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Serawyn
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ellie is 9 months old and 57 lbs. She gets at least 2 walks a day ranging between 45minutes to one hour. She also goes outside to play fetch and runs around the backyard whenever she wants (someone is always there to supervise her in the backyard).

I took her in for an exam today before we spay her and the vet told me she's too big or obese to be spayed. :(:(:(

I don't get it. She is at a good weight to me. I don't see anything wrong with her. We feed her 1.5 cup of Orijen in the morning and 1.5 cup in the evening. She doesn't get a lot of stuffed treats or any other dog treats unless during a training session. I do 4 5min sessions a day and I always limit it to about 6 commands so she doesn't get a ton of treats. She's not an active dog, but we try to mentally and physically stimulate her.

The vet told us not to give her Orijen and to feed her a can of carrot and a can of green bean instead. For the life of me, I can't understand how that is my dog's natural diet. I asked the vet why that was recommended and she said because Ellie is obese and until she looses some weight, she can't get spayed. BTW, the vet also said I waited too long and that I should have brought her in before 5 months so that she didn't get too big for the surgery. Isn't that too early to spay a dog? I know some people want to avoid the first heat, some wait until after the first heat, etc. so it's not an agreeable opinion, but before 5 months just seems so young!

Needless to say, I am going to another vet. I just feel so upset by all of this. Here is a more recent photo of her from Christmas.
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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Can you easily feel her ribs and does she have a waistline and a nice tuck?

I doubt a 9 mo old who is not even 60lbs is obese (A 9/9 on the body condition scoring scale)... IMO, I would get a new vet...

Share some pictures of her (Best to look from the side and from the top if you can). But the best judge would be you.

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Just saw the pic in your signature... she doesn't look obese... no where close! Maybe a few pounds heavy... hard to tell.
 
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Proud Parent
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Definitely get a second opinion.

On the flip side, Orijin is what we feed our two year old golden (65 lbs). I keep him pretty lean because of his bad hips, but he only gets 2.5 cups of food per day. He gets around the same exercise as your dog does. Orijin recommends that we feed him 4 cups per day, but I couldn't maintain his ideal weight that way. You should in either case though get a second opinion :)
 

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I don't see her as being obese from the picture you posted, but 2 cups of Orijen twice a day is a LOT of food and calories. I don't know which variety you are feeding, but the large breed puppy is 410 kcals per cup. That's a lot of calories for a puppy to be eating. She could probably easily get by with 1 cup twice a day.
 

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I'll try to find the link to the body condition chart that Purina puts out so you can compare.

As far as green beans, I don't think the vet meant to only feed the green beans, but to reduce the kibble by a certain amount and replace it with green beans (unsalted--watch the salt if you use canned, thawed frozen ones are a good option) that are naturally low in calories, full of fiber and are filling. Many on this forum have put their dogs on the green bean diet (do a search of Green Bean Diet) with success.

Do you use portion control? If you don't use measuring cups to measure the portion size I'd try it for a while because most people that eyeball portions tend to overestimate.

59 lbs doesn't sound heavy at first blush. My 8 year old male is 57-58 lbs naturally, but he is from field lines and is smaller than the conformation lines. It's always a good idea to keep Goldens lean to ease pressure on joints since our Goldens are at risk for hip dysplasia and arthritis.
 

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I don't see her as being obese from the picture you posted, but 2 cups of Orijen twice a day is a LOT of food and calories. I don't know which variety you are feeding, but the large breed puppy is 410 kcals per cup. That's a lot of calories for a puppy to be eating. She could probably easily get by with 1 cup twice a day.
I can't see a picture??
 

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I don't see her being obese..maybe a few extra pounds but that shouldn't be enough to not spay her..that is just crazy for your vet to say that! I would Try reducing the food a bit and go from there.
I would def get a new vet, someone who won't be so quick to judge you or your pup!
 

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I would go to a different vet. She looks okay to me in that picture. If 9 mos is too old to spay then someone should have told to the vet I used to spay an 8yr old very heavy lab years ago. Now that dog was over weight. It took me almost a yr to get her down to the right weight. She was spayed and just fine.
 

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Knife Swallower
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Can you take a pic directly from the side and directly from the top and post them? It's hard to tell from the angle of the pic you posted, but she definitely doesn't look 'obese'. Maybe not particularly lean, but then I tend to keep Ranger on the definitely lean side of the scale.

4 cups of Orijen is a TON of calories. Ranger was on the fish formula for over a year and even with 8 hour hikes on the weekends and 3 hours a day of walking (plus 2-3 miles of running 3x a week), he never got more than 2.5 cups a day or he got too heavy.

I think posting pics at a better angle would help people on the board, if you're looking for other opinions. You should be able to LIGHTLY run your hands over the TOPS of her ribs (close to the spine) and be able to easily feel her ribs. If you have to press down, she's probably carrying too much weight.
 

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Serawyn
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for the chart suggestion! I've taken a look and she's at a 5...maaaaay 5.5 or 6, but definitely nowhere near obese. I can easily feel her rib cage and when viewed from the top, she has a very definitive curve.

I actually made a mistake when I said 2 cups! The "cup" that we use is 3/4 so two of those actually make 1.5 cups. Sorry! We always, always measure and give her two scoops of 3/4 at each feeding. I might cut that back to 1 cup at each feeding and then supplementing with frozen green beans.

The vet did say to stop giving her Orijin. One can of green beans and one can of carrots. I thought the green beans were okay, but carrots seem high in sugar and I was worried about that. I did expressed to the vet my concern about changing her diet so drastically and she told me if I wanted her spayed, that was what I'd need to do. :(
 

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Serawyn
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Discussion Starter #13
Here is another photo of her. http://img.makeupalley.com/7/3/3/2/2158350.JPG

I'm sorry if it's not clear. Most of the photos I have of her are of her lying down, cuddling with me, or not from the side. I'll try to take pictures tomorrow morning and post them. It's dark here and won't really be easy to see.
 

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The vet did say to stop giving her Orijin. One can of green beans and one can of carrots. I thought the green beans were okay, but carrots seem high in sugar and I was worried about that. I did expressed to the vet my concern about changing her diet so drastically and she told me if I wanted her spayed, that was what I'd need to do. :(
We used to use carrots as treats, and they are higher in sugar than green beans, but they are low calorie and that's probably what the vet was keying on. I would be taken back if my vet said something to the effect of what yours did. Definitely get a second opinion and hopefully the new one has a better "bedside" manner!

When I took Toby for his first exam at our veterinary clinic after we adopted him at 6 months, his regular vet was on maternity leave and we saw another one that had a reputation among the other vets of being ridiculous when it came to dog weights. Of course I didn't know this at the time. I went in and she weighed him at 39 lbs. She told me he shouldn't gain any more weight because we needed to keep him lean because Goldens have a tendency for hip issues.... she didn't realize we've owned Goldens before. I looked at her and said something to the effect of you realize he's still a puppy, he's going to continue to grow and gain weight and the Golden Retriever standard for males is 65-75 lbs? I relayed the story to his regular vet when she returned. She laughed, told me that this vet had a "reputation" for that and not to worry, Toby was fine.
 

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Here is another photo of her. http://img.makeupalley.com/7/3/3/2/2158350.JPG

I'm sorry if it's not clear. Most of the photos I have of her are of her lying down, cuddling with me, or not from the side. I'll try to take pictures tomorrow morning and post them. It's dark here and won't really be easy to see.
Get a second opinion. From what I can see she has a nice natural tuck and looks nice!
 

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Kate
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the Golden Retriever standard for males is 65-70 lbs?
This is a nitpic, but it's actually 65-75. Most golden males that I've seen tend to be between 72-80 lbs. Without being obese. :)

I'm laughing about the 39lbs. That would be a very malnourished golden, I think. :D

@Serawyn - she looks "solid" and probably like she's reached that age where she's putting on weight and needs her food cut back. I'm not sure if you need to switch her to a different food. I'd only do that if you were feeding her the bare minimum. You could cut her down to 1.5 cups with green beans if need be.

I do not think she's obese. You can't go by the scale with a lot of these dogs, especially if you have different "style" goldens.

The fact your vet is refusing to spay her over her weight - as I said is insane.
 

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My thought: Maybe he is saying she is obese because he is upset that you waited longer than HE would have liked to have her spayed? I would def get a second opinion.
 

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She looks fine to me, and the weight you cite is within the breed standard. I'm going to second what other folks have said and say check with another veterinarian if you want her spayed. My guess would be that you can find someone who is willing to do the surgery. If she is at all obese (And I'm not convinced she is), it's nothing overt, so I wouldn't worry about it.

The other thing to maybe consider is not getting her spayed. I realize there are a lot of logistical issues with keeping a female unaltered (i.e. potential messes), and I actually think spaying is probably easier on females than neutering is on males because the visible parts of the body are unaltered and I get the feeling the males place more importance on it for status based on marking/dominance behavior, but it's still an option to forgo it, especially if you can't find someone to perform it. It's not like getting a cancerous growth removed or something. An unspayed dog can live a long happy life, potentially, just as a spayed one can, if you as an owner are willing to live with the extra potential responsibility of dealing with her in heat and keeping her away from unaltered males. I could see going either way if I owned a female dog. It's all what you're comfortable with.
 

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Casey and Samson's Mom
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The picture you posted has a very nice waist tuck...she certainly doesnt look to be overweight. You might want a second opinion on this!
 
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