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Still gaining weight instead of losing

May 3rd, 2007, 07:22 PM
I need some advice for poor Petey! We went in for a check-up and weigh-in yesterday and now he's actually GAINED 7 more pounds!!!!! I do not understand this at all! I feel like I am starving my poor dog to death. He is down to only 1 3/4 cups of kibble a day. His ideal weight should be 60 pounds. He was 58 in Sept and looked beautiful. He gained a lot of weight over four months on Canidae, so I switched to TO then to EVO RM, then to a combo of both. I've cut down to only 1 3/4 cups per day or 986/calorie per day, which was the caloric intake calcuated by the vet for him to lose weight a few months ago. He was at 65 3-4 months ago, down to 63, now today, he weighed in at SEVENTY POUNDS!!! He's gained 7 pounds on only this tiny bit of food every day. He gets no treats, has no access to any other food, people or cat food, et. I live alone, so there is no one else feeding him. The vet has run several tests and has found nothing wrong. They did more tests yesterday (level three something, something that is only normally done on senior dogs that basically tests everything possible), sent to an outside lab in CO, called me today with the results and said everything is PERFECT. They haven't seen such beautiful results in so long a time. He is as healthy as can be. So why do I feel like such a bad mommy?! Why is my Petey still gaining weight? His back legs are slightly bowlegged and all the extra weight is dangerous for his hips. She could feel some resistance in full motion range testing, so he needs to lose this weight NOW.

She is pushing very strongly for me to put him back on the W/D prescription diet. He was on it last spring/summer and lost weight very quickly on it. He was fed three cups a day and dropped to his slim and beautiful proportioned 58 pounds in no time at all. As soon as I put him back on premium food (Candiae---TO--EVO), he started gaining weight and is keeping on gaining. The vet is baffled and thinks he should be on W/D for LIFE. I am torn, I know the stuff is crap, and I'm especially terrified of it right now because of the recalls. I don't know what to trust. I can't drop his portions any lower, I feel like I'm starving him already. A dog this size should be getting 4-6 cups per day; he is getting less than half that. He is always so hungry, so miserable right now. He lays down and licks his bowl and whines constantly. He never did that on the W/D.

What am I supposed to do?! I feel like crying, I am so frustrated! I should be THRILLED to get such healthy tests back, but instead, I am even more confused as there doesn't seem to be any logical or possible reason for this continued and dangerous weight gain.

And when I say he has no food access, I really mean no food access. The cat food is on top of the refrigerator and completely out of reach. It's also not left out. The litter box is also up high and out of reach, so no secret nibbling going on there either. His own food is locked away in sealed bins and in a room with a shut door. No food is left out ever in my kitchen. I just don't get it?! How can a dog possibly keep gaining when he is getting less than half the amount he should be getting, when he is only getting the specific calculated caloric intake, when he is obviously extremely hungry, and when all tests come back so perfect?? I don't like the W/D, I'm terrified of it, but it seems to be the only thing that works for him. I just don't know what to do. :sad:

ETA: Yes, he is getting exercise daily as well. We're up to two mile walks every day and still go to the dog park every weekend for a good hour run, unless the weather doesn't allow. I'VE actually lost 15 pounds, LOL, but he is still gaining. :(

May 3rd, 2007, 07:31 PM
Aww, that sucks. First of all does he seem to have gained weight or is it just the scale at the vets? My experience with those is that often they can swing 3-4 lbs either way. As for needing 4-6 cups I highly doubt that as my almost year old 84 lb lab gets about 4-4 1/2 cups per day. I've heard a lot of people cutting back the food but putting in some green beans or other veggies (mushed up) to add back some bulk. I think that EVO also makes a reduced fat formula which might be helpful.

My best advice is to just get him out exercising. If he had an easy exercise winter then maybe he has lost some muscle tone and just like us humans that also leads to weight gain.

May 3rd, 2007, 07:46 PM
Thanks Terri. I'm so depressed right now, I really appreciate it. I was so shocked by the scale that I actually took him over to Petsmart to weigh him on their scale too. It was within a pound of the vet's, so it does seem to be accurate... I didn't think he looked like he gained that much, but the vet said she could tell he had gained. It's well spread out, a layer of fat around his whole body rather than gathering in one obvious area. I'm at work, but I can post pics tonight of how he looked in Sept at 58 pounds and how he looks now at 70 pounds. I just can't even wrap my mind around that much weight gain. 12 pounds in less than a year on very little premium quality food?! It just doesn't seem logical!

But anyway, thank you so much for your suggestions. Maybe I'm not "starving" him as much as I feel like I am! I just can't stand that look in his eyes or the way he licks his bowl constantly for every possible last drop. I can certainly try to increase his exercise, but I don't know how practical that will be. I'm already doing an hour a day to do the two miles. We've worked up to that as we used to just do a half mile. I work 60 + hours a week and have my dog walker taking him on a second evening walk already too, although she just walks him for 15 minutes, so probably only an addtl half mile at most. I might have to try to do some rearranging in my current schedule to fit more in.

May 3rd, 2007, 08:05 PM
Cider isn't veggie fan, but I felt she was jiggling, and was afraid it wasn't good for her to be jumping in agility at 16".. so I cut back her food to where I felt bad, but I added veggies. All past attempts she's hated, this time I food processed them. By making them unidentifiable mush, she actually was willing happy about it. Think we tried small amounts of sweet potato because I know she likes it with large amounts of green beans and a medium amount of carrot.. Then I started processing whatever leftover dinner veggies were left after the first batch to make it different. Made her seem less hungry, and though the scale never changed much, her tone looked improved.

May 3rd, 2007, 08:22 PM
i agree with trying the reduced-fat Evo, and give him fish oil supplements to still get that glossy coat without the calories. plump up his bowl with cooked, mushed veggies to make him feel fuller (he'll have bigger poops though, due to the added fiber). cut down more kibble, feed some home-cooked brown rice pureed with the veggies.

i would say feed a raw diet (even buy the raw patties) but i'm sure you would already be doing that, if you wanted... very few raw dogs have carry excess weight, probably all about the glycemic index or something :o

(( hugs )) and i hope you find a solution!

May 3rd, 2007, 08:34 PM
TD, I was feeding him the raw medallions as a supplement. Maybe I should try just the raw only for a while and see what happens?

I have to figure out the whole veggie thing too. He loves veggies, he loves anything, LOL, so he would absolutely love that. But the vet is adament that I not exceed the 986 calorie/day count, so I have to figure out how many calories are in the veggies/rice...

Hmm, maybe I'll try the raw medallions only with no kibble and some veggies. Is there some trick to slowing switching over or can I just go straight to the medallions? I stopped feeding them about two weeks ago when I was trying to cut back his portions even more. I can't stomach raw meat, but I can handle the medallion patties and he definitely loved them. Do you feed twice a day still then? Veggies in morning or night or does it not matter? I would much rather try this first than the W/D. The vet is convinced her food is the only solution, and I would so love to prove her wrong. But so far, with his only gaining weight, I'm not doing a very good job at that!

May 3rd, 2007, 08:38 PM
So were you feeding the medallions on top of the 1 3/4 cup of kibble or replacing some kibble with the medallions?

May 3rd, 2007, 08:45 PM
So were you feeding the medallions on top of the 1 3/4 cup of kibble or replacing some kibble with the medallions?

I was replacing kibble with the raw medallions. Originally it was the 1 3/4th cup + raw medallion when he was at 65lbs and he did drop to 63lbs initially on this combination, but then when he stopped losing, went with less kibble and only one medallion to equate the 986 calories. But he still didn't seem to be losing, so then a few weeks ago, dropped the medallions entirely and went with kibble only, at 1 3/4th cup as that was equal to 986 calories. The EVO RM is around 445 calories per cup or something like that, I can't remember exactly from memory. I have it all written down at home in his "food diary" the vet has had me keep. So I was SHOCKED to find out yesterday that not only was he not losing, but actually gaining. I still can't figure out how he managed to gain 7 pounds in so short a time. (Well 6 pounds according to Petsmart's scale). The vet had told me less protein was actually better when trying to lose weight?? I think she was trying to push the higher "fiber" content of the W/D. It didn't make any sense to me, but I don't know enough about dog food to argue it with her intelligently or to know if what she's saying is actually true.

May 3rd, 2007, 08:45 PM
i would suggest a one-month test with only the raw medallions (or patties, same thing only in bigger slabs) mixed with raw pulped veggies... just toss some in your blender with some water (dark green leafy ones, carrots, beans, red peppers, some ginger, etc - plus it,s all antioxydant!).

you could feed a bit of fruit for snacks and dehydrated liver bits, etc. Try upping the exercise a little bit more (15 mins more per day.. does he play fetch? or play with other dogs?).

then go get him weighed again and see if that makes a diff...

oh and if you want his target weight to be 60 lbs, feed him only 1.5% of that in raw food per day, split into two meals (nevermind counting the calories down to a T, it makes no sense when feeding raw). It is drastic (most dogs do well on about 2% but some dogs just have slow metabolisms and do very well on less). he will feel and act like he's starving because he gobbles it up and it's gone... maybe you'd like to supplement that with a low-fat, challenging piece like a fresh, skinless turkey neck, or some pork neck bones... low fat but he will get to chew and chew, he'll feel fuller and not starved...

just a thought. poor petey, it must be so hard! hang in there! :grouphug:

May 3rd, 2007, 08:55 PM
Thanks, TD! I think I will give this a try. I told the vet I wanted to keep on trying different food first before even considering the W/D and we made a follow-up appointment for mid-June, so that would be a good marker, I think.

I'm sorry, but I'm confused by the 1.5% of 60 pounds. That equates .90, but forgve my complete and utter ignorance, .90 of what? Is that pounds? So .9pounds per day? Is that what you mean? Sorry for the stupid questions. :o I really appreciate everyone's help!

And then for the turkey neck or pork neck bones, do those need to be supervised like you hear about bones or can I leave them out for him to chew on while I'm at work?

May 3rd, 2007, 08:59 PM
They tested thyroid right? Sometimes thyroid levels that are in the normal range, but close to the edge can still cause problems. Maybe he just has a really slow metabolism. :shrug:

It's so tough to have a hungry doggie and not be able to feed them. :sad: I hope you figure out a diet that works without having to resort to w/d, which I think is mostly peanut hulls.

May 3rd, 2007, 09:03 PM
They tested thyroid right? Sometimes thyroid levels that are in the normal range, but close to the edge can still cause problems. Maybe he just has a really slow metabolism. :shrug:

It's so tough to have a hungry doggie and not be able to feed them. :sad: I hope you figure out a diet that works without having to resort to w/d, which I think is mostly peanut hulls.

LOL! The first time I gave him W/D last year, he had this most awful look on his face. It was the first and only time I've ever seen him hesitate before wolfing his food down. Then the first time I gave him Canidae when he got off the W/D, I swear he grinned at me. :) He is so expressive with his food, it's too cute!

But anyway, yes, we have repeatedly tested thyroid. I have the actual numbers at home, but it was somewhere right in the middle. These last tests we just did yesterday were extremely intensive (level three something or other??) and everything came back at perfect levels.

May 3rd, 2007, 09:13 PM
I can sure relate to your distress, Smiley14 - Bobby is down to 3/4 cups kibble (Go Natural) twice a day and isn't losing weight at all! We are out in the morning for a minimum of 1 hour - constantly walking - it is often 1.5 to 2 hrs, then again in the afternoon for at least an hour. I went to a new vet yesterday and he strongly recommends the reducing diet food so I'm getting a bag of it tomorrow to get some weight off. I, too don't understnd how he can be so heavy given the very little bit of kibble he is getting and the amount of exercise.

I have added Prozyme to his food - a digestive enzyme preparation and his energy level has increased slightly but no weight loss on it. I was considering minerals as a supplement but the vet suggested that might throw the balance of his food intake out of whack. So, it's the reducing diet food for Bobby...

Good luck!

May 3rd, 2007, 09:40 PM
yep, 1.5% of 60 lbs is just a little less than 1lbs of food per day, which is... ridiculously little :eek: but... if this is what it takes for his long-term health and well being... i can't see this diet not working. do give him something to chew on that he thinks is food, so that he doesn't go nuts between meals... i would supervise him though, because you never know what can happen when you're not there. perhaps during the evening, while you're around?...

oh and what kind of raw medallions are you feeding petey? ones with no grains, i hope? evil carbs... LOL!

Maika has a slow metabolism and she's at 2%, so at 90lbs she is getting 1.75 lbs per day. it's plenty for her.

May 3rd, 2007, 09:52 PM
Thanks, Jan! It's so nice to hear I'm not the only one struggling with this! It's just so baffling and frustrating! I hope things go well for Bobby too! :grouphug:

TD, THANK YOU! I will give that a try and see how he weighs in at his next appointment in mid-June. That's a little over a month, so hopefully enough time to see some results. :fingerscr I was feeding him the Nature's Variety medallions, the ones you recommended to me. :) I'll switch to the patties. I was going to make a run to the pet store tomorrow anyway, so this will be good timing. Do I need to do a slow switch or can I start this right away do you think? So far, we had tried the chicken, beef, and venison. Venison seemed to be his favorite, although he loved them all. I can't remember if I tried the lamb one yet, I have to look back at his journal. :o

ETA, here's the ingredient list. I think it looks good--no grains!

Venison Diet
Nature's Variety Raw Frozen Diet for Dogs and Cats

95% Meat, 5% fruits & vegetables
Made with human grade ingredients
Antibiotic-free, hormone-free venison and lamb
Venison imported from New Zealand
Complete and balanced for all life stages

Fresh & Healthy Ingredients
Venison, Lamb Liver, Lamb Hearts, Ground Lamb Bone, Apples, Carrots, Pumpkinseeds, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseeds, Chicken Eggs, Montmorillonite Clay, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Kelp, Salmon Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Persimmons, Olive Oil, Duck Eggs, Pheasant Eggs, Quail Eggs, Inulin, Rosemary Extract, Sage, Clove, Mixed Tocopherols, Citric Acid

May 3rd, 2007, 09:56 PM
I forgot to mention that the advice and helpfulness on this thread is excellent!

May 3rd, 2007, 10:09 PM
those are very good raw patties... and affordable, at a bit less than 1 pound per day. go petey go, you can do it!! drop those pounds buddy!

i think that if he ate them before with no problems, phasing out the kibble to only feed him raw should be no stress to his system. you can add a spoon of fat-free yogurt to his thawed patty once in a while, for variety... a bit of water-packed tuna... give in a raw frozen egg in the shell for a snack... all good stuff, whole, raw, non-processed.

and don't forget to up the exercise too, eh? i really hope this works!! honestly... there are very few overweight raw-fed dogs around, and if they are it's because they are eating too much, or too fatty meats. :goodvibes:

May 3rd, 2007, 10:23 PM
TD, you are an angel! :grouphug: I can't tell you how depressed and discouraged I've felt since yesterday at the weigh-in. To feel like I'm trying so hard to do everything right, but to have it just keep getting worse. I am feeling so much more encouraged and motivated again now, THANK YOU! Jan, your words are so true! You guys are going to make me cry now, LOL! I just love him so much and with being so close to losing Billy right now, I can't handle the thought of Petey being unhealthy and having problems. I am so relieved his tests came back so well, but I know this weight is very unhealthy and will cause problems soon if I can't get rid of it. So anyway, THANK YOU so much for all your help and encouragement! You have no idea how much of a godsend you have been for me tonight! :cloud9:

And yep, I will have to up the exercise too. That will be the harder part, LOL! But we both need it anyway. :o Thank you all again so much!

May 3rd, 2007, 10:39 PM
hey... s'ok! :grouphug: just remember that the universe gives back, what you put out in it, ok? ;)

good karma on this forum, sooo many members have helped me through all kinds of things. it's a good place to be.

i just pray the diet works for petey...! it's a heckuva lot better than expensive peanut shells from the vet's LOL!

May 3rd, 2007, 10:54 PM
oh i forgot to add... petey MAY just transform fat into muscle on the raw diet with increased exercise, which is a GOOD thing... but you will not see a reduction in weight on the scale, as muscle weighs more than fat. please keep that i mind, so that if he still weighs the same in a month but looks more trim and fit, you'll know why ;)

May 3rd, 2007, 10:56 PM
Oh, so very true! I'm so excited at the thought of my Petey being ripped with healthy muscles, LOL! :) (Is there something weird about that? :o )

May 4th, 2007, 10:29 AM
These aren't very good, so I don't know how well this will show the difference, but are pics of Petey at 58 pounds and at 70 pounds.

Here's Petey at 58 pounds from this past fall and Petey from two days ago in my backyard. Sorry for the bad quality of pics, I don't have time to take a new one as I'm running late for work!

May 4th, 2007, 10:48 AM
you know, he doesn't look that bad at 70 lbs, but only you can see and feel him and really know.

after a couple months on the grain-free raw diet, and increased exercise, there should be NO reason for him not to shape up with muscles and drop the fat - since he's been screened for thyroid and everything, and is normal and healthy.

:fingerscr for the handsome boy!

May 4th, 2007, 05:31 PM
Oh, I hope so!!! I am really terrified to even try the W/D right now with all this recall stuff still ongoing. And I didn't think he looked that bad either, I think that's why I was so shocked by his new weight! It just kind of snuck up on us, it's so well-proportioned over his whole body. But the vet could tell right away even before we weighed him that he had gained. She could feel it especially in his neck and shoulders, chest area and his flanks too. Rather than feeling the ribs like you're supposed to be able to do, you feel a layer of fat. :o Kind of scary how 12 whole pounds can disguise themselves so innocently. I had no idea. And 12 pounds on a medium dog is a LOT! :eek: So I have high hopes now for this new food reguime! :fingerscr Thank you again so much!!!

I picked up some patties and more veggies today, so tomorrow will be day one. :fingerscr

May 6th, 2007, 12:15 PM
It may be he is still being fed too much, my 84 lb boy couch potato gets 1 1/2 cups of EVO RM to hold his weight steady . and my 70 lb girl active girl is eating 1 1/2 to maintain her weight after gaining 10 lbs first but she needed it

As you can see here at least part of her from when I got her

and after holding the weight

May 6th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Those are cool pics, OG! Thank you! And it's good to hear about dogs that actually weigh more, but are eating even less. Guess I just have to realize that dog's don't need as much kibble as we (and they!) think they need! I do want to keep a small amount of kibble in his diet, mostly for travel as Trippincherri said. I too travel and camp a lot with Petey and would rather just use kibble and/or some of the freeze dried raw while traveling, for convenience sake. For now, I'm doing the raw only, but I do have almost a full bin of kibble, so I also occasionally mix some in with other stuff, just to keep it in his diet a bit. Should be interesting!

May 6th, 2007, 11:03 PM
I was wondering what are the leaner raw proteins to choose for weightloss?
I was told today that bison & elk are leaner than poultry such as chicken, duck & turkey. So.... If you wanted your raw fed dog to loose weight what would you feed?

Rose our senior sammy lost 5 lbs quickly on CN Herring & Sweet Potato. It was an added bonus. Anyone else notice the extra benefit of weightloss when they feed a fish based diet?