View Full Version : Very skinny dog!

Karen and Ruby
20th September 2009, 12:45 PM
Hi everyone

As some of you may know I have just taken in a new dog/pup who is very underweight at the momment- you can see his hip bones very prominantly and his ribs have no muscle mass over them at all! It is quite a difference from my little Ruby. Hee makes her look incredibly fat when she isnt at all.

My question is do I out him on Puppy or Adult. He wont eat dry only tinned and he has come to us eating that horrid Webbox Sausage meat which is about 70-805 water- EW!
Anyhow I have managed to get him eating Winalot Tinned Duck and Rabbit and I have been crushing the dry food that Ruby eats- Burns Duck and Rice Adult in to eat and he seems to be quite happy for now! Scoffing is an understatement!

I want to get him on to Burns Mini Bites ASAP which is their Puppy/Toy breed mix but I dont want to change too much too soon that would cause him any stress as he has had alot of Upheaval and stress lately already!
Burns recommend 10grams per Kilo of body weight on their adult mix but how do i best get his weight up safely with out causing any stress on his joints/bones while he is growing
He isnt neutered as yet and wont be until he settles in a bit more-
Ruby wont be a problem as she doesnt eat out of a bowl due to her SM- she eats out of a nose bag so i dont need to worry about her stealing his food as she is a real glutton!!!

Thanks All

Karen, Ruby and Charlie!!

20th September 2009, 03:09 PM
Is he a puppy? If so, why has a breeder released him in such a seriously underweight state -- that is deeply worrying (unless he is a rescue dog in which case this is a sad consequence sometimes of how puppies are kept by irresponsible breeders). Either way I'd get him to the vet immediately (as in first thing tomorrow) and get a medical opinion -- he could have a serious worm burden in which case nothing you feed is going to help much; worms and other problems can have dire consequences on a puppy's health so treating the underlying cause for such an emaciated state should be your top priority. I cannot state how critical this is if he is indeed this underweight -- a puppy should NEVER be emaciated. The vet may want him fed on something that will help provide proper nutrients. Also he simply must get off only wet food/crushed up dry food -- his teeth will suffer if he that is all he eats so that will be another priority. Most puppies simply need to be offered ONLY what you intend to continue feeding with no snacks, no fussing, no compromises, and they switch over very fast but given how you are describing his state, I'd not do this at this time but get a vet consultation immediately.

If a breeder homed an emaciated puppy and is KC or club registered I'd be filing a formal complaint to both CKCS club and KC.

It may however be that what you believe is skinnyness is actually just a normal puppy weight but seems thin ?? -- again, this is why he really must see a vet and get a professional exam and opinion right away. :thmbsup: I would get him in first thing tomorrow and not delay as if this is a health issue, with puppies there often isn't a lot of maneuvering time.

Karen and Ruby
20th September 2009, 09:34 PM

He is a rescue, 9 months.
He had some dry kibble today which i soaked in some water first. wasnt too keen but he ate it.
I tryed a harness on him that Ruby last wore at 6 months (I kept it for nostalgia reasons x) and it is far, far too big.
He is off to the vets Tuesday morning to be seen for a check up. He was only in foster for a week before i took him so not much chance to gain any weight there but the foster mum said that he came in with other dogs, one of which was overweight and one was like Charlie and she said that they bullied Charlie.
We're feeding him 3 times a day at the momment in smaller portions as where he is still growing I dont want him to gain too much too quickly.
Thanks for the advice. Im going to keep on with the dry food in water and see how we get on x#

Karen, Ruby and Charlie x

21st September 2009, 05:37 PM
Did the rescue vet check him before homing? Was he checked for worms? To me this sounds like he likely has a major case of worms but a good rescue should have had him thoroughly vet checked before homing and you should have had a vet report back so you know what you are potentially dealing with. Let us know what the vet thinks. :flwr:

Karen and Ruby
21st September 2009, 08:01 PM
I asked the foster mum what treatment and vet stuff he had had and she said he had inocculations and she uses natural flea repellent (which I do too) and he has no fleas or flea dirt at all- his coat isnt in great condition which is most likely down to bad diet.
I will let you all know what she thinks - I was going to worm him straight away as we keep supplies in the house but not sure of his weight so thought we'd wait for the vet to advise. He isnt doing any scooting and his stools are really nice (only a mum could use that word eh LOL!!)
Thanks for the advice and Ill let you all know but he is settling in really really well and he is full of beans. Ruby is deffinalty starting to love him- she has been seeking him out all day for company and he follows her around continuously!!
Once he has settled in completely I will start taking him to class with me and Ruby! He can jump like a kangaroo - I see an agility champ in the making!! Too young at the momment tho!!

Karen, Ruby and Charlie!

Karen and Ruby
23rd September 2009, 09:51 AM

We have been to the vets yesterday and he agreed that Charlie does need more weight on him, he said that Charlie is around 1 kilo underweight. So not too bad, he weighs 6.5 kilos and the vet said he should be nearer 8kg at this point.
The most worrying thing we found is a grade 3 murmor which is quite alot for a 9 month old. Ruby has a murmor herself but its extremely low at a grade 0/1 which it has been for over a year or so. Sometimes the vet cant even hear it so it is worrying that Charlie has a 3 at such a young age.
Is there anything we can be giving him to help at this stage- I know that murmors arent treatable from a medical point of view until they progress but I read somewhere that Co-enzyme Q10 can help?
Obviously weight isnt an issue and he is very very energetic!!
Thanks in advance for any advise!!

Karen, Ruby and Charlie xx

23rd September 2009, 11:31 AM
Oh no -- I would immediately schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. That is a very severe murmur for a dog that age and the problem may not be MVD but some other heart problem (indeed at that age it is pretty unlikely to be MVd). With a grade that high at that age, you need a specialist to figure out what is going on and why. A vet does not have that expertise and you really need to know what is causing a murmur of that degree. He may well need medication.

I would also ring the rescue and tell them you have this diagnosis. Did they not vet check this dog before homing him? They should at least be informed they have placed a dog with a health condition of this seriousness. I would want to know this about any dog that I placed, if I missed such a problem.

There is a good post in the Health Library on heart issues but really this is irrelevant until you see a cardiologist and find out what is causing a murmur of this sort. I would think he could be underweight due to the murmur/heart problems as well.

Your vet should be able to recommend a vet cardiologist or else consider ringing your regional cavalier club. Or call Stone Lion as I am sure they can also refer you.

23rd September 2009, 01:30 PM
Oh Karen I am so sorry this has happened and on top of all the problems you have with Ruby as well. I agree with Karlin Stone Lion clinic will know where to refer and are fantastic. I thought you would like to know however, VRCC are quite close to you so you won't have so much travelling, they are supposed to be on of the best referral places in the country with all the latest equipment, they have a new Cardiology Service. http://www.vrcc.co.uk/vrcc.html

My friend has a rare condition with her Spaniel, they fed him naturally and were able to scan him without a general so they could see what was happening.

Hope this helps.

Karen and Ruby
23rd September 2009, 01:41 PM
Oh thanks Tania- that is really close to us- I need to wait until the 14 day period is over with the Insurance otherwise im buggered.
Will he be covered anyway if he has been given that diagnosis?

Love my Cavaliers
23rd September 2009, 01:46 PM
Oh, what a lot to deal with. Oz has a grade 1 murmur that was first heard at 4 months of age, but it has remained a grade 1. He's 2 now. I give him 30 mg Co-Q-10 and 1000mg fish oil with Omega 3 every day with his food. Once a week I give him two sprinkles of dried rosemary that has been pulverized. I don't know the thinking behind this, but his breeder swears by it and I figure it won't do him any harm. But first, I would go to a cardiologist. By the way, the only place I found Co-Q-10 in such a small dose was on-line through Puritan's Pride. I wish you the best.

Karen and Ruby
23rd September 2009, 02:11 PM
I just called Pet Plan to ask about the insursnce and they said that any problems now to do with his heart will not be covered, whatever it is- now im in a real pickle. He is still in his 14 day exclusion period so the fact that he hs been to the vet already means that they wont pay out for any treatment we now get him that is to do with his heart.
Not sure what to do really- its really upsetting :(

Margaret C
23rd September 2009, 04:12 PM
Hello Karen,

I'm so sorry to hear what is happening.

As Karlin said a Grade 3 heart murmur, in a puppy of 9 months, needs to be assessed by a cardiologist.

I don't know under what circumstances you obtained Charlie, but if it was through a rescue organisation then they have a responsibility to you and to him. You need to ask them to pay the referral fee for Charlie to see a Cardiologist.

I find it hard to believe that he was not vet checked before rehoming, or that they would not be willing to help, if he was placed with you without a basic health check.

Some of the cavalier club rescue organisations have thousands of pounds, and if Charlie came through one of them they should pick up the health bills, at least until you know what is wrong and what the prognosis is.

Many other rescues, I know, struggle to find funds. This does not mean they can cut corners and lumber someone with a young dog that may need expensive specialist attention.

Something seems to have gone very wrong with rehoming procedures here.