Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
 

DS Forums

 
 
 

Dog won't eat - any suggestions ?


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-01-2013, 20:17
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763

The background is that our lab retriever cross has always been picky about his food and has never demonstrated that lab trait of being a mobile stomach capable of eating anything and everything. He's always probably a few kilos under his ideal weight but he's a happy and content dog, just not motivated by food.

He's 10 years old, has been diagnosed with mild heart failure and is now on medication. However, over the past 10 days or so, we've found it very difficult to persuade him to eat.

The vet thinks he may have an infection (temperature slightly elevated) and he's on antibiotics and Metacam. He has had two blood tests - all is normal; he pees well and poops with no difficulty, though not much, of course.

He should be getting his appetite back but he's not. He might take a mouthful or two of something but that's it. We're trying not to pressure him too much as we don't want to turn his lack of interest into any sort of battle of wills or make food a negative thing in any way.

We have tried him on...
[LIST][*]various dog foods, cheap and expensive, dry, semi-dry and wet
[*]chopped fresh meat, both cooked and uncooked
[*]chicken, various fishes, cheese, ham, pizza (yeah, I know), sweet things, savoury things... something might take his fancy for a couple of mouthfuls and then next time he refuses it. We've also tried stews with a bit of potato for bulk... oh yes and paté on bits of toast... [/LIST]
We (and the vet) are at our wits end. Nothing is hitting the spot and he's lost 1.5 kilos in about 5 days. We're going to be in trouble soon if we can't get him to eat but we're out of ideas. Anyone got any suggestions?
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
Please sign in or register to remove this advertisement.
Old 03-01-2013, 20:36
bazaar1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,973
Hot dogs! Straight out the tin. Even my wolves love them, and I've never met a dog that doesn't.

Also has the vet checked his teeth?
bazaar1 is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 20:36
moomsie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 333
Has the vet checked his teeth? Apart from that I can`t think of anything except maybe liquidising the food so he can lap it up.
moomsie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 20:36
bazaar1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,973
Oh is he drinking? Perhaps a soup?
bazaar1 is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 20:45
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763
Teeth are fine - sorry, should have remembered to say we'd explored that route. I had wondered, since he's a bright dog, whether tooth ache caused by eating something was making him associate each food type with pain. In other words: that smells nice, I'll have some of that... ouch, that hurts... not eating that again. But apparently not. This morning he willingly ate a couple of slices of bread and butter pudding. By lunchtime, no thanks.

Hmmmm... I hadn't thought of soup. He's not interested in the gravy round meat and potato in a casserole but it's still worth trying some soup. And I'll get some hot dogs tomorrow.

And the food we've been trying him on ranges from cold to warm as I thought various meats might smell more appealing when warm... but no... makes no obvious difference.

He is back to the vets tomorrow for part two of an injection against the tick-borne disease piroplasmosis so if anyone comes up with suggested diagnoses, we can suggest them. It's unlikely he's got piro because he has none of the usual symptoms but it was a possibility worth ruling out.
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 21:18
bazaar1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,973
Have you tried cat food? Some dogs prefer it? Personally I'd give him anything that might tempt him, just to get something into him!
bazaar1 is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 21:21
Muze
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,616
Could you try something warm, tripe maybe? It can be a bit smelly but sometimes tempts the poorly ones.

Or hand feeding? anything to get something in his belly.

All the pest, poor lad x
Muze is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 22:32
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763
Yes, we've tried cat food - normally that would get a big YES! but not at the moment.

Yes, we've tried hand-feeding... he just turns his head away. Or he will take whatever we're offering, carry it back to his bed, spit it out, look at it and ignore it.

You can see why we're getting a bit desperate.
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 23:09
StressMonkey
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11,630
Looks like most suggestions have been covered - though be careful on the human food as some can give pancreatitis, some cause them tummy aches/upset tums and some are poison (onion, raisins,, grapes)

What food he does eat, try a liberal covering of Nourish Um to get some calories into him.

Hope he's doing better soon xx
StressMonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2013, 23:11
evesapples131
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,312
Hiya Normandie,

Sorry to hear that your pooch is having eating problems, just a suggestion - although it's not food - it might be worth a try to give him something like this:

http://www.petsathome.com/shop/puppy...-at-home-13214


I know it's not much at all - but it might be worth a try, just so he's getting something other than just water?

In the mean time I can imagine it must be a really awful worry for you all!!!

My Border Collie can be a fussy eater at times - although no where near as bad as your situation!! Let us know how it goes, I hope he eats soon!!
evesapples131 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 00:59
Maisey Moo
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,111
What about the food. It's from the vets hills science a/d. It's supposed too make all animals eat as it is for dogs and cats. Has anything changed in the house at all.
Maisey Moo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 11:33
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763
It is a dreadful worry.

This morning we've tried him on frankfurters (ate half of one sausage and won't eat any more) and soup - no thanks.

I've just reread a suggestion above relating to tripe and as I live in the region of tripe, that's a good suggestion, thanks.

No, nothing has changed in the house recently. Far from it... it's been very quiet and peaceful for about a month.
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 20:22
whoopsadaisy
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Right here, right now!
Posts: 126
Hi Normandie

From the word go, our three month old Lab just didn't seem to like food. Before deciding on the breed we wanted, everyone had told us to be careful because Labs eat anything they are given, but our lovely lady certainly didn't. In the end I put her on a home cooked diet and although I have been torn apart by many for doing so (they say I'm not giving her the nutrients she needs, I'll be causing her more harm than good etc), I can't tell you how happy it made me just to see her eat. She's quite picky with food, will take one small piece, walk away with it and eat it. I've known meals last her ages and I'm often throwing food away - it's a constant worry. She's now four years old, still incredibly picky, but the one thing she loves is chicken livers. We boil them lightly and give her them warm. She still doesn't bolt them down but they just seem to be something she likes to eat. The other thing she does enjoy is an egg. I just pop a scrambled egg in the microwave and she loves it. She hates anything with carbohydrate (rice, pasta and potatoes are a no no) and she doesn't like mixed foods - any different foods given to her at the same time have to be 'bowled' separately!

Some might say I'm encouraging a 'picky' dog, but when you have a dog that just doesn't seem to like food (no matter how long you leave it down with the 'they will soon eat it if they are hungry' kind of thought) anything they eat is a blessing.

I do hope you find a suitable food for your dog soon - thinking of you both!
whoopsadaisy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2013, 21:43
pugamo
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 11,407
Firstly, you urgently need to get some Calo-Pet paste, you can buy it online or have your vet give you some, i'm surprised they haven't already. My dog took it when she wouldn't eat after an operation and just a spoonful provides your dog with all the calories and nutrition they need while they are refusing food. She didn't like it but I just put it on my finger and smeared it onto her tongue.

Secondly, have you tried hand feeding? When i've had trouble feeding usually hand fed plain cooked chicken does the trick. But when it doesn't, Calo-Pet is the stuff to take.
pugamo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 10:49
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763
Thanks for the suggestion about Calo-Pet paste. It is available here in France so I've ordered some. And yes, we have tried hand feeding. He just turns his face away from the food.

The vet has given us some Hills recovery paste and we're syringing that in but it's a real battle as he doesn't want to take it. There generally aren't the range of products easily available here - people don't always make the effort with their animals that we (British) people do. I've ordered the Calo-Pet online so should have it Monday or Tuesday.

However, our vet is good but she is at a loss with Peppa. Pep still has a temperature so the original antibiotic didn't work - she (our vet) tried a different, broad spectrum one yesterday. There is no obvious sign of an infection - not teeth, no lumps or bumps internally. The vet is now wondering whether - since the heart pills aren't sorting the heart behaviour out - whether Peppa has an infection in one of the valves of his heart. She has listened lots and it's one of the few possibilities.

Anyway, the vet pondered this overnight and emailed us this morning to take Peppa back in for another listen and different heart medication so OH just left. Peppa is still very bright and cheerful in himself - bounds out to the car and leaps in as if there's nothing wrong and he still has a nice coat, bright eyes and damp nose but he just won't eat.

If it is an infection in one of the heart valves, it is apparently very difficult to treat.
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 10:57
bazaar1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,973
aww noramdie, I feel for you I really do, its horrid. I only popped into the thread to see if you'd had any luck!

what sort of heart tablets is he on? My mums collie ballooned after getting tablets for his heart murmur, yet he ate less (didn't stop but was picky). Maybe the've messed with his metabolism?

Also have they checked his tyroid?
bazaar1 is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 11:15
StressMonkey
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11,630
Aww bless - hope there is some improvement soon.

Is vet sure it isn't a virus of some sort? ABs wouldn't help that.
StressMonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 11:18
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763
He's been on Cardalis but the vet has been pondering overnight and has decided to try some additional medications so OH is on his way to collect them at the moment.

Pep's bloods are still showing normal - so liver, kidney, thyroid are all functioning normally and even the infection indicator is only upper end of normal and nothing to worry about - normally.
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 15:44
moomsie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 333
I had a thought that maybe your dog has lost his sense of smell and that may have put him off food. I just remember my dogs could smell their food being put in their bowls and they would sniff the air and then come running in from the garden.
moomsie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 16:11
Whitey_GRN
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 775
Our dog loves cat food, but its my understanding that it can be a bit rich for them.

We feed out dog on Wagg, but she eventually gets bored of those, so we mix in some Chubb (Weebox?), She loves it!!

Sounds to me as though there is more to this than meets the eye, but at ten years old, the average for a Lab, it may well be best to give your dog what he likes in his final months (or years!).

I'm no vet, just my thoughts and if you've owned the dog for the full 10 years, then you will know best along with the vet on what to do.

Good luck!
Whitey_GRN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 17:49
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763
I've too have wondered if, for some bizarre reason, he might have lost his sense of smell, Moomsie... but, as the vet said, he'd still be hungry and therefore would still be motivated to eat - even an animal with no smell wouldn't starve itself to death - survival instinct would direct it to eat... even if not as much or as enthusiastically as previously.

Sounds to me as though there is more to this than meets the eye, but at ten years old, the average for a Lab, it may well be best to give your dog what he likes in his final months (or years!).
Yes, that would be the unidentified infection...

And at 10 years old and in this situation, Peppa can indeed have whatever he wishes but, if you go back and read the posts, you'll understand that the problem is he doesn't want anything.

Again, thank you to you all for your thoughts and suggestions - they are very welcome. Peppa is still refusing all food but we're now syringing recovery formula into him every 4 or 5 hours and tonight I'm cooking a chicken which we'll then liquidise and syringe into him. We're also grinding down the tablets he's been prescribed and syringing that in as well.

Considering he's being manhandled and forced to do things he doesn't want (eat, for eg) he is still enormously good-natured and waggy.
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 18:18
bazaar1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,973
I've too have wondered if, for some bizarre reason, he might have lost his sense of smell, Moomsie... but, as the vet said, he'd still be hungry and therefore would still be motivated to eat - even an animal with no smell wouldn't starve itself to death - survival instinct would direct it to eat... even if not as much or as enthusiastically as previously.


Yes, that would be the unidentified infection...

And at 10 years old and in this situation, Peppa can indeed have whatever he wishes but, if you go back and read the posts, you'll understand that the problem is he doesn't want anything.

Again, thank you to you all for your thoughts and suggestions - they are very welcome. Peppa is still refusing all food but we're now syringing recovery formula into him every 4 or 5 hours and tonight I'm cooking a chicken which we'll then liquidise and syringe into him. We're also grinding down the tablets he's been prescribed and syringing that in as well.

Considering he's being manhandled and forced to do things he doesn't want (eat, for eg) he is still enormously good-natured and waggy.
Bless him, it does sound like what ever the infection is, has just slowed his metabolism right down. I'm not sure if u saw my reply above, has the vet checked his thyroid?
bazaar1 is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 18:18
VOICEINTHENIGHT
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,003
have you tried White Fish my Border Collie loved the stuff even when she wasn't eating anything else Icould usually tempt her with this.
she used to go off her food at times and I learnde this trick by accident just happened to have fish for supper and she showed interest, ate it I just remembered it the next time it happened.
VOICEINTHENIGHT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2013, 19:42
pugamo
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 11,407
I've too have wondered if, for some bizarre reason, he might have lost his sense of smell, Moomsie... but, as the vet said, he'd still be hungry and therefore would still be motivated to eat - even an animal with no smell wouldn't starve itself to death - survival instinct would direct it to eat... even if not as much or as enthusiastically as previously.


Yes, that would be the unidentified infection...

And at 10 years old and in this situation, Peppa can indeed have whatever he wishes but, if you go back and read the posts, you'll understand that the problem is he doesn't want anything.

Again, thank you to you all for your thoughts and suggestions - they are very welcome. Peppa is still refusing all food but we're now syringing recovery formula into him every 4 or 5 hours and tonight I'm cooking a chicken which we'll then liquidise and syringe into him. We're also grinding down the tablets he's been prescribed and syringing that in as well.

Considering he's being manhandled and forced to do things he doesn't want (eat, for eg) he is still enormously good-natured and waggy.
I think perhaps that poster was confused as to the subject matter!

Here's a page that may be helpful to you: http://www.dog-health-handbook.com/canine-anorexia.html
pugamo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2013, 21:22
Normandie
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: France
Posts: 2,763
Peppa has eaten three eggs over the course of today - raw, and lightly whipped, and he's eaten them out of a bowl himself, voluntarily. YAY !

I'm sure many of you can understand how pleased and relieved we are.

We're still having to syringe in recovery food and liquidised chicken but when blobs of either fall onto the floor, he will lick them up himself.

We had tried white fish (first post) VitN, but that had been refused.

Yes Bazaar, thyroid had been discussed (post 18) so I wasn't ignoring that suggestion.

And finally re sense of smell - no, he hasn't lost it because we have plenty of rabbits and hares around and in the field we've realised that he still he picks up scents easily and, nose to ground, follows them.

But, we're hoping we've turned the corner and Pep is due back at the vet for another examination tomorrow.

Pugamo, thank you for the link on dog anorexia - it never occurred to me to search for such a thing but I will definitely research it now.
Normandie is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 15:03.