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  #1  
Old January 7th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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norm258 norm258 is offline
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Overweight Siberian Husky

heh.. this is my second time typing this out since my pup thought it would be fun to jump into my lap/on my notebook!

My daughter has a 3 year old siberian husky who is obese. Her name is Kira. They changed her food to a weight management formula from Acana and now to a high protein/less carb formulation. She gets fed about a cup twice a day.

The vet did some blood tests and found her thyroid was out of whack so put her on medication over a year ago. It has made no difference to this girl however! It has only made her lethargic rather then playful. My daughter is thinking of stopping the medication because it doesn't seem to be making any difference.

I should also mention my daughter is horrible at walking (or should I say not walking) the dog. She doesn't get that much exercise.

Anyone seen this before? Any suggestions I can pass on to her?

Thanks
Norm
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Old January 7th, 2010, 01:21 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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The meds should not be stopped.

Exercise is extremely important for all breeds, especially huskies. This poor dog needs the exercise not only for his medical state but for his own mental well being.

The beauty of being a dog owner is enjoying them at their best - exercised, balanced and stimulated. I am sorry, but I feel very bad for the dog.

Sorry to be blunt and a bit of a downer but I am a rep for huskies here and it is very hard to hear about a vibrant, energetic and graceful dog not given a good exercise regime.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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There's no magic pill or food that's going to fix this problem...the dog needs exercise, pure and simple. I'll bet $20 that the pup is also getting treats, scraps all day too, am I right? That needs to stop cold turkey. This is common sense, not a medical problem.

ETA: please remind your daughter that she is ensuring that her dog is going to live a short life, and probably be riddled with disease by the time she goes (heart, diabetes, liver, kidney, joints etc etc.) Obesity is just as serious for dogs as it is people.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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I agree with BenMax and bendyfoot about the exercise needs of a siberian husky. We have one now (he's 5 yr this month) and had two previously and they are high energy dogs. And, as BenMax said, their minds have to be exercised as well.

Has your daughter gone back to the vet to get Kira's thyroid re-checked? Perhaps she needs to have her med dosage adjusted. Definitely do not stop giving Kira the meds without getting her thyroid re-checked.

It sounds like a siberian husky is not a breed your daughter should have if she does not like exercise herself. Does she live close to you? Is there any way you can arrange play dates with your dog?
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Old January 7th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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I hope your daughter can find a way to get this lovely dog some exercise. If I remember correctly when Blackie was on thyroid medication, the dose was determined by her weight as well as by the results of the thyroid tests done by the vet.

If that is the case, the dose may not be high enough to control Kira's thyroid problem. She shouldn't stop the thyroid medication because I expect Kira will gain even more weight and also may create more health problems with the accompanying increase in vet bills. She should also get her to take Kira to the vet for re-testing of her thyroid problems as others said.

Is your daughter concerned about Kira's weight? I'm sure you are trying to get your daughter to realize what she is doing to Kira by not controlling Kira's food intake and not giving her exercise. Maybe things would change if you were able to go with her to the vet for Kira's re-testing? Maybe the vet can get her to understand what she needs to do to improve Kira's health.

Good luck
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Old January 7th, 2010, 06:18 PM
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Thanks everyone for your bluntness! I read them to my daughter and she got quite upset.

Everyone basically said what I told her a hundred times but dad never knows best right?

I agree with each and every one of you -- exercise is the most important and taking her to the dog park once a week isn't enough. My wife was walking her but since the snow flew she cannot (she has a disability). I would have but my GSD Hunter didn't walk well with other dogs.

Now with the new pup, she will benefit I think I will take her with me. Maybe it will guilt my daughter into doing what is right!

Norm
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Old January 7th, 2010, 06:44 PM
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Huskies are runners and need their exercise, can you put up flyers in your area for a person who wouldn't mind running the dog? I know I would LOVE to have a dog to run with me, but there are none around in my area.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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Well i would say take her back to the vet and find out if the meds are still what she needs, maybe she needs more or something different!

With the exercise i would start out slowly since the poor baby isnt used to it! Walk her, run 5 min ( that's how your daughter will get condition too without pain ) and walk again!
If its too hot outside in the summer do it early mornings or late at night when its cool! If the dog just don't want too because the weather is just too hot, leave her! Oh and i would recommend a harness because if she has fun she will start pulling and that will hurt her with a collar

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Old January 7th, 2010, 07:11 PM
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Did your daughter agree to take Kira back to the vet to have her thyroid rechecked?

Do you have pics of Kira that you can post for us? Do you know how much she weighs?

Your new pup should help Kira run off some energy and hopefully you can talk your daughter into going along with you as well.

Last edited by rainbow; January 8th, 2010 at 01:38 AM. Reason: just noticed spelling error
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Old January 7th, 2010, 07:44 PM
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Hi Norm welcome I can't stress enough the importance of re-testing the T4 I've often had to readjust to a higher dose in winter then adjust again come spring. One side effect to this drug is a dog's thyroid gland will shrink and produce even less hormones therefore stopping would be very harmful.

Another thing heat isn't very tolerated being on this med hence her being lethargic so walking her is a must ... the more she's bored the more she'll sleep the worse she'll get and without exercise & stimulation = depressed doggie

2 cups isn't over feeding, when you say she's obese - what are we talking 70 lbs 80 lbs 90 lbs?

Good though your daughter switched her to the lower carb diet.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 10:47 PM
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I agree with everyone who's suggested having the thyroid re-checked and more exercise. I'd also be cutting the food back though, assuming that other than her weight she's an average sized husky. IMO 2 cups is more than enough for a dog that's not being exercised. Most of my dogs are running 4-6 miles/day (3 or 4, or maybe 5 times a week), in addition to free running around the farm when I'm out doing chores and they only eat 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups/day, depending on the size of the dog. They range in size from 40-90 pounds, in lean, muscled condition (not huskies btw, border collies, mixbreeds and a huge collie). A couple of years ago I was feeding more but they weren't cleaning out their bowls, they'd have some left that they'd nibble on later. I noticed that my cattle dog X was beginning to take on the look of a sausage on legs and realized that he was the one cleaning up most of the leftovers when I'd go downstairs to use the computer. I started picking up any leftover food and then later began to cut back to an amount that they would eat quickly so there were no leftovers. Now he gets his food carefully monitored (1 1/2 cups daily, split into two 3/4 cup feedings) and it didn't take long for him to begin to loose the extra weight and he's now in great shape again.
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Last edited by Gail P; January 8th, 2010 at 01:49 PM.
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  #12  
Old January 8th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Thanks everyone. She is going to take her back to a different vet to get the blood work re-checked and the dosage adjusted. She's complained about this vet for a variety of reasons and I simply asked why she is still going to him then?

So, after reading the posts to her yesterday, I looked at her (even though I'm sick with a bad cold) sad I'm taking my 3 month old puppy out for a walk, wanna come along? So we walked all of the dogs together

We will see if that lasts but I will try my best to walk her too but difficult to teach a puppy and walk another dog at the same time.

According to her vet this husky is about 10 lbs overweight. I guess she looks a lot more because she is sooo fluffy. Apparently her puppy like fur at her age is the result of her thyroid as well.

I'm trying to get them into skijoring (sp??) or similar as they have great groups up here that do it. I myself am NOT into winter sports lol.

Norm
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Old January 8th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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Awesome, thanks for the update btw Norm we love pictures hint hint
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Old January 8th, 2010, 11:36 AM
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Check out the pics of Hunter (RIP) and in the other threads of mine. I have pictures of my new GSD pup and Scruffy my terrier mix.

I will have to check, but I think there's a picture of Kira in there. If not, I'll post some

You can also check out my adventures with GSDs blog at http://drunkendogcafe.blogspot.com/


Norm
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  #15  
Old January 8th, 2010, 11:59 AM
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Here's a picture of Kira

Norm
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  #16  
Old January 8th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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She's very cute You mentioned being aware of skijoring groups in your area. Not sure what contacts you have but in case this might help, check out this site: http://www.skidogs.ca/ Ooh! I just noticed on the home page of their site that Mush Larose is having a skijor clinic on Jan. 31! That might be something worth checking out.

If your daughter does get involved in skijoring she can also keep running Kira after the snow's gone if she uses a bike (bike-joring) or a scooter.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 03:06 PM
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Kira is beautiful and I'd say she is about 10lb overweight as well. It's hard to get the weight off a sibe if they don't get to run. Do you or your daughter have a fenced yard that Kira and your dogs could chase each other around in? That way you wouldn't have to walk Kira while trying to train your pup.

Glad to hear that your daughter is taking Kira to a new vet for a recheck on her thyroid. Good luck and please keep us updated.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Oh I definitely have a yard for the group to play in. Its got a nice 5' wooden fence (yes, I know the GSD can jump it if he wants too!).

The husky didn't take to the puppy right away and is only now starting to run and play him her.

I just spoke to my daughter's boyfriend and they are going to check out that Skijorring clinic on the 31st woohoo.

Norm
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Old January 8th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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WOOO HOOO ...that's great news that your daughter and her bf are going to check out the skijoring.

I'm sure Trixie and Kira will play great once Trixie gets a little bigger.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norm258 View Post
I just spoke to my daughter's boyfriend and they are going to check out that Skijorring clinic on the 31st woohoo.

Norm
That's great! Let us know how it goes. When I posted before I just noticed it listed on the skidogs main page, but just now I went and looked at the details and the agenda. Wow! It sounds like an excellent clinic and very well worth attending. I wish it was closer to us, I'd take my daughter to it. She's been doing a bit of skijoring the last couple of years but is hoping to compete in it this year and the clinic would definitely be of benefit to her. Oh and btw, Heather and Dave, the people who are listed as the contacts for the clinic are very nice friendly people. I've met them at some races and babysat for them while they were competing.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:18 AM
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Thanks for uploading Kira's photo, very fluffy Skijoring
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