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Vet concerned about sheltie's weight

Discussion in 'General Health' started by dream2012, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. dream2012

    dream2012 Forums Regular

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    My sheltie, Jax, will be two this month and he weights 25#, is about 15-16" tall and long in the body. He is a very high energy dog, and most days he gets at least a two or more mile walk. He was on Fromms kibble for the first 1-1/2 years and I have switched around to other high-quality foods. Now eating Acana and I am thinking about buying the dehydrated food. My local pet store gave me a few samples of Honest Kitchen and and Mila and devoured it. It is expensive so i thought i could use as a "topping" on the kibble.

    Anywho, cut to the chase...my vet thinks he is too thin. He says he is in his prime (about 18 month at the time) and should be more filled out and not as bony. I have always been able to feel his spine, even as a puppy. He suggested feeding him more - he gets two cups of the Acana, but doesn even touch it until early afternoon, then finishes his second bowl late in the evening. He also suggested indulging him more with treats. Previous shelties always ate first thing in the morning. He appears to be perfectly fine. High energy, playful, always ready to play ball or go fora walk and he DOES eat, though not ravenous first thing in the morning. Another reason I was thinking about adding the dehydrated food and sweet potatoes to his kibble to help him gain weight.

    I am posting because i know there are breeders here and knowledgable sheltie owners who know the breed. I have had all shapes and sizes of shelties and he is just on the thin side. Two were more compact in the body and shorter in length. One was built more like Jax, but taller. I was not too worried about his weight, but the vet has planted the seed. Should i be worried about malabsorption? What other symptoms might he exhibit. He has not been neutered yet. Stil trying to decide about that. Purposely waited due to the growth plate issues, etc.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

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    Minnie are 3y - 16.92 heigh - the weight exactly like Jax - My vet says she are perfect. :yes:
     
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  3. dream2012

    dream2012 Forums Regular

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    Can you feel their spine bone? IF i run my hand down Jax's bacl. it is not covered with much fat!
     
  4. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    While there is some individual variation in bone density etc, I can't see how your dog could be underweight! Brooke (12) is just a shade under 16 inches and weighs 22.7 pounds. Faith (5) is more muscular and just over 16 inches, she weighs 24 pounds and I wouldn't want her any heavier. Yes we can feel their spines and ribs. It is much better for joints and overall health to keep them on the thin side. Both girls get 1/2 cup kibble in AM and 1/2 cup in PM. Shelties are such chow hounds, the other one in our neighborhood is overweight, when I pet him I can feel the thick fat layer over his sides. Kinda sad.

    My vet says they are at perfect weights.
     
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  5. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    25 pounds sounds like perfect weight for the height you're describing. I wouldn't worry about feeling his spine...the true test of weight management is whether you can feel his ribs when you put your hands on his sides. You should be able to feel them, covered by a thin layer of fat. If you can't feel them at all, the dog is overweight. If they are too prominent, he needs to gain weight.

    Shelties tend to put on weight so easily that the issue usually is with keeping them trim! A very active, or performance dog, will need more calories. You're feeding a good food and a substantial amount of it. (My six Shelties are all 20-22 pounds and eat 1/4 cup of Fromm Gold twice a day and I have to watch their weight!) You could certainly add some additional fat to his food with a good fish oil or coconut oil.

    Keep in mind that a lean, fit dog is less likely to be prone to things like joint issues as he ages. At age 2, he is still filling out and adding muscle. It's hard to judge without seeing him, but it sounds like he's fine to me.
     
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  6. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

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    18 months, he will still grow wide, so keep Jax slim
    -at that age, I think Minnie was about 22 lb, I wanted her to stay there,
    -but she got more muscles and now I hold her on Jax's weight.

    No, I can not feel ribs "sharp"- but as my vet says
    - if you take the skin by the ribs between your thumb and index finger and you can feel about ½ inc it is absolutely perfect, not to thin and not to fat.

    But as others also writes hold your dog to the slim side, Shelties can always be too thick which is absolutely not too good. :no:
     
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  7. dream2012

    dream2012 Forums Regular

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    Thanks, all! My three previous shelties were not as bony and i guess that is why i was a bit concerned. I guess, like people, some dogs are more muscular, others skinny, bony. I know i am not a large boned human. Small boned. I know feeling the ribs is a good test and i can definitely feel the ribs with just a little bit of fat!! If i pull the skin from the ribs, definitely minimum of a half-inch.

    As others have mentioned, shelties can become overweight as they age. I was determined to keep this guys teeth cleaned (brush every other day and he tolerates it well. actually, he squeals when i announce, "time to clean your buckies," and to keep him trim. He gets a good quality dog food, homemade treats, and an occasional high-quality dog treat. He also gets yogurt most mornings and pumpkin puree as an occasional treat.. I guess i look at the whole dog and he is happy, well exercised, astute and very alert. He eats well, so with that, i am not going to worry about this.
     
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  8. dream2012

    dream2012 Forums Regular

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    I agree, Sharon. With my previous three shelties, trying to keep weight off was sometimes a challenge, now i have the opposite problem. He does eat well and on his schedule most days. it is 12:40 and he has yet to eat his food, but by four, he wilhave devoured it. Then another cup in the early evening. I have increased to two cups per day to help him gain a few pounds. Since November he has gained one pound.
     
  9. dream2012

    dream2012 Forums Regular

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    Thank you, everyone, for your advice. Always appreciated.
     
  10. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    We had a wry difficult time keeping our previous Sheltie even close to ideal weight. She was very petite and at one pint weighed 26#. Ideally she should have been about 16-19#. We did eventually get her to 19# but it was very difficult. Especially because she had a shoulder injury when she was young and was no longer permitted to jump or run. That's how she out the weight on.

    Our current Sheltie is about 16" and weighs 25# and that is exactly where our vet wants her to be. She gets fed 1/2 cup twice a day. Weather permitting we get a good 1 mile walk a day in. Now with our sub 0 temps we just run and play in the basement. I don't think you pup sounds underweight.
     

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