> My 4 year old 49 Lb.Lab/Chow will not grow a coat of heavy fur. He shivers and
> shivers. We have been feeding 2 1/2 cups of 21% GRAVY TRAIN and today at a
> pet store they said not enough protein so I was give 26% protein CHUNKS by
> The Iams company. Also has 15% fat and I was told feed 2 cups in the AM and
> 2 cups in the PM. I have ordered a 28 inch dog sweater but it's only in the
> here now. What will we do when it gets in the 20's? Wayne R. Cole
Someone previously mentioned the possibility that this was due to
hypothyroidism. Intolerance to cold and shivering are classic symptoms
that affect many dogs. Additional things to watch for are lethargy,
dramatic weight loss or gain, and a noticeable dullness in personality.
Testing for thyroid function is relatively inexpensive and goes a long way
toward eliminating the existence of a condition that could prove deadly.
Certainly, I would request that your vet. perform the test if for no other
reason than 'peace of mind.'
There are other conditions that result in a sparsity the coat which
include hormonal changes (in both males and females).
Another possibility: Your dog has recently been through a relatively warm
summer during which he lost most of his coat. A period of cooler weather
is needed in order for your dog to grow sufficient coat to protect him
from extreme weather and if your dog is primarily a house-dog, the
interior temperature (heated through the fall season) of your home may
have prevented the appropriate density of coat; although 50 degrees is not
what I'd consider to be an extreme temperature. (Phew! Could that sentence
have been any longer;-)) It's a long-shot, but one worth considering.
As far as supplementing with kitchen grease: You're likely to exacerbate
the problems you already have. Not only is pancreatitis a real possibility
(in all breeds) but it's a condition which can lead to other problems,
including death. And, if you're lucky ;-(, there's a high probability that
your dog will suffer from a bout of explosive diarrhea. Your vet has
suggested a good, stable diet and I wouldn't suggest any form of
supplementation, particularly one that uses your dog as a 'grease
disposal', without his prior approval.
Remember that it will take some time for your dog to improve, whatever his
condition. However, if you don't notice a change (watch for new growth) in
a month , I would consider speaking with someone else; perhaps a
Again: Check with your vet. and be certain to note all changes in your dog
while detailing any changes in your dog, or to his environment in the past
weeks or months. The more your vet. knows, the more apt he'll be at
rendering an accurate diagnosis.
The "Complete Saint Bernard Dog" web page at: