Hat Tip EL
The Bonesy story was suspicious from the start but it’s approaching absurdity now.
On Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 8:35 am EDT GARD posted the following photo with a plea for money.
Yesterday GARD posted the video from which this frame capture was taken. (0:00:01)
The dog is still very thin but how the heck did GARD put that much weight on that dog in three days?
Examine the rib cage in particular. The dog’s body would route excess calories to metabolic functions first, then visceral fat accumulation before creating fat cells to pad the intercostal region.
Feeding a starved animal is dangerous business. Care must be taken to ensure the animals isn’t killed by kindness so to speak. It can take several days just to get the basic metabolic functions stabilized sufficiently to allow enough fat to be added to the animal’s diet to allow weight gain without causing serious damage.
The most serious effect associated with reintroducing food to starving dogs goes by the name “refeeding syndrome.” It is well-recognized in people, but less research has been done in dogs. My somewhat limited understanding of refeeding syndrome is that in an attempt to survive starvation, the body’s metabolic pathways undergo some pretty profound shifts. When the body is suddenly “inundated” with food, these new pathways cannot handle the situation, which results in fluid, electrolyte, and vitamin imbalances that have adverse effects on many different organs, including the heart and brain. In extreme cases, organ dysfunction can become severe enough that the dog dies.
A less extreme form of refeeding syndrome results in gastrointestinal problems. The GI tract of a dog who has not been eating much (if anything) for a prolonged period of time simply can’t handle the sudden onslaught of a large amount of food. These dogs develop diarrhea, loss of appetite, and/or vomiting, none of which are helpful when weight gain is the goal.
I was taught to start feeding dogs at risk for refeeding syndrome at one-third of their normal, maintenance caloric requirement and gradually increase the amount they get from there. As far as I can tell, that recommendation is not really based in any scientific research, but is probably the result of a better safe than sorry attitude (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
I suspect the fine details are not all that important, but I still start with several, small meals of high-quality food three or four times a day. The first day, I aim for roughly one-third of what the dog would normally eat and take approximately five days to move the dog up to its normal ration, all the while monitoring the dog closely for any adverse effects. If the dog is otherwise normal but develops diarrhea, I back off a bit on the amount of food offered. Once the dog is eating what would be considered a “normal” amount, free-feeding a diet that is calorically dense (e.g., a puppy food or product designed for working dogs) is appropriate until the dog’s ideal weight has been achieved.
(Side note: working dog food is very high in protein and fat, both of which would cause major damage if offered to a starved dog too soon.)
I seriously doubt that dog could have added that much weight in three days without major medical consequences and that doesn’t begin to address the claims of gunshot wounds, respiratory distress, etc. I think this dog was rescued by someone who posted images and videos over time. GARD copied those images and photos for their own donation plea, not realizing that posting the second video so soon demonstrates that their entire story is a lie.
And so it goes. . ..
On the bright side GARD’s begging isn’t bringing in nearly as much as they raked in last year using the same tactics. I hope I’m part of the reason for the decline.