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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! We're new to the forum and new to owning a boxer - ours is Bosco and he'll be six months on Thursday the 27th.

The reason I'm writing - we just moved cities and left behind our wonderful vet. They have cared for our pets for years and have some of the kindest sweetest staff you could ever hope to meet. I often felt, at other vets, there was a definite push to get you to spend more money. And they have you by the balls, because you imagine all the things that would happen if you don't take their advice and spend more money. This was never the case with our vet. They were wonderful, and our animals loved them! So we've moved cities and one of the most heartbreaking things was leaving those guys behind. I would often drop in and they'd weigh Bosco and make sure he was doing ok free of charge - lol I'm beginning to think I imagined them!!

About one week into living in the new place, Bosco had some blood in his poop. I really panicked and instantly looked up the closest vet and I went in to see them within the hour.

As soon as she saw him the vet said "he's extremely underweight". This is part of the thing I'm worried about and would like some advice on. He was one of the smaller dogs in his litter, and he is very fine boned and quite slim, and I think for 6 months, at 13.8kg (about 30lbs) he is extremely light. But he is perfectly formed - and I've been lurking on these forums for months in order to get some reassurance and have seen "there's no such thing as an underweight boxer puppy" said a few times. In your opinion, how true is this? Our old vet was always very reassuring and said he was within a healthy weight range for his age and size - but of course, some boxer babies are twice that at his age!!

Some other things- I don't think I trust the vet. She told us we couldn't breed from Bosco because of his underbite, which tells me she knows very little about the breed (we don't intend to breed from him but I thought that was funny!) She also suggested I switch from Orijen Large Breed Puppy food - something we researched for ages and really thought about - back to James Wellbeloved, a British food (which they sold in her store, of course) which is full of fillers and grains and which he was on as a puppy and he refused to eat.

All that being said, I am very worried about him now. I'm worried when we take him to the park he gets over exercised. We are careful to just give him the suggested 25 minutes for his age, but we take two balls and he never stops running in that time. I'm also now worried that maybe Orijen is not a good food for him - his stools are quite sloppy at times and he will often scavenge on the floor, and sometimes eats cat poop out of the litter, which I heard could mean he's not getting enough nutrition. We give him treats - mainly things like chicken, sweet potato, and if he has gas, natural yogurt.

I have attached photos of him so you can see if you think he's underweight. He refused to stand up for them - haha! Too sleepy. We are so desperate to give him the best start in life so any advice would be amazing and so much appreciated!
 

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That is a beautiful boy you've got there! We are new boxer owners too-our girl Polly will be 5 months in a couple of weeks. She looks much like Bosco (weight-wise)-perhaps even a bit thinner. I will leave it to the many experts on this forum to answer your question about weight but I would like to add one thing. I suspect your new vet's comment about Bosco being extremely underweight was directly related to her suggestion that you buy food from her. I always consider the motivation when taking advice from anyone. When it comes to our boxer, I put more weight into what our breeder says, she is only motivated by her love for her dogs and the boxer breed. She is on this forum-hopefully she will comment on your post. Vets are in the business to make money. Sure, they may love animals but $$$ is the primary focus.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Honestly, he looks fine to me. But can you post a picture of him from the side while he's standing up, and another from above? This will make it easier to confirm.

Boxers are slim and as they are growing they go through all sorts of weird and lanky growing phases, sometimes even looking gangly! Boxers don't mature until 2-3 years of age.

As for the food, Orijen is one of the best kibbles that you can buy. However, some pups don't do well with the high protein content. Try scaling back on the amount of food you are giving him first. Overfeeding also causes loose stool. If that doesn't work, perhaps you should consider switching him over to Acana (Orijen's sister company). The food is just as high quality as Orijen, but it contains less protein.

As for your vet, personally, hearing comments such as those coming from my vet would probably make me find a new one! Either she is inexperienced or as mentioned, she is more motivated by money than by her care for animals.
 

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The 2nd photo shows quite a few ribs but really not so bad and its hard to tell unless he is standing. He should have a bit of an hour glass shape and his spine should not show . But boxers grow at different rates and go through lanky stages. Since his stool you say is sloppy, you may want to try, as sasasola said the Acana. She also gave you some info on overfeeding..this too could contribute to runny poo. When switching foods always do it gradually. At this point though I frankly would be more concerned as to why he had blood in his stool, he should be tested for Giardia, coccidia, and parasites. All could contribute to bloody stool and low weight. I also would look into a different vet, it doesn't sound as if she is familiar with boxers.
Let us know how your boy is doing.
 

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The 2nd photo shows quite a few ribs but really not so bad and its hard to tell unless he is standing. He should have a bit of an hour glass shape and his spine should not show . But boxers grow at different rates and go through lanky stages. Since his stool you say is sloppy, you may want to try, as sasasola said the Acana. She also gave you some info on overfeeding..this too could contribute to runny poo. When switching foods always do it gradually. At this point though I frankly would be more concerned as to why he had blood in his stool, he should be tested for Giardia, coccidia, and parasites. All could contribute to bloody stool and low weight. I also would look into a different vet, it doesn't sound as if she is familiar with boxers.
Let us know how your boy is doing.
Oh seems like I skimmed through the post much too fast and missed the part about the blood in the stool! Yes, if there is blood in his stool Lindar is absolutely correct! You should definitely have him tested for parasites! That's actually the first thing that should be done because if he does have worms or giardia or coccidia, that would explain it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Guys this is so great! Totally heartwarming to have so many great responses, thank you so much - you totally confirmed what I was thinking. This vet - seriously - she also suggested we overfeed him the amount of food for a 15kg puppy, which is terrible in my book! I was so surprised when she didn't test him for anything - she said the bloody stool wasn't concerning and after reading up just a little it sounds like, with a history of eating poop, he could have giardia. I've only seen blood in there once and I think it could have been something he ate maybe? We are also going to order some Acana definitely!

I've added in some more pictures here so you can see - let me know if he looks skinny to you? Thank you all so much for your help.
 

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Well, yes to me he does look on the thin side. But I would first have him tested to see if he has anything which could be contributing. I would say you could add 1/2 cup more to each meal but if he already has runny stool that wouldn't work. All dogs are different so the amounts on the bags are just guide lines. Definitely have him checked. Keep us posted.
 

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He is on the thin side, but I wouldn't say he is terribly underweight! If he's very active, it might be hard to get the weight on him. Besides, with growing pups it's much easier on their growing joints if they are on the lighter side.

If he only had blood in his stool once, then it could be nothing to worry about. However, I would have him tested just in case. Sometimes, things such as worms and giardia aren't apparent until they get bad.

If you do plan on switching foods, make sure you do it slowly over 10-14 days. Start with 75% old food and 25% new food and over the 10-14 days slowly increase the new food while decreasing the old food until he's fully switched over.
 

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He looks slender, but not horribly underweight. If he were mine, I'd find another vet. Just my 2 cents worth :) He's a nice looking pup!
 

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He's a little leaner than I would like to see of a puppy of that age. Orijen tends to be to rich for puppies, I would look into Acana grasslands or ranchlands instead.

If your puppy had giardiasis....you would know it. The blood in his stool was most likely caused from the soft stools. It's just irritation/inflammation of the intestines. I would cook up some rice and ground chicken or beef and feed that to him for the next week, then slowly start to reintroduce some kibble into his meal. I'd start with 2 cups twice a day.
 

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After reading your post, I have to reply, our girl was the same way - a bit thin and hard to keep weight on.

From your pics, your boy is a bit lean, but not overly, not compared to what my Britta was.....as others have said it takes a while for Boxers to fill out, I had the same questions...

We fed our girl Orijen Adult (after she was 16 months old) and she did really well on it, but now that she has filled out, we are scaling back a bit and switching over to one of the Acana formula's which are fantastic and made by the same company..

As for the blood in the stool, can come from all sorts of things, straining to poop, lots of loose poops, bacteria, parasite....best to get it checked out if you are worried....

But all aside your boy just looks like a lanky boxer boy, feed him what he will eat without soft poops and if he is still underweight either get him checked for parasites or change food to find something that works...

The gang on the forum can tell you that I have asked enough questions after going through similar that I have a pretty good idea now....

Good bunch of people on here, lots of good advice, chances are you are not the only one who has asked the question....and dont be afraid to change vets...you have to be comfortable with them..

Good luck and keep us posted...

BG

PS - I agree with Kari (2manydogs)
 

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I'm not a boxer expert by any means, but I think weights/sizes can really vary....my 12 week old boxer just weighed in today at 25 pounds (and the vet said he's not fat, is perfectly healthy...just has big parents and is going to be a big boy!!!).

My brother's 2 year old boxer (also perfectly healthy per his vet) is much smaller and weighs 52 pounds, the vet said he'll stop growing soon and is just on the smaller side.

I agree with other posters about getting a 2nd opinion from another vet (and getting stool samples done).

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi! Just an update.

We put Bosco onto Acana - we did it really slowly but he was still getting diarrhea every day. Poor baby! So we did more research and decided on a UK-based food called Simpsons Premium. Its especially designed for sensitive tummies. This is the one! He doesn't get diarrhea any more.I feel really guilty, it feels like we've been poisoning him since he came to us :( but now he seems to be a little healthier. We are also feeding him raw chicken wings in the morning which seems to be working.

Thank you all again for your help!
 

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Thank you for the update! I'm glad to hear you found a food that works for him. Please post some updated pictures when you can.
 

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That pup does not look underweight! Some are just slimmer. I run the gambit with a very sturdy male and a very slim female. Here is my Fiona. Vet says she is fine. If tjere is nlood in the poop, I would definately run for parasites.
 

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Whrn I got porter as a pup, he had giardia. He was asymptomatic but my older dog got it....and yea, you'd know.
 

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He's a little leaner than I would like to see of a puppy of that age. Orijen tends to be to rich for puppies, I would look into Acana grasslands or ranchlands instead.

If your puppy had giardiasis....you would know it. The blood in his stool was most likely caused from the soft stools. It's just irritation/inflammation of the intestines. I would cook up some rice and ground chicken or beef and feed that to him for the next week, then slowly start to reintroduce some kibble into his meal. I'd start with 2 cups twice a day.
Most likely this ^^^ is the way to go! Do check out any health issues and I too would also suggest finding another vet???

Just because they are familiar with "dogs" does not mean they know Boxers?? Best way to find out is to ask them about this:

http://www.boxerforums.com/health-concerns/27398-acepromazine.html

From what I understand from a "vet tech" a Boxer experienced vet can use the regular "stuff" but on Boxers they would use 30% less.

So an "acceptable" answer would be "OK" no Ace" or "I use 30% less on Boxers because ...." Anything other than those for an answer and I would start looking for another vet! For the record I did have "this" conversation with my vet and his answer was "No problem we won't use Ace on her." And again for the record, if "2manydogs" says he's a little thin, then he's a "little" then! She would know! :)

But Boxers are a tricky breed! Most American line Boxers are kinda on the smallish size for a while. I heard plenty of she's to skinny from family and friends while Struddell was growing up! But Struddell was a clone of her mom (yeah I know, now...) So I wasn't concerned.

My Struddell topped out at 65 lbs and I never thought that would happen! She was solid muscle but still a tiny looking doggy!

Same weight as a lot of Malinois I might add. :)
 
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