The Koa Chronicles: a pain in the rear

We are well into the second month on the Nulo Challenge and Kekoa is happily settled into her routine. I’ve also brought Brody into the fold for the month to see how he does on Nulo. He gets a bit more than she does, but he also eats a lot faster than she so it pretty much balances out.

Koa’s always had a shiny coat, but now it’s glossy. Luminous, even. I’m going to feature her in my Adopt a Seriously Adoptable Pet Week post next week so I’m glad to report she will be extra-beautiful for her photo shoot.

In addition to the extra shine (she’s like a Pantene commercial!) I’m even more happy to report that she’s picking up speed on her backyard excursions. When I brought her home at 85 pounds, she used to step gingerly around the yard, only occasionally breaking lumbering. At 77, down 10%, she’ll trot pretty regularly, mostly to get away from Brody or towards the dinner dish.

I remember when I was pregnant with my son, the most I’ve weighed in my life. My knees hurt. Getting up the stairs took some major effort. Dogs are no different, except for their inability to let us know they hurt. The difference in her movement is subtle but gigantic.

I saw a 120 pound labrador a few weeks ago. The last time she came in, we warned the owner about her weight. At the time she was 98 pounds. The dog could barely make it across the room without stopping to pant.

“She’s in dire condition,” I told the owner.

He shrugged.

“We had to euthanize a dog last month who was this big after she blew out both knees and couldn’t get up,” I told him. “Do you really want that to happen to your pet?”

I think he got it then. I hope so.

Filed: Blog, Dogs, Health Tagged: ,
  • Darc

    We are pet sitting for some friends. Their dog is recently adopted (so current condition isn’t entirely their fault), elderly, arthritic, probably 10-20 lbs overweight, and THEY FREE FEED HER! We are going to have some (careful) words about that with them because the poor pup needs to lose that weight.

    • Lea

      We dropped our dogs off for boarding, and the kennel owner immediately recognized that they were being overfed. When I gave her the feeding instructions, she just told me that they only needed to eat about 3/4 of that-and that’s what she’d be feeding them. She was totally right, and it was a great wakeup call. Maybe you can do the same for your friends.

  • Lea

    You’re dead on, Dr. V. I just posted on our own struggles with our dog’s obesity and the ortho-complications that have come from it.

    Darc, I had a big wake up call when I dropped my dogs off for boarding and the kennel-owner told us that she would not feed them as much as we had been. She knew we were overfeeding, and she just said “I think they only need ____ and that’s all I’m going to give them”. It wasn’t rude. She just knew better than I did, from years of experience. I think you’re friends will thank you in the long run if you can show them the error of their ways.