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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Adopted underweight HW positive male Great Pyr

    Hello everyone, Iím very thankful for this site and hope to gain some valuable insights. I adopted Bern, a 2 yr old great pyr , I believe ? And he just completed his heartworm shots.. still another month of restrain and resting. He is full grown but only 67lbs, he typically doesnít eat much 1cup a day , but the prednisone he is on I think has stimulated his appetite and now eating upwards of 3 cups a day.. not sure if the heartworms affected his appetite.. aside from that and his sickly skinny appearance, he is a very playful and normal dog.. stubborn too.
    So I have a few questions Iím hoping more experienced GP owners can kindly provide input..
    1. He is unquestionably underweight and am hoping to fatten him up , but I cannot see him weighing the nominal 100 lbs Males are suppose weigh? Maybe 80-85 lbs tops ? . He must be the runt , or the heartworm has affected his development while he was growing? Opinions ?
    2. Everywhere I read and see pics about this thick coat . His coat is healthy , but it is very fairly thin, except for his mane. He sheds , but havenít seen the blizzard I keep reading about ..Leading me to question if he is GP mix ? He does have double dew claws..
    3.Trimming his claws is an issue... does not like his toes messed with ... Iíve been patient and manage to clip a bit off here and there , but hard to see and it doesnít take long before he bolts. Any tips or tricks ?
    4. He seems to belch quite a bit ... all day long.. he drinks a lot of water , even before the prednisone. I am concerned about bloat... what is the consensus on preemptive stomach staple? Iíve had a dog with bloat before ...bad stuff
    5. He is not neutered and I donít intend to neuter him unless there are behavior problems... so far none? Any other things I should consider ?
    Overall , he is a very sweet dog and gentle dog. very skittish with strangers .. very difficult to get him to the vet.
    He had been an outdoor dog, it took me 2 weeks before I could get him started on transitioning to being an indoor dog..
    Thank you for reading

    Edit :: sorry canít seem to add any pics .
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    Last edited by Berns; 12-29-2019 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Pics

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Given his color and his build, pretty certain he's a pyr mix. Not at all uncommon for a pyr mix to have double dewclaws. Glad he's made it through heartworm treatment. So here are my thoughts...

    1. Based on his frame, he probably should be 85-90 lb range. Not all pyrs are 100+ lbs., that's a misconception. So many are hugely overweight. My 3 yo male is 28" tall and 90 lbs where I can feel his ribs when I run my hand along his sides.

    2. Because he is a mix, he may not have the fluffy pyr coat. Also, there are different variety of coats with purebred pyrs. Some have the longer fluffier type, others have a bit shorter but thick dense coats. A thinner coat would be better in Houston

    3. No quick, or magic fixes for nail clipping. It's a desensitization process that takes time. One toe at a time with lots of praises and high value treats.

    4. The stomach tacking is totally up to you. If it gives you peace of mind, go for it.

    5. If you choose to keep him intact, please make sure he is very securely confined at all times so that he doesn't get the opportunity to make puppies.

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    First of all, thank you for adopting this very handsome heart worm positive boy. Back in 2002 we adopted a 1 1/2--2 year old heart worm positive golden retriever. The treatment is hard on them, but the keeping them restrained, especially if young, seems to be harder. What made it so hard for our Honey was we had just turned 3 year old litter mate golden retrievers that she had to watch play, and a 7 year old golden as well. It was so hard her being in that crate watching them all those weeks and not being able to join in. When she was declared able to be set free, she ran and jumped and ran and jumped and played so hard. She never had any effect from either the worms or the treatment (only our bank account had the bad effect, LOL.

    Honey was a survivor. She ate d-con mouse poison we accidently knocked out of our attack---only place we had it as we had the 4 dogs, a cat and 2 grandkids. She ate an entire leather wallet except for the picture section and passed it withno trouble. She ate a leather glove--and passed it with no trouble. She developed a mast cell tumor (grad 2) on her back leg at age 8, had surgery for it and it never returned--we had her 5 more years. We had 12 years and until 2 weeks before lymphoma claimed her, she was still running and jumping, spinning, laying on her stomach with her back legs "froggy doggy" and people took her to be no more than 5 tops. no arthritis at all. Lymphoma took her 2 weeks after diagnosis.

    Our last Pyr (lost him Dec. 5, 2018 to liver disease at age 11 1/2) shed something fierce! I could rake him and fill a small trashcan--yet his fur never seemed to get thinner. We adopted our present Pyr, Princess Jewel in Feb. She sheds a LOT less than Sir Moose did. She had been a show dog and when her owner/handler died, her husband kept Princess Jewel and their retired male for a few years, but then turned her to the Texas Great Pyrenees Rescue as he was selling his house/land, buying a travel trailer and going to do volunteer work for the national Parks. Th male was 14 and had arthritis so bad it was decided to send him to the Rainbow Bridge.

    You boy will feel like running and playing soon, but do not let him. It is very important that all the worms are dead and "dissolved". If not, they can form a clot (only description I can think of) move into the heart, lungs, etc and kill the dog. Ata least that is how my vet described it to me. I didn't let Honey free one day before she was cleared.

    I agree, your guy needs to put on some pounds. How much did the vet think he needs to put on? Usually I hhave had to take pounds off my dogs. But I belong to a large golden retriever group and have read many times that satin balls is perfect for putting wight on. You can google and get the recipe if you do not already have it. (our old girl is in the front scaring off the trashtruck, which she has to do twice a week. She turned 10 4 months after we adopted her)

    Again, thanks for taking this handsome guy in and enjoy him.
    Jerry and Moose

  4. #4
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you Jewel!
    I appreciate the feedback... being a mix would answer a lot of questions, he is indeed predominantly tan, with a gray streak running down his back, like roots that have grown out and time for more hair dye . His demeanor matches that of pyr description..Iíve never had one before.. Iíve had sharpeis before and thought they were difficult , but Berns is another level of stubborn.I actually adopted this guy from my neighbors down the street neighbors and they were under impression that he was full blooded pyr ..but Iíve had my doubts after reading up .. he is smaller , 26Ē..
    Yes a thinner coat would be preferable in our hot muggy climate , although Iíve read that the coat can thicken as he ages . Full blooded or mix , he is one of the sweetest canine soul Iíve come across and a keeper.
    One last question .. what do you use for HW prevention? Iíve always used Heartgard plus , although heís currently on advantage multi.. Happy new year to all !

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    I have used Interceptor since I went from the old daily Flaribits to the monthly many years ago. I did make the horrible mistake of putting one of my goldens on the 6 month ProHeart 6 in 2003. Hunter had just turned 4 and for a golden retriever was a very picky eater and I worried about him not totally taking the dose, dropping part of the pill without m knowing it. The ProHeart6 killed him. Up until then I had never actually used a computer, but went to our tiny town library and they showed me how to use one. I simply typed in ProHeart 6, and man oh man, story after story came up of dogs who had died or almost died after getting it. One lady in Colorado took all 3 of hers in the same day and lost her skipper key )I have no idea of the real spelling), and her 4 year old 40 pound cotton pound mix. Her 2 year old lab/German Shepherd was on meds the ret of his life. One in Florida took her two in and her young pom died and hr sheltie was on meds the rest of her life. On in Philly lost both of hers, one lost her seeing eye golden. Right here in my small town a lady that goes to our little church almost lost her standard poodle. It was on meds the rest of her life. Our insurance agent's secretary had a chi that almost died. One guy lot his hound. This went on all over the country. Huntr died Oct. 16, 2003 and the first of Sept 2004 FDA had Fort Dodge pull it as it had killed more dogs in 4 years than all others combined and some had been out 25 years. In Dec. 2005, Fort dodge tried to get it back on the market, there was a big hearing. Several attended--Jean from Colorado, Connie from Florida, Laurryn and Janice from Texas, etc, etc and many of us that couldn't get to Washington sent in our stories. All 15 members of the panel got copies of our stories a coup of weeks before the haring. Fort Dodge was there in force with lawyers, etc and we had just a few, but between those few and the stories we sent in, the pan rule it had to stay off until reformulated. It was off the market for almost 4 years. It has been back several years but I can't bring myself to trust it. It came back with a black label warning, which I understand is a first for an animal med. There was about a year I had to use Nextgard as the plant where Interceptor is made had a problem. I could get it from Canada, but jut waited til it was back out here. Luckily we seldom have any fleas and been years since we found a tick, which is strange as live oaks are right up to our back fnce and hang way over into our yard. Is a huge life oak in the front as well as two pine trees. And by the way, we liv just out ofCorpus and had a lot of damage to our house from Hurricane Harvey. But all is fixed now. As for food, I like Purina Pro Plan.
    Jerry and Moose

  6. #6
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you for the kind words and tips SM. The vet said he needed at least another 10-15 lbs on him. I hadnít heard about satin balls but did google it and found a recipe...Heís eating like a wolf right now and is now up to 70lbs since his weigh in 2 months ago. Iím still not sure if itís the prednisone thatís stimulated his appetite, but we will find out soon as he is almost weened off that.. it could be the heartworms themselves killed his appetite? Iím not sure. I thought the The first heartworm shot was going to kill him. Iíve never seen a dog so miserable.. it was gut wrenching to watch. a couple if days later he started getting back to normal.. Fortunately his reaction to the second and final shot a month later was much milder.. yes, there is no lapse in having him restrained or leashed when going outside.. itís tough , but manageable.. the hardest is early in the morning... I stay up late and take him out, but also get up early and take him outside..canít wait to return to the days of just opening the back doorway letting him out . Heís pretty mellow for the most part, so he just roams the living area while Iím home . When I leave he house he goes in his crate.. fortunately, Iím retired , so im usually never gone more than a couple hours at a time...oddly enough he regularly goes in his crate and lays down inside on his own ,even when Iím home.


    he was a few days away from being sent to a shelter when I adopted him from my neighbors .. they got him as a puppy , but lost interest when he became grown and put him outside with very little attention and of course no hw preventative.. they arenít bad people , they just couldnít live up,to the commitment it takes..

    I feel your furry friend losses , Iíve had a few myself . Iíve got another Shepard mix rescue (Kobey) whoís 15, his back legs are starting to go.. no arthritis...vet says itís neurological... nothing to be done about...heís still hanging tough..Iím just glad Kobey and Berns get along.. I had an older sharpei that was pretty much laying around all day , like youíd expect an older dog on his last chapter.. then we brought a younger pup home.. and it seemed to liven him up and he became more interested in what was happening around him again. I believe it extended his life by a couple more years... Iím hoping the same here with these guys ..

    Once more many thanks for all your help.. all the best for 2020!

  7. #7
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    I would recommend using satin balls very carefully. Satin ball is so high in fat that it can trigger pancreatitis in dogs that are prone to it. Rescues typically reserve the use of satin balls for cases where the dog is actively suffering from starvation. The high fat content of satin balls is designed to send a signal to a starving dog's brain that it is no longer starving so that the body stops consuming the dog's muscles to stay alive. With rescues that have been neglected and not properly fed but not at the brink of starvation, they will gain weight just by getting regular feeding of good quality food. Also, once your guy is eating regularly, it would not be uncommon if he starts to blow coat like crazy. He could very well grow a much better coat when he's eating properly.

    For heartworm prevention I use Heartgard. I do not like to use combination type meds. I use topical flea treatments only when necessary and where we are I only treat for flease once every several months.

  8. #8
    Puppy (New Member)

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    @jewel,
    I agree , heís now eating great and putting on weight slowly and I think thatís good for now.. will re-evaluate after he clears heartworm ( another 4 weeks) .. one thing for sure thatís noticeable.. he stunk to high heaven a few days after a bath.. now he definitely smells much better .. still smells like a dog, but now ďnormalĒ .. his coat is also feeling silkier.. I really do think the heartworms were doing a number on him , even though he didnít exhibit any of the other classic symptoms....canít wait to let him run loose...he likes to play hide and seek.. ill chase him and goes hide behind shrubs..peering at me thru them .. so I act like I donít see him and he gets a big kick out if that ... just like a little kid ..lol

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