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Miss Willow had her annual checkup yesterday, and the vet seems concerned over her weight and wants her to gain around 4lbs. I am wondering if I’m just used to seeing her, or if the vet is used to heavier built dogs. How do you think she looks? (Please excuse the very hastily done clip, just wanted to take some hair off before going to the lake!)




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My trick with Annie is to pay attention to the dip between her hip bones and how pronounced her vertebrae are. If she is underweight, there is a pronounced dip between the hip bones and her vertebrae are easy to distinguish. Otherwise it's very hard to tell, especially if she has any hair on her, and I can never figure out how easily I should be able to feel her ribs.

Poodles do look very skinny when recently shaved down - i suspect it's possible that your vet was reacting to that.
 

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It’s hard to tell with a picture but she looks fine to me, with muscular thighs. Unless the vet was very inexperienced, it’s hard to mistake a skinny dog. What was his argument ?
 

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My trick with Annie is to pay attention to the dip between her hip bones and how pronounced her vertebrae are. If she is underweight, there is a pronounced dip between the hip bones and her vertebrae are easy to distinguish. Otherwise it's very hard to tell, especially if she has any hair on her, and I can never figure out how easily I should be able to feel her ribs.

Poodles do look very skinny when recently shaved down - i suspect it's possible that your vet was reacting to that.
I agree with checking the points of the hips and the dip between them. I got quite concerned recently when Pogo's hip bones became more prominent and his haunches looked less filled out. Indeed he had lost several pounds; we adjusted his medications in consultation with his vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My trick with Annie is to pay attention to the dip between her hip bones and how pronounced her vertebrae are. If she is underweight, there is a pronounced dip between the hip bones and her vertebrae are easy to distinguish. Otherwise it's very hard to tell, especially if she has any hair on her, and I can never figure out how easily I should be able to feel her ribs.

Poodles do look very skinny when recently shaved down - i suspect it's possible that your vet was reacting to that.
I can feel her spine, but there’s no noticeable dip between her hip bones. I shaved her body down with a 5 blade right before her appointment, so definitely a fresh shave!


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It’s hard to tell with a picture but she looks fine to me, with muscular thighs. Unless the vet was very inexperienced, it’s hard to mistake a skinny dog. What was his argument ?
Her argument was that she has minimal fat pads under her eyes, and that’s causing her eyelids to roll in a little and causing eye boogers. Keep in kind this is all over the phone interaction between the two of us, clinic isn’t allowing people in, so it makes communication tougher.
She’s not inexperienced by any means, I’d say she’s been practicing for 10+ years.


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Agreeing with the others - Willow looks fine to me. I've never heard that reasoning before. Vets usually use the body condition score; a 4 or 5 is considered ideal, and many poodle owners like their dogs around a 4. Willow looks to be right in that range from the photo you posted.
 

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Nice face, I was looking for entropian or inward rolled lids, Williow's eyes don't look boogery... I have battled eye issues in 3 poodles though last one was due to age.
One poodle had severe dry eye, entropian lids and mild distachsis.
My current poodle with eye issues Pia has distachsis or inward growing lashes that cause major staining and crusting that along environmental allergies because the lashes caused corneal abrasions so Pia sees an opthtmalogist and is on eye drops to soften the lashes.
Keeping the face washed and clipped helps.
 

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I agree I don't think weight is the issue. She is perfect for a poodle. I do suspect poodle lashes have a tendency to get in the eyes, but I don't think the fat pad is the problem there. I would not be worried especially without a hands on examination. There are many reasons for goopy eyes.
 

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What a pretty girl!

I agree re: hip bones. Peggy came to us underweight, and the dip was very obvious. It filled in with just a couple of weeks of good eating.

I recently started to feel the dip again, and at the same time she started eating like a horse. I'm guessing a bit of a growth spurt, because it quickly filled in again and she suddenly looks longer to us.

Does Willow seem hungry? Is she nosing around for more after mealtimes?

I don't think I'd be able to tell from a photo unless she was extremely underweight. Just a month of hair growth and Peggy starts looking chunky.
 

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What a pretty girl!

Does Willow seem hungry? Is she nosing around for more after mealtimes?

I don't think I'd be able to tell from a photo unless she was extremely underweight. Just a month of hair growth and Peggy starts looking chunky.
Thanks!

She is actually a very picky eater, it’s a battle to get her to eat the recommended minimum serving!
She definitely does look chunky when she’s longer, but I just shaved her body down pretty short (5 blade) so if she was visibly ribby you should be about to tell in the pic.


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She looks beautiful! I would suggest finding a vet that is used to well bred poodles. Many seldom see one and it sounds like your vet is one of them. My spoo looks the same and my vet says things like "I am so glad to finally see a dog that I don't have to give the owner the "your dog is too fat lecture to". "
 

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She looks good to me. As mentioned before, some vets aren't used to looking at well bred poodles. I had one tell me one of mine had abscessed teeth when she saw the chiselling on her face. She was surprised when she opened her mouth and found nothing but healthy gums and teeth. Sometimes you just have to let them know what is normal. You should be able to feel ribs as you press gently and run your hand over her side. If you can see ribs or feel them without pressing, she might need a few more groceries.
 

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I don't trust vets on ideal dog weights at all. For one, they're interested in selling Science Diet... their in-house canned food. For two, they've been ragging on me for ten years to fatten Tonka up. Spome of y'all know that, with his non-eating habits, that that's impossible
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Here's an easy way to use your own hands to give you a feel for whether your poodle is over or under weight.
"Did you know that over half the pets in the United States are overweight? What’s even more concerning is that overweight pets are at higher risk for medical problems like arthritis and don’t live as long as their trim counterparts? How can you tell if your dog or cat is a perfect weight? Follow along with these steps and with this helpful video to find out. You might be surprised!

Step 1: Do the Feel Test
  • You should always be able to easily feel your pet’s ribs by gently running the flat of your palms across the sides of the chest.
Step 2: Look for the Tuck
  • For short-haired animals, you should be able to see an ‘abdominal tuck,’ where there is no belly hanging down beyond your pet’s rib cage when viewed from the side. They also have a “waist” behind their ribs when you look at them from above. This may be harder in long-haired animals, but it’s easier to note when the coat is clipped or wet.

Also, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association has charts that can help determine body condition here.

Another Trick: Compare to Your Hand
  • If you’re still not sure, put your hand out with your palm down and fingers straight. Gently run your other hand over your knuckles – this is exactly how padded your pet’s ribcage should feel! Now, turn your hand over so your palm is up (with fingers still straight). Run your other hand over your knuckles through your palm. If your pet’s ribs feel more like this, he or she is overweight!"
 
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