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underweight alaskan malamute

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by vste1979, Mar 26, 2011.


  1. vste1979

    vste1979 PetForums Newbie

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    hi all need help my alaskan malamute pup has just turnad 1year old and is suddenly dramatically losing weight, He wont eat dry food at all, i have to cook him meals of pasta or rice with chicken, mince and veg, i realy need to know how best to help him gain weight as he looks realy bad. hes been wormed. thanks:confused:
     
  2. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    First things first, get him to a vet ASAP. There could be an underlying medical reason for this sudden weight loss and refusal to eat.

    If given the all clear, then try him on 3 or 4 small meals a day. If he won't eat dry food, try a good quality wet food like Naturediet, Wainwrights or Natures Menu and offer small, regular meals throughout the day- if he needs tempting, try warming the food in the microwave for a few seconds or drizzling with some salmon oil. This usually sparks some interest.

    It may also be worthwhile investing in some lactol (puppy milk). It's high in calories and nutrients so great for helping dogs to gain weight. It's just a powder than you mix with warm water, and it can either be given to the dog to drink (alongside, not instead of, water) or poured over food, this could also help getting him to eat dry food, as the kibble will soak the lactol up, and you can mash it into a nice meaty, milky meal. A high energy supplement paste, namely Calopet Paste, would be a wise addition too- it's packed with calories and energy, and is highly concentrated, so you only need to get the dog to take a little bit.

    Both my Greyhounds were very underweight when I adopted them, and I found the small, regular meals route, supplemented with lactol and calopet, the best way forward. You won't get a dog to put on weight overnight, it needs to be slow and consistant.

    But before you start anymore changes to his diet, I'd get your pup down the vets for a once over. Good luck :)
     
  3. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    I think he needs blood work done as Mals are renowned for being good eaters - too good in fact.

    Is he showing any other symptoms, like hyperactivity, coat changes, irritability?
    I am thinking of hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid expels too much thyroxin. Mals are prone to hyporthyroidism, where the thyroid expels too little thyroxine but the changes in that case are, lethargy, weight gain, dry coat and dry skin - so not what you describe.
    Hyperthyroidism is quite rare in dogs but does happen but a blood test will let the vet see if there is an underlying cause for your boys weight loss.

    Have you tried a raw diet? Many Mals on the Mal forum are fed on it, as are all my dogs and do very well. Most dogs love it.
    You could try him by getting a pack of Prize Choice chicken mince from pets at home to start. If you do decide to feed him raw you'll need some advice, there's a sticky on here and plenty of us who'd be happy to help or pm me if you like, sometimes threads get missed. Don't mix it with any cooked/dry food though.
    Natural Frozen Pet Foods - Prize Choice - The Natural Food for Healthy Animals

    Good luck and keep us posted please - don't like to think of an underweight Mal.
     
  4. vste1979

    vste1979 PetForums Newbie

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    hiya thanks for the responses, tell me a bit more bout this raw diet please. thanks
     
  5. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    The raw diet is just as it sounds- raw food! :D Simply raw meats, raw offal and raw bones. All perfectly fine, very healthy and very natural for a dog. The diet should be based on 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal, and you can use pretty much any meats you wish- chicken, beef, lamb, duck, game, venison, pork, turkey, fish- all fine to be fed raw. Raw bones are safe for dogs to eat, it's only when they are cooked that they become dangerous, and following the 80/10/10 rule, you should end up with a perfectly balanced diet.

    If you have a look around the forum there are countless threads about the raw diet, lots of info for you to have a read of :)
     
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Personally if you havent already I think it would be an idea to get the vet to check him over. My Malamute did go through a finicky picky stage of eating for awhile, but he didnt loose weight particularly or look really bad. My one did go off dry food. If yours is eating the rice or pasta and chicken, mince and veg tbh that doesnt sound that bad of a diet at least not temporarily. So if he is rapidly loosing weight still but eating it, I really think you should rule out underlying medical reasons as first port of call.

    Mine are on a small amount of complete dried in the morning. With raw meat,vegetables and a small amount of rice, with an added vitamin and mineral supplement and RA oil for their large main meal, and do well on it so it doesnt sound that much different to what you are feeding him and their weight and conditions good. So I deffinately think a health check would be best way to go.
     
  7. vste1979

    vste1979 PetForums Newbie

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    thanks what vitamin and mineral supliment are your dogs on and what is RA oil? my vet told me that you cant get additives for dogs
     
  8. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    You need to start with one meat at a time, preferably chicken. Minced chicken, diced chicken, wings, legs, carcasses and necks. With a first time eater you'll need to hold wings while your dog eats them, so as he'll know he has to chew otherwise he may try to gulp them down whole. After around two weeks you can add another meat, like minced tripe, lamb or rabbit, just a little at a time in with the chicken. At the same time you'll need to add some offal but in very small amounts especially with the liver as it can give dogs diarrhoea when they first have it. So add liver in the quantity of about the size of a ping pong ball to one meal twice a week. Then you can add heart in the same way or kidney to another couple of meals, but you have to do it gradually over the course of a month - not because it will do any harm but because it can make them runny.
    Once you have introduced a few different meats you can add the occasional sprat (raw) or half a mackerel or half a tin of pilchards to a meat meal. Then you can start giving raw meaty bones, like in the form of ribs. They must have meat on them bones without meat are no good - marrow bones are no good either. Huge cow ribs are not good as any weight bearing bone is too hard and can damage teeth, so lamb ribs are the best. Pigs tails and trotters are also good.
    You can add veg but it's not necessary, mushed raw veg in a food processor will be digested, whole veg isn't but mine love crunchy fresh veg so I add it to their meals.
    Here is an example of a nice meal but something you will get to once you know your dog can tolerate all different meats.
    [​IMG]
    This is a brief explanation of raw feeding, for a more informed explanation you should get this book:Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones: Amazon.co.uk: Tom Lonsdale: Books
    I get my food from here; The Dog Food Company - Products Page
    Have a look and see what you can give your do, the list is endless.
    It may sound difficult but that's because you need to introduce different meats slowly at first, once you have done all that it's a piece of cake. ;)
    On this link you can click on a calculator to see how much to feed going by your dogs weight: GET STARTED ON BARF
    As you'll see in the pic you can give "prey model" barf, that is a whole animal like the rabbit.
     
  9. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    I used to use the SA37, which was going for years, which they discontinued for some reason. At the moment Im using CA37 which has a probiotic in it.
    The RA Oil ive used for years its 25% omega 3 meant for large breeds and dogs prone to joint problems its also good for the heart and circulation. I just put a teaspoonful of that in. I havent used the CA37 for long but seems Ok, at least until I come up with something better. The meat and veg is raw mostly, although I do liquidise it or sometimes I just use mashed lightly cooked
    veg. The rice is only a small part just cooked wholegrain. I can never seem to find a straight agreement whether to add grains or not, some nutritionists say not, some say a small amount, so to edge my bets as no one seems to agree I just give them a small amount in with the veg and raw meat. No one usually agrees on here either about raw feeding, but Ive found it works with mine so thats what I do. I put the small amount of vitamin and minerals in personally to make sure they are not missing anything.
     
  10. vste1979

    vste1979 PetForums Newbie

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    thanks for that had a look an the calculator thing and it said bout 800g a day is that just the meat or does that include the veg, pasta, rice etc? and do oyu cook the rice and pasta if given?
     
  11. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    You can't add pasta and rice as it's a cooked food and digests slower than raw. It can't be added uncooked either, shouldn't be given like that anyway as it would swell in the dogs stomach and is potentially dangerous.
    As raw digests quickly, bacteria in it such as salmonella can't get a hold but if you add cooked it slows down the digestion process, also slowing down the digestion of the raw making it stay in the gut for longer and allowing bacteria to take a hold. The only exception is with say a couple of tinned pilchards or sardines because they digest quickly too. Anything cooked added to raw can leave the dog with food poisoning so it has to be fed on it's own or with raw veg. Like I said you don't have to add veg but if the dog likes it then it won't do any harm, if you process veg it will be digested but in the form I give it, it is just for the dogs taste and not really nutrition.
    The weights are for the meat/bone of the meal. ;)
     
    #11 Malmum, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  12. vste1979

    vste1979 PetForums Newbie

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    thanks. were going to start him on raw on tuesday, so was wondering what i should give him exactly for his first raw meal. thanks for all your help! :)
     
  13. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    Try him on chicken mince to start with a little fresh veg, anything you like - carrot, sweetcorn nibblets, chopped mange tout, just something to see if he likes it to start. You can give him a quarter of chicken, you know the leg and thigh as it's larger than a wing and he should chew it, best to hold on to it for a bit as he may like it so much he'll eat it too quickly. If you decide to try him on wings definitely hold it until he's nearly finished, as they often try to eat them whole. My Mals have always had chicken wings with no probs but they've had then since babies and know about the chewing process.

    Take a look at lexilou's thread - Raw feeding diary - she's just started and is getting along fine, doing it all very sensibly and with no rush. ;)
     
    #13 Malmum, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  14. vste1979

    vste1979 PetForums Newbie

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    thanks for all the advice. we started nanuk on the raw diet on tues. so far so good! weve had no sickness just a small amount of runny poo. started him on chicken going to try beef mince today :D
     
  15. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    Just a quickie. He should be kept on one meat at a time when first introducing and as he's okay on the chicken you'd be best sticking to that for a week or two, just varying the types ie, mince, breast, legs, wings & necks.

    Introducing too many meats at a time can upset his tum as it's a bit of an overload. ;) Have a look at LexiLou2's Raw feeding diary - she's just started and taking things very slowly. :)
     
  16. vste1979

    vste1979 PetForums Newbie

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    RIP NANUK :cryin: YOU WILL BE TRULY MISSED

    I JUST WANTED TO LET EVEYONE KNOW THAT WE HAD TO HAVE OUR PUPPY PUT TO SLEEP LAST WED AS HE HAD AN UNDERLYING GENETIC DISORDER, AND WAS IN INCREDABLE PAIN AND DISTRESS SO WE HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO ED HIS SUFFERING. I ALSO WANTED TO THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT IN TRYING TO HELP OUR PUP GAIN WEIGHT. WE PUT HIM ON THE RAW DIET AND IT SEEMED TO BE WORKING AS HE STARTED TO GAIN WEIGHT REALY WELL, BUT UNFORTUNATELY IT ALSO UNMASKED THE GENETING PROBLEM AS HIS KIDNEYS COULD NOT PROSESS THE CALCIUM IN IT AND HIS KIDNEYS FAILED. THE VET TOLD US THAT IF IT WAS DIAGNOSED WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER WE COULD HAVE FED HIM A VEGETARIAN DIET AND ALL WOULD HAVE BEEN OK. ALTHOUGH I MUST ADMIT THE SOUND OG A VEGETARIAN DOG SOUNDS A BIT WEIRD! LOL! PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM IN NO WAY BLAMING THE RAW DIET AS IT WAS WORKING REALY WELL!! THE KENNEL CLUB WAS OF ABSOLUTELY NO HELP. WE WENT TO THEM BECAUSE AS ITS A GENETIC DISEASE THERE MAY BE OTHER PUPS AND FAMILIES OUT THERE WHO MAY BE GOING THROUGHT THE SAME AVOIDABLE TRAGEDY AS US, THEY SAY ITS DOWN TO US TO CONTACT THE BREEDER, WE HAVE TRIED BUT CANNOT LOCATE HIM.

    AGAIN THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP

    NANUK YOU ARE TRULY MISSED AND WE HOPE YOU ARE AT PEACE NOW WE LOVE YOU
    :cryin::cryin:
     
  17. babycham2002

    babycham2002 PetForums VIP

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    Im so sorry for the loss of your puppy
    RIP Nanuk
     
  18. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    I am so sorry, for your loss. To lose him so young must be unbearable.
    My heart goes out to you.
    May your spirit run forever free.
     
  19. LostGirl

    LostGirl PetForums VIP

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    I am really sorry for your loss :(
     
  20. kanhulk13

    kanhulk13 PetForums Newbie

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    Very sorry to hear about your loss...nothing worse than losing someone when they are young (human or pet). Gives me the shivers....

    Perhaps obvious but you should probably put the vet and breeder in direct connection as obviously the mating should not be repeated.
    Bad timing...but the breeder should give you a free pup next litter.
     
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