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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I brought Luna home November 13, 2019 at eight weeks. She turned one on September 18th, 2020.

She's amazing! She has some quirks but she really balanced out the pack dynamic! Lily (mini, 9) and Shadow (standard, 7) love her.

She is so active. We were in pre-agility when COVID got bad here and we had to stop going (I'm ultra-high risk and my kid is on oral chemo) so I'm trying to figure out an affordable backyard course, now that she's over a year and I'm less worried about her damaging her joints. (I couldn't stop her from leaping as soon as she learned how to leap off beds, etc.)

My main issue is that I can't seem to keep weight on her. She's SUPER active and runs circles around our large-ish yard all day. She also plays heartily with Shadow, who couldn't keep up at first but has gotten into much better shape! We decided to spay at 18-24 months and she's had one heat and is due for another soon.

I've been feeding her Nulo Salmon Grainfree Puppy/Adult for six months after our vet advised trying that because they said she's significantly underweight.

Other than satin balls (I've been searching the forums) is there anything else I should be doing? The vet wanted to run a million tests and I don't trust them at all (they recently tried to literally force me to treat Shadow for a hematoma he didn't have...) and they've given no explanation as to why my 46# poodle (whose parents are SKINNY as well) needs tons of bloodwork and procedures. I don't feel comfortable finding a new vet I can't meet in person. :/

She's 24.75" to the top edge of her shoulder blade.

Thoughts? Sorry it's disjointed...I'm tired. :D This isn't a recent pic...none on this PC.

471987
 

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Tons of bloodwork and procedures? Does she have any other symptoms?

I prefer a conservative approach, so I would personally find a new vet that I trust. I know it stinks not being able to meet them in person, but if you can get a good referral from another poodle owner or dog savvy friend, that may put your mind at ease.

I would probably want a phone consultation to start.

Peggy's only an inch and a quarter shorter than Luna and roughly the same weight. Does Luna feel underweight to your experienced poodle owner hands? At only a year old, she still has so much filling out to do. And if she's got the same bone structure as her parents, wouldn't it make sense that she's on the lean side?

Have you tried sneaking in some extra food in the form of training treats? Peggy will eat as much Honest Kitchen kibble (which is different from her regular meal kibble) as I'll feed her if we're doing our evening training session. Working for it significantly increases the value
 

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That doesn't sound under weight. My vet prefers a skinny dog as it's less pressure on the joints. My agility trainer has a BC that is also super skinny, feeds him all of the time and can't beef up.

Look on line for affordable agility. You could assemble your own jumps and weaves, or improvise with materials from the garage. Cones are useful for teaching wraps and directionals (though not necessarily inexpensive). There are a lot of exercises that can be done without specific equipment, for example, teaching a stopped contact with any board or small platform (or inverted dog dish!).

 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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46 lbs and 24.75" sounds perfect. Google "dog body condition scale" and you'll find images for either a 9 point or 5 point body scale to better judge whether your dog is underweight. As others have said, slightly underweight is considered ideal (a 4 on the 9 point scale), and it sounds like that's where she is.

Sometimes vets aren't used to seeing an active, hunting breed dog and aren't used to how much tuck they should have. I've also known show owners (non-poodles) who do better in the ring when their dogs are fat. Regardless, a healthy poodle should be lean.
 

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Annie is about that same height and was about 48 lbs at that age, and too skinny. Don't you ever feed that dog?! Was something I heard a lot when she was a puppy/1. The vet had me run blood tests to see if she had Addison's (no, just an active young dog). She continued to fill out and is now 2 and now 53-55 lbs and pretty much perfect. The best way I have found to check if she is skinny, or two skinny is to feel the space between her hips at the back. If there's a strong dip, she is too thin. I find ribbiness to be a bad indicator of weight.

How much is she eating? One thing I found with Annie and getting her to eat more was that starting to feed her using puzzle toys has dramatically increased her interest in eating. Food in a dish is pretty boring, but food in a kong, scattered on the floor, fed as treats, or in a puzzle toy is fun and worth eating.

You may also look to see if you can find an active dog formula dog food, which tend to be a bit higher in fat and protein, with higher calories per cup (or just compare a few dog foods to see if there is one that's higher in calories than the one you feed) so the dog doesn't have to eat as many cups to maintain weight. The stomach is only so big.
 

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I’m no expert but she seems perfectly fine weight-wise to me. Bobby is a 2 year old male Spoo and he is 25” at the shoulder and 54 pounds. He is fairly muscular and not skinny...just right for a Spoo. Considering he is a 2 year old male and Luna is a young female who still has some muscle development ahead of her yet, she seems just right. 😊 I totally agree with the idea of using puzzle toys and treat dispensing toys. We use them everyday.
 

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I agree that sounds like a fine weight for a young intact dog that likely hasn't yet filled out. Misha (though a mini) is also very lean, active, and does not gain weight. You will probably find she puts weight on much more easily after a spay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does she have any other symptoms?
Nothing, as far as I can see. She's super-active. I leave the back door open and she's in and out all day...running, running, running. She doesn't seem overly tired. No discomfort. Normal stool and eating/drinking habits. She isn't so food-motivated that she'll beg, borrow and steal it (SHADOW does that) but she loves food and usually seems hungry at meal times. If I miss one, she'll come stare at me and paw at me, but never between meals. The only thing a little unusual is that she belches a lot. She has been doing that since the day I brought her home at 8 weeks old. So we assume she has a bit of a sensitive stomach. We were using lamb/rice food (have tried a few brands) before we switched to the Nulo Salmon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Annie is about that same height and was about 48 lbs at that age, and too skinny. Don't you ever feed that dog?! Was something I heard a lot when she was a puppy/1. The vet had me run blood tests to see if she had Addison's (no, just an active young dog). She continued to fill out and is now 2 and now 53-55 lbs and pretty much perfect. The best way I have found to check if she is skinny, or two skinny is to feel the space between her hips at the back. If there's a strong dip, she is too thin. I find ribbiness to be a bad indicator of weight.

How much is she eating? One thing I found with Annie and getting her to eat more was that starting to feed her using puzzle toys has dramatically increased her interest in eating. Food in a dish is pretty boring, but food in a kong, scattered on the floor, fed as treats, or in a puzzle toy is fun and worth eating.

You may also look to see if you can find an active dog formula dog food, which tend to be a bit higher in fat and protein, with higher calories per cup (or just compare a few dog foods to see if there is one that's higher in calories than the one you feed) so the dog doesn't have to eat as many cups to maintain weight. The stomach is only so big.
Hahaha, yes I hear that ALL the time if her hair is short. Like I'm starving her. I usually have gotten flack over my other two poodles tending toward being too heavy...so I'm not use to at the same time being on the receiving end of "are you feeding her enough?" or "are you feeding her crap food?" LOL We did puppy shots/check-ups at a clinic where we'd see a different vet every time (different from our regular vet's office that I once liked) and every time they commented on her low weight and implied that I don't know how to feed her or don't feed her the right food.

She gets 4 cups a day of kibble (grain-free now but have tried foods with grains as well, all kinds) plus training treats. I give her yogurt or peanut butter or coconut oil but have alternated to see if something might help, or do the opposite. Some days she isn't in the mood for those extras. I give her real beef, turkey and chicken as well but nothing processed. I try to give her half a cup or so of additional "real food" every day. Sometimes Shadow DOES swoop in and scarf her food if she doesn't eat it in one sitting.

I really feel like she would do best free-feeding but I can't figure out how to do it when the other two dogs are overweight gluttons who would eat themselves sick if allowed! And they're on senior/weight management food so I don't want Luna grazing on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
46 lbs and 24.75" sounds perfect. Google "dog body condition scale" and you'll find images for either a 9 point or 5 point body scale to better judge whether your dog is underweight. As others have said, slightly underweight is considered ideal (a 4 on the 9 point scale), and it sounds like that's where she is.

Sometimes vets aren't used to seeing an active, hunting breed dog and aren't used to how much tuck they should have. I've also known show owners (non-poodles) who do better in the ring when their dogs are fat. Regardless, a healthy poodle should be lean.
I do think that might be a factor...that most vets are more used to seeing overweight dogs (I see mostly overweight dogs out in the world LOL) and I do know that there are genetics at play here too. She's a couple inches taller than her mama and the breeder told me mama weighs 36 when not pregnant, and her daddy is just a bit taller than Luna and weighs around 45. I really thought her parents felt bone-y when I met them but then again, Luna is the first dog I've ever had who doesn't struggle constantly with being overweight, so I'm used to dogs who are too chonky.
 

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4 cups a day! Whoa! That's a lot. She really must have quite the metabolism. Is she an anxious girl?

I feel like if she wasn't digesting her kibble properly, there would be other symptoms. (Peggy farts loudly and regularly, so the belching doesn't really surprise me. They're not stinky, sickly farts. Just pressure release. Lol.)

Obviously I'm not a vet, but I think malnutrition would show up in other ways, too. Lack of energy, poor coat, etc. But now's probably a good time to do a full panel of bloodwork, to give you a baseline. I can't imagine what procedures they'd want to do before at least seeing her levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We do have some puzzle toys. She used to love the lickimat and now will just walk away. LOL She gives up with the snuffle mat too but I use that to slow Shadow down because he legit inhales his kibble in seconds. She figures out puzzles and gets bored. Like she will do them to eat if she's really hungry but these things don't entice her to eat more than around 3/4 of the 1 cup she willing eats at each meal...if that makes sense. We did go back to an optional fourth feeding (like you'd do with a puppy LOL) that she gets around bedtime if she's interested, and if not interested in a bowl of food, she gets treats. I also keep a puzzle bottle of kibble in my bedroom just in case she gets hungry while I'm asleep. She only has the patience for it if she's really hungry, but the other dogs can't figure it out, so it's safe to leave around at all times. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
4 cups a day! Whoa! That's a lot. She really must have quite the metabolism. Is she an anxious girl?

I feel like if she wasn't digesting her kibble properly, there would be other symptoms. (Peggy farts loudly and regularly, so the belching doesn't really surprise me. They're not stinky, sickly farts. Just pressure release. Lol.)

Obviously I'm not a vet, but I think malnutrition would show up in other ways, too. Lack of energy, poor coat, etc. But now's probably a good time to do a full panel of bloodwork, to give you a baseline. I can't imagine what procedures they'd want to do before at least seeing her levels.
It DOES seem like a lot but in reality she doesn't eat it all because the others are very crafty with sneaking and gobbling if she looks away for a second. I can be right there and sometimes have to drag Shadow away from her bowl. Sometimes she'll stop to get a drink and will want to go back for more and it'll be gone. Of course, if I see this happening, I offer her more. She IS very sensitive and often will refuse to eat more at that point, even though I know she WOULD have eaten more if she hadn't been distracted or interrupted. And she IS easily distracted as well. She'll run off mid-meal to stalk birds or peer out the front window to make sure everything's ok...and I've seen her get sidetracked again on the way back to her bowl. A bit of doggy ADD perhaps. LOL I would say she's a bit nervous/high-strung/sensitive for a standard. Normal household noises still startle her, the kids getting loud still startles her and she often leaves the room (out of character because she typically follows me or my daughter everywhere) when we watch a movie or play music with boom-y sound system...and she's used to it because we've been doing it since she was tiny. And she came from a household arrangement with kids and lots of dogs.
 

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Pvc Pipes and T's make for a very cheap set of weaves, and hurdles.

feed your dog in a seprate room, so the other animals aren't eating her food.
 
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I agree. She deserves to eat in peace, especially if she's not always bouncing back when you give her a refill. But what a sweet girl to not guard her bowl. :)

The noise sensitivity also makes me think it's worth following your vet's advice and doing bloodwork now, as that can be a symptom of pain or disease (such as Addison's). Peggy's fairly high-strung, but she doesn't even seem to notice loud movies.
 

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4 cups is A LOT. Annie eats 2.5-3 cups a day and is pretty active. I would probably agree with doing some blood work, and also look for a more calorie dense kibble (which might end up being more cost effective too). I don't think Annie could eat 4 cups in a day, their stomachs aren't that large. If she was any more active I would be looking for a richer kibble.

How prominent are her hip bones?
 

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I am also curious about whether her hip bones stick out and if she has a hollow between them. My 11 month old boy is currently around 24 inches and 46 pounds. He is lean: I can feel his ribs and backbone. However, he's got a good cushion between his hip bones. I'm not much concerned.

My previous pair were also prone to burping, especially the larger one. It made for great comic relief in a training class. All eyes would be focused on the instructor, the room would be quiet... and then the giant poodle would emit a window rattling braaaaappppp.
 
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