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HELPING SHIBA GAIN WEIGHT FROM 14LBS TO 30LBS.
  • Hey guys,

    About a month ago, I found a stray shiba with a cone on her head wandering streets. I grabbed her so she wouldn't get hit by a car since she had been passing back and forth between a main street. (Also she had no peripheral vision because the cone wasn't clear). Anyways long story short, she had a ton of infections, skin, eyes, ears, had fleas and tapeworm. She was 14lbs when I found her now, a month later she gained 2lbs and supposedly she should be around 30lbs. She's turning 10 in Feb. I feed her myperfectpup (lightly cooked fresh food) + some kibble, twice a day, morning and night. She gets about 1.5-2cups a day. She gets about 1hr of exercise a day. I try not to over-walk her because she gets tired easily.

    My questions are:
    1) Should I overfeed her more than I am right now? and if so how much?
    2) With all her medication, is there anything I should be watching out for? I've been to two vets, asked friends, and keep getting different answers. I'd like to know what your guys' opinions are.
    3) She used to poop 3x a day, then it went to 2x, and now it's 1x a day now (been like this for a week). Should I be worried? She eats myperfectpup (fresh/lightly cooked food) mixed with kibble.
    4) I feel as if 2lbs is too slow, am I not being patient enough? I was researching around and I saw other dogs gain more weight after 1 month. In fact I saw another white/cream shiba that looked just like her have almost the same story! I feel as if I'm doing something wrong, or not enough.

    Here are some photos of her progress. The last two are from this morning. Thanks for everyone's advice!
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    Post edited by turbokatt at 2017-11-09 19:27:35
  • Arge12Arge12
    Posts: 19
    I love seeing the pics of how much she's been recovering! The thing that made me happiest with those latest pictures was how much her tail looks like a tail and not like a sickly appendage in that second picture. You can also see her back in the third-last picture how you're not seeing her spine through her skin anymore. Her body is looking so much healthier and I'm so happy you've taken such good care of her!

    For weight, 30 pounds is a possibly little high to shoot for, but she's definitely looking on the right track. Kiku is about 23 pounds as a full grown adult, and her body feels like it's at a healthy weight, using the standard checks on the spine and watching her belly shape. It's hard to say exactly, but as a female dog that doesn't look like she's bigger, I'd say a maximum weight to shoot for would be somewhere between 21-25 pounds. Maybe someone else could chime in for this one. Regarding the 2 pounds of weight gain - remember that she also had the surprise tapeworms in the past month, so that probably did hinder her progress a little. I'd personally keep consistent so that it won't be too much of a shock when you start pulling back once she's at her ideal weight range. The good sign is that she actually gaining weight. That's the direction you want for her.

    As for pooping, no matter how much I walk her, Kiku doesn't poop more than one time a day. I've seen other dogs vary, but Pom may be sensing that she'll be spending lots of time at home inside and since she's getting healthier, her body may be doing fine with the fact that she only needs to poop 1 to 2 times a day. Keep in mind that her bowels and bladder aren't being compressed from the undernourishment anymore, so physically her organs will be able to hold more.
  • gakugaku
    Posts: 25
    I'm so glad of the progress that she has made! She is super lucky that you found her.

    Who ever told you that shibas are supposed to be 30 pounds is mistaken. American shibas do get big, but they are not standard. The "standard" female is 15-20 pounds. Your shiba seems petite so I think around that weight would be good for her. The best is to check with the vet of course, but I think she's on the right track!

    As for the pooping, her body may be getting used to the foods and absorbing the nutrients more efficiently. I would take it as a good sign. Mine poops twice on one walk and is done for the day.

    You're doing an amazing job for her! Her pictures make me so happy! =]
  • That's great news to me! She has noticeably more energy and whatnot so I will stop being worried. The reason I am stressing is because I've been reading that long term prednisone (the steroid she's on) isn't good for her and it's been a month already. She's tapered off to every other day and I think she'll finish at about the 2 month mark. Since her skin infection is still bad (she had a vet check up on sunday), she got a refill for cefpodoxime and duoxo shampoo and also still fighting ear infection. I am hoping when she gets to her ideal weight, then she can finally be done because it's been a month on all her infections and she's working hard to get past them. Her smell is pretty awful but thats the least of my worries, it's just a good indicator on her skin infection issue for me.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1111
    I just want to mention that if the vet gave you like a healthy ideal weight for her, I would aim for that over the typical "shiba standard." She might not be the exact size of a typical standard shiba, and a healthy weight for her might be a bit above average and that's perfectly fine. Cus she definitely looked ematiated at 14 lbs, I don't think just a pound or two to fit "standard" would be ideal and healthy for her size. She might just be a taller shibe. :)

    Ozzy also just poops once a day. Sometimes he would only poop once every other day, and I was worried about it and asked the vet about it. He said Ozzy was just absorbing all of his nutrients. He eats raw, which is very highly digestible, but I was worried that it might be a sign that he wasn't getting enough nutrients because he wasn't producing much waste. But he is perfectly healthy and is just digesting the majority of his food. Maybe that is a good sign for her and maybe she'll start gaining more now that she's absorbing her food better, if so. Great that she's starting to have more energy too! :)


    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2017-11-09 22:49:04
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1255
    I also think 30 lbs sounds way too much but like @lilikoi wrote without knowing her height it is a bit hard to tell. The lack of fur is also making her look extra skinny. But my guess is she will look good at around 20-22 lbs.
    My (cream) shiba girl is 18,5 lbs at 7 years old and I don't think she is too skinny. And she is pretty tall.
    Maybe you can add some coconut oil or fat fish (canned sardines or similar) to her food to give her some extra nutrients and boost.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3492
    Thanks for rescuing. Don’t compare your shiba to others. Each shiba is different, and gain/lose weight differently.

    I think what you are feeding is fine. Don’t overfeed as then you might get an overweight dog. Gaining and losing weight does not happen overnight. It takes time and patience. Stick to what you are doing now and give it a couple months for your shiba to bounce back. Try not to rely too much on a numerical value but focus on how your dog looks and feels. Right now she is skinny so of course you can feel her ribs and back bones. But later on she’ll start to put on pounds and meat, and you shouldn’t be able to see it but should be able to feel her ribs/back without much pressure.

    I hope that helped. Keep up the good work!

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