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So my dog Foxy is a Husky / German Shepherd mix and she is 5 years old. She has always been around 70lbs, but in the past 2-3 months she has dropped to 48lbs. She was tested and scanned for all types of Cancer, liver disease, Kidney disease, infections, etc. She has had urine and stool tested a number of times with no issues, no worms, very mild UTI which has been an issue forever because she was spayed too young but it is under control now after surgery about a year ago. She has had 3 separate blood tests for everything under the sun and they're all coming back normal. No thyroid issues, no pancreas issues. I thought for sure it was EPI because she lost weight and she's eating like crazy, including eating poop sometimes, and those are signs of EPI. That came back fine though from Texas A&M where my vet sends those blood tests. They are running out of ideas at my vet and I hate to watch her waste away. She still has a ton of energy and acts normal but you can see her ribs and hip bones through her relatively thick coat and I can't stand it. Normal weight for her is around 65lbs, since when she was 70 the vet said she could afford to lose a few lbs. She has been around 48-50lbs for the past month, so I'm not sure if she's getting any smaller, but I worry that she isn't absorbing nutrients from her food. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

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What are you feeding??? It could be that she just needs an increase in calories.. Has her exercise routine changed???? Most female Shepherds and Huskies I know are usually right around the 45-55lb mark so, 48-50 pounds does not seem underweight to me... Ideal body condition usually depicts seeing the outline of at least the last three ribs and being to easily feel the hip bones.... How is her muscle tone??? Do you have a Profile picture and or overhead (looking down from above her back) standing picture??

Here is a link showing appropriate and inappropriate Body Condition
 

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My dog has EPI and those are the symptoms. If she's eating more than usual and still losing, she's not properly digesting her food. SIBO is often present concurrently. While the tests are fairly reliable, they are not infallible. I think I would consider starting EPI treatment and see how your dog does with it. 30% weight loss is significant. Just my $.02.
 

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It sounds like you have done your work with the vets so I would suspect a lack of protein and nutrition in the food. I would switch to a high protein food to build lean muscle mass. Something like Orijen
Adult Dog | Orijen
 

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We've been feeding her Diamond Natural Beef and Sweet potato, and the Vet recommended Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison. We feed her 1.25 cups of that mixed with about a half cup of wet food twice a day, so she's getting about 3.5 cups of food a day which is about right, maybe more. She gets treats throughout the day as well. She rarely gets human food but when she does it's usually peanuts occasionally, or a small piece of meat like chicken or beef (very rarely though, maybe once a month) and bread or crust just as rarely. She ate a bowl of hershey kisses on thanksgiving which was right around when we noticed she was getting skinnier. She got that out of her system, tin foil and all, and seems to be ok overall. Last visit I was told to monitor her for another month or so and last resort is get a biopsy of her intestine to see if there is an infection of some sort? I don't know. I was almost hoping it was EPI because it can be treated. Maybe it will pass and she will get back to normal but I haven't been to lucky with her health issues since she was a puppy.
 

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Health-EPI It may help to get her retested or to try the probiotics mentioned in the article if it's not EPI.
 
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Natural balance is very low in meat protein. You want a food that is high in meat protein. The ingredient list will begin with meat and the second ingredient will be meat meal not potato. Get that protein level from 20 percent to close to 30 or more. She is very beautiful.
 

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Natural balance is very low in meat protein. You want a food that is high in meat protein. The ingredient list will begin with meat and the second ingredient will be meat meal not potato. Get that protein level from 20 percent to close to 30 or more. She is very beautiful.
Her old food was 24% protein Diamond Beef & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs

Why would the vet recommend a food with less if she needs more? I'm not questioning you, I just don't know enough about this stuff and I can really only rely on the advice from others, mainly vets. What kind of food has 30%? Thank you
 

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Agree with Dawnben, that is not a good dog food. Unfortunately most vets are not highly trained in animal nutrition, and the education they do get is provided by the large vet food manufacturers. Take a look at this website, and find a food that is rated 4 or 5 stars, no grain, and real meat as the first ingredient. Higher protein and lower carb (dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates, they are just filler). If she's eating her poop suddenly, she is not getting enough nutrition from her food, for some reason.

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

I still suspect that there is something else going on. Do you have a copy of her blood panel test? If not I would get a copy from your vet. If you don't mind, you could print the results here for us to take a look at.
 

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Her old food was 24% protein Diamond Beef & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs

Why would the vet recommend a food with less if she needs more? I'm not questioning you, I just don't know enough about this stuff and I can really only rely on the advice from others, mainly vets. What kind of food has 30%? Thank you
Vets are not good with nutrition. They only have a week of training in school.
You should question that is how we learn. Foods like Orijen 38% Zignature
ZSSENTIAL 32% Turkey 30% Go 30%
 

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Health-EPI

This site says the Protein is optimal between 20-25%. How do I know if over 25% is too much?

Also is the Diamond Naturals Grain Free food I had her on before better than the Natural Balance? I should probably just switch back.
 

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Agree with Dawnben, that is not a good dog food. Unfortunately most vets are not highly trained in animal nutrition, and the education they do get is provided by the large vet food manufacturers. Take a look at this website, and find a food that is rated 4 or 5 stars, no grain, and real meat as the first ingredient. Higher protein and lower carb (dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates, they are just filler). If she's eating her poop suddenly, she is not getting enough nutrition from her food, for some reason.

Dog Food Reviews and Ratings | Dog Food Advisor

I still suspect that there is something else going on. Do you have a copy of her blood panel test? If not I would get a copy from your vet. If you don't mind, you could print the results here for us to take a look at.
You've gotten excellent advice about switching to a better food. But, like Pappi Pup, I have to wonder whether there is an underlying medical concern that hasn't been addressed yet.
 

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You've gotten excellent advice about switching to a better food. But, like Pappi Pup, I have to wonder whether there is an underlying medical concern that hasn't been addressed yet.
Well, like I mentioned before, she has been tested for pretty much anything common or uncommon. I was relieved it wasn't cancer or some type of organ failure. All of her blood work and urine/stool tests keep coming back normal. I'm going to try this enzyme powder and see if it helps. With the amount of food she eats, I'm thinking she's not absorbing the nutrients she needs.
 

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Health-EPI

This site says the Protein is optimal between 20-25%. How do I know if over 25% is too much?

Also is the Diamond Naturals Grain Free food I had her on before better than the Natural Balance? I should probably just switch back.

If it's EPI and the test are not picking it up, then from what I've been reading, you want a highly digestible food and that may be why your vet recommended Natural Balance. Natural Balance usually has around 3 food ingredients so it's easily digestible.

Natural Balance is not my favorite food, I'd much rather see meat protein listed as the first ingredient in dog food, but at the end of the day all the 5 star, top of the line, foods are not going to do your dog any good if she fails to thrive on them.

She was not doing good on Diamond, and lost all that weight on it, so even though it's a decent food, for her it's a bad one. Try the Natural Balance like your vet recommended, combined with the enzyme powder you are planning on trying, and see how she does over the course of a few weeks. Weight her every few days to see if she's gaining weight, holding steady, or losing it, if she starts gaining, once you get her to a healthy weight, you can start looking for a better food.
 
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If it's EPI and the test are not picking it up, then from what I've been reading, you want a highly digestible food and that may be why your vet recommended Natural Balance. Natural Balance usually has around 3 food ingredients so it's easily digestible.

Natural Balance is not my favorite food, I'd much rather see meat protein listed as the first ingredient in dog food, but at the end of the day all the 5 star, top of the line, foods are not going to do your dog any good if she fails to thrive on them.

She was not doing good on Diamond, and lost all that weight on it, so even though it's a decent food, for her it's a bad one. Try the Natural Balance like your vet recommended, combined with the enzyme powder you are planning on trying, and see how she does over the course of a few weeks. Weight her every few days to see if she's gaining weight, holding steady, or losing it, if she starts gaining, once you get her to a healthy weight, you can start looking for a better food.

Thank you. I just picked up some enzyme powder and probiotics to try out. I'll let everyone know how it goes. Thank you everyone for your knowledge and support!
 

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My EPI dog has done well on Natural Balance in the past. Currently she is on Origen. Pricey, but her poops are good.

I think you are wise to try enzyme powder. Food alone most likely is not responsible for such a weight loss. If it's EPI, the enzymes should make a difference soon, but the possibility of SIBO has to be addressed. Is she gassy with stomach rumblings?
 
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