A friend of mine has a wonderful GSD, very friendly and loving. However, the dog is SOOOOO skinny and sheds buckets year round. My friend, who feeds her some sort of Science Diet for sensitive stomaches, says it's the only food they've tried that the dog can tolerate (without upchucking). She says the dog just doesn't eat. From the dog's appearance (visible ribs and hipbones), I think it's just too skinny. The dogs gets NO people food and very few treats.
My questions: 1) Could the year-round copious shedding (and I DO mean copious), although groomed daily, be due to an allergy? 2) I've suggested a number of, IMO, better-grade foods, but my friend is hesitant to try anything her vet hasn't suggested. Anyone have any ideas of what I can say to change her mind? 3) Or am I worried for nothing? Is this the way GSDs should look (visible ribs and hipbones through her thick coat)?
Other than being, what I consider, really thin, the dog appears to be in good health. Clear, bright eyes, good energy, lustrous coat, friendly attitude.
***Edited By: gbroxon on 11/18/2005 6:23:11 PM*** Reason: *
What does the vet say about the dog being so skinny? Looks like he would have run some tests and tryed to find out what is making the dog vomit when it eats. If its that skinny it could have serious problems I would think.
I agree, Sand, but from what my friend has told me, the vet seems unconcerned as the GSD is not DRASTICALLY underweight and appears to be fine otherwise. If it were my dog, I'd be feeding her satin balls 'round the clock!
I know its not good for them to be overweight but there is just something about seeing ribs that bother me. Maybe its because you can't even feel my little schnayzers ribs. They are all little butter balls which is not good either. But, the vomiting would be a concern to me. My cousin had alittle doxie that would eat but his food did him no good. He continued to lose weight and they had found out earlier on that it was cancer. When they had to put that little bag of bones down it almost killed the whole family. Its better to know what you are dealing with.
As long as the dog (Sheppie) doesn't have table food and just sticks to her special Science Diet food, she's fine. The vomiting only happens if she is given or gets into something she shouldn't.
I just think they should try some better quality foods or maybe even try raw for awhile, just to see if she can keep anything other than the Science Diet down (she seems to only eat enough of it to stay alive...doesn't really enjoy it).
I can't seem to talk them into trying other things, though, because of their Science Diet "Listen to ME and no one else" vet. And, like I said above, in every other way, she's appears to be in good health, so they aren't that concerned...but I am.
gsd's can suffer from many irritable bowel and digestive problems. it is not uncommon for some of them to be emaciatingly skinny due to this. you may want to suggest she have a fecal digestion panel done to see if he suffers from lack of pancreatic enzymes. if he does then adding a medication called pancreazyme or viokase to his meals each day may make a dramatic difference in both wiehgt and vomiting problems. if it is an irritable bowel problem a cortisone called prednisolone and a low fat food may make a huge diffence also.
shedding could be caused by the lack of absorption of the nutrients in his body ..... which could be caused by an underlying problem .
I have an 11 month old GSD, Zetta. I got her when she was about 5 months old. She always looked a bit thin, and a couple of months ago, she started looking terribly emaciated. She has been wormed several times.
I did some research and was afraid she had EPI. The vet said make a few changes and see, before spending a fortune on blood work.
I switched her to Sensible Choice Lamb and Rice, by Royal Canin. I took her off any canned food, seemed to go right thru her. I started mixing some yogurt in once a day and I started her on Probios tablets. ($20 at Petco) She is doing much better now, no more runs, gaining some weight and all around just looking better.
Well, I typed out a big long answer and I guess it did not go thru!
My GSD, Zetta was also very thin, she had been wormed several times. I was worried about EPI, but a change in food to Sensible Choice lamb and rice by Royal Canin, no more canned food, that seems to go right thru her. I put some yogurt in her food once a day and she is taking Probios tablets ($20 at Petco)
She is doing much better, her ribs and backbone are not sticking out and she seems healthier and she is more active now.
Well, now it shows up!
***Edited By: barligirl on 11/18/2005 11:02:37 PM*** Reason: post showed up!
1) Could the year-round copious shedding (and I DO mean copious), although groomed daily, be due to an allergy?
* It could be from an allergy, has the dog always been like this since the day it was born? It could also be genetic.
2) I've suggested a number of, IMO, better-grade foods, but my friend is hesitant to try anything her vet hasn't suggested. Anyone have any ideas of what I can say to change her mind?
*It's understandable that she doesn't want to try any new food that the vet hasn't reccomended. She really should stick to what the vet says.
3) Or am I worried for nothing? Is this the way GSDs should look (visible ribs and hipbones through her thick coat)?
Also, My little chihuahua Chili Pepper is very skinny, but it's genetic. You can see her ribs slightly even through her black hair, and it is strictly genetic. She is VERY active and hyper and she runs around a lot, so both factors contribute to her weight. After I make tacos, for instance, I take the grease (before seasoning) from the pan and pour about two teaspoons over her food. Or if you boil meat, like chicken, in water, they like that too. THen you can spoon a little bit of the slightly flavored water over their food. Not only is it healthy, it also may help the dog gain some weight.
Just don't feed her genuinely fattening foods, like bacon. Also, some dogs can tolerate raw eggs, like mine, but I don't reccomend giving it to this dog because it may throw them up, too. Heart CP
Theres alot of stuff you didn't mention, what is the dogs age, and what kind of exercise does it get. Has the Vet prescriped a prescription diet to try. Like the Z/D. My thinking is mabe he doesn't enjoy the food, or he is exercised to little, so his appetite is low. Have they tried appetite stimulants. Does the dog vomit up stuff like vegetables as well. Have they tried the Vegatarian diets. Med-i-cal from the Vet, has a Veggie diet.
That was a dumb comment. I was looking at the bigger picture, and one of the Veterinarian here made the suggestion, because of the vomiting. Geeze... Plus even if the food has a certain ingrediant, it doesn't do any good if the dog has a medical condition or is Vomiting. So we address these issues first.
***Edited By: sue on 11/19/2005 7:28:35 PM*** Reason: dfvasdfg
I know this is kinda old but I don't get here with time that often. In my GSD experience some are just built for speed (skinny) and no matter how much you get them to eat they remain that way. I would try a better food though, sci-di just doesn't fit that bill. After that I just wouldn't worry about it according to the info you provided.
If you are not used to the way a shep sheds you might think it is shedding too much when in fact it might be normal.
***Edited By: rojo grande on 12/4/2005 10:39:15 AM*** Reason: add