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Adding calories without adding significant volume (dogs)

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  • Adding calories without adding significant volume (dogs)

    I have NEVER before in my life had an issue trying to put weight ON a dog so I'd appreciate your thoughts/recommendations. I put a call in to the vet Wed, but never heard back.

    Two dogs. Standard Poodle, Lab.

    Lab is 3 weeks post op from an anastomosis and gastronomy, doing well except still not terribly interested in food and has some looser stools. Has been on a hamburger/rice diet with some I/D dry food mixed in. Lab lost about 23 lbs over the course of his illness the last few weeks. He's fighting fit at 94 lbs. He looks like a skeleton right now.

    Poodle has lost weight too. He's down to 72 lbs and should be around 80-82.

    Part of the "issue" as my husband pointed out, may be the fact that they are getting a lot more exercise since the dogs and I moved two weeks ago. We are walking no less than 5 miles per day, usually closer to 10.

    I have been trying to feed them 3-4 meals a day in hopes of getting more food down them, but they just aren't that interested in eating to begin with, and definitely aren't interested in eating that often. The poodle especially seems to prefer eating just once a day.

    Any thoughts on foods or supplements that I could add to the regimen to add some calories and get my boys gaining weight?
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

  • #2
    Eggs - scrambled, hardboiled, however they prefer to eat them.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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    • #3
      Would it be unhealthy to ad an oil to their diet? Like maybe rice bran? What about a senior canned food?

      Are your dogs eating kibble or..? Oh, can you try spoon or hand feeding them in-between meals? My shih Tzu only likes to eat once a day as well but he is in healthy weight.
      And are you able to shorten your walks with them, until they gain a bit back? Seems they might be burning too many calories versus intake.

      I have the opposite with my lab, he's about 18lbs overweight, and has terribly weak hips and tiny little back legs, long walks and exploring the trails just isn't an option.

      Jingles for your lab

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      • #4
        Do they need to walk that much? If not, you could go on a 1-2 mile walk, loop back to drop them off, and then continue on with your walk. Walking 10 miles a day for a "skeleton" dog 3 weeks post op seems like a lot of exercise.


        I am very much anti Science Diet so if I was in that situation I would cut out the ID kibble and sub in a sensitive stomach kibble with no wheat or corn and add in as much pumpkin as the dog could tolerate. Honest kitchen also makes a nice product called perfect form to regulate stool.

        I bet cutting down on the exercise and ensuring adequate absorption of the food he is currently getting will go a long way. If not, orijen or a similar brand that is high calorie might be a good option once his stomach settles down.

        I am constantly struggling to put weight on my dog but finally had to accept that there is a finite amount he will eat in a day (around 1 can of wet) regardless of how much exercise he receives of number of meals I break it down into. So I feed the highest calorie food he will eat and give him lots of treats.

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        • #5
          Evo is a high calorie grain free food. We us it to supplement their raw diet when our guys are working hard.

          Raw hamburger or raw eggs are also good. We use overcooked oatmeal w eggs or hamburger also for rescues w digestive issues or starvation cases.

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          • #6
            Add a few tablespoons of MaxCal to their regular food if you dont want to add any bulk. You dont need much (so they wont get too full), and can mix it up like a gravy over dry food for picky eaters. Its good for dogs who wont eat "more" food than they are already getting. We often add it to post-op patients if they arent eating well, or the ICU patients that are in hospital for weeks. Its not the tastiest food in the world, but its packed with calories (for a tin food) and easy on the tummy.

            Lots of the high quality dry dog foods are high calorie, moreso the ones with red meat compared to poultry/fish. Dry has more calories/volume as wet has so much water, however if you have a picky eater sometimes adding a high calorie wet food as a gravy on dry (or raw/cooked, whatever you feed) can help.

            Oatmeal is high in calories too...but not all dogs are fond of it.

            I'd stay away from something super fatty...often times after surgery it can increase the chance of pancreatitis and loose stools.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks all. Vet called back today once I was on the road. She wants me to try California Natural. She is VERY anti Science Diet if it's no the RX diet.

              I honestly don't care at this point, I just want some relief from the issues. I'm tired of worrying about every little poop.

              What I honestly think is going on w/ the lab is that he has short bowel syndrome. He just can't absorb. He's had 60 cm of small intestine removed now. They said it shouldn't be a problem, but I think it is.

              I love my dogs. I love my dogs. I love my dogs.

              I just spent 80 bucks on a 20lb bag of food and 12 cans. OMG.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't walk so much. NO dog needs to walk ten miles a day, let alone five! Especially one that's had half his intestines removed! Cut it down to one hour, period.

                Homemade food. It's cheaper than the bags and cans. Buy a whole chicken on sale for .99 cents a pound; cook it up with a cup of brown rice, some carrots and three or four eggs. A crockpot works great. Much easier to absorb and process.
                Last edited by Guin; Nov. 23, 2012, 09:09 PM. Reason: too much walking!
                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                Comment


                • #9
                  Satin balls! http://www.holisticdog.org/Nutrition...atinballs.html

                  Or homemade stew - get cheap/marked down meat, add water, bouillion, veggies and cook overnight in crockpot. Serve over kibble. <----- this kept my dog who was in liver failure eating/doing okay for about a year.
                  Delicious strawberry flavored death!

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                  • #10
                    I think 10 miles per day with an emaciated dog is abuse. Five miles is abuse. Get your dog healthy then do whatever you want with them.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post

                      What I honestly think is going on w/ the lab is that he has short bowel syndrome. He just can't absorb. He's had 60 cm of small intestine removed now. They said it shouldn't be a problem, but I think it is.
                      .

                      What was his initial diagnosis that led to the R&A? 60cm is a considerable amount of bowel, but not nearly enough to cause short bowel syndrome. They have to have 70-80% of their bowel removed before that occurs. More likely he is having some malabsorption/maldigestion issues. How are his stools? Frequency? Consistency? Most of the time you just gotta feed more calories then they're expending. I agree with decreasing the walk lengths...10 miles is a LOT for a dog recovering from surgery!!

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