Monday, September 24, 2012

Unexpected Weight Gain

...but really, is it ever truly expected??

It crept up over the course of a few months, but suddenly I realized that the belly was looking fuller.  The ribs that I used to be able to see were gone.  There was just more of a solid look overall.  Then came the dreaded weigh in at a doctor visit - one where medication was going to be necessary, so an accurate weight was important.  Up 12% since the last visit in June!  Not good.  Something had to be done.

Looking back, it was easy to see how this happened - the medicine for allergies contained a steroid, and that causes excess hunger...and without realizing it, more and more food was consumed every day.

So the diet started.  Nothing drastic, just cutting back...a little less food each day.  Of course the food rage started right away.  Why are they eating and not me???  When can I eat again?  Major crankiness and growling ensued.

Look, it can happen to anyone.  Even those who seem to be carefree about eating...the ones who routinely leave food in their dish, who only seem to eat socially - even they, given different circumstances, can gain weight.
 
You cannot possibly be talking about me...
Wait.  Where rest of my food?!??!?!???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry Paco.  It's for your own good.  I know, I know, believe me...I KNOW.  Better to start the diet now, when you are just a few pounds up, than later, when you are really overweight.

Paco was the dog who would "happy eat" - meaning that when we'd come home, he'd greet us with glee and then rush over to his food dish, grab a mouthful of kibble, run back to where we were, and chomp away.  He was a social eater, to the point that I moved his food dish into my office, because I noticed that he would only eat when we were nearby, and I spend more time in my office than my kitchen, where his dish was.  I'd fill his bowl once every few days - he just ate whenever he felt hungry (and I often felt like I should take MY cues from him, lol).  He always weighed in at the "perfect weight" (according to my vet) of 28 pounds.  So I was shocked at our last visit when he weighed in at 31 pounds!  The poor dog has terrible allergies - at first they were seasonal, but lately they've stretched to nearly year-round.  We've tried steroid shots, Benadryl, and some really expensive pills - everything helps for a while, but then he starts scratching and chewing his skin again.

I forgot that steroids make you super-hungry (anyone who's taken Prednisone can attest to that), and didn't pay attention to how often I was refilling his food bowl.  Oops.  My bad.  Unfortunately, Paco is the one who has to suffer, because while he's still on the steroids, he's not getting to eat as much as he'd like to.  As the caretaker and controller of his food, it's pretty easy to put Paco on a diet.  He only eats what I give him.  He doesn't have the ability to sneak food, and while I know he's hungry, he's getting enough, so I don't have a problem giving in to his begging (every time I walk into the kitchen, he's right with me, tapping the counter where his cookie jar sits).

Honestly?  Paco is lucky.  He has no choice with this diet.  Too bad it's not as simple for us humans.
I look out window and ignore you, mean Mom.

21 comments:

  1. hey has everyone told you that you have the most awesome sense of humour EVER!

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  2. I love Paco - hopefully before too long there will be 3 fewer pounds of him to love:)

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  3. I was totally on the wrong foot when I started reading this post :)

    Ah poor Paco, he is so cute in the pics as always. Bella has allergies too at the moment, it started a couple of weeks ago when I tried a new brand of dog cookies. We stopped giving them but still she is itchy and mostly at night. It's driving us crazy because she sleeps in our bedroom. Tonight she is going to sleep in another room, she will not like it but we have to sleep too. And if it doesn't improve by the end of the week we're taking her to the vet.

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    1. Oh, poor Bella. I know how you feel with the nighttime - Paco's crate is in our bedroom, and he was scratching and chewing on his feet a lot last night. Drove me crazy! I hope you all get some relief soon.

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  4. Just more reason to love Paco more, bless his heart. Too funny! I was thinking "I don't remember Shelley having allergies. She must not have written about it." Totally had me sucked in :-)

    I so wish my Mom would listen to reason about her dog - she's far too young to look like a sausage.

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    1. Our first dog was overweight; it's been so nice to go to the vet with Paco and not get a lecture about overfeeding. However, I know it's coming if we don't get this under control!

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  5. Very, very clever Shelley.

    Poor Paco! But this gives me an idea... how about I move in with you for a couple months and you only give me the food I need?

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  6. Ha - love Helen's response!! Me too, okay?!

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    1. OK, but you guys have to promise not to growl as much as Paco does...

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    2. I promise not to growl but I might whimper a little. Just sayin'

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  7. Love, love, love this blog post. :D Too funny!!! :)

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  8. LOL. Yeah, my first thought was "Shelley has allergies too?"

    Love the description of 'happy eat.'

    And yeah. That's how I feed my dogs. I look down at them every morning and dole out just the right amount of food.

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  9. Maybe Paco should start running! You really had me, Shelley!

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  10. LOL! I always say it is so easy for pets to lose weight and would be nice if someone could dole my foot out as well.

    Pixie is on a very controlled diet because she (like her mom) gains weight at the drop of a hat. She actually has to have what is considered a weight loss diet just to maintain. Maybe if she slept a little less and moved a little more LOL!

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  11. You had me going too! Awesome sense of humor you have, friend! Maybe Paco and I can have a support group, call each other...whaddaya think? OR - he could start his own blog - at least a FB page.

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  12. This is so true! We've had to help both of our dogs lose weight at some point in time, and it's ridiculous how easy it is for them compared to people. Jude was actually underweight when we got him, but we spoiled him and fattened him up, and he joined me in stress-eating for a while. Meko was overweight when we adopted her, and needed to trim down to help make her arthritis better. The dogs took more walks and ate a little less food and are both at healthy weights. I mean, I realize that exercise + portion control is a good formula for people too, but it' so much easier for dogs!

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  13. Poor Paco! But that weight is going to come flying off on his new program. If only we humans that struggled with weight were so lucky.

    I hope his allergies are better!

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  14. LMAO!! Too funny! I can relate in more ways than one. I have a dog on Prednisone for allergies too. He's not overweight but he was. I still remember the Vet's instructions . She said to measure his meager amount of kibble, take some out and use this as treats! What? Then she said nothing but carrots and ice cubes for extra treats. Talk about strict diet. But you know what? It wasn't long before he was a perfect weight. I always say this to people with overweight pets "they can't open the fridge". We control their food so there is really no excuse. For humans that's a whole different story!! Poor Paco I feel his pain. But a few pounds on a small dog can make a big impact good for you for nipping it in the bud.

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