View Full Version : Emaciated dog ~

Nov. 15, 2009, 09:51 PM
Hey guys,

I dont' post often, but I'm a lurker... I'm not even sure if this is an ok thread BUT I need HELP...

I just rescued (about 2 hours ago) a HUGELY emaciated almost 2 year old boxer and am not sure how to fatten her up safely. The owner said she has a heart murmur and CANNOT be fixed or bred, but it looks like she's recently given birth... really long nipples.
My question is, how can I fatten her up taking into consideration the possible heart murmur (going to take her to my vet asap) but get her at a decent weight safely?
I can count every ONE of her ribs, her spine and I've never seen hip bones stick out like hers :(
If anyone has any suggestions about another forum to go to I'd greatly appreciate it!
Thanks in advance!

Nov. 15, 2009, 10:11 PM
Go slowly with this girl. Too much, too soon wil put her intestines under too much of a work load. I would recommend a bland type diet, rice and chicken, cottage cheese, yogurts and moderate protein dog food. Start with small amounts several times a day and gradually increase the amount. I would recommend checking her for Heartworm, could be the reason for weight as well as murmur and also recommend deworming. Good luck with her. Glad you opened your door.:D

Nov. 15, 2009, 10:23 PM
I'm sending you a PM... I'm going through this right now!

Nov. 15, 2009, 10:24 PM
She is up to date on all her shots, tested negative for heart worm in Feb 2009 as the owner "saved" her from a place in Iowa and in order to cross the border (I'm in Canada) she had to be up to date on every thing.

I'm going to call my vet first thing in the morning, she's had a small amount of my dog (also a boxer, about the same age) food although she kept looking at me like "come on lady, thats ALL?"
Maybe Ill make her some rice and cottage cheese before bed.
Thanks for the advice, it is MUCH appreciated! :)

Thank you SarEQ! :D

Nov. 15, 2009, 11:17 PM
No real advice here, but I wanted to say a hearty, "Bless you!!"

Nov. 15, 2009, 11:44 PM
Go slowly is right. And yes, an easy-to-digest diet is important, especially initially. As the dog gets through the first few days of rehab, gets stronger, and clears the vet check, you can switch to a higher calorie, high quality puppy food. As you probably already know, Boxers tend to have very sensitive GI systems, though, so choose carefully. :no: A grain-free food is probably your best bet.

Small, frequent meals is the way to go. Six to eight small meals a day is not too much -- spread them out, every hour or two if you can. I'd start with about a half cup per meal for the first day or so, at least until you talk to the vet.

For a good resource, try Petdogs-L (http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Petdogs-L/).

Thank you for taking on this dog! :D:cool::yes:

Nov. 16, 2009, 11:06 AM
I would echo what everyone said,

check with you vet and follow their advice
frequent small easy to digest meals, she did not lose weight overnight, nor should she gain.

frequent fecal exams over the next few months to totally make sure she is parasite free.

There are very few conditions that preclude anesthesia and surgery. The long term effect of constant cycling is likely far more dangerous to her than a spay. Once she is back on condition seek an opinion about the supposed heart problem. Boxers do notoriously (as a breed) get cardiomyopathy and long term that is not a good prognosis.

Nov. 16, 2009, 03:22 PM
I'm going through the same thing - as of about 3:30pm yesterday.

I took a tour of an animal control facility (inline with my job in animal welfare). I've done tours before but this time, a gorgeous German Shepherd reached out and grabbed me. He wasn't going to go up for adoption as he was too shy and was scheduled to be euthanized. So instead I took him home... he's horribly thin (can see all ribs and spine).

I've started him on a mix of rice, dog food and a little beef broth (to get him to eat). And will be doing several meals/day.

Eventually, I'll probably search for a permanent home for him. I really don't need another dog, but i am already in love...

Nov. 16, 2009, 05:10 PM
Bless you all. We had a coon hound show up here Thursday night (just on the thin side and of course, not neutered), and I have been told by the Humane Society that they are very hard to adopt out. I already have three rescue dogs, 2 cats and rescue/retired horses and it's either I keep my husband or the dog. After much thought (hehe), I decided to keep the husband. Dog wins on the cuteness scale, though.

I do have someone coming to look at him tonight, so cross your fingers. The shelter in my county keeps them for 5 days and then euthanizes them. I've been told they only keep a couple of dogs for adoption, although they have room for 30. AND they adopt them out without neutering them! Makes me sick.

Nov. 17, 2009, 12:19 AM
Hey everyone,

Thank you for the advice! So far we're doing well, she's eating well, drinking and sleeping like a baby (snoring like an elephant)
I slept last night tightly wrapped in a "boxer sandwich" between the 2 girls I couldn't move an inch!!!
Called into vet, they recommended pretty much what everyone here has said so we're going with lots of small meals.

Good luck to everyone else going through this as well.... you all must have the same tattoo on your foreheads that I do... you know the one? it says "SUCKER" lol :D

Nov. 17, 2009, 12:45 AM
Good for you for taking her in. She can probably be spayed sooner than you think. A man on a doberman forum just adopted a dober girl who was nothing but a skeleton with some skin stretched over it and they spayed her with no problems before they would let him take her home from the shelter. Oh, and I have that same tattoo on my forehead as well. Mine must be in screaming neon colors LOL. I have my own little rescue fella that somebody dumped out about 2 weeks ago. I have had him neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, checked for HW (negative thank goodness), on HW preventative, he got his first bath probably ever (the vet techs said that was NOT fun lol), and frontlined. He is looking for that forever home or can just stay here. We have a low cost spay/neuter clinic available to people. I sure wish they would use it. Sigh.

Nov. 17, 2009, 01:55 PM
Once you've had the vet do screening for any underlying health problems, I swear by satin balls as a supplement/snack.



I usually hard boil and cut up the eggs.

Nov. 17, 2009, 06:26 PM
forgot to add that I would use some probiotic type product to help with digestive quality. Probios powder at the feed / tack store should have the dose for a dog

Piatt Farms
Nov. 17, 2009, 07:08 PM
Canned Science Diet A/D. it's expensive (1.50 or so for a small can)

You need to get it from your vet but i have used it to save everything from my mother-in-laws sick puppy (skin and bones--it had strangles and was sent home from the vet with fluids to die), a friends puppy who was recovering from parvo, a baby squirrel, sick kittens with pnuemonia, add weight to an aging dog who couldn't hold food down etc. It works everytime. Highly paliaple, high protien (44%), high fat (30%), high water content (good when they are dehydrated), etc.
Ask your vet for 7 cans, add one can to a meal per day (or split into two meals) and I guarentee you will see a HUGE difference.

Nov. 18, 2009, 02:02 AM
To add to a very good quality commercial food (Wellness, Diamond,,,) you can put organic chicken or grass-fed beef into a crock-pot and cook it down 'til the bones become jello. We often feed our dogs our own beef this way with 10% added starch (potatoes or rice) and 10% added vegetables (any). It's a good recipe for cooking your own dog food. Our dogs were never interested in our human food until we started eating grass-fed beef exclusively, and now they lurk in the kitchen and beg. Their coats and condition are excellent.
Boxers are sweet dogs. Thanks for giving your boxer girl a home. Boxer dogs can tend to have a lot of genetic problems, but they are worth sharing your life with. Heart murmurs don't tend to be very problematic, in my experience with dogs. Young dogs often "grow out" of heart murmurs, but your vet should be able to give you a good prognosis on that.

Nov. 18, 2009, 08:54 AM
Thanks everyone,

She had her first bath yesterday and was a complete saint about it, in fact I think she was moaning in pleasure with getting all the gross dirt off her.
It looks as tho she has mud fever between her toes and under her arm pits! :( UGH!!! What I could do to her previous owners!!!

This advice is MUCH appreciated! She's doing well... I swear she's gained weight already!!! :D

IndyLou~ I didn't realize dogs could possibly grow out of murmurs. What good news! :) Other than that and being skinny she seems in great heath!
A gentle giant (she's a BIG girl) who's put up with my boxers crazy antics without even blinking!

Nov. 18, 2009, 11:12 AM
Glad your skinny girl is doing well.

I need to bath our new skinny boy. He's so skinny THROUGH his hair, that I'm scared to see how skinny he really is once he's wet and the hair doesn't hide things...

Nov. 18, 2009, 01:04 PM
cowgirljenn~ I couldnt' handle the stink anymore! It was a bath for her or nose plugs for me.....poor thing!!!
She's shorthair so I figured she couldnt' get MUCH skinnier wet than she already was dry! I was wrong, but she seemed to enjoy it so much and even had a short lived burst of energy afterwards almost a "LOOK AT ME, I'M CLEAN, I SMELL GOOD...I'M PRETTY!!!" dance around the house and in circles around my other girl!

Moderator 1
Nov. 18, 2009, 01:15 PM
Per the sticky at the top of the forum, we're trying to limit the general pet care questions in this forum to keep it focused on more farm-specific issues.

We'll continue to evaluate our approach going forward, and the forum topics we offer, particularly after we get through the transition period to the new site.

Hope the advice you've received thus far is helpful and good luck with her recovery!

Mod 1