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Ok, i need serious advice with my Vinny...

Posted by Karlene, 06 February 2010 · 2,831 views

Hello, i am a fairly new (9 months) owner of 2 rescued IGs. They are 9 year old littermates, and the male - Vinny, has really been struggling with a few issues i need help with as I'm still trying to understand this breed. First, he's about 24lbs, which is about the size he came to us as, and we've been dealing with it with no success. He is large in overall stature, twice the size of his sister Bella, who is 10 lbs. He stands at least 6-8 inches taller than her, and is more the size of a small Whippet (so i'm told). He eats everything, and will drink constantly if we leave the bowl filled for him. Bella picks at her food, and eats when she's hungry. Vinny, will literally inhale his food, then steal food off the counters, in the garbage (if left unlocked) and will walk around like a vaccuum sucking up any scrap he can find (he's eaten crayons, napkins, in the past... he tries everything!). Both dogs are easy as far as food tolerances go, and we originally started them both out on Canidae dry food, but when feeding became a problem and his eating shot up along with his weight, we've tried switching to other formulas for "less active", senior dogs. Still, he eats way more than i know he should and his weight is what i think is unhealthy. I even tried keeping the bowl full, and seeing if he could handle grazing and self-feeding, but he just constantly ate the large portions given to him. Any ideas? Is this behavioral, specific to just him, or in need of a vet's attentinon? How much should the dogs be given to eat daily? Both these dogs are otherwise very healthy and happy, no other medical issues. Vinny also has been having bladder accidents more lately (though I wonder if they're accidental!). I am noticing he whines to go out to pee every several hours, and sometimes more than once in an hour. I actually wondered if he was diabetic, with his increase in eating, drinking, and peeing. Last night, in a kitchen full of family members, he squatted and pee'd.... without warning.... infront of everyone. He had just been out a couple hours earlier, and is always good about letting us know when he has to go out, but this time, he just stood in the middle of all of us who were talking, and went! Again, otherwise, he seems happy, gets lots of attention, sleeps well, and is close with his sister. Any thoughts i'd appreciate, including the name of a good quality dog food to suggest. Thanks everyone!

I would definately have the vet check him out for diabetes. Your vet can also suggest a weight management food that both of your IGs can enjoy. One of my IGS has a tendency to beef up so to speak and I have found that it is generally because she is not as active as she should be. Tey playing with Vinny so he is running a little bit. IGs have very small bladders and pee on their terms and not ours unfortunately. You may want to also paper train him. I use the adult pee pads that you can buy by the case at Sam's club. The are much cheaper than buying them at the pet store and work as well. Hope that helps!!!! Regards,
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I agree with Sandee that a vet visit is in order just to rule out medical problems. My girls eat Taste of the Wild Pacific Salmon formula and both do well on that, but they are not overweight. Also, my girls have to pee every 3 or 4 hours, so I keep a pee pad accessible in case they need to go and I haven't taken them out (not that Riley always chooses to use the pee pad!). Good luck!

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After you have done a vet check- I agree you should investigate diabetes- I recommend the addition of green beans to his diet to bulk up reduced kibble portions and help him feel full. I buy bags of plain frozen green beans, give them a quick cooking and add them to my dog's kibble whenever I am putting them on a diet. The beans are very low in calories and really seem to help them feel less deprived.
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mia was eating and drinking like crazy and really started to gain weight, she got up to 30 lbs! went to the vet and her thyroid was out of whack. she is on thyroid meds and green beans are a huge part of her diet now. she gets 1/2 a can and 1/3 of a cup of food 2x a day. she is down to 18 lbs now......
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and input. We saw the vet yesterday and are awaiting bloodwork results. Vinny weighed in at 27 lbs!! I was shocked. I love the idea of feeding him green bean to supplement his food in place of some of the dry food, great idea. I'll keep you posted, appreciate all your comments.
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I agree with everything that's been said...scheduled feedings are the best for a dog who doesn't know his limits. My 6 eat twice a day and not inbetween, except for some Charlie Bears (low cal baked crackers the size of a dime). Let us know how the laps come out.
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my Angel has really gained weight also , she is 10 years old and seems about to pop! i am taking her to the vet this week to see what is up with her. She loves vegetables and green beans are her favorite so she gets lots of vegetables. we use the dick van patten natural balance food ...duck and potato.
bayleigh our newest soon to be forever baby is tiny and the great thing about her is that when she is full she is done with food.
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VINNY UPDATE: Yes, he indeed has hypothyroid! Thank you everyone for the great advice. I am mixing his food now with green beans and he's adjusted well. He was started on medication about a week ago, with the expectation that it still may need some adjusting. He still seems ravenous, but perhaps the meds take a while to kick in. I'm also giving little Bella green beans with her food because she gained a couple of pounds over the past year when we went to the vet.... but she very cleverly manages to eat AROUND the beans! I chop them up so fine and mix them with their dry food and a little warm water, and she still ends up with a pile of green beans when she's finished eating. Man is she entitled!!! Just curious for those of you who's been through the hypothyroid experience, how much time did it take your dogs to lose the weight? And did their behavior change too? Vinny still acts very hyper and almost nervous at times, but he's happy and gets lots of love.
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Tessie had hypothyroidism for years and was on thyroxine. She got up to 16 pounds and stayed at 15 pounds for years. She finally lost weight her last year and ended up just under 13 pounds. She was otherwise healthy.
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Woahh thats a big Ig! my adult intact male who is my largest iggy on weighs 11 pounds lol. Glad you found the source of the problem and can now address it. Great to see someone who has taken on 2 older rescue iggies too smile.gif
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