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Weight? should I be able to see ribs, hips and spine?

Discussion in 'Dog Health issues and questions' started by violetashlee, May 8, 2011.

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  1. violetashlee

    violetashlee Super Boxer

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    Should I be able to see my boxer's spine, hips and ribs? I can see her ribs and hip bones all the time, and I can see her spine when she sits, or curls up in a ball. The spine sticks out pretty far.

    She has chronic pancreatits and I have a hard time getting her to eat her low fat food. I am at the vet with her quite often and I always ask if she is too skinny and they always tell me no. But I wanted opinions from the boxer experts b/c seeing her spine protrude really bothers me. Should I be seeing her hips, ribs and mostly am concerned about her spine sticking out? I've browsed the photos on BW and I dont recall ever seeing anyones spine sticking out. And I can see her ribs in the front of her chest, not just on the sides. Is that normal?

    I call her my "pocket boxer" as her usual approx weight is 38-42 lbs. But I had her boarding earlier in the week and I swear she must not have eaten a single thing. I took her to the vet on Thursday and she was down to 37 lbs. And the vet still told me she is not too thin, but I think she looks like I dont feed her or give her proper care, but that is far from the truth.

    Just looking for another opinion from people who know boxers.

    Thanks,
     
  2. sargboxerluv

    sargboxerluv Completely Boxer Crazy

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    Yes it is too skinny. But you said your dog has health issues and that might prevent her from gaining weight like a healthy dog would no matter what you feed her.

    Spine and hip bones should not be visible. And only a few ribs showing. But again, that is on healthy dogs.

    If this were me, I would be having a serious conversation with the vet. Is he saying the dog isn't too thin because with this health condition it's normal to be thin? If that isn't the case I would be seeing a different vet.
     
  3. Roge

    Roge Boxer Insane

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    HI there
    No you should not be able to see her spine, feel it yes but see it no,however verey time my dog goes boarding he comes home with a few pounds droped as they tend to suffer from seperation anxiety, I would see another vet if I were you.
     
  4. Gatorblu

    Gatorblu Boxer Insane

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    Boxers are suppose to be lean. However like the other poster said one or two ribs showing is normal, and not spine or hip bones. Thor has chronic pancreatitis as well and he kept lossing 1-2 lbs a month. I started to add psyllium, acidolphilis, prozyme, and either boiled chicken or canned salmon to his food. The psyllium is fiber and he was having very soft stools and this helped with that. Acidophilis is good bacteria to help with digestion, and prozyme is an enzyme that also helps with digestion. The chicken and fish is just some added protein. Since I have been adding these Thor has gained weight and went from 73 lbs to 80 lbs. He is a big boy and 80 lbs seems the right weight for him. Since his weight is now good I have cut the chicken and fish down so as to keep him from gaining anymore but still maintain the weight he is now. You can ask your vet about supplementing and see what they say. What food are you feeding? Most of the prescription diets have little nutritional value and are ok for the short term, but since your pup has a chronic problem look for a low fat premium food, such as Wellness Core Reduced Fat Recipe. There is also California Natural, and Natural Balance in reduced fat formulas. Good Luck!
     
  5. violetashlee

    violetashlee Super Boxer

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    Thank you for the replies.

    She eats Wellness Healthy Weight. The problem is that I can not tell if she doesn't like it, or if she doesn't feel well and that is why she is not eating it. Normally, she wont eat her breakfast, but will my other dogs breakfast (Wellness Simple Solutions). I know tis b/c I have offered her 2 or 3 kibbles and she will eat them. Maybe is a combination of both. " I dont feel well enough to eat this food, but Ill eat that food" for breakfast. Thats what it seems like. Then generally, she will eat her Healthy Weight just fine the rest of the day, unless she is really sick.

    She has an appt tomorrow with an internist who will be doing an abdominal ultra sound. I will ask that doctor about her weight. And sadly, at this point I would be willing to feed a vet diet. I just need her to eat!

    Im going to try to get a picture of her to post. Maybe I was a bit dramatic in my description and a visual would be better. But right now she is laying next to me and her spine is popping out, but I dont think she looks completely emaciated, just too skinny.
     
  6. sargboxerluv

    sargboxerluv Completely Boxer Crazy

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    wellness healthy weight is a diet food. stop using that right away!

    Get the wellness core. (that's what I used when I brought my emaciated girl home from the pound) it is expensive, but i have no idea if it is more expensive than the healthy weight stuff. Now I use Taste of the Wild, which is much cheaper and you get more in the bag.

    ALso, when you buy premium foods, if your dog can't/won't eat it for any reason, you can return it. Not sure if you need a recipet or not though.

    Pictures are good, but I promise you if you see spinal bones the dog is underweight. Emaciation is when they are so malnourished their body starts burning up their muscles for energy. If she is eating anything I doubt you have reached that stage, and if you had you would not need to ask if she's underweight.
     
  7. violetashlee

    violetashlee Super Boxer

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    Ivy went to the internist today and I kinda of had a come to Jesus talk about my concerns about her weight. He didn't think she is too skinny either and said even in people, if we bend our backs, the spine can pop out. He said she has good muscle mass and looks really good. He said she could gain a pound or two, but she isnt too skinny. I will relax about it.

    But here are pictures anyway:

    From the top:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/jenkins0703/May92011?authkey=Gv1sRgCP3lkNPFjPueTQ#

    From the side - can see hips and ribs (brindle coat makes it a little hard to notice, but you can see the ribs in white part of her chest):

    https://picasaweb.google.com/jenkins0703/May92011?authkey=Gv1sRgCP3lkNPFjPueTQ#5604871606076654098

    here is a pic of her laying down and her spine is popping out:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/jenkins0703/May92011?authkey=Gv1sRgCP3lkNPFjPueTQ#5604871708312075554

    The good news from the internist (or I dont know if its good news but seems to be) is that the pancreatitis seems to be a secondary problem associated to another digestive problem/disease. The ultra sound showed that her pancreas is normal. He did a blood test and a fecal DNA test to start. And he recommends changing the food to the same food Violet eats, Wellness Simple solutions because the pancreatits can also be caused by a food sensitivity. (Hopefully, the switch will make gain a pound or two) If the fecal comes back negative and the food switch doesnt work, then we will be looking at IBD diseases. But nonetheless, her pancreas isnt the main problem which I think is good news.

    Thank you for your replies, I really appreciate the input!

    :)
     
  8. Caney Creek

    Caney Creek Boxer Insane

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    I agree with your vet, from your pictures she looks very good! Quite lean but doesn't look "starving" by any means. She's actually about the same physique as Caney... on the thin side, you can see some spine when she curls up but she's actually very healthy and has good muscle tone. It also wouldn't hurt Caney to gain a pound or two, but it's not hurting her to be on the low end as it is so why worry about it. I'd rather her be slightly thin rather than slightly chubby, that extra weight would just put more stress on her joints.
     
  9. samsons

    samsons Boxer Insane

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    skinny pup

    this is Delilah , my newest nightmare ! ( but we love her ) she has , among being nearly blind, emaciated, unable to have enough muscle in hind quarters to sit , IBS , possible boxer colitas , D mange, yeast issues, separation anx, and .....

    these pics actually make her look good , but i am sharing for a comparison for you .

    she really looks good here ... :(
    Delilah :: Delilah026.jpg picture by anderson49048 - Photobucket

    Delilah :: Delilah002.jpg picture by anderson49048 - Photobucket

    but life is good now ~~

    Delilah :: Delilah015.jpg picture by anderson49048 - Photobucket
     
  10. violetashlee

    violetashlee Super Boxer

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    She looks great now. Thanks for the pics. You're right, Ivy is not that thin. Poor baby. Thanks for making her better! She is really cute and I like the "my newest nighmare" awwww. My girls are devil's but I LOVE them!
     
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