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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took Wally in for his rabies shot and nails trimmed, and of course they weighed him and all that.

He checked in at 17.6 lbs. What's funny is the difference in my and the vets reactions.

Mine: Wow, he might need to go on a diet.

Vet: That's actually underweight, he probably should be 20 lbs.

And he gave me the old "hair makes him look bigger" thing. Yeah, I know. It's partly his defense (other dogs bite the hair and not him) and...well...he's a freaking Coton. If he was a Puli - his 'hair' would make him look bigger too.

Now, I'm surprised he's actually 17 lbs. Granted, I haven't weighed him since the fire (no scale, plan to order one soon) and the scale I had might not have been laser accurate, but he was a steady 15 lbs.

I can't believe he's actually overweight (according to Coton breed standard). Doing the "feel" test - I can feel his ribs slightly, which I've always seen as being ideal weight. He has a good tuck up and his body feels lean and to the proper shape. Wally does not lack energy or any thing of that nature, and I can't go by appetite because he ALWAYS loves food LOL.

I remember sometime back I asked if him developing more muscle could increase his weight - but it wasn't 2 lbs over. I mean he has a neck like a linebacker (seriously, I can't believe how muscular his neck is...!) and "leg quarter thighs" as my mom calls them (because they look like those leg quarter cuts of chicken - she's weirder than I am LOL). But 2 lbs of muscle? Could it be his abs getting musclar from now I'm making him do more hopping on this back paws and balancing type things? Do dogs even have abs?

I just think 20 lbs is crazy for a Coton. Heck, he's already overweight by many Coton standards (upper limit is 15 lbs, I believe).

He asked what I was feeding him. I said Honest Kitchen and he had this blank look on his face like I made that up LOL.

Anyway, do you think I should up his food? No way I'm going to 20 lbs, but maybe shoot for 18-19 and say the rest is 4 lbs of muscle...? On a small dog? *Mind blows*
 

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Wally may just be built a bit bigger, and if that is so the vet may actually be right about diet since he is basing it off his appearance not the standard.

That being said the vet could be a total tool too xD
 

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I have a small one that I feel is too heavy ... vet says he is fine at 20 pounds ... he gained 2 pounds since Christmas. :/ ... well mine is built like a weight lifter too! ... but his legs are sooo tiny I cannot see how he is able to support himself? :/ Anyways this may be of interest to you .... they say a Coton's weight should be proportionate to his height? Dunno ... just what I was reading..... not sure how good of a site this is ....

www.smalldogs.com
 

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If he looks good and feels good, forget about it. Does he look like he needs to gain or lose 2-3 pounds?

If a vet told me that my dog needed to gain weight, I'd quiz him thoroughly about WHY and make him show me how the dog seems underweight.
 

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I would consider barely feeling the ribs overweight lol , ignore the vet, keep him where you feel is right :) if you can barly feel his ribs now, he would be very fat at 20lbs lol.

in a short haired dog I like to be able to see at least the last rib, otherwise I want to be able to easily feel all the ribs. i have had the odd vet comment on my dogs being thin, or if I bring them to them to the vet once when they are on the chunky side and I get that extra couple pounds off them, I have had the odd vet zero in on that weight loss and go on and on and on about it..they can never manage to actually explain to me how they are "too thin" only that they lost weight since last time lol
 

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I really dislike making a call about weight without actually getting my hands on a dog - never by number for sure.

Personally, here is what I look for, although it varies a bit by breed... for a pet dog, I don't want to feel ribs or hip bones with just normal petting or just laying my hand on them, but I do want to be able to very easily feel them if I try with extremely gentle pressure that is not noticeable to the dog - I should be able to count those ribs individually if I want to. As I come off the last rib, I want to be able to easily feel when the rib cage ends, and the ribs, the soft flank/belly wall, and the firm band of muscles of the back should all easily feel completely distinct from each other. Looking or feeling from the top of the dog, there should be an "hourglass" type figure with a distinct waist (by sight or, long-haired dogs, feel) and from the side, there should be a tuck up from the chest to the waist (although this varies a lot by breed and age - some breeds have a bit more of a "rectangle" shape without much of a pronounced tuck and gravity can be as unkind to aging dogs as it can be to aging people).

Working dogs or other heavily exercised dogs are often thinner across their torso/ribs but more heavily muscled in their shoulders and thighs, which is fine IMO.

Having said that, every dog is an individual. Like some people, some dogs tend to run very lean and it's just the way they are. If it's consistent and not a sudden change, I wouldn't worry about trying to fatten up a naturally lean dog who is otherwise healthy.

/.02
 

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Agree with most of what has been said. Vets often get used to looking at overweight dogs and begin to think that's normal. So does the general public. If you're happy with his weight and his energy level is good, then it's probably fine.

I get comments about Kit's weight somewhat frequently from strangers. People think she's underweight. The truth is that I keep her on the lean side for sports. You can see ribs if you really look hard, and the tuck is pronounced, but she isn't undernourished or anything, and anyone who meets her knows her energy level is great. Vet would like to see her a couple pounds heavier, but says her muscle mass is remarkable, considering her breed (or mix). Better a couple pounds under ideal than a couple pounds over!
 

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Agreed. The standard protocol requires a visual and feeling for ribs etc. The weight is usually not the best diagnostic. So, the question to ask the Vet is how he came by that diagnosis.

BTW, some Vet Techs think that they're Vets. I respect my Vet greatly, but her Vet Tech sometimes makes diagnoses.... She looked at my dog's weight on the chart and told me that he needed to lose weight, then started to lecture me about the literature that dogs live 2 years longer (I don't think she read the literature, just a Reader's Digest version). The Vet came in and I asked the Vet about weight. She looked at my dog, felt him, and recommended that I ...increase... his weight by 5 pounds! The Vet Tech doesn't volunteer diagnoses anymore.
 

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arent vet tech's wonderful??? They are only taught the basic's and get pist when you remind them they are not a vet(at least i do that, and they responde that way with me, lol)... I had one tell me sasha was too big to be 3-4months old and was a border collie mix... She hated the fact that i had breeder records, vet records from when she was still in her care. lol. and had photographic evidence of her 'n her littermates and her with her parents 'n her with her mates 'n parents.... lol.... The vet came in and told the tech to leave the room and quit pestering me about being mistaken of doggy idenity. lol. Some tech's are uppity and bloated with false sense of power. i tried becoming a tech(stupid chemistry stumped me for the 4th 'n last time, lol), and worked as a kennel attendant at a vet office during that time... While she was lecturing me she told me she was under-weight and i just couldn't tell cause of her poof... Hated that i informed her that your supposed to feel the ribcage and she is supposed to have a hour glass figure when looking from above... and since i had to apply gentle pressure to feel the ribs to begin with, its ideal and that her littermates were in the same poundage range as she is.

Yah, I didn't make a friend that day and i didnt care .... I later found out by another tech that the tech in question was fresh out of college and was bloated with the false sense of power, and they was all cutting her down to size and that she was the assistant and not a real vet. lol.
 

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I've not had bad experiences with vet techs. In general, if they're friendly and willing to put up with Kit's kisses, then I'm happy.

Let's remember that they take a lot of sh** just doing their job every day; I've never met one that didn't have scars on their hands. And just because we know how to take care of our dogs doesn't mean that the general public knows how to care for theirs. I can't imagine the abuse, neglect, and idiocy they see from pet owners every day. And more often than not, cleaning up the aftermath is their job.
 

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Oh let's not start bashing techs. There are good and bad techs, just like there are good and bad plumbers, mechanics, architects, pilots, and whatever else you can think of. But a good tech is pure gold, that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Personally, here is what I look for, although it varies a bit by breed... for a pet dog, I don't want to feel ribs or hip bones with just normal petting or just laying my hand on them, but I do want to be able to very easily feel them if I try with extremely gentle pressure that is not noticeable to the dog - I should be able to count those ribs individually if I want to. As I come off the last rib, I want to be able to easily feel when the rib cage ends, and the ribs, the soft flank/belly wall, and the firm band of muscles of the back should all easily feel completely distinct from each other. Looking or feeling from the top of the dog, there should be an "hourglass" type figure with a distinct waist (by sight or, long-haired dogs, feel) and from the side, there should be a tuck up from the chest to the waist (although this varies a lot by breed and age - some breeds have a bit more of a "rectangle" shape without much of a pronounced tuck and gravity can be as unkind to aging dogs as it can be to aging people).

Working dogs or other heavily exercised dogs are often thinner across their torso/ribs but more heavily muscled in their shoulders and thighs, which is fine IMO.
Wally fits most of those, though, with his hair, it is pretty much impossible to judge the hourglass shape part. I don't know if he qualifies as heavily exercised, but I do make him do a lot of jumping/climbing on me with slippery pants on (and me holding up a piece of steak - yeah, I'm evil) to have him get some working out in, especially since there's not much freaking grass in this neighborhood (can't WAIT to get back home *sigh*). I also have him run up and down the stairs in the house, which is three floors.

He also has the hopping on back legs and all those, so he definitely has the stronger thigh muscles you describe and I can easily feel the back of his rib cage and he has the tuck defined.

Yeah, I"m going to leave his weight as is. I'll write off the "extra" pounds he does have as muscle (those muscle thighs and linebacker neck have to add some weight).
 
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