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Weight loss & slimming

JanS

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Feb 20, 2023
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Your pet's name - Luna

Approximate age - 15 months
Sex - female
Sterilization status - Not spayed
Breed - 3/4 sheltie, 1/4 Scottish collie
Approximate weight - 10.1 kgs, from 11.5 kgs three months ago
What is their BEAM (behavior, energy, appetite, mood) - energetic, hungry, sometimes a little nervous.
Diet - raw meat
Vaccination history/exposure to toxins, other medications - Standard vaccination and deworming schedule up to 10 months, no more after that
Primary problem, when it started and if anything else was going on around that time

I have a question about weight loss in our dog Luna. She is 3/4 Sheltie 1/4 Scottish Collie. We have had her for six months now, since January. She is 15 months. This is our first dog.

She was 11.5 kg 3 months ago. Two weeks ago she was 10.4 kg and today 10.1 kg. Could it be because of the diet? We just gave her an extra 50% for the last two weeks.

We switched to raw meat food since April this year. Before that she had her feeding schedule from the previous owner: dry food (dog food) (100gr p/day) + wet food (200gr p/day).

The raw meat food (150gr p/day) also includes a small percentage of rice, could that be a problem?

Her hip bones at the top are more noticeable and also her spine. The neck also seems to be a little thinner.

Could it possibly be worms? I took her stool to the vet today to test for that. While walking she sometimes eats a turd lying on the ground.

She is a very fast dog and she runs a lot. Could it be that we need to feed more? The recommended amount of the raw food is much less grams per day than kibble+wet food.

Or should we be feeding her more vegetables/fruit? In between she occasionally gets a banana or pieces of apple.

Can you give us a plan of action to figure out what is going on? I feel like we should take a systematic approach to figure out what is going on?

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JanS

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The results of the stool test at the vet just came in: no worms found.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Hi Jan!

Welcome to HA! Thanks so much for sharing your first post about sweet Luna (she is super adorable).
We switched to raw meat food since April this year. Before that she had her feeding schedule from the previous owner: dry food (dog food) (100gr p/day) + wet food (200gr p/day).
That is a fantastic way to upgrade her vitality, health and healing ability. It's also common for pets to lose weight when you switch.

small percentage of rice, could that be a problem?
IMHO (but maybe @Dr. Jean Hofve or @Dr. Christina have different opinions?) it is highly unlikely.

Could it possibly be worms?
Also, unlikely based on the negative test. Though whipworms are notoriously difficult to find on regular stool samples. A trial of of the very benign dewormer Panacur (Safeguard is the OTC version) can help rule that out. Perhaps ask your vet about this (they may have done a sensitive fecal test that would have found whipworm antibodies).

She is a very fast dog and she runs a lot. Could it be that we need to feed more?
Yes! That would be most likely IMHO.

Or should we be feeding her more vegetables/fruit?
It's good to "feed the rainbow" of fruits and diced/juiced/steamed veggies but not necessary.

Can you give us a plan of action to figure out what is going on?
Sure! Step 1 is to take the HA! Pet Health 101 course (it's in your member area). Step 2 is to set up a call with Dr. Christina or myself. Step 3 is to add a vet homeopath to sweet Luna's health care team.
 

JanS

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Thank you for your response.

I called the vet and she says the whipworms also usually do come out of their test when they are in.

We did get a little worried because of the weight loss and my wife is a little worried about whether raw meat is good for the dog. I still believe in it. We are now trying 2 weeks back on dry food (kibble) + wet food from the brand Luna originally had. It is grain free. We will then see what happens with the weight.

I do want to go back to raw meat after that, in fact we still have a freezer full of stock of that. But maybe it's simply that Luna needs to get more. She is one of the fastest dogs in the bunch.

An important question might be, in what time frame might we start seeing weight gain again. How long will it take?
 

JanS

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Is it an option to combine kibble and raw meat, e.g. kibble in the morning and raw meat in the evening? Or do you not recommend that?
 

Dr. Jeff

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in what time frame might we start seeing weight gain again.
Great question Jan! This will depend on her absorption and caloric requirements. In general you should see a change in ~2 weeks (or even sooner).

However, the weight gain will not mean that the ultra-processed kibble is good for her. The fresh (and raw) food is. There's no question that dogs and people can survive, but often do not thrive, by eating ultra processed food.
Is it an option to combine kibble and raw meat
Yes, it is an option. Canned food is better than kibble. Fresh and even freeze-dried food is also far better than kibble.

IMAGE food vitality scale.jpg
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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Luna is adorable! It sounds like she's just burning more calories than she's eating, so definitely increase the raw diet. To add weight, you can add more carbs, but healthy ones, like baked sweet potatoes and cooked oats or rice. Just avoid corn (GMO if not organic) and wheat (gluten causes gut inflammation).
 

JanS

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Now a week later, Luna weighs 10.9 kg, so she is gaining weight. For the past week she has been given wet food (cooked) all the time. We decided to do this after reading your chart. We really did give much more than the prescribed amount, about 50% I think. In a week I want to start incorporating the raw meat again.

By the way, now it's pretty hot here so she can't run as much.
 

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