Skinny German Shepherd

Having a very thin dog can be disturbing. Trying to determine the reason your pet won't gain weight is an important step toward getting your pet up to a healthy weight. This is a guide about a skinny German Shepherd.

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February 27, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

Roxy turned nine back in September, but she has been awfully skinny for the past few years. Lately it seems worse than usually. She has long fur, so it's hard to tell unless you pet her. She's probably around 45 pounds. She hardly eats her food without us putting something in it to make her want to. And even since she was probably around three or four, she goes out to poop a lot.

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Skinny German Shepherd

Is it actually normal for a dog of her weight to have to go poop four or five times a day, if not more? Yesterday she had diarrhea. She's going to the vet today at 11, so we're hoping for at least some result (although the there hasn't been in years). Do you guys have some weight gain tips for her or have anything I should have the vet check for?

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    February 29, 20160 found this helpful

    Check her for worms.

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    March 1, 20160 found this helpful

    Hmmm... She does seem underweight and I think she is going too often.

    I assume you have tried a grain-free, soy free food for her to help rule out allergies.

    Apparently German Shepherds are prone to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, so have them check for that.

    http://insidethegermanshepherddogsw ... /inflammatory-bowel-disease-ibd.html

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    October 19, 2015 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    I have a German Shepherd female dog. She is 5 months and she is 22 kgs. She is properly vaccinated and de wormed. I want her to put on weight, she eats properly, is very energetic, and very playful. She does not look skinny or thin, but I want her to look a bit more fat. Is it possible? If yes then how?

    Skinny German Shepherd
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      October 19, 20150 found this helpful

      It is typical for young, large breed dogs to look thin and gangly. They put the energy from their food into their growth.

      Your dog is mainly just a puppy, and still too busy and energetic to eat more than she cares to.

      You do not want to encourage your dog to "put on weight" now because any food habits your dog acquires now she will keep. That means if you feed her a lot of high-calorie food now she will keep eating that way and then when she is an adult she will be overweight.

      Assuming you are feeding her a high quality food, the best thing to do is just wait. When she stops growing so fast she will start putting on the weight.

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      October 21, 20150 found this helpful

      What Abigail A said is very true. Larger dogs take longer to mature and fill out. She'll put on weight in time - and then you'll have to watch that she doesn't gain too much weight!

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      October 30, 2013 Flag
      1 found this helpful

      My 1 year old female German Shepherd is gulping her food, but is thin. She ate a mouse weeks ago; is this the problem? She has been wormed.

      By Sue

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      November 2, 20130 found this helpful

      I would be suspicious of tapeworms too. It is hard to check for them until you see what looks like little pieces of white rice around your pets backside. If they are fresh, the wiggle a little. They are segments of an internal tapeworm. General worming does not work for tapeworms. Check with your Vet for the right wormer.

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      November 2, 20130 found this helpful

      Have you considered talking to your Veterinarian?

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      November 2, 20130 found this helpful

      Have you considered talking to your Veterinarian.?

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      August 31, 2013 Flag
      1 found this helpful

      Dog sitting on dock.I have a 1 and a half year old male German Shepherd. He is right around 80 lbs, but seems small when compared to other male Shepherds or even the female we had before him.He doesn't seem to have that fluffy coat that makes them look fuller. Any suggestions on how to help him put on some healthy weight and muscle?

      By S. DeRosia

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      September 1, 20130 found this helpful

      There are 2 breeding lines of GSD's. The German line is stockier, wider, and fluffier. The American line is taller, thinner and less fluffy. I have had both. My current GSD is of the American line. You can see in this really bad photo just how skinny he is. Your GSD is a gorgeous dog and just fine! Ask your vet.

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      September 2, 20130 found this helpful

      The posted information regarding different country conformations are correct. Talk to the licensed breeder that is registered with the Canine Control in your country. Veterinarians are not Breed survey experts. In any case will it really matter what his appearance is unless you intend to show him (he must have pedigree papers). Just love this beautiful boy for who he is and the loyal companion this world wide breed will be to you.

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      September 3, 20130 found this helpful

      My male German Shepherd is 10 years old and weighs 75 pounds. He just had a vet checkup today and is in great health. 80 pounds is not underweight. What does your vet say?

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      December 1, 2009 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      I have a 7 year old German Shepherd mix. She is so skinny you can see her ribs and her back bone. We put food out for her, but she just won't eat. And when she does, she doesn't gain anything.

      We took her to the vet for blood work; she has no worms, no cancer, and no parasites. She has diarrhea. I am afraid that I will lose her. We used to give her dry dog food. Now we switch food every day from meat to fish to pasta. She doesn't eat, she only rests. Please help me.

      By Dakota from New York

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      December 8, 20090 found this helpful

      Just another voice here repeating what others have already said: please take your dog to another vet; the current one MUST release your pup's records to you when you request them. (At this point, I wouldn't be concerned about hurting anyone's feelings by doing this--even if you've been going there for a while. A good vet will understand your concern for your animal is the bottom line).

      Also--we've had a few GSD's over the course of our lifetimes here and a way too thin, non-eating Shepherd is not common with a healthy specimen of that breed--just the opposite. They should eat you out of house and home and be full of muscle and energy.

      Sending best wishes for a better diagnosis of your dog.

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      December 11, 20090 found this helpful

      Raw beef liver minced, I also give 2 ml of olive oil. I hope this helps.

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      December 22, 20100 found this helpful

      I just want to give my own personal experience. And for the record, I am a vet, but not currently practicing. In any case, I ended up with a rescue German Shepherd with a severe megaesophagus (Sami) that he did really well with for about 6 months and suddenly began to lose weight. All other vets I talked to said his megaesophagus was incompatible with life and that was the reason, but I didn't think so since he had done well with it for so long. He'd always had a loose stool, but the weight loss was sudden and scarily severe. I tried supplementing him with pancreatic enzymes to trial treat and see if exocrine pancreate insufficiency (EPI) could be playing a role, but it didn't help at all. I was at a loss, and he was looking positively skeletal.

      Then a friend of mine who is also a vet made a suggestion. She is from Germany, and she said she saw lots of GSDs with a similar problem in Germany, and the problem was responsive to doxycycline. Well, I was worried about the doxycycline because I was afraid that with the megaesophagus that Sami would have a hard time with nausea and esophagitis, but I finally tried it. This poor boy was skeletal, and had even become anemic.

      Only other abnormality on blood work was white blood cells. Well, I tried the doxycycline at a dose of 50 mg twice daily... within a month he gained 15 pounds (he had gotten down to a mere 40 pounds, and he was a year old).

      Now he is playing again, and acting like a happy boy, despite that megaesophagus that is "incompatible with life" according to every vet that ever saw his radiographs. My German vet friend said that she had seen many German Shepherds whose weight loss responded to doxycycline. She told me that after they gain weight, you can gradually try to wean them down until you find the lowest dose that allows them to maintain their weight. She said she had one dog that did great as long as he got doxycycline twice a week, but that he would lose weight if it was given any less frequently.

      I haven't yet started weaning Sami down yet. It was only two months ago that I tried this, and the results have been so amazing that I am almost afraid to wean him down, but I also hate the idea of giving antibiotics all the time. Regardless, I have no doubt he would have died by now if I had not decided to take my friend's advice. Oh, and I even asked other vets, before I tried it, what they thought, and they all acted like it was a crazy idea because they had never heard of it and it didn't make sense to them.

      Well, the whole reason I don't practice is because I have many special needs rescues, and many of them should have died years ago based on what the textbooks say. I have learned that given a chance and persistence, animal's do heal from things that supposedly shouldn't heal, and they do manage to live with conditions that are "incompatible with life." And I don't mean that they barely get by and it's almost cruel to keep them alive. I am referring to a cat paralyzed from the neck down that supposedly would never walk again (no deep pain in any limbs) and did, a cat with a heart problem that usually causes death within 3 months of diagnosis that is still alive and thriving 8 years later. That is just a sample.

      Anyway, enough rambling, but the doxycycline is worth a try if you have tried everything and nothing seems to work. Of course, you have to find a vet that is willing to prescribe it, and that may be difficult if they have never seen such a condition, but they never will see such a condition respond if they never actually try it! I tried it, and it worked. If I saw the same condition again, and eliminated EPI as an option, I wouldn't hesitate to try this again. Oh, and I tried metronidazole, and even Clavamox, and neither of these medications did anything to remedy the weight loss!

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      August 20, 2015 Flag
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      My Shepherd just turned a year. He was the runt and has always been kind of small, even though everyone who sees him says "wow he is going to be a big boy". He is long and has always been on the slender side, but still looked healthy. He has had food allergies since he was a pup and it took me a long time to find a food he would not throw up. I recently changed from puppy to adult food and found something that seems OK, but over the last couple of months he looks too skinny. You can even see his ribs a little. He eats but not a lot. He is still very active and energetic, but it worries me. I tried adding some wet food to the dry and he threw up really badly, even acid, after he lost everything he ate that day. I am back to straight dry food, lamb and rice seems to sit well with him, but is there something else I can do or anything I should be concerned about? Please help. He is my baby and I don't want anything to happen to him. He is up to date on shots.

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        August 20, 20150 found this helpful

        Just feed him what he can tolerate.

        Dogs and cats are like humans- being overweight can shorten their lifespan, but eating a calorie-restricted diet can actually prolong life.

        If someone thinks you aren't feeding him, just say he has food allergies and won't tolerate most foods.

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        August 5, 2014 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        I rescued a adult German Shepherd named Big Guy, from the pound. When I got him he would not eat and was afraid of everyone and everything. I have had him for about 8 months he seems to have built a trust relationship with me. He eats all of his food now and weighs about 80 lbs, but I can still see his ribs and his hip bones. What can I do to get him to gain fat and muscle. The vet told me he is perfectly healthy and is at a healthy weight, but probably he just needs to gain some muscle.

        By Sharon

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        August 6, 20140 found this helpful

        A lot of running and playing at the dog park will build some muscle. Hiking is good too.

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        August 7, 20140 found this helpful

        We have had 5 G/S dogs ranging from 65 lbs to 105. Make sure you always leave a bowl with dry food so he can eat whenever he is hungry. Running or just plain walking will build muscle. Buy an inexpensive tennis ball and play with him. The muscle will come in time.

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        December 10, 2013 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        I have female German Shepherd, she is 7 months old and looks very weak and skinny. She's having milk, eggs, and dog food, but still not putting on weight and she is under weight. What should I give her to eat or supplement ?

        By Varun

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        December 12, 20130 found this helpful

        Have you taken it to a vet? If not, you need to. It may have worms, which it sounds like to me. Only a vet check will be able to tell. Good Luck.

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        August 15, 2013 Flag
        1 found this helpful

        You should have any skinny GSD, Doberman Pinscher, Labrador Retriever, or other breed known to be born with EPI checked to make sure their pancreatic acid is working. EPI is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, which means they don't manufacture enough pancreatin, hence the food is improperly broken down and doesn't digest, causing diarrhea and weight loss. EPI is not uncommon in certain breeds.

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          March 19, 2005 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          I have a beautiful German Shepherd named Bullett, he is 2, but to look at him, he looks like I do not feed him. He goes to the vet for his check ups and does not have worms, parasites, etc. He eats like a pig but will not put any weight on.

          I have tried different foods but nothing is working. I know dogs are like people as far as some will be fat, some will just be skinny, but he is REALLY skinny, you can see his ribs, and his bones in the back. When I watch animal cops and see the dogs that they take away because they are being abused I say to my hubby, if they saw Bullett they would think the same thing.

          He goes outside, but he is an inside dog, I do not trust people (terrible to say) since three of my dogs were poisoned. I give him extra treats, he is a big spoiled baby but just plain skinny.

          Joann

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          Anonymous Flag
          March 17, 20110 found this helpful

          My german shepherd is the exact same way!! I have spent over $1000 at two different vets and they cannot find anything wrong with him, but they both told me to feed him puppy food because it is higher in calories and there is a vitamin paste that you can buy from Petsmart or Petco, etc. and hopefully this will help my dog and yours!

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          April 4, 20110 found this helpful

          We just 'rescued' a 2 year old GS. He is only 68 lbs - we found out from his records that he was 80 lbs when he was 9 mos old. He eats a raw diet (Majestic), eats like crazy. He's very active. No diarrhea. He is very thin and has lost muscle mass on his back and chest area. We are very concerned. The vet did some blood and stool tests and we're waiting for the results. I don't think it's his pancreas because he has no bulky stools or diarrhea.

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          July 16, 20120 found this helpful

          No vaccines. His immune system may have been compromised. A homeopath would be a good start. No doubt he was vaccinated numerous times while at the shelter or the jail he was in. Good homeo for that is THUJA. Worms? easy to rid of intestinal worms by adding to his food, non harmful diatomacious earth. MUST be food grade. The other has poisons in it. D E - Small amounts, often. Helps with many things. Google it.

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          December 1, 2009 Flag
          0 found this helpful

          My German shepherd won't eat. Please help.

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