What am I doing wrong (or am I just paranoid)

This is the story - Zebedee, 6 months old, rescued from Spain from the streets a month ago. Eaten from the streets all his life and terribly underweight and hungry. Wormed (twice) bloods and poo samples come back clear or nasties.

As per usual with the starved ones, you feed him too much it goes straight through or he up chucks.

I’ve got him on Millies Wolfheart or Orijen pup with added eggs. He just isn’t gaining condition at all, although he is gaining weight. Full of life and bounce but gawd, he looks awful and I just don’t seem to be keeping up with the food…

So stick with it and stop being so impatient or look at something else? Switch to raw which I can easily do?

Thanks in advance for remeasuring me or suggestions - got 10 dogs here, a few with multiple health problems, one with cancer, and the bloomin skinny pup is the one who worries me most!

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It’s really kind of you to rescue this poor little pup. What breed is he? Also, when you say he looks awful, what exactly do you mean? Presumably he is still underweight and perhaps his coat is poor? You have some good quality food there so he ought to be doing well. However, it is early days and it can take several months before a real improvement can be seen.

You mention raw feeding and it might be worth considering but you have a lot to do by the sound of it and as you probably know it is vital to get the proportions right, which takes some doing. The complete raw meals would make it a lot easier for you but could be worth considering. Wonder if it might be worth contacting one of the companies to explain the situation that this poor pup has come from and ask for a trial? Otherwise, stick with Orijen for a while longer and hopefully he will soon improve.

I hope that David Green will come along and have a look at your thread because he will know more about the problems associated with the digestion of dogs that have had a poor diet and start in life.

Please let us know how you get on with him and don’t forget that you can now post links to photographs once you have three posts see here.

Hi Meggie

First of all can I say well done on rescuing this little one, and looking after 10 other dogs and their associated health issues, you’re truly a wonderful person.

I would suggest that you stick with just one food, and of the two you use I would suggest Orijen (or similar 80/20 foods from the UK may save you a few £) will work best for him as the higher meat content and extra protein and fat is just what he needs (no need for it to be the puppy version though, that is just more expensive) I wouldn’t bother with the added egg either as Orijen has all the nutrition required without adding extras, but that’s up to you really. I don’t think you would gain much extra benefit from raw over an 80/20 food, but no harm in trying if you prefer, or feed part raw, part 80/20.

A month isn’t going to be long enough for you to see improved condition, his body is currently using the nutrition from the food to build muscle and repair any internal damage, skin and fur won’t start to improve greatly until the core body functions are running smoothly, as these are more important to overall survival.

I would suggest that it can take up to 6 months in total for the condition to get anywhere near, maybe longer in extreme cases.

I hope you will keep us updated on his progress in the coming weeks and months.

Hope this helps

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Hello and welcome to the forum, Zebedee sounds like he has landed on his paws now

I would just echo what others have said and give it a bit more time. My dog was a rescue and had a pretty poor coat, she had some bald patches but more from rubbing against the kennel I think. She was also greasy and a bit smelly. It took a few month and a couple of trims before her coat really improved.

I have no advice but wanted to applaud you for rescuing your paw and getting him on the right road to health and happiness :slight_smile:

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Thanks folks. I’ve had starved ones before but it all seems so long ago and just the reassurance I needed (doesn’t help that the husband winces every time he strokes Zeb and asks what I’m doing wrong!). Coat on this one isn’t bad, it is weight. He has plenty of pup energy (I am NEVER adopting a pup again).

I’ll stick with the Orijen as the Millie’s Wolfheart costs me a fortune to import here (we are in Denmark) and freezer space is at a premium with the six we currently raw feed.

We’ve got 6 ex racing greyhounds, an Irish Wolfhound, a collie cross, a wonky, dubious parentage, ancient Spanish thing with no ears and Zebedee, who is a Pharaoh Hound (or Ibizan Hound).

The bouncy baby!


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Are you sure he’s not a kangaroo ;D

I guess import to Denmark wouldn’t so bad if you were buying for all of them as you’d be buying a half pallet at a time for all those :smiley:

He looks like a gangly teenager who will fill out with muscle as he gets older. I would have thought it would be better for him to gain weight slowly being a puppy. Rapid growth can cause issues the larger the dog breed.

Well done to you for giving him a new life

More like a full pallet. Over 300 kilos of dog here. That is a lot of dog to feed!