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    1. #1
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      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Vet tried to fat-shame Hoku

      The breeder said this would happen—that a Vet used to seeing Field Labs would, at some point, say that Hoku is "fat."

      To be clear: we feed her precisely on her breeder's schedule, her weight gain has been steady (it's actually slowing), she doesn't get scraps or snacks, and she gets lots of good vigorous outside time and inside play daily. She is crated when she accompanies my husband to his job sites, but spends very little time in a crate during the day otherwise. She's not a lazy dog being fed on scraps. She's a very active and muscular puppy fed on ProPlan (adult Sport).

      She's solid. I don't deny it. She is also totally in line with the body type of the breeder's lines.

      Anyway, the Vet came out and said "You know, she's gaining weight REALLY fast."

      I responded that, no, her gain has been very predictable. It was very fast early on (3 lbs a week), then slowed to 2 lbs a week, and is now hovering at or under that.

      She: "She's getting big."

      I: "She is completely in line with the growth rate of the breeder's dogs. We feed her according to the breeder's recommendations, and we are in touch with her."

      She: "I think she's eating too much."

      I: "I understand, but she doesn't get snacks, is very active, and we are in constant contact with the breeder."

      She: "But has the breeder SEEN her?!?"

      ...

      At that point, I admit sort of becoming annoyed. Yes, she's a solid dog. And YES we obviously don't want her to be overweight. Indeed, we reviewed this afternoon *everything* she's eating, and her activity, and I also emailed (as usual) the breeder. I do know that this breeder's lines are very solid, and I do know that an overweight dog is something to avoid. What annoyed me was not the Vet's concern (or lack of familiarity w/ this breeder's dogs), but the suggestion that we were somehow negligent or didn't take it seriously.

      Below is a photo of her from about two weeks ago. She's a little taller and a couple lbs heavier, but her body type is essentially the same. I won't post a photo of one of the breeder's dogs, but frankly they could be sisters (of course, I think Hoku's a bit prettier). I would not want her to become stouter than she is, but frankly, I think she looks great.

      Honestly, it was the suggestion of ignorance or negligence that got me.
      Hidden Content Hokule'a ("Hoku") / b. 06.08.15

    2. #2
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      Get used to it. Get used to hearing this from vets, the general public, and people online. Unfortunately, unless your vet is knowledgeable about Labradors, or breeds Labs, this will always be their position. If you otherwise like her, just ignore this portion of her spiel. I love my vets. The only vet who ever spoke to me about this type of thing was an e-vet once.

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      Abulafia (12-13-2015)

    4. #3
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      I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's impossible to tell if a dog is fat by looking at a picture.

      Even my vets, who have field Labs, have commented that my dogs are a bit "big". I believe if you can easily feel the dogs ribs, you're ok.

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    6. #4
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      Yeah I think most vets are used to seeing poorly bred labs that don't exemplify the breed standard. Take it with a grain of salt. I'm guessing your like I am and always sending your breeder pictures and updates. If your breeder is happy with how she's progressing. I'm pretty sure I know where you got her from as i looked that breeder up before I knew where they were located and all of the dogs seem solid. Not fat, but...solid. I think she looks beautiful.

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      Abulafia (12-13-2015)

    8. #5
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      Let me add this. I'm not sure exactly how old Hoku is in that picture. I do think she looks very immature, and in that picture, her body looks enormous when compared to her head. I call is an awkward puppy stage, which Sophie went though. I kept praying that tiny little head would grow into that massive body!!! It did, but it took a while!

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    10. #6
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      Also, I think people are often cowed by their vets. Not saying this is the case with the OP, but I am very clear with people providing services to my dogs that I welcome their comments, but it's my dog and I'll decide whether or not things are required or changes need to be made. I don't like to be harangued by vets. If a Lab has a well-defined waist and you can easily feel ribs, I don't think there's an issue. I don't expect my Labs to have a tuck-up or to see ribs. I don't rely on things like the Purina body condition chart, or other generic resources.

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    12. #7
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      Only you know your dog. My breeder is a pet breeder and focuses on Heath and temperament, not body type. While Thor's lines are mainly bench, his heritage runs on the skinnier side of that body type and has a lot of athletic dogs in his line.

      I recently posted a thread asking if Thor looked too skinny. Because compared to the bench body type and a dog like Hoku he looks super skinny. But compared to a field lab he looks husky. It cracked me up that the week after I posted the thread about him looking too skinny, a vet tech said he looked like he could lose a few lbs.

      While I respect a vets opinion, only you know where the dog came from and what to expect. After the whole too skinny/too fat fiasco with Thor last month, I decided I'd just take it all with a grain of salt. He's happy and healthy and energetic. That's enough for me to stop caring about other peoples opinions.
      Mighty Thor, "So Much Dog", born 1/6/2014

      Hidden Content

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    14. #8
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      Thank you all.

    15. #9
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      That is a gorgeous pup. I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe the vet if she's too annoying).
      mom to:
      Carley (Impulse Revival of Sweetrox CGCA RN)
      Hex (UKC CH Stormy C's Black Magic)
      Luci (the husky that tries to act like the labs)

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    17. #10
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      I've had 3 vets in the practice I use give 3 differing opinions on Chase, 1. the most experienced vet, no comment, 2. a vet whose Mother breeds some other breed of dog, he's too fat and btw, get him neutered right away (he was just over 6 months of age), 3. Don't let him get any thinner. I don't even ask questions about weight or diet or neutering any more because we're likely to disagree.

      Lark weighed about 61 pounds at 7 months of age. We saw an ortho vet for some limping. She thought Lark was way overweight and wanted me to put her on Hill's Science Diet and have her lose some weight. Hmm, thanks for your opinion. I didn't do it. The limp went away. She still weighs about 65 pounds at 3 years of age.

      It's a lab thing....
      Hidden Content

      Sue

      Chase 9/29/2006- 6/30/2017 Always in our hearts
      Lark 12/25/2012

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      Abulafia (12-13-2015)

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