Ellie hs lost some weight - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Ellie hs lost some weight

Ellie, now 11 mos old, has lost about 6 or 7 oz in the last two months although she's been on the same food regimen.

I have noticed a slight decrease in energy and bounciness and the dogwalker noted the same change over the last several weeks.

Vet says this happens in the summer because they are more active and at the same time they perspire more.

I increased her food by about 8% in calories and she has more energy and also doesn't lurk around the kitchen with the same intensity.

Although I certainly don't want her to get fat (a spayed female puppy), she is still a puppy and I don't want to have her undernourished in any way.

She has been eating 4 NV raw patties 260 calories, and 1/8 cup of Innova puppy dry food (about 40 calories), plus a squirt of essential oils. I am now moving to Evo Small Bites since we ran out of the Innova, but the quantity and calorie cound will stay the same.

When I do the chart on the NV site, it appears she should have about 50 calories more food. But it is hard to know how to classify her activity level. Now, in the summer, she is walked about 1 1/2 hours per day and several days a week she is in a dog run for part of that time. There are usually one or two days a week when she is out for only a limited period of time. I am in NYC and therefore, there is no back yard for her to just run around in. But this activity level will decrease as soon as the cold and nasty weather arrives.

I can definitely feel her ribs and at this point, she is clearly not too fat.

Any suggestions as to how to optimize the situation? I certainly don't want to underfeed a puppy and yet, everyone has warned me to be careful about letting a spayed dog get fat.

What to do?



Last edited by louise; 08-15-2009 at 11:44 AM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 07:47 PM
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If it were Izzy, I'd increase her food to get her back to her previous weight especially if she was hungry alot. Sounds like she's getting alot of exercise this Summer since the weather's nice. How much does she weigh?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 08:35 PM
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Louise, how is she doing otherwise? weren't you having some ear infections and some other issues with Ellie? Weren't you at one point worried that she weighed too much? Are you doing less training and giving less treats? that could cause a weight loss. I would see how she does with the 8% more you are giving her. especially if her energy has increased. But be careful if you start giving her more treats.

Also does she seem more hungry after she gets the kibble. My little (big) pudge Cash gets ravenous if he gets any kibble with carbs in it. Even the high protein kibbles still have potato. When I stopped giving him any kibble and just gave him the medallions he stopped being ravenous even though he was getting the same amount of calories. He also lost a pound and a 1/2 which my vet was very happy with. A trick a canine nutritionist told me was that I could feed Cash 25% of raw ground turkey with the medallions. An ounce of turkey is only 40 calories so I can give Cash more food for the same amount of calories and he feels fuller.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 08:44 PM
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"Vet says this happens in the summer because they are more active and at the same time they perspire more."

Well, dogs dont' perspire, so that is a very odd thing for the vet to say ! But... If you feel Ellie's ribs, but there's a bit of a thickness covering them (not too much), then that should be right. If she's quite active, though, I'd feed her a bit more.

Spayed/neutered dogs gaining weight quickly is a bit of a myth, I think. It really has to do with what goes in and what activity level the dog is at. If she's active, spayed or not, she'll just need more food. At 11 months, you can pretty much say that Ellie is an adult so there shouldn't be any problem switching to an adult food. Evo is a higher protein food than Innova so should meet her requirements even better. Good luck!

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 08:48 PM
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At 11 months, she is still growing and should not be losing weight. I would increase the amount of food that she eats, to at least get her back to her previous weight.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 09:26 PM
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I would def increase her food, you don't want to underfeed a growing puppy. It sounds like she is active enough that you won't get a 'fat puppy'. I have a spayed female, that lays on the couch ALL DAY- usually once a day she will do the RLH and play with the other dogs for 10-15 min. She weighs a whole 7 3/4 lb. I don't watch her food intake, she eats what she wants when food is offered 2x a day.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Yes - I am the one you're thinking of.

I saw a specialist for the ear infection and on a hunch, she ignored the lab results and thought the increasing inflammation was an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. She gave a different oral antibiotic for a short time, cortisone pills and an ear wash. Within a month Ellie was well. Now, about 3 or 4 months later, her hearing has definitely improved and she has begun singing along with police car and fire engine sirens. It's such a relief - and so much fun.

I was concerned about her weight and I cut treats completely, only using kibble and occasional pieces of Bravo Salmon. I also reduced the kibble she was getting in the middle of the day. She lost weight and the vet was happy. She was 12 lbs.

Then summer - much more time outdoors, in dogruns etc. About 4 weeks ago she was 11.6 lbs. Now she is 11.4 pounds.

When she had gotten down to 11.4 pounds, she seemed to have lost some energy and playfulness. When out in the partk she didn't run around as much or as intensely and sometimes didn't care about playing in the house.

So last week I increased her food by about 60 or 70 calories per day. Within two days I saw more energy and so did the dogwalker - even though it was 90 degrees.

I can't say she seems ravenous after any carbs - but I do keep them to a minimum.

I guess my concern is that it's hard to tell how much is enough for a still growing puppy (11 mos) and I question that the vet knows either.

I will continue with the slight increase and weigh her again in a few weeks.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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She did weigh 12 lbs a few months ago and then after summer really kicked in, 11.6 and now 11.4.

However, after reading all your helpful posts, I am definitely increasing her food and I'll just watch as carefully as I can for energy levels and (god forbid....) flab


Last edited by louise; 08-15-2009 at 10:56 PM. Reason: clarity
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 02:56 AM
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Honestly, and of course I haven't felt Ellie's ribs myself just going on your posts, I would get a new vet completely. I can't believe that a vet told you that a growing PUPPY needed to lose weight! What a preposterous thing to say! Especially if she is as active as you say. Ugh. Some vets just really get under my skin with all their recommendations that have no basis whatsoever.

The number of her weight has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING. Honestly, a vet should know that! You need to just make sure that you feel her ribs and that she has a layer of fat over them (not too much!). On how to do this: Make a fist. Now go over your knuckles formed by the fist. If Ellie's ribs feel like that she is much too skinny. Her ribs should feel like rubbing over your fingers using that same fist. See the difference? In other words, you should be able to feel each rib but they should not be protruding. An overweight dog can be described by using that same fist but rubbing the back of your hand. You will barely feel the bones under the hand. That's an overweight dog.

To give you an idea, Kubrick weighs 16lbs and Hitchock weighs 14.5lbs and neither of them are at all overweight though if you see a number like that you might think they are. They aren't! You can feel their ribs very nicely (Hitch would even be on the thin side for sure) but I don't think of how much they weigh as a problem at all - it's just a number!

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Last edited by Lina; 08-16-2009 at 02:59 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-16-2009, 07:38 AM
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I think you have received great advice. I kind of think of a fat puppy like a fat baby. They just have their skin that they need to grow into. I always allowed my pups to eat whatever they want and they were fine. To be honest, I still do that with 2/3 of my dogs. I have one that would just get sick from overeating but the other two are at a healthy weight and they can eat as much as they want.

Also you definitely have to increase calories for activity. I have Dash doing a lot of things and he eats about double what my hav who is 2lbs heavier than he is eats on a daily basis. He just needs to consume more calories for all his activities either classes or around the house and he is still very lean.


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