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ERAnimalNurse, Emergency Critical Care Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2302
Experience:  16+ years of veterinary experience
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My 1 year and 2 month old Cane Corso female weighs maybe 85

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My 1 year and 2 month old Cane Corso female weighs maybe 85 pounds or so. She is not SKINNY, but her ribs show. I hear its a good thing like that but when I hear of italian mastiff I see a BIG dog, big jowels, etc. Shes not HUGE. She needs to put on some weight. Shes smaller than a golden retriever. I thought she would be bigger? What can I do to get her to gain some weight, can I add something to her food??

Good morning :)


Is your dog spayed?
What kind of food are you feeding? How much do you give her at each feeding? How many times per day do you feed her?
How is her appetite?
Have her stools been normal?
Is she on a monthly heartworm preventative?
Has she been vomiting, even if only on an occasional basis?
Have you had her examined by your vet to discuss your concerns about her weight?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is your dog spayed? YES
What kind of food are you feeding? How much do you give her at each feeding? Fromm (When I have the money) and Dog Chow. One large bowl in morning and one large bowl at night. She doesnt eat it all right away either.

How many times per day do you feed her? Twice
How is her appetite? She can eat treats all day, food she doesnt devour it.
Have her stools been normal? Yes, except for the junk that puppies eat like string and parts of socks, etc.
Is she on a monthly heartworm preventative? No should I buy one at the store today? What brand?
Has she been vomiting, even if only on an occasional basis? Never vomiting.
Have you had her examined by your vet to discuss your concerns about her weight? No, the last she was at the vet was in february when she was spayed, and her weight was like 65 pounds they said she was healthy perfect weight etc. I am just GUESSING 85 pounds right now, I cant get her on the scale, ha.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I appreciate the information. I'm glad your vet thought her weight and body condition was perfect in February when she was spayed, this is a good sign. Cane Corso's do tend to be very large dogs, and it's important to realize that their size and weight can vary. As you're aware, there are set standards for height, weight etc. Sometimes pups from even the best breeder and the best stock are a little different from those standards. And, as I'm sure you know, females do tend to be smaller than males. Pups generally tend to be very close to their parents in terms of size and weight, but again, natural differences can occur.


Based on the information you have given me and the fact that your vet did not have any concerns about her weight, I think that she is naturally lean. Some dogs tend to gain weight after they are spayed, due in part to a reduction of hormone levels. If your guess of 85 pounds is correct, and based on her age, she has in fact gained some weight.


One thing that you should consider investigating is whether Bella has any intestinal parasites. You have to have your vet check her stool for parasites, and have her examined for overall body condition. The reason I am concerned about parasites is because she is not on a monthly heart worm preventative. She needs to be on this, every month to prevent heart worms and intestinal parasites. In heavy infestations, intestinal parasites can lead to low body weight. You cannot safely deworm her without having her seen by her vet. There are a range of different parasites that require specific and different dewormers. Some parasites even require antibiotics in addition to dewormers. In order to determine if parasites are a contributing issue to her weight, your vet needs to see her and examine her stool. If parasites are present, appropriate medicines can be prescribed. Your vet can also prescribe some heart worm preventative, which is not available for purchase over the counter.


If your vet agrees, after examining her and weighing her, that she is in fact underweight, steps can be taken to rule out illnesses and parasites known to contribute to low weight. There are some foods that are higher in protein levels that can help dogs gain weight, BUT they should only be started under the supervision of your vet since large breed dogs can have issues with these diets in terms of bone and muscle health.


If your vet is still pleased with her weight and body condition, that is great news. Large breed dogs can be prone to orthopedic problems with their long bones and joints. It's always best to keep them on the lighter side to ease stress on joints. I have an american bulldog, and he's weighing in at about 100lbs right now. He's a little heavier than I like, and his optimal weight is about 95lbs. He has weighed as much as 110lbs, which is too much. His parents were 85lbs (dam) and 105lbs (sire). When I first got him, I wanted him to be huge! I am happy with his size and weight, because he is healthy. He is also dealing with allergies and needs oral and injectable medications, and this is cheaper when he weighs less.


If you have any further questions, feel free to let me know. Best of luck with your Pretty girl :)



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much, I wonder if I can just bring my dogs stool in to my vets office without bringing my dog in. I can do that right? It would be easier for me to drop that off right before work.

Your vet will probably be fine with that BUT I think it's important for he or she to see your dog so that they can determine if she is truly underweight. It will be difficult to move forward with possible supplements without an exam.
ERAnimalNurse and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Mark,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Bella. How is everything going?