How skinny should a Golden be? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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How skinny should a Golden be?

I have a female Golden who is rather short and weighs 78 pounds. She used to be 86, which my vet said was obese. She also has Cushing's Disease and a rather sizable pot belly.

I can feel her ribs if I lightly press my fingers, but the more worrisome is the sharp area after her ribs end (moving towards her rear). Is that area supposed to be very sharp and defined?

She's hungry all the time (well, she was hungry all the time when she was obese too, so I'm used to that.)

I don't know if the pot belly is adding any extra pounds on the scale, and when I called my new vet, he didn't really answer my question about feeling her ribs; he just said "she's doing well" when I told him her weight and seemed in a rush to get off the phone. The last time I brought her in, he did not run his hands along her back to feel her ribs, so he has no idea about that.

Some people online say you should be able to feel her ribs but not see them, but I don't see it anyway, cause she's got so much fur.

I'm feeding her 3 cups of Taste of the Wild a day and 2 or 3 treats a day.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 05:46 AM
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Is it possible to post some pics so we can see her? Sometimes it is easier that way


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 07:04 AM
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Do you know how overweight she was? Or how many pounds the vet said to get off of her? Dogs carry their weight differently depending on the dog. Ideally, you should be able to feel the ribs no problem and she should also have a nice tuck at the waist. Pictures would help!

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 07:33 AM
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most people feel for the ribs in the wrong place. You don't feel the animal's side, you run your fingers lightly about 1-1/2 inches to either side of the spinal bone. If you can't feel the ribs there, the dog is overweight.
Dogs don't gain weight over the sides of their ribs unless they are VERY oveweight.
If she is in fact short, she should weigh between 55-65 pounds. But again, that's impossible for us to judge without actually meeting her!



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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 08:32 AM
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Our Penny is within the regulation height standards and at 77.5 pounds is considered overweight. Our vet said when we run our hand over her ribs, it should feel the same as running your fingers over the back of your other hand.

We're working on it!
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 08:42 AM
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That sounds like a lot of food! My guys get about one cup twice a day, and they are still a solid 80+ pounds. Since your gal is hungry, you might try mixing in frozen green beans, which add bulk but not many calories. Many dogs enjoy the crunch that comes from the frozen veggie, too.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 08:44 AM
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I thought that too. Penny gets 2 cups total per day, mixed with a little lowfat cottage cheese or homemade hamburger/rice/veggies.

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Originally Posted by GoldensGirl View Post
That sounds like a lot of food! My guys get about one cup twice a day, and they are still a solid 80+ pounds. Since your gal is hungry, you might try mixing in frozen green beans, which add bulk but not many calories. Many dogs enjoy the crunch that comes from the frozen veggie, too.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 09:20 AM
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3 cups seems like a lot unless she's pretty active. How old is she? My senior girl ate 2 cups/day for many years since she was not very active.

My guy eats 4 cups/day (Innova LBAdult) and weighs 70 lbs. He gets very few, if any, treats and nothing is added to his kibble. He's 1.5 years old. We have a invisible fence on acreage so he gets a lot of exercise.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 09:56 AM
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I know with Cushings Disease in ponies, we had to watch their weight. The way the disease effects them knocks everything out of whack.

Weight in pounds is very dependent on an individual. Like people posted before you need to post pictures from the side and top down (straight) if you want our help. I have two adult dogs, one is a lab. She is HUGE!!!!! Stands 27" tall, and is a skinny 85# You can see her spine, feel her ribs, see them when she moves. She has a waist, and a beautiful belly tuck. That may not happen with your dog because of the disease.

Teddi my golden, is taller than standard, she is 24" tall and only 60#. We keep her on the skinny side of normal, she has joint issues. Extra weight makes any joint issue, exaggerated. She has a very narrow waist, her too you can see her spine, but also see her ribs a bit easier than my lab, except for the fact she has more hair.

If your dog is smaller, 20-22" I agree her weight range probably should be 50-60 pounds.

Her disease makes her hungry all the time. I recommend green beans (frozen) for filler treats. Baby carrots work too, but you have to be careful with them as carrots naturally contain sugar. It is something your dog can put in their stomach with out adding calories. You can also put a 1/2 - 1 cup in their food too. It is hard to put a dog on a diet. I know, I got 30# off my lab. We humanize it and give in to the big brown eyes. The truth is just like ourselves we are NOT doing them a service, over feeding them. I heard once, not sure it is true but puts into perspective, that for every pound a dog is overweight, it is the equivalent of 10 pounds on a human.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 11:59 AM
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Hmm, also with horses with Cushings (not sure if it's the same with dogs), the pot bellies aren't always related to weight/obesity. It's like how some skinny, wormy horses have potbellies but their ribs are still showing and their body condition is too low. I'd check the ribs over the potbelly for signs of her body condition. Does she have a visible waist when viewed from the top? Pics from the side and from the top would help judge.

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