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Maria
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

My boy Pluto has a few habits that I'm wondering might be unusual? Normally I wouldn't care to bring them up, but I'm having a difficult time getting him to gain weight (he is 8.5 months old mix). You can't see his rib bones, but can very easily feel them. His tummy is tucked, and though not protruding, his hip bones are fairly noticeable. I will try to post pictures when I can, if that will help... I asked the vet if he is too skinny, and the vet said he is borderline underweight. I also recently emailed the owner of Pluto's sister, and she told me that her female pup is now at 35 pounds and she looks pretty healthy. Pluto is only at about 30 pounds, and has been that weight since his last puppy growth spurt a few months back.

Anyway, here are the habits...

He is ALWAYS hungry. If I feed him more, he just poops more, so I don't know if he's actually benefiting from that (and he's still hungry). When we are at my parents' house, instead of wanting to play with everyone, he will sniff the ground room to room, end to end, hours upon hours searching for just that one crumb. I have to leash him when we're there to get him to settle down. (Granted, I am the oldest of my siblings and my family does love to eat so there is always food being eaten somewhere...) If either me or my housemate makes our way to the kitchen, better believe Pluto is standing right there staring at us. He's also quite the beggar, though I've never given him human food from my plate, and always tell him no when I feel like he is invading my space (he listens after a while).

This worries me the most... When we play fetch (or attempt to) at the park, he will get the ball, but then stop somewhere to munch on grass. When he goes to play with my uncle's dog, a Husky, he'd rather eat grass in his backyard than play with the Husky. He eats a TON of grass (not exaggerating), but doesn't vomit or anything. Just munches away. I try to get him to stop, but he continues on. I don't think he does this at his daycare because they haven't mentioned it to me.

And here comes the not so pleasant conversation topic that only true dog lovers love to talk about so much (haha)... his poop! I have recently switched him to Kirkland Chicken and Rice adult food, and his poop has been fairly inconsistent. It is best in the morning, small and firm. But then he poops 2 more times in the day (once at midday, once in the evening) and there seems to be much more in those, and they are not as firm, though they are formed and not super mushy or anything. This even happened this past Sunday, when we didn't exercise much because of heavy rain (so I don't think it's over-stimulation).

Some history, before the Kirkland food, I had him on Fromm Surf n Turf for the high protein and fat %'s to try to get him to gain weight, but for some reason it seemed he was losing weight and pooping tons. Before that, I had him on the regular Innova Adult Red Meat. He only pooped twice a day on that, but his poop was inconsistent just as it is now (best in the morning, weird in the evening), so I thought it was the food, and he was always much hungrier after his meals on that food than he is on the Kirkland (he settles down quicker now that he's on the Kirkland food). He has had giardia in the past, so I've recently put him on a 5 day regimen of Panacur and followed it up 2 weeks later with another 5 day, and it seems to be about the same as it was before so I'm not sure if it's that or not (so hard to tell with those darned parasites). He also has trouble expressing his glands (probably because of the inconsistent poop, I assume).

Have any of you guys had to deal with any of these things? Is it possible he is just more interested in eating than playing? If so, will he ever grow out of it?? It's kind of annoying, really, because I want him to play with me and I want him to play with my family (my brother and sister ADORE him). I know... I should go see a vet, but I've already seen two different ones, told them these things, and they chalked it up to nothing, so I wanted to know if anyone has ever had these experiences. It would be nice to not waste $45+ to be told something I already know, and maybe if one of you had to deal with this before, you'll be able to give me a general direction to go towards during our next vet visit.

Thanks,
Maria
 

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Could he possibly have EPI? Usually it presents itself with weight loss and watery poo but not always. Sometimes is accompanied by SIBO which makes it so the body cannot absorb B12. My friends dog ate 5 cups a day of food (he should of weighed 65 lbs but only weighed 40) and had mostly normal poops. Tested for EPI, came back positive and was put on the lifelong treatment and is at a normal weight now. How many cups a day are you feeding? Also, mine ALWAYS eats grass when we are out walking. He doesnt puke it up. I never figured out why mine does this but grass is like a delicacy to him or something. He seeks out the really long grass that often grows by tree bases and fences

EPI Dogs - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

After re-reading as at first I thought you said you can see his ribs. Ribs should easily be felt with a very little fat covering. He is a puppy. Maybe others can give better insight. Maybe post a couple pictures of him so we can all see
 

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It's hard to tell without seeing and feeling him in person, or seeing a good photo, whether or not a mix is too thin or what, since we don't know what he is mixed with and whether a lower weight is correct.

I will say that the constantly appearing to be hungry or begging for food is pretty normal for a dog. Mine eat dinner and then come over to me to beg for whatever I'm eating.

Grass eating is also pretty common for many dogs. Mine are definitely grazers.. they love to munch on the grass, especially after a good rain when it's all fresh and green.

As for the poop, I can't really help you as my dogs are raw fed so I'm not really sure what "normal" is for a kibble fed dog's poop as far as frequency and consistency.

Is your dog neutered? I will tell you that my younger dog was kept intact until he was 3.5 years old and until that time was always slightly underweight. The vet was not concerned about it because he had endless energy and was obviously very healthy. When I had him neutered, he put on a good 5 or so pounds that he definitely needed almost immediately and has held there. He's now a perfect weight for his body and is healthy as can be. And still eats A LOT of grass too ;)
 

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My first thought was has he been de-wormed recently? I would have a fecal checked, but also discuss with your vet giving him wormer for tapeworm as well. The softer stools makes me think he might have intestinal parasites.

Wanting to eat all the time is pretty typical dog behavior, if he knows there is a chance he could find food he will keep looking.

How much are you feeding him? Check the calories per cup and see how many calories he is getting per day.

This calculator might be helpful, but should not be your only method of determing how much food he needs per day. Dog Food Calculator

If you think he needs to gain weight there is a recipe for Satin Balls on the internet you can look up that will help bulk him up quickly, but at his age I don't think that's really recommended.
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I will try to get some good pictures of him tonight. I'm not sure if it's my eyes playing tricks on me because almost every dog that we pass is overweight but I honestly think he could gain 3-4 pounds. He's not the most active of dogs and is actually rather lazy when we're home, but does go to daycare once a week and walks 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening on the days that he doesn't go to daycare, with an extensive training session at dinner time.

Lincon16: You cannot see his ribs, but that picture of the German Shepherd in the link you gave me... that is almost how his hips look. Other than that, he doesn't look that bad, nor does he have those yellowy poops. Is this something they could develop over time? You can also feel his spine pretty easily when you pet his back. I feed him 2 cups per day, 1 for breakfast and 1 for dinner (I think at about 333kcal/cup if I remember correctly).

missmarstar: Yep, he is neutered! I thought he'd gain weight after the neuter as well because that's what I heard generally happens, but he hasn't at all really.

mylissyk: I recently dewormed him with Panacur, and while this was going on about 3-4 weeks ago, I sent in a fecal and it came back negative. Panacur didn't change the "end result" so to speak :p
 

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EPI dogs dont have to have yellow poops etc. My friends dog had normal poop in the morning then the last 1-2 poops were soft/mushy. I wonder if the food is to rich for him and thats why feeding more then two cups is giving him the runs. Maybe divide the food up through the day. I think he should be getting at least 3 cups a day, hes a puppy.

I would also suggest worming him for tapeworm. Try adding in some digestive enzymes into his food and/or a probiotic to see if that helps. You could try adding in some cooked ground beef into his food for a while to see if he gains a bit. Being underweight 3-4 pounds isnt to bad. I would rather have my dog underweight 3-4lbs then overweight 3-4lbs.

You can see my guys hip bones a bit even though hes not a Retriever hes a Malinois


So it just depends on HOW much hip your seeing. Mines ribs can also be felt real easy and the new vet I am seeing says his weight is perfect
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #7
I suppose from your replies... I could just be a little paranoid? I'll post pictures tonight to help you guys better assess the situation. As always, appreciate your time :)

Lincoln16: I see. That's pretty interesting. It might be that it's too rich, but this Kirkland food is definitely less rich than the Innova Red Meat I had him on, and with the Innova he was always starving (if I gave him more than what I was feeding him, he would get mud pies), but only had 2 poops/day rather than 3-4 with this Kirkland brand food, so I'm not sure?
 

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I suppose from your replies... I could just be a little paranoid? I'll post pictures tonight to help you guys better assess the situation. As always, appreciate your time :)
I edited my post above, you can see my guys really skinny and hes 4.5 years. Puppies are also usually very lanky until they fill out
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #9
I edited my post above, you can see my guys really skinny and hes 4.5 years. Puppies are also usually very lanky until they fill out
I see. Yeah, that's pretty much how his hips look, but his tummy is much more tucked in - maybe because they are different dogs? I suppose it's paranoia, but that wouldn't explain the poop thing... I'm afraid to try a new food and upset his stomach because of the constant switching, though. Should I ask to get bloodwork done or an EPI test? I'm meh on getting yet another fecal as I've already turned in 2 negative fecals because of this whole thing.

Btw, he's Golden mixed with Cocker Spaniel. Forgot to mention that.
 

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I would wait on the EPI test for a bit. He is still a puppy I really doubt its EPI but that could be a possibility. Start with posting a few new pictures of him and we will see how he looks to us in the pics. Mine poops 3 times a day. Morning, noon and after supper. Fecals also can come back negative when in fact the dog has an infection. Ive had this happen. I would just deworm for every worm including tapeworm. I dont even bother to run fecals unless im testing for Giardia/coccidia. If I suspect worms I go right to the dewormer.

As for the always hungry...I live with two dogs that if given the chance would eat until they threw up, then would re eat the puke and puke some more. Lincoln once got into a 5lb bag of cat food (his poops were not pleasant for a week after that) and and hour after eating that he ran over to me when he heard me open the fridge door. He begs..non stop..to the point where 7 inches of drool hangs. Ruby, will paw at your leg to let you know shes there and shes "hungry". Mine always act starved...haha
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #11
lol I guess dogs really just love food. But since he is so into food, the day that he turns his nose up at anything will be the day I know something is really wrong! I still would like him to play more than eat, however. lol

The strange thing is, his 3rd poop is not after his dinner... it is before his dinner. He poops twice after breakfast, both contain more poop than the one he took when waking up, and neither are as solid. I just don't get it?

I figured that he is much too young to be showing symptoms of a debilitating disease (knock on wood) so I will hold off on any extensive tests. Panacur does kill one type of tapeworm, though not all I think, so I'll look into that as well (he's once had tapeworms and roundworms, and does go to doggie daycare as often as once/week).
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #12
As promised, here are a few pictures (just snapped them right now). It was a little difficult to get him to stay still for view from above. Let me know what you guys think.

P.S. The last pic is of Pluto saying hello, and thanks for helping us out! :wavey:
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #14
He looks fine for an 8.5 month old puppy to me.
Hmm... okay. People just keep telling me he's so skinny, and ask if I feed him. He's also a lot skinner looking than the other dogs in our obedience class. I suppose I'm just paranoid, and people feeding into that paranoia is not helping... He also looks much skinner in certain lighting. It's strange.

Two riddles down (the grass and body size), one to go (the inconsistency of his #2). I was just wondering if they were all related... but 2/3 seems to be "normal" I guess?
 

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Eating grass can cause lose stools. Happens to mine. Story:

One time I was at the vet. Lincoln is a tooth pick but healthy weight. Some lady was sitting there with either her Golden Retriever or her Yellow Lab (I cannot recall what breed it was as it was a few years back). She made a snarky comment to her husband saying "We should feed that dog a big bowl of ice cream to put meat on his bones". I turned around and said "So he ends up like your dog whos 40lbs over weight, needs help to walk, pee, poop and cannot support its own body weight?"..No thanks.

I get comments like that all the time. I just think if people think my healthy weight dog is too skinny..what would their dogs look like o_O
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #16
I definitely see what you mean. I do not want him overweight, but I do want him at a HEALTHY weight. If you think he looks good, then that is definitely reassuring.

It's not everyday that he eats grass, and his afternoon and late afternoon/evening poops are inconsistent most days, so it is still :confused: Maybe I could chalk it up to puppy poops, and hopefully eventually it will get better as he gets older? I don't know.

I forgot to mention that I have been adding probiotics and MSM to his meals for quite some time now, but stopped recently to see if things would improve (I've read on one thread that probiotics actually made a dog's poop soft) but it's still the same as it's always been.
 

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It could get better over time. He could also still be adjusting to his food. Could also be the food not agreeing with him. Mine never did well on Kirkland :(
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #18
It could get better over time. He could also still be adjusting to his food. Could also be the food not agreeing with him. Mine never did well on Kirkland :(
Bummer, because it's such a great deal! I am going to give it another month or so, or at least until we get to the end of the bag... but if I've already tried 3 foods (4 if you include the Purina puppy chow he was on, which also didn't show any consistency), and neither has been consistent, I have no idea what I'm going to do next. :uhoh:
 

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I know what you mean, lots of people comment that Riley is skinny once has gone for a swim and you can actually see his shape (he's a lot smaller than he looks with all that fur). But my vet says he is the perfect weight, so I just kind of ignore all those comments from other dog owners.
 

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Maria
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Discussion Starter #20
I know what you mean, lots of people comment that Riley is skinny once has gone for a swim and you can actually see his shape (he's a lot smaller than he looks with all that fur). But my vet says he is the perfect weight, so I just kind of ignore all those comments from other dog owners.
I suppose I will just need to get used to the snarky comments then. :curtain:

Hopefully I can convince my vet to just sell me some medicine for routine deworming and that solves our third problem... I don't want to get duped into paying money for a consultation when I'll just be told the same things I already know.

Thanks for everything, everyone! Now I won't be letting my paranoia get the best of me... for the most part. lol
 
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