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Rodrigo is now the proper weight of a Border Collie and it's freaking me out. So he's off to the vet for a check out to make sure all is well – his behavior is normal, his poop is normal, I'm still freaked out. And, in the meantime, I'm trying to put a little bit of weight on him. I don't like that I can feel his ribs and spine.
Why Dogs Lose Weight
There are a number of reasons why my dog may have lost weight that range from the obvious (more exercise, lower meal portions) to the scary (cancer).
If your dog is losing weight and you're unable to identify a cause, please contact your veterinarian. My thought is that the earlier a dog is diagnosed (if it is a health issue) the better chance we have of healing the issue.
Rodrigo has lived with digestive issues since he was a puppy and his first rapid weight loss was several years ago when he went a month without having a solid poop. This is when I learned that he has an intolerance to several proteins (which I was feeding at the time – bye bye chicken, turkey, and beef) and the repeated rounds of antibiotics he was subjected to pre-raw did a lot of damage to his gut health.
More Exercise / Less Food
In the first few months of 2019, I hired a pet sitter / dog trainer to stop by the house to run the dogs. A career change shook up our routine and we needed help. Running and playing for an hour a day contributed to weight loss in all of our dogs. At the same time, I adjusted everyone's meals because I was overfeeding them – this also lead to weight loss.
And, of course, there is the risk that something more serious could be happening. Hyperthyroidism (which is usually something we see in cats, not dogs), Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), or cancer. I'm kind of leaning towards some form of EPI because Rodrigo has been here before – he has larger, softer poops and he starts losing weight. I put him back on a supplement that has helped in the past and I've begun adding Olewo carrots to his diet once again.
- BioCase Plus
- Olewo Carrots
I also made an appointment with his veterinarian to make sure all is well. He'll be getting a wellness check and a complete blood panel to start.
Satin Balls for Large Dogs
If the veterinarian approves, I'm going to start adding satin balls to Rodrigo's diet until he puts on some weight. Currently, he's down to 52 pounds. A year ago, he was 63 pounds. I would like to see him at 58-59 pounds, but, again, this is something that I will discuss with his veterinarian.
I Googled “satin balls” and found loads of recipes and they're all pretty much the same. Here are a couple of recipes that look simple to make with ingredients that are readily available at a local grocery store:
Satin Balls Recipe #1
- 10 pounds hamburger meat [higher in fat]
- 1 large box of Total cereal
- 1 large box oatmeal
- 1 jar of wheat germ
- 1 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup of unsulfured molasses
- 10 raw eggs AND shells
- 10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
Recipe inspired by NJBoxers.com. I changed the vegetable oil to olive oil.
Satin Balls Recipe #2
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
- 1 jar all-natural peanut butter
- 1 jar (smaller of the sizes) wheat germ
- 1 dozen eggs
- Small heavy cream
- 1 cup of flaked oats (soak in the heavy cream)
Recipe inspired by HolisticDog.org, where you can find loads of satin ball recipes.
With all of these recipes, it's recommend that all of the ingredients are mixed together in a large mixing bowl. Once thoroughly blended, create balls (or patties) and freeze in a freezer-safe container until ready to feed. Satin balls are fed raw (and thawed) and as a supplement, not a meal.