Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Well, that's a new one...

Just when I think the dogs have thrown pretty much everything at me, they come up with something new. I've been to the vet plenty o'times with overweight dogs, which most often has turned out to be a thyroid issue. Ozzy has recently developed the opposite issue--skinny, skinny, skinny! No matter how much food I fed him, he just kept getting skinnier. I put him back on their winter, working kibble. No help. I fed him more than I feed the 130 pound malamute! Nothing. It was embarassing to take him for a walk. He looked like a stray who'd been starving for months! Given that Ozzy had parvo as a wee puppy, I was a bit freaked out that some horrible aftermath was lurking so off to the vet we went. Poor new Dr. Jessica! She must be sick of me already!

Ozzy is a timid little guy so he was quite happy to see a soft-spoken, lady vet. Still freaked out, but not nearly as bad as he has in the past. He didn't hide under any chairs and she was able to do a full exam. He even spent the day getting some extra tests done.

Ozzy's problem, as it turns out, is basically me! Despite a dramatic increase in his food, he still wasn't getting enough calories! So now wee Ozzy eats a Satin Ball for breakfast(a disgusting mix of high fat hamburger, oil, eggs and fiber stuff frozen into a ball!) and FOUR cups of Acana Extreme for dinnner. Approximately 5000 calories a day! It's insane! The lady at the Feed Store said they rarely stock the Extreme in the summer, cuz sane mushers(if there is such a thing) wouldn't feed it! It's meant to be fed to dogs are working their butts off at -40 or running the Quest or some other crazy amount of work. It is not meant to be fed to dog lounging around in the summer doing basically sweet bugger all! Ozzy loves it! Wolfs it down and I can get more calories into him without a big increase in volume.

Two weeks after his initial vet visit, Ozzy has gained 5.5 pounds! He needs to gain a few more to reach the "low end of normal", but he looks better already. You can't count his ribs from across the yard! He has to go in to get weighed a couple more times, just to make sure the weight sticks. There is a possibility that his thyroid is messed up, but hyperthyroidism is very rare in dogs and almost always means they have cancer. I'd rather not know if that is the case since I couldn't do a damn thing about it anyway. If he starts loosing again, I'll do more tests!

Now I'm going to have to figure how much he needs to eat to maintain his weight and how much MORE he'll need when he's actually working again. Good thing they don't all need to eat this much!


Phred said...

We're glad that just "More FOOD, Mom" is the answer. Maybe Ozzy just has his internal thermostat set a couple clicks above normal.

I can relate to the "Bag o' Bones" look - Smokey came that way and can suddenly look like he's not been fed for a month if he misses a few Bisquits. Give him an extra 1/4 cup of Krunchies, and he turns into the Pillsbury Dough Boy!

Janet Whitesell said...

My hypothyroid dogs were excessively skinny. I know, I know, that is the opposite of usual, but it seems to be a quirk of working dogs. So don't rule out hypothyroid yet.