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Activities for an obese Shiba
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    My family is fostering a 65 pound shiba. She's a very big girl and quite uncomfortable and I feel really sorry for her. Does anyone have knowledge on the best way to trim this big girl? She's six years old.

    I've requested to get her thyroid levels checked. Meanwhile, I feed raw and have been giving her chicken, but she's only eaten .25 pound today. She ate about the same last night too. She's not acting hungry now and is probably still a little anxious, so I'm not too worried about her not eating. She also had a very small 6" bully stick and two dried gullet squares today. My plan is to feed her .75-1.5 pounds a day. Kaji gets .5-.75, so it is double what he eats but since it is all meat with no fillers, I feel she will drop pounds in spite of the amount I give her at first. Once she is comfortable, I plan to reduce the amount and reevaluate where she is in weight on a weekly basis. She really needs to lose the weight but I don't want to take it off too quickly.

    She spends most of the day laying down on the tile. Kaji tries to get her to play but she's not interested and growls when he comes close. She also growls at us when she doesn't want anyone near her- usually late at night. She is a bit aloof but might change as she warms up to us (we hope!). She does let me know when she needs to go outside, and also loves walks. She manages to get around the block so we go early in the morning before it gets hot, then again in the evening. My kids also take her down the street so she's getting at least three small walks in a day- well, for the one day we've had her. I usually take Kaji much further but I'm afraid of taking her too far in case she can't walk home. She's too heavy for me to carry, and honestly, she wobbles and I'm afraid her feet might be hurting her. If they aren't, they probably will soon if she doesn't lose the weight. I've been trying to get her to walk in the grass instead of the sidewalk too.

    Is there anything else I can and should do for her?
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    She is probably having joint pain. Weight reduction will really help there, but I think she can safely eat much less than 1.5 lbs a day.

    Green beans and quinoa cooked with a few ounces of chicken is a good weight loss diet. You can also make a green bean slurry with liver purée and boiled chicken water. Add a little vitamin, and that's all she needs. Protein is great, but it's calorie dense. Calories are calories, and her output is probably really low, so you have to look at it from an input and output standpoint, while slightly increasing calories burned.

    Have her work for the food (hide it in small bites thru the day around her area so she has to get up and search for it). You can place multiple food bowls at opposite ends of the place with a tablespoon of mush in it, and let her search it out.

    http://www.petobesityprevention.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Weight_Reduction_in_Dogs_General_Information.pdf
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Poor baby….bless you for helping her out. She probably is not going to be feeling well so being grumpy is to be expected. Once she feels better you may see a dramatic change in behavior as she is able to move more.

    Feeding small bits more often in a day will be helpful so she does not go into a glycemic meltdown with food reduction as her body tries to burn fat and adjust. I agree making her work for food should help get her moving more and hopefully burn some calories in the process. I would put her in an area that is cordoned off with baby gate and use buster cube or puzzle dispenser toys so that she has to investigate them and work through them. You could put a thick slurry in a kong too and chill and then take that out so she has to work at it. Take it slowly so you don't reduce too much too quick.

    Taking a good look at the thyroid numbers and the rest of her blood work to determine if she has diabetes will tell you how her body is holding up. Talk to your vet about follow up check ins for weight etc if you don't have a scale.

    Here's a link of tips from a reliable resource. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/12_9/features/Canine-Weight-Loss-Advice_16158-1.html



    Good luck and keep us posted on her progress.
    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2013-07-08 09:52:38
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Good luck with her! Poor girl! It may be a very slow journey, especially if she is hypothyroid. I have been working on getting Toby's weight down but he loses weight very very slowly, and I've tried a wide variety of diet options (Toby also is hypothyroid and is, my vet thinks, developing Cushings). And my dogs are raw fed, usually, and that didn't seem to matter.

    I do think I would feed her on the lower end of what you were thinking rather than the higher end. Especially if she is hypothyroid, they seem to be able to conserve energy/calories quite well! In my diet attempts with Toby, I was feeding him white fish and vegies for several months and he lost weight, but only like 3 pounds. :( And he was hungry all the time, poor boy, and he hated the vegies, in particular (he flat out refuses to eat green beans, and is not so good on any others either.)

    I hadn't though of quinoa though! I'm going to try to make the liver slurry and see how that works with Toby. Right now I have shifted him from his usual raw diet to low fat Wellness. I did this because he seems to get to eat a bit more so hopefully feels fuller, but it's still relatively low in calories. He hasn't lost weight yet as far as I can tell (but I haven't weighed him either) but in the past, I've got him to lose a couple of pounds of this diet. (this approach seems counterintuitive to what the WDJ says, but he was very hungry on his other diet.)

    We also have the exercise intolerance problem, though Toby is probably in better shape than her. He had some issue for quite awhile in which he'd shake (my vet thought mysenthia gravis) and could barely walk at all. I just took him for very short walks, sometimes just in the yard, sometimes down to the end of the driveway, etc, kind of like what you're doing. Then it went away! It wasn't even getting used to exercise....it was just like overnight the shaking stopped. And since then, as long as it's cool, he's been able to go for longer walks. Our regular starting loop is .8 miles, and he used to have rest sometimes 8 times on that walk, but now he can walk a mile without resting, and we keep going further. So it's slow, but there is progress!

    And your poor foster girl is likely in pain too.....:(

    Anyway, I'd love to hear more about your progress and what works for you, so keep us updated! Maybe we should have before and after photos for inspiration!

    Some more threads on weight loss issues (you'll see I've been struggling with this one for awhile):

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/6934/toby-needs-a-diet-#Item_10

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/6023#Item_23

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/comment/130137#Comment_1301
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-07-08 14:03:10
  • Green peas are another option for vegetable weight reduction diets.

    You might want to put her on a "senior " dog food diet. Usually the calorie content is less on senior dog foods.
    Post edited by sukoshi’s mom at 2013-07-08 16:11:07
  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    Hello and welcome! It is very kind of you to take on such a challenge as a 65 lb foster! I found a similar thread that you might have some useful information http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/5982#Item_37

    As for exercising, have you considered swimming? It can be used for therapy, weight loss, and in some cases just a fun activity for the dogs. I know a forum member posted a video of their shiba going to swimming lessons but I can's find it. I found some videos of shibas using hydrotherapy, one for an injured knee.


  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks for the input! I've got a thyroid test scheduled for tomorrow at Banfield. She's got a wellness account so thyroid testing will only cost about $29. They told me all her other blood work came back normal when she was tested this past March.

    I've started giving her smaller amounts of raw chicken and turkey hearts several times a day. She's eaten about 1.5 lbs total today, which is good since yesterday she barely ate anything. I do believe raw is better than any diet food out there with just the right amount of protein and fat. I'll take a look at quinoa too, I've led a sheltered life and have never heard of it.

    The family that brought her to me said they were able to take off 10lbs over 3 months, when they had her before. But she gained it all back when they gave her back to the owner. I found out she was owned by a single person who didn't take her out much. And since her owner worked, I'm sure she was left alone a lot so she's not used to people coming by to pet her all day long. I'm really glad I got that info because it explains Sheba's behavior so well.

    I'm really excited because Sheba finally played a little with Kaji. It was so cute to see her running around the coffee table with Kaji. She was having a good time too. But it was too short because she got tired and went to lay down. At least we're making progress and any exercise is better than none! She also had a nice walk this evening. It was cooler than usual so she had a little bounce in her step a few minutes. She's coming up to me when I call her and allowing me to pet her more too, so I was able to clean off the crust from her eyes and give her a nice neck rub. I'll most likely take her out again since she didn't have a bm all day. I'm curious to see how her body handles the raw food.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I would love to do hydro therapy but we don't have a pool and I don't think my neighbors would appreciate me taking the dog there. My mom's dog did a water treadmill when she hurt her back and I believe PT sessions were about $65 each, which is way too expensive. I don't know if she even likes water either. My daughter took Kaji to Bull Creek this afternoon and wanted to take Sheba too, but I told her no until she got more comfortable with us. It was a nice cloudy day too, so it was perfect weather, so maybe next time.

    Shibamistress, I fed on the high end today because I didn't want her body to crash from not eating. Yesterday, she only ate about 1/4lb. The only poop I have seen from her (three times) was from kibble. Her last poop was yesterday evening. I'll aim for .75-1lb tomorrow. I'm hoping her thyroid levels are fine but if not, I'll have to pick your brain for a better feeding plan. She just doesn't eat much at one time. I believe she had 24 access to food before so she's a snacker. And she tends to lay in the entryway, which is the other side of the house from the kitchen. So she gets a little exercise every time I call her over.

    One other bit of info I have is she has seizures. I was told they may be related to her weight and could go away if she drops the weight. I don't know much about seizures so this is a bit scary to me.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-07-08 23:40:26
  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    I'm so sorry to hear about your foster. What is her name? And good luck. Hope it isn't thyroid as well.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Her name is Sheba. :)

    I got the thyroid test results. Total T4- Result: 1.5 ug/db, range: 0.8-5.0. They told me they want her around 1.6-2.0. Sheba gets Levothyroxine 0.8 mg tablets twice a day now.

    They recommended one of their diet foods for her as well, but when we came back to get our results, much to my relief, they forgot to push the food on us. They supplied me with some reading literature and I'll will give it a read later today. We also have a follow up appt in a month.

    I think I will definitely cut down on her food and try to keep it under 1lb a day. She's had 1/4 lb raw chicken strips so far. I was going to feed her another 1/4 for lunch and then 1/2 for dinner, but I think I will ignore the lunch for now. If she looks hungry I'll give her a treat instead. I usually treat gullet strips or bully sticks. I'm hoping the cartilage from the gullet strips is good for her joints.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-07-09 14:24:15
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I'm glad they are treating the low-normal. I do believe that bully sticks are quite calorie dense, btw. You may want to offer raw carrots or banana chips instead.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @amti - You might want to look at the calorie content of the bully sticks and gullet strips. I have absolutely no clue what a gullet strip is, but I do know that bully sticks are an incredibly rich snack. Perhaps instead you can look into long lasting chews such as deer hooves. This will provide a much lower calorie chew and will last days (if not weeks) longer.

    And if she is over 6 months old, you will probably want to ditch the lunch anyway. Most adult dogs eat twice a day, and a lot of raw fed dogs eat once a day. Check out the raw thread on the forum, as there is a ridiculous amount of information available there. And instead of chicken or other fatty meats, you might want to look into low fat fish and venison options as well.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    I almost find it a relief when there are associated thyroid issues, as it at least gives you something concrete to work with. That sounds like so much L-thyroxine! Bowdu gets 0.2mg twice a day... then again, he's half of Sheba's weight.

    Make sure you're giving her the meds separate from meals. Sorry if that's repeat information, but I find those instructions are still being neglected by a lot of vets.

    Would it seem exploitative to request pictures? =) I trust that you're going to do a good job with getting her to gradually lose weight, and I think before-and-after pics might be good inspiration!
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    lindsayt said:

    I'm glad they are treating the low-normal. I do believe that bully sticks are quite calorie dense, btw. You may want to offer raw carrots or banana chips instead.



    I agree--some vets won't treat low normal, and I think there are compelling reasons to do so (my vet agrees, luckily!) And as curlytails says, it kind of a relief sometimes, though I do find it hard to take weight off a hypothyroid dog, and at least for my boy (and your experience may be different) feeding chicken, no matter how little, does not help him lose weight.

    I feed once a day, but I'm going to try the smaller more frequent meals for Toby since my regular feeding has not improved his weight at all.

    I'd love to see pics too, if you're willing. (Though I admit that sometimes I don't put up pics of Toby, because I'm so damn tired of people saying "your dog is fat!" Uh, yeah, I'm quite aware of that! I just wonder why people need to point out the obvious.)
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I'll look into the calorie content of bully sticks and gullet strips. Gullet strips are the esophagus of a cow. I figured they were natural and dried (not fried) so they were healthier. They are both from best bully sticks. We have beef hooves laying around the house, but Sheba hasn't shown any interest in them. I'm also making my own freeze dried treats using diced turkey/beef hearts and gizzards. They are about 1/4" cubes. I'll look into the calorie content of those as well. I'm wondering how much of her weight was put on by bad food and a constant supply of it. If that was the case, then would it be that crucial to give her low cal food, or if I just limited what she ate and gave her good nutritional items, if she would lose weight naturally with exercise?

    Why is chicken not a good source for losing weight? Fish isn't really a recommended or necessary diet for raw prey model, which I feed to my other pets. It is good to give once in a while but on a daily basis. I believe it is nutritionally lacking in nutrients compared to red meats. I am starting out with chicken because Sheba has not had raw and it is usually the first meat to give. After her bowel movements are normal, then I can add in another meat, and then organs. I feed my cats twice a day and the dogs get one meal a day, but also a treat or two during the daytime.

    I didn't put up photos originally because they made me feel bad. I do have photos so I'll put them on pb later tonight and post them. She looks like she's a red husky in them because she's so big, esp next to Kaji, who is a little tall for a shiba. I've got to take the kids out for a walk after posting this.

    What are the reasons for not treating the low-normal? I was tempted to ask if I could try to lower her weight for a month before giving her pills to see if there would be a change, but didn't. I'm not a fan of medication that isn't necessary.

    Curlytails - I specifically asked if I could give the pill with food and they said yes. Sadly, she just ate her first tablet with her dinner. Do you give yours solo or do you stuff in a treat? The tablets are really small so they will be easy to hide in something, but when you say no food, are small treats okay or does that mean I have to place it down her throat? I crossing my fingers you say treats are okay.

    Today, Sheba had 1/4 lb chicken strips in the morning, 1 turkey heart as an after walk treat (they are frozen so they help cool her off and help clean her teeth), then 1/2 lb chicken strips with a drumstick for dinner. Probably around .85 of a pound total. We skipped lunch because she was pooped after the trip to Petsmart and my daughter and I left for a few hours. I would like to feed her in the morning still until she loses a little weight and then try one meal a day. I'm not sure though... I'm really sorry I keep changing our feeding schedule. I'm trying to see if she's hungry (she'll let me know) and also trying to keep her energy level up. This is all so new to me and you all have been a great help! Thank you!!!

    She's been on 2 walks today and an hour trip to Petsmart. I'll take her on her evening walk soon. I've also been walking down the street (just about 2 houses) and back around midnight, so she can relieve herself before bedtime. She's refusing to go potty in the back and won't even go down the deck stairs now. They are a little steep so I think it puts more pressure on her ankles so I'm not pushing her to go down. We have chickens down there too, so I'm a bit surprised the chickens aren't an incentive to go.

    Kaji's asking about his walk, so I'll post photos later...
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Thyroxine binds with soy and calcium and is better absorbed on an empty stomach, so as a matter of principal, it is recommended to be given separate from meals. That's also what Dr. Jean Dodds recommends, and one of her sticking points -- the dog-specific medication does not explicitly say that it should be given on an empty stomach, but apparently the human meds all say this.

    Because of the calcium thing, I don't give Bowdu his meds with cheese or any dairy. I stuff his in a little mini marshmallow, which works just fine for him. Maybe some kinds of sausages would work too. So the right kind of small treat would be okay.

    As I understand it, thyroid hormone supplementation will eventually cause the body to stop producing its own hormones, which is one concern of vets. An otherwise healthy, young dog will probably be able to continue producing thyroid hormones even after four to six weeks of supplementation. However, if a dog's thyroid functions were already suffering, that could be long enough for the body to just give up, as it were, and let the synthetics take over. Which is one reason that the pressure is on vets to make sure a dog is actually hypo before prescribing medication.

    There are some cases where a short term boost can be recommended though, as when certain breeds are low-normal. What is "low normal" for some breeds may actually be too low for others, or even some individuals. The scale is generalized across all dogs, after all. My first vet, for example, wanted to call Bowdu's levels "borderline normal" when he was like 0.9 ug/db with a reference range of 0.8-5.0 (I don't actually remember what his levels were, but he was basically 0.1 within "normal" range). However, given all the other symptoms I was seeing, I felt confident saying he was too low. The vet was hesitant, confirming, "Do you want the drugs?" And I was like, "YES, give me the drugs."

    So sure, try out the thyroid meds, and then retest her levels in a month. If they're way, way too high, then the dose was too high, or maybe she doesn't need them that bad? If she comes back a month later and her levels are within the normal range, then maybe she does need them to some degree? Try to get a free T4 reading too (more decisive than the TT4). Her weight and the seizures indicate that something could be amiss on a hormonal level, but it could be something else too...

    At any rate, good luck. I am sure that you are a great, conscientious foster, and Sheba will surely be feeling better in just a few weeks!
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Chicken is more fatty/caloric than fish, which is one of the reasons it's not great for losing weight. Feeding fish is fine, and while admittedly I don't know a whole lot about prey model feeding (other than it is the whole animal), I don't see why it would be a problem. It's certainly not true that it doesn't have enough nutrients or the right kind--many dogs live on a fish based diet (in Alaska many sled dogs do, and many Japanese dogs are fed a heavily fish based diet. While I don't think that dogs necessarily have to have the kind of diet they would have in their country of origin, I also think fish is fine). And chicken isn't red meat either. :)

    But you know, you haven't really had a chance to try just feeding her less, yet, so I'd just stick with what you're doing for now, and if she doesn't lose weight, then try something else.

    For more information on hypothyroidism, check out Dr. Dodd's webpage and even better, her book on hypothyroidism. But as for treating low normal, my vet's take is this: if it is low when they test, because of the way the levels fluctuate during the day, there's a very good chance it is swinging even lower at other points in the day, and this will already be causing a lot of problems for the dog. If it's not, then this will be caught easily in the retest, when the thyroid levels are too high. I don't know that every vet feels that way, but that is what my vet says, and it makes sense to me. Also, in our case, I absolutely wanted to treat at low normal because of aggression issues, and I see the difference in the dog (Bel) on thyrosin. The thing is, hypothyroidism can be doing a lot of damage before you can see it (as in the classic coat problems), so it is good to treat it as it appears.

    Anyway, it's really wonderful you're willing to take her on, and I bet she's going to do well, and be a whole new Shiba soon enough! Keep us posted!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Sorry it took me a long time to upload her photos. I downloaded the bulk uploader and it is now copying all my 5000+ photos. Here is a link to her album: http://s230.photobucket.com/user/amti79/library/Sheba the Foster

    When my computer is not so slow I'll go back and arrange the photos so they are in order. Here are a few photos:
    My first photo of Sheba. As you can see her harness is too tight. I didn't take it off the first day until I felt comfortable the dogs would not fight and that she would let me approach her without growling. Sheba has a cute way of laying down with one leg sticking out.


    7/6 Sheba's first photo photo DSC00026_zps21350e2e.jpg

    Top view standing
    7/6, 2013 65lbs Top View photo DSC00028_zps275d67d8.jpg
    Back view of Kaji and Sheba. Kaji is sitting a little further back from her so they are pretty close in height. Kaji is 23lbs now and 12 months old so he still has to fill out a bit.
    7/6 Kaji and Sheba7/6 photo DSC00044_zps425b02fe.jpg
    As luck would have it, I purchased my very first martingale collar on amazon last month. It was too big for Kaji but fit Sheba perfectly.
    7/8 In the front yard photo DSC00051_zps8158a39e.jpg
    Chomping down on a bullystick. I gave her one of the real skinny ones...
    7/8 Bully stick photo DSC00047_zpseb9b187d.jpg
    Smiling pretty for the camera:
    7/6 Laying photo DSC00031_zpsd80be214.jpg
    Post edited by amti at 2013-07-10 04:20:03
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I did find out some info on bully sticks. Here is the breakdown: PROTEIN:80-85% and FAT:1-2%. CALORIES in a bully stick are 29 per inch. So they are high in calories but low in fat. The one I gave her is super thin, so it probably has 15 calories per inch, which still is about 90 calories for a 6 incher. I couldn't find too much info on the gullet strips though.

    Here is something interesting I read on a site that recommends Dr. Dobbs: When testing thyroid levels after your dog is on thyroid supplementation, it is important to draw blood 4-6 hours after the supplement is given. Another site mentioned not to give within 30 minutes of a calcium rich meal as well (for us would be the bones) because it interferes with the absorption of the medication. Of course, Sheba had a small amount of chicken bones with her meal tonight.

    For those of you dealing with hypothyroidism, are you counting calories? If so, how many would you suggest for Sheba?

    Shibamistress, we had her tested around 11:45am. When I tried to take her for her evening walk, she went out the door, stopped at the sidewalk and refused to go further. I took her back inside, where she was more than happy to stay. My daughter had taken her to the mail box an hour prior, which is about 4 houses down the street (community mail box) so Sheba must have thought that walk was fine enough. So she never got her evening walk.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-07-10 04:18:07
  • brscrnsbrscrns
    Posts: 447
    Sheba looks like a very happy dog despite her weight. I hope you have good luck with her situation.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @amti - For me, I have not counted calories for either of my hypothyroid dogs. What I did was gradually reduce the amount of kibble they were eating (as well as started feeding meals instead of free feeding). With the reduction in food (and treats) as well as a better exercise plan for the older Shiba (Bella) and a modified exercise plan for the youngest (Nola, who also has some other health issues that prevent her from being quite as active as she should be), they have both gotten to a very healthy weight and stayed there. Granted, Nola had a little extra help losing weight when she had two strokes about a year and a half ago, which was not a healthy way to lose it.

    But it sounds like you are doing your research, and I am sure in a couple of months you will see your hard work (and Sheba's) pay off. :)

    Thanks for sharing your experience with her and keep us updated!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Beebe (spayed 6 yrs old female) is hypothyroid also. She was about 34lbs at diagnosis and it was so hard to prevent the weight gain, until she started on meds. She is now about 28 lbs (17 inches tall at shoulders). She also has joint pain and hip dysplasia (takes fish oil and Dasquin/MSM).

    I give her no more than 1/2 cup of Acana Pacifica every 12 hours, so that would be about 430 calories per day. Raw veggies were excellent for her for weight loss, and small frequent meals in treat toys during the day. I agree, maybe delay doing full raw meals until the weight is reduced somewhat with small kibbled/veggie/slurry feedings that you can set around the house (hard with raw).
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    I don't count calories here either... Maybe I would if I was dealing with a more drastic diet, but for Bowdu, I just wanted to cut back a few pounds. 33+ pounds at diagnosis, and now he hovers around 29~30. I generally go by about 1/2 cup of whatever kibble, and 5 ~ 6 ounces for whatever raw meal as a baseline. Minimal treats throughout the day (depends on what training or expeditions we have planned). Cut back if he seems to be gaining over time, but so far, he's been holding steady. He's quite active though, as he doesn't have any other physical ailments (knock on wood). The dogs get about 1.5 ~ 2 hours of walking a day, half of that off leash. I do think the balance of a moderated diet and steady exercise is what keeps him looking good, despite the thyroid issues.

    And thanks for sharing her pictures! She does have a pretty face and appears to have a good disposition. The tile probably feels good on her belly. =)
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-07-10 14:12:19
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Aw, she's a pretty girl, and she looks happy, anyway! Toby doesn't look that much thinner than her, though he weighs less. I love that last pic of her, smiling! She looks like she's a wellbred girl, too....

    I tried counting calories for Toby too. I had him at 650 a day, which I don't know....maybe that was too much, but he's so large, I didn't want it to make him feel starved (I worried I was feeding him too little, and then, when it was white fish fillet and vegies, he did seem hungry all the time). He did lose some, but not as much as we had hoped. (Then my husband took over feeding for awhile and any progress we made was gone). In the past, I've always been able to just guess at amounts, and by feeding less, have the dog lose weight. Obviously this is not working for us now, so I'm pretty much learning all this too.

    And yes, that is when they draw the samples for the thyroid levels. That's why, especially when the dog is being treated already, it's important to have the thyroid levels at a good rate, because that's the highest point. so if they are low when tested, you know they are dipping much lower during the day.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Shibamistress, I had a choice of appointment times and just picked 11:30 at random because I knew my college child would be up and go with me. That time had nothing to do with the vets, just pure luck on my part. I really see the need to read up and educate myself on matters more than relying on others (vets) for all info. I calculated 880 calories or so for a 50lb dog.

    I didn't take Sheba out for her midnight potty and so Kaji woke me up at 5:30 this morning to let me know Sheba had to go. She was standing at the door waiting. Then Sheba barking at the door woke me up at 7:30. This time she did not go potty but started eating greens outside. So I took her inside and gave her med in a small cube of turkey heart successfully. I fed her 1/4lb chicken after our walk around 8:30 and she laid down in her usual spot to sleep.

    I tried raw carrots and Sheba looked at me like I was an alien. Kaji doesn't eat them either -tried several times in the past and no-go all the way. She sniffed the beef hoof but decided either it was too much work or it belonged to Kaji. What other low calorie foods can I try with her? Green beans, peas were mentioned... how about fruit? I have blueberries, mango, bananas, apples, plums, and grape tomatoes (not grapes) on hand. I need some fillers for her because she gets hungry around 4pm. The chicken fills her up and keeps her happy for a good 7 hours. I usually feed dinner around 7-8pm before our walk, so she needs a good snack in between meals. Can I stick with turkey hearts? One heart = 32 calories, Fat: 1.3g, Carbs: 0.1g, Protein: 4.6g and is the size of an egg. I guess I'm looking for things I already have around the house because I have a good 30lbs of turkey hearts in my freezer still!
  • Are cooked carrots/vegetables in general still good filler for a dog trying to lose weight? Zim won't even shred raw vegetables (like Sheba, they seem to confuse him), but I've seen him eat cooked ones so that could be a possibility.
  • AvehAveh
    Posts: 110
    You could always try boiling the veggies in some meat broth. Whenever I make any kind of broth-type soup (pork ribs, beef bones, chicken etc) I will scoop a few spoonfuls over Haku's kibble and he loooves it. I believe the smell is more enticing than the taste, as Haku will eat most vegetables if they've been boiled in a meat broth. Maybe boil peas with some meat, then take the peas out and mash them up?
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Saya will eat cooked veggies if ground up and ones she won't eat she'll eat it if mixed with meat or caned fish.

    Some veggies she'll eat cooked not ground like kale, Brussels sprouts, zucchini..

    Giving some joint supplements might be helpful too.

    I like the pictures. I'm sure in time she'll get down in weight.

    I think someone here used chicken hearts to put pills in so maybe using turkey hearts work for pill hiding thing.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    That's why mashed green beans with liver or chicken juice seems to be more palatable for the dogs I know who eat it as part of weight loss.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • CrystalWolfCrystalWolf
    Posts: 235
    I don't know if grape tomatoes are any diff but I hear tomatoes are poisenious for dogs. Riku won't eat raw carrots either but he does like broccli and apples, haven't tried bananas cause I don't eat them.
  • @amti - you may also want to try the veggies frozen. Neither of mine like vegetables raw or cooked, but they both seem to enjoy frozen peas and frozen edamame (especially the former). I'm guessing it's a mixture of the sweetness and texture that they find appealing. Also, a good, low calorie, but still appealing treat is plain, unseasoned nori.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Hi, thanks for fostering and sharing the pictures first of all. She has a sweet look.
    I don't know anything about thyroid problems I'm afraid but I can understand the difficulties in trying to feed her edibles out of the ordinary. Juni wouldn't touch half of it...
    As far as I know, grapes are toxic to dogs, bananas are not very low calory and some of the other suggestions are very sugary. Blueberries are healthy (even Juni eats them, but only when she gets to pick them herself straight from the bush).
    Why not try some whole grain variety of rice or similar to keep her feeling full longer.
    On chicken the fat contents vary, if you feed the breast fillet there's not much fat. Also I assume she does still need some healthy fats in her like from fatty fish.
    Once you get to know her better and she has started walking a bit more and lost a little I would try and take her places, like some nature trails. If the place is new and exciting she might be more keen on walking longer. One or two longer walks a week I think could make a difference in her metabolism.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Toby won't eat most vegies. He eats peas, and very rarely cooked carrots. Green beans in any shape or form are clearly very offensive to him--he picks them out of his dish in disgust and leaves them on ground.

    He likes asparagus ok though.

    Funny, too because my other dogs seem to enjoy a variety of vegies.


    Also, I sent someone over to this thread after closing another thread on diet and weight, so I'm going to post this here so it is easy to find for that original poster and others. This is a good way of calculating caloric needs:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-feeding-tips/dog-food-calculator/

    Here's one for raw foods, though I do wish it went lower than 2% (say 1.5?) for dogs needing to lose weight:

    http://www.rawdogdeli.com/raw_pet_food_calculator.html
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-07-11 01:26:55
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks everyone. One of the concerns about feeding a lot of different things mentioned in various places are the sugar and carbs, which when losing weight probably isn't ideal. I get different responses from different folks (I also asked on some raw feeding sites), which is expected and what makes this all confusing is that we as humans really don't know the best method of weight loss for a dog like Sheba. One part of me wants to try everything but the other says to keep her on a strict raw diet because that is how the I feed my other animals and it is simple. There is hardly any sugar and carbs in raw and although there is fat, it is digested differently when raw in dogs and is needed in their diet. That said, I do remove the skin on the chicken (for Sheba) and the big fatty deposits (for all my pets), if any so I guess I am a bit skeptical on just how much fat is good for them.

    I have been getting nutritional breakdown from this site for the raw foods and creating a spreadsheet for my own use. I think they have it for all foods too:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/search

    I found out that 1 chicken leg bone with skin removed=Calories: 93.6, Fat: 3g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 15.7g. Sheba ate 1/2 the leg or 1/4lb, so she's only consumed about 50 calories for dinner plus the egg which is another 70. That's pretty low in calories to me. It doesn't include the amount of bone she got from the meal though, and that's probably high in calories too but rich in calcium, which she needs. She only ate half the bone, which is really how much I should be feeding her but her poop was fine.

    Sheba had her first poop from raw since being with me this evening. It was really good and so much smaller than the two scoops she's given me the first two days we had her (she was already off kibble). This makes me realize that she was probably eating a lot more than she should of been eating. I realize talking about poop is gross but with raw fed pets, it is how you judge how well the dog is adjusting to a meat and you can alter the bone content as needed. The fact that it was really good means I can introduce another meat, which I will in a few days.

    Sheba is warming up to us all now and showing us her personality. I took her out on the late night walk to the mail box, and when I was checking the mail, she had crawled into another dog's poop. Yep, she did it! I had to give her a bath and she was amazingly good. No shiba screams or nipping, so she's gotten to the point where she is trusting me enough to know I won't hurt her. I think she enjoyed it a little too because when I had the water on her tummy and rubbed her, she was very quiet. Another sign we're moving in the right direction is she's sleeping on the carpet near my desk right now. I can hear her snoring. :) Up to this time, she was sleeping only in the entryway, away from my sight and all the action in the house. Now she's right in the middle of the living room. She's no longer growling at any of us when we drop by to pet her randomly throughout the day either. She lets us rub her belly and when she has enough, she walks away.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-07-11 03:44:36
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Glad she is doing well.

    I know Jazz's owner massages her on baths which she likes. I done that with Saya over time she went from screaming to only minor whining to only whining at the end because I'm trying get all the shampoo out..

    I bet the massage feels good on her and nice clean shiba too. :)

    I hope it continues to do well.

    Carrots and banana are sugary so don't think it would be good for weight loss.

    As occasional treat sure.

    Broccoli and green beans seem to be most recommended thing for fillers.

    That quinoa stuff is usually found in health food or whole food type stores.. I never checked normal stores though so maybe they have it too. It's spelled differently then what it looks like Kenwah?

    I love my new blender makes chopping veggies for people soup easy and when I have extra zucchini and random veggies I usually cook it till soft then blend it for my home made dog treats which I add caned fish and cooked, chicken hearts and liver to it.

    With feeding fish my only concern is mercury so be sure to get the kind that have very little of it or low end..

    There is certain mackerel that is high end and some that are fine..
    This is helpful with list of things.
    http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/guide.asp
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @amti, sorry if this has been addressed already in the thread, while I was skimming it stuck out to me that you are probably overfeeding raw in regards to lbs/day if using a prey model. I got the impression you are feeding with treats upwards to probably a lb per day.

    It is my understanding that with the prey model, based on her being less active and needing to lose weight, you probably should be feeding only about 2-2.5% of her ideal adult body weight. Keep in mind the calculation to give you a starting point on the raw prey model, to my understanding, is based on ideal adult weight, not current weight.

    Even if we presume her ideal weight is closer to 30 lbs instead of closer to standard, she probably should only be eating at most .75lbs/day or about 12 oz and reduced if feeding treats or other things.

    Again, it was just something that stuck out to me as I was skimming the thread and I am sorry if you have already addressed the quantity of raw you are feeding or if you have decided to switch to a different raw feeding model rather than the raw prey model.

  • @saya - quinoa can also be found at trader joes. You should be able to find it in a regular supermarket as well in the health section most likely. If not there, it will be stuck with where they keep rice.

    @amti - I'm assuming that site calculates by weight? One thing to be aware of is that the source for your raw can make a difference. Chicken raised in a factory farm environment is going to be much fattier than a free range organic chicken. A pastured chicken (which I only ever see when you buy from the farmers directly, or very rarely some specialty butchers) will be even leaner because they get more exercise, and are fed significantly smaller amounts of commercial feed (which are themselves full of fillers).

    [edited for typos and grammar]
    Post edited by violet_in_seville at 2013-07-12 10:18:41
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I wasn't sure if this article was bets put here or another thread, but I thought it a good read related to dogs and weight ... http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/9_8/features/Overweight_Dogs_15832-1.html?s=FB071113
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    For a dog her size, I'd calculate ideal weight at 40 pounds, not 30. She probably is closer to that (though given the desire not to take the weight off too fast, which is a good plan, calculating at 50 then reevaluating might be a good idea).

    But Toby looks fine at 40 pounds. He hasn't been 30 pounds since he was a year old, and he'd be way to thin at 30. I suspect that Sheba is also a "supersized" Shiba even when her natural weight, so I suspect 30 pounds is not a good goal. When I've checked 40 pounds at 2% for weight loss, it was .8 pound for raw. I don't understand why prey model would be different than any other type of raw diet? (At least it wouldn't be different than home prepared BARF as far as I can see it terms of dietary needs? And of course, it all varies by the dog, and I do think amti should just do what she's doing right now and see if it works before she switches.

    In the past, all my dogs have lost weight readily on a raw diet by simply changing the amount they eat, and dogs that go to raw seem to lose weight well on it too....Now of course Toby is the exception, which is how I've had to try to investigate other methods, and that could happen with Sheba too, but hopefully not, and hopefully she'll start taking the weight off now!
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960

    I suspect that Sheba is also a "supersized" Shiba even when her natural weight, so I suspect 30 pounds is not a good goal. When I've checked 40 pounds at 2% for weight loss, it was .8 pound for raw. I don't understand why prey model would be different than any other type of raw diet? (At least it wouldn't be different than home prepared BARF as far as I can see it terms of dietary needs? And of course, it all varies by the dog, and I do think amti should just do what she's doing right now and see if it works before she switches.



    I was just qualifying because I use the prey model not other raw models and I don't know if the actual calculation is the same if you are using a model that includes fruits and vegis. With the prey model only big huge chunks of meat, some bone, some organs are fed ... with the prey model most do not believe in grinding or adding fruits/veggis to the meals.

    If 40 lbs is ideal, than yes, you are right the raw prey model would say about .8 lbs/day or around 13 oz is probably an appropriate place to start.

    I just mentioned it since just like with humans it can be hard to feel like you are "starving" a dog and that human emotion can tend to "creep" up the food portions fed. Even I every few months have to remind my husband to cut back our portion sizes, he will start good and gradually they get an ounce or two bigger and bigger until you don't realize you went from eating a 5oz piece of steak to a 10oz piece of steak.
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    Edit: was on a different train of thought.
    Post edited by knnwang at 2013-07-12 09:51:10
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    knnwang said:

    Lol looks like somebody was feeding Sheba rice & pasta. :))



    Poor Sheba! And you know, I kind of hate it when people say stuff like this. I don't appreciate people laughing at people for their weight, or dogs either. It's not helpful; it's just unnecessary.
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    My apologies...

    Edit: per request. To stay on topic.
    Post edited by knnwang at 2013-07-12 10:03:14
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @shibamistress, I agree.

    @knnwang - [mod comment: If you can not contribute positively to a conversation, please refrain from posting.]

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-07-12 08:42:50
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks again for your help everyone. I'm not experienced in weight loss for dogs so I am really playing it by what feels right at the time. I thought about it for a while and in the beginning, I wanted to make sure I wasn't starving her and gradually lower her intake of food, which is why I started her out at 1-1.5lbs. But because she wasn't comfortable in her new setting, she didn't really eat much the first two days, so I really wanted her to eat. On the 8th, she ate her largest meal, which was about 1.5 lbs. I gave her several small meals throughout the day and she ate them all, which I was happy about since she barely ate anything her first days. The next day I planned to feed about .75-1lb and she ate about .85 (3/4 lb chicken plus 1 turkey heart). Her meals since then have averaged about .6-.7lbs a day. She gets her leftover chicken leg (usually 1/4lb) in the morning or when she looks hungry, gets a turkey heart for a snack, and then a chicken leg (skin and most fat removed) for dinner. She has never eaten an entire leg yet and always leaves half of it- and that is given the next day. For her pills, I'm still using diced turkey hearts that are cut really small.

    I'm a little concerned since she's been licking her front paw a lot these last two days. I've only been taking her to the mailbox and back because I wasn't sure what was wrong. I was hoping it would go away or get better but she's still licking so we decided to look at her paw. She won't let anyone touch her paws normally, even if just slightly brushing up to her paw, she'll get up and leave, so he taught me how to hold her so I wouldn't get bit. He said it felt like a very small abscess deep between her pads. I'll see if Banfield is open tomorrow and try to get her in as soon as possible. It was too deep to pop and she was struggling a lot. Once we let her go, she was okay with us petting her again, so I'm relieved she's not mad. I just feel bad having to restrain her but we had to see if there was a burr or something seriously wrong. He said there was no damage to the pads or bones from what he could tell, so that is good news.

    Another thing I've noticed is she coughs. She came in a tight fitting harness (in the first few photos), so I used a martingale on her that I bought for kaji which was too big on him, but just right for her. But I noticed she would cough more with it. My mom brought her one of her dog (Millie's) old harnesses, which fit much better and the coughing has gone down. She still coughs a few minutes after drinking. Do you think she has some damage to her trachea? Is there anything I can do? She also coughed after drinking in the first harness, and even during walks. She doesn't pull that much either. The harness my mom gave her is basically two bands with two areas (top and bottom) that connect the two bands that go around her girth (in front and behind the front legs). The first band slips over the head and the second band clips behind the legs. It isn't as close to her throat as her first harness and fits a little better. It is pink and in the photo below.

    Here is my favorite picture of my little ones. I took it on the 11th, when my mom came over to let the dogs out and watch them for a few hours while my daughter had her wisdom teeth out. They are: Sheba, Taisho and KajiThree amigos <span class=:) photo DSC00078_zpsd2932674.jpg" style="border: 0px;">
    Post edited by amti at 2013-07-14 02:12:45
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    That is a great picture of all three of them. It sounds like you are on the right track in regards to the food intake for weight loss. Hope all goes well as you work through the paw issue too. I am sure her body may detox a bit too as it purges itself of any bad foods she used to eat and sheds some weight.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Great pic! And I agree, sounds like you're doing well.

    I'd worry about the trachea issue, too, but unfortunately, if there is damage to the trachea (which could be if she'd been a puller and walked on a collar in her younger days), then there may not be much that can be done about it. However, coughing can also be from kennel cough of course, or, more worrisome, heart issues. Might be worthing checking out and eliminating those possibilities too.

    I hope she's ok, and glad to hear the paw thing is discovered and hopefully healed soon.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Love that picture keep up the work I'm sure she'll get better soon. :)


    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    She's soo cute - love that last pic with her buds....Hope everything works out with her health and please keep posting on her progress :)
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    As it turns out, Toby is pretty close to her in weight. Both my vet and I were shocked when we weighed him (we weighed him 3 times to make sure!). He's gained 5 pounds since his last visit in Feb, and now weighs 55 pounds! Sure, he looks fat, but he doesn't look like he's gained that much. But he has.

    So we're really going to have to work on this too. I mean, I have been, but with little success, though I do attribute his weight gain to letting my husband feed the dogs in the spring. Toby's thyroid levels are ok (treated) and he does have what we believe to be the early stages of Cushings, which as my vet said, would mean he would retain water, too, so that might add to his weight. But we have to do something! He goes on a walk every day, between .6 to 1 mile, and we can slowly work up to longer (right now, he can do a mile without resting, but we had to work up to this). And I'm feeding him Wellness Core Reduced fat (which he hates).

    I'm going to work out a strict calorie count for all the dogs (since for some reason, my husband can't get with the "just feed them less" program, which is what has always worked in the past with other dogs). And I'm going to try some other things with Toby. My first experiment, after I find a proper calorie count for him, is going to be to try some quinoa cooked in broth (I haven't figured out what else to go with that, but I think quinoa would be a good thing to try.)

    But Toby seriously needs to lose weight too!

    And I'm having a really hard time figuring out caloric needs. I looked at the link Lindsay posted, which looks good. But another one I saw said a 40 pound dogs need 470 calories. Another one says 1000! (which seems way too high), and I've seen everything in between and so far no two are the same! any suggestions for reliable estimates for caloric needs for dogs?
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-07-19 21:45:03
  • Koji's momKoji's mom
    Posts: 632
    I'm no expert, and this is not scientific...but Koji was packing on a few extra pounds and I became more strict with his portions...

    I feed him just under somewhere between 3/4 cup to 90% of a cup total per day..pkg says 1 full cup is 423cal..(so guessing 400 ish?)

    I feed him less if he gets treats in class or a bully stick...which is most days...

    He has lost weight with this amount...He was always hovering around 26 pounds and looked "thick"...he now looks very fit and as said elsewhere he blew his coat and I can see how thin he really is now...I haven't weighed him but I know he lost weight...

    I overheard someone in the showing world describing a handler/breeder? who feeds his Shiba's a "spam can" full of kibble a day...(Spam is big here :) and some thought that was a little extreme and some did not...

    I think 1,000 is a lot! I know 1200 cal is "dieting" for 120 lb female human..I'd go with the 400's maybe 500...because he's larger...do you know what his ideal weight is for his frame?

    I wonder how OP is doing???

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