First, you guys are awesome! I've learned more on this site than I have from my vet. As a new big dog owner, your help is most appreciated.
When I first posted I thought that Phoenix was an older five months. I found out from the shelter where he was born that he is only 20 weeks old (4/20/06) ... just under five months now. He lost two teeth this weekend. Can this make him feel bad like it does with babies?
He has less energy than he had last week - which was limited at best. By the end of the evening all of his toys (kept in a basket) were all over the floor last week. He pulled them out one after the other. This week he won't play with them unless I bring them to him. I got so worried about him not drinking on Sunday that I brought his food/water to him (is this bad) and he ate fine. He'll go to his water occasionally but not enough for a growing puppy.
He's not getting any exercise, he lays down in the back yard. Last night he got to the end of the block and had to rest before we came home. I don't want to push him but know he needs to exercise to build muscle tone. He's on Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food and eats about 2 cups twice a day (per bag directions). He was underweight when I got him but gained about two pounds in the first ten days. He had started to lose that 'sunken in' look but it's coming back even though the scale doesn't show him losing weight. I assume he's growing really fast. More reason why I want to make sure he's getting some activity.
I don't know if I'm a panicking mom or need to be concerned. I'm at home with him today and am waiting for a return call from my vet. However, I've found the forum to be much more informative (and supportive!) and wanted to get some input.
FYI, I've taken in some great photos to be developed... will have more pictures soon!
I don't think I would worry too much but a call to the vet for reassurance is good. If he looks like he's lost weight you may not be feeding him enough. Also Science Diet is not the best of foods. He may have a sore mouth where he's teething. Try giving him a towel you have wet and tied in a knot and frozen to chew on.
Have you taken a stool sample to the vet to have them check for worms? I think that can make them pretty lethargic.
I'd definitely dump the Science Diet -- not a good food. What kinds of stores do you have access to -- Petsmart? a feed store? Upscale pet store? You should try and stick w/ a large breed puppy food or an all life stages food (just make sure calcium is under 1.5%). It's best if it has a named meal (as in lamb meal, chicken meal, etc) for the first ingredient. You want to know what you are feeding, so it should not say "poultry meal" or "meat meal". Meal just means the water has been removed, so if it came to "chicken meal" vs. "chicken" for the first ingredient -- the meal would have a higher concentration of meat.
He had round worms when I got him two weeks ago. I had him in for a follow-up last Friday and he was clear. He also had intestinal bacteria and finished the antibiotic last week. I know that they can be hard to eliminate but I haven't seen anything in his stool.
I have access to Petco, Petsmart and feed stores. I live in Austin, Texas so I'm sure there are any number of other pet stores as well. Sounds like I need to get him off Science Diet.