloud9: !

I read on another post that you mentioned quite a few different canned foods that dogs can eat, such as tuna, canned mackarel, sardines, etc. Do they all need to be rinsed first to wash off excess salt, and how much can they eat in one meal???

goldens4ever, i would personally "desalt" canned fish if feeding with kibble, as most kibble contains some form of salt already. An easy way is to drain the liquid, replace with fresh tap water, wait 5 minutes, and drain again. Most average-sized dogs can easily eat a normal-sized can of fish per day without any problems. it mixes specially well with plain yogurt, too :thumbs up

and i feel your pain... i can't tell you how many meals we recycled and had to throw out, the frustration and waste of time and money, etc we went through. i was thinking "hmmm maybe a Week Long Therapy Cure At The SPCA would fix that!!" :evil: of course i'm kidding, but the thought did cross my mind... if a dog has never gone without, has never suffered hunger or loneliness or anything, no wonder they can act so spoiled :rolleyes:

October 28th, 2006, 03:36 PM
you crack me up techno! Alot of people would be terrified of Dakota just because of his sheer size (we all know how VICIOUS akitas are :rolleyes: ;) ), and I can just imagine you, next to this huge bear, shoving food down his gullet!! HILARIOUS!!

October 28th, 2006, 05:44 PM
meb999... i still weigh 2 lbs more than he does and that counts right? :D

he's such a big, spoiled baby and he knows it... little kids always love it when i do the "circus lion" trick. dakotah sits, i open his jaw way wide and stick my head in there, they scream and clap and laugh, ha ha ha!! dakotah enjoys it as much as the kids, he's such the goofy clown... i'll have to get that on video for you guys eh? LOL! :party:

October 28th, 2006, 07:09 PM
I'm glad his weight is up and he's eating better. :) :highfive:

(oh, I threaten my dogs with the SPCA all the time... "You want to eat the garbage? S-P-C-A!" :D My poor tortured doggies. At least they eat. :shrug: )

So where do you go from here? Still kibs+raw?

October 28th, 2006, 08:17 PM
prin, he he he! another word to their extensive vocabulary! s-p-c-a! :D (mais... c'est pas vraiment drole hein?)

So where do you go from here? Still kibs+raw?

yeah... mostly raw, but with some kibs in the "meat only" mixture (once per day). i have a ton of kibble to get through so i gotta! :crazy: OH and the best thing about "force feeding"? i get to feed them stuff they hate eating by themselves such as raw organ meats and raw fishies! he he he!

(cackling über-evil mom)

October 28th, 2006, 09:00 PM
Techno, the spca is only funny because we both know our doggies will NEVER EVER end up there. EVER. ;)

October 28th, 2006, 10:32 PM
the spca is only funny because we both know our doggies will NEVER EVER end up there. EVER.

oh man... i know that :D just hope the walls don't repeat what goes on in our homes sometimes LOL! teeheee!!

October 28th, 2006, 10:33 PM
The house walls, I don't mind. The car walls.. :eek:

October 28th, 2006, 10:41 PM
The car walls..

"git out yer bar o'soap?" :D

October 28th, 2006, 10:42 PM
lol hopefully if the car walls are recording, they have a volume limit...:o

October 29th, 2006, 10:32 AM
Congratulations:thumbs up That's great news Technodoll! I love hearing success stories. I have a hard time picturing a dog that doesn't want to eat because Barkley's my first dog and sometimes I swear he'd eat ME if he was hungry enough :eek:
I can't seem to keep him satiated! I just think he loves his new raw diet so much, although he did inhale his kibble like a hoover before we switched to raw as well.