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Hello, I haven't been on here in quite awhile!

My rescue now has Nelly, a 6 year old purebred bloodhound. We pulled her from a kill shelter in NC. She is a mess. Heartworms, cancer, and super thin. She was 64 lbs this morning at the vet!! She should be closer to 80, if not more!

We know she doesn't have much time left, vet feels the cancer will kill her before she could finish heartworm treatment. But while she's here, we want her comfortable and happy.

She needs to gain weight first. And muscle. Her hind legs are scrawny chicken legs.

I've done puppy food on another dog to put weight on her.
I've looked into Satin Balls.
What have you used and recommend?
 

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Organic, unrefined, oconut oil is pretty high calorie, and will be overall good for her. I think at her size she can get 2 teaspoon fulls, and it's around 60 cal per teaspoon. If you try it start off with around 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up to 2 teaspoons to avoid upset tummy.

Look for high calorie treats. I recently found some dog jerky that was around 70 calories per treat. If you try treats make sure they are not from China.
 

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Puppy food can be helpful because of its higher calorie/fat content. Use caution in adding high fat "extras", as too much fat can cause pancreatitis. Fish or coconut oil will add a little fat, and is generally good for them, but have to increase the dose slowly to see if they tolerate it. Honestly, unless she needs to gain fast due to some sort of medical need (x lbs by y date so can have surgery or something), I would just offer frequent meals, and let her gain in her own time. If she has cancer, it may be difficult to get weight on her.

If you haven't already, make sure to check a fecal, and/or do a broad spectrum deworming. Parasites could be keeping her thin, and might be more likely if she was mostly outdoors (guessing so because of her HW+ status).

Do you have a picture of her from the side? She appears to have decent muscle tone in her shoulders, so I'm wondering if she doesn't have muscle atrophy in her hind end that's causing her to look thin? I've seen a substantial number of bloodhounds who have "skinny chicken legs", though I don't know if it's a breed thing, or possibly due to a health issue that those dogs have in common. Hip dysplasia is pretty common in the breed, as well as degenerative myelopathy I think. I know one BH who has severe HD (one hip pretty much has no socket), and severe muscle atrophy as well, his whole rear looks scrawny because he tries not to use it! May be worth looking into, as if she does have a joint issue, you want to keep her on the lean side, and there might be specific things you should or shouldn't do to increase muscle tone and keep her moving well.
 

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Satin balls worked on my end or Satin balls combined with dog food. All of the above mentioned options are great as well.

Just to jump start her appetite, I would suggest to feed her with smaller meals 3 to 4 times a day rather than one large meal so she can better digest the food then maybe you can gradually switch to large meals. I've done the same with my Rottweiler once. Second, I think exercise can also jump start her appetite. As you go along increasing her food intake, also increase her exercise to burn excess calorie and build muscle tone. :)


If you haven't already, make sure to check a fecal, and/or do a broad spectrum deworming. Parasites could be keeping her thin, and might be more likely if she was mostly outdoors (guessing so because of her HW+ status).
This is also very important to consider, regular de-worming. Awesome advice :thumbsup:
 

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Do you have a picture of her from the side? She appears to have decent muscle tone in her shoulders, so I'm wondering if she doesn't have muscle atrophy in her hind end that's causing her to look thin? I've seen a substantial number of bloodhounds who have "skinny chicken legs", though I don't know if it's a breed thing, or possibly due to a health issue that those dogs have in common. Hip dysplasia is pretty common in the breed, as well as degenerative myelopathy I think. I know one BH who has severe HD (one hip pretty much has no socket), and severe muscle atrophy as well, his whole rear looks scrawny because he tries not to use it! May be worth looking into, as if she does have a joint issue, you want to keep her on the lean side, and there might be specific things you should or shouldn't do to increase muscle tone and keep her moving well.
The picture in the original post in from the shelter, she was thin but not nearly as thin as when she finally got to me. (Spent 3 weeks in boarding at a vet in between)

Unfortunately there are so many "chicken legged" bloodhounds because of the high number with hip issues. :( I know she has joint issues, she falls easily and has trouble standing on wood floors. Overweight bloodhounds absolutely disgust me (I'm part of a bloodhound group on FB and it's so hard not to say something to these people! They seem to all think it's acceptable for some reason). So she will remain thin, but I don't want to be counting bones! (I have raised a few working bloodhounds, so no dog gets overweight here)

She's basically here to die, it sounds horrible but it's true. There isn't much we can do medically but she will stay with us until she decides its time to go. Vet told me to euthanize. I said no. She's happy, playing with toys, getting into the garbage and other mischief. She's not ready yet.

I think, now that I looked back on pictures, that she is gaining weight. I just didn't notice.
 

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