I am fostering a malnourished pit bull , approximately 4-5 yrs old. She has a good appetite but is 25-30% underweight and showing other symptoms… listless, low energy, sparse and dull coat, soft stinky stool. She was being fed in her previous home but very poor quality food and and living in a very stressful environment with as many as 10 other dogs. We’ll see the vet tomorrow for worming, etc.
I am planning to hit petsmart tomorrow for a good quality puppy food to get some weight back on her. Any recommendations?I typically would order from chewy.com but need to get something ASAP at petsmart.SusanMember
gee that’s a really nice thing your doing, I feel for the breed, people over breed them, use them, abuse them & they are such a loyal loving dogs & will do anything for a human..very sad some have awful lives….
I wouldn’t go over board with a high fat & high protein kibble yet cause if she has been eating a poor quaility kibble she mighten be able to handle over 30% for protein & over 15% for fat, if you know the name of kibble she ate look at what the fat & protein % was?? whatever it was it isnt agreeing with her to be doing stinky smelly poo’s, try & get a better quality 1 single meat protein & potato & sweet potato kibble with limited ingredients for now for fat around 12-15%max fat & protein-25% for now, she will put her weight back on slowly, start feeding 3-4 smaller meals a day & fed an extra 1/4 cup per meal, what I do is instead of feeding 1 level 1/2 a cup I feed a 1/2 a cup that’s over 1/2 the cup….a big scoop out of the container… & take her weekly to Pet Smart or the vets & weight her, your probably best getting the kibble from Pet Smart so if it doesnt agree with her you can take it back quickly & change..
With the Kcals fed around 360-370 Kcals per cup she will gain weight but the kibble wont be too dense & hard for her to digest, the higher the Kcals more work for her stomach & pancreas…. being a female she will be so loyal if she has been a mum & you’ll fall in love with her, she’ll end up being a foster failure like my Patch was, I dont know if she has any training but they’re very very smart dogs & will learn anything when food is involved….
Hi A C-
A foster pit bull? Oh ya you’ll be keeping her! Bull breeds are hard to resist! Best dogs on the planet.
If I remember correctly your not a Purina fan, but my recommendation would be Pro Plan. She needs something easy on the stomach and highly digestible. Say what you want about Purina but pro plan is just that. Once she gets back to being healthy you can put her on a food you like more.
Other than that I would say Natural Balance if it’s something you have to get from PetSmart.
Thank you both for the feedback! Much appreciated!
Bloodwork at my vet today showed she is anemic and her temperature is a little low. 🙁
The vet put her on a 3 day wide spectrum dewormer and sent fecal sample to lab. She recommended puppy food so I got simply nourish puppy, but I will slowly introduce it mixed with the food I am feeding my other dogs because she seems to b be tolerating that one well enough and her stool is a little firmer today. My petsmart is kinda small so not a lot of choices for puppy food and I was rushed for time having to get myself to a dr appt so I didn’t have a chance to browse brands and nutrients too closely. Hopefully she’ll do ok on the one I got.
Completely exhausted from it all and worried. I sure hope she can recover. So sad. The good news is she is heartworm negative!InkedMarieMember
I hope your new friend feels better soon!
Thanks for checking in on on her inkedmarie 🙂 she is doing better than I expected or what the vet predicted. She’s still very tired and sits staring into space a lot but seems like she is much less stressed and Her depression is lifting. She gets playful sometimes when we walk and likes to talk 🙂 she’s actually really good on leash.
She is eating and tolerating the food well. I am feeding her 4 small meals a day, soaking her food. So far so good and no diarrhea. Her poops are still very stinky and soft but formed now.
very surprisingly the results from the fecal sample sent to lab were negative for internal parasites. but at same time it’s so disturbing because that means that she was not being fed properly. That’s why she’s so skinny. Ugh. My heart can’t handle it.
I’ve had pit bulls before and they are my soft spot for sure.ray qMember
just for your information petsmart bought chewy.com about s year ago so they are the same company.
I spoke to the vet again today and she said there is about 25% chance for a false negative for parasites on the fecal test, so even tho the sample was negative she still suspects hookworms may be the cause of the anemia. Given the poor and cramped conditions the dog was living in for so long along with 10 other dogs, it’s unlikely these dogs are free of worms.
I’ll retreat with another course of panacur (dewormer) in couple weeks. And put her on Heartguard Plus soon, apparently that may help prevent the internal parasites, too. (Warm climate here, we have to give heartworm prevention year round).
Ive been taking her for 4-6 ten min walks every day and she poops a good bit almost every time. It’s pale in color and still soft serve but has shape. Didn’t seem to be quite as stinky today.
Another concern the vet has is that she is unspayed, about 5 yrs old, and her last heat was supposedly ~2 months ago, and her nipples are still very swollen. False pregnancy maybe? I don’t have any experience with this as my pets are always already fixed when I adopt them or not long after. The plan is to get her spayed in mid March if the anemia is resolved and enough weight gain by then.
PS- I changed my screen name to AmCa to avoid confusion!
- This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by AmCa.
Maybe she is going to have a split heat. Before I got one of my other girls spayed, she came into heat and her nipples stayed swollen and the next thing I knew she was in heat again 3 months later — she also had symptoms of false pregnancy. I did some reading up on it at the time but don’t remember a lot about it now. I wonder since she is in poor health if that could cause a split heat–just a thought you may want to run by the vet.
Thanks cockaliermom I will read up on that!
I did some reading on mastitis (inflammed mammary glands ) but everything I read and the pictures of dogs suffering from mastitis look much worse than what this dog has. Her nipples are just gray, plump, and kinda stiff, kinda similar to a dog that has previously had puppies (but not saggy). Not painful to touch nor red and pussy like the pictures of mastitis show. To my knowledge she has never had pups.
Thanks for the update AmCa. I’ll be crossing my fingers for her that that she doesn’t have a closed pyometra since she was not spayed.
How has she been eating? Did you find a food for her?
Hi pitlove, thanks for checking in!
She’s on petsmart’s simply nourish puppy chicken and rice for now, 4 meals a day. It’s 389 cal/cup, so not too rich. She’s eating and tolerating it well so next week I’m going to start supplementing with small amounts here and there of: canned sardines, chicken gizzards, scrambled egg, chicken liver, and puréed greens. The vet suggested giving her a multivitamin…what do you think? Personally I’d rather supplement with real foods. But I’ll do whatever is best.
The vet mentioned the risk of pyometra several times. Ugh I sure hope not. I had never heard of it before! I guess because I’ve always had my dogs fixed early on.
What you described is how my girl’s nipples were and if I remember correctly, it was 2 to 3 months after she was spayed (and she had her “puppies”) before they were back to normal. (We had her spayed as soon as the second half of the heat was over.) I always associated the split heat and false pregnancy together but may have been two separate issues. Has your girl “adopted any puppies”. My girl actually made a place to have her “puppies” in our bedroom closet and then stayed there for several hours like she was in labor. Next she gathered her “puppies” as if she was nursing. She would go into the closet to “nurse” several times a day. This went on for several weeks and sometime during this period her nipples returned to normal. Never knew if it was a result of being spayed or having the “puppies”. It was definitely an experience to go through and at different times during her life she would exhibit some of the behavior again.
That’s really interesting! I’ve known this dog for a few years but don’t know too many details about her history as I didn’t have a lot of contact with the owner. I do know that conditions at this previous home declined over the years along with the condition of the many dogs, and we were able to convince the owner to let us have this one (although there are all the other dogs there that need help too…we’re working on that but it’s kinda a delicate situation so we’re taking it one step(one dog) at a time).
Ideally we will be able to help the owner Spay, neuter, deworm, etc. and most importantly DOWNSIZE the pack with the help of the local shelters and some Good Samaritans. We’ve just started the process of info gathering and of course we were able to get this one dog and that is a huge big first step.
We’ll see where it goes from here
That’s all I’m going to say for now because it’s an overwhelming and emotionally charged situation, as I’m sure anyone who’s dealt with something like this knows!
Yes I would go with the multivitamin as the vet recommended until shes well again. Remember everything is in the short term while she is recovering. Once she is a healthy adult dog you can feed her any food of your choosing, do away with the multivitamin and start adding whole foods.Jordan WMember
I’ve researched Simply Nourish, and to my knowledge, it’s the best kibble out there. I plan on switching my dogs over to it.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Jordan W.
Thanks pitlove for the reminder that I need to keep to the recovery diet and not get overzealous with giving too much too soon! I will admit I Couldn’t help myself, I gave her a small tin of sardines today 🙂 but I did pick up a doggy multivitamin and will stick to that and the puppy food for now.
She’s improving rapidly, haven’t had a chance to reweigh her yet but she’s definitely gaining and filling out and her coat looks a lot healthier. She looks like a slim dog now, not a starving street dog anymore.
Her gums and roof of mouth are quite pink now so hopefully that’s a good sign that the anemia is resolving? And she’s acting less and less like a “rescue.” Less timid. More independent. Interacting and seeking affection from me and and my other dogs. Head up and interested in what’s going on around, rather than sitting with head hanging and staring at floor.
So overall she’s making great progress and it’s just been one week 🙂 fingers crossed that she’ll get the vets ok to be spayed next month.
Simply nourish certainly seems to be a quality food and I have absolutely no problem feeding it to my dogs. At same time I’m reluctant to say any one food is the “best,” as there are many good foods out there and what works for one dog might not work for another. If this is the one you choose for your dogs I hope they do well on it!
If not, there are always other quality foods to choose from. Victor, Holistic Blend, Go! , and Freshpet rolls are some that I feed regularly that my dogs do well on.
Good update AmCa. She was likely not acting herself due to feeling sluggish from being malnourished. Please do not forget to keep her at a healthy weight though! I see too many people with rescues that were malnourished and they “feel bad for them” and now they are over weight. Keeping an overweight dog is just as much abuse and neglect as keeping a malnourished one!
AmCa it sounds like you are doing a great job getting her healthy. Hopefully everything will resolve and no further health issues.
Well she looks like a brand new dog! After just a week and half! Her Gums are very pink now, very nicely formed poops, coat getting sheen back and she’s acting like a normal and well-adjusted dog. 🙂
I haven’t had a chance to weigh her again yet but she’s definitely gained at least 5 lbs. I think another 5 or so lbs and she will be just about right.
I’m so happy for her !! 🙂
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