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Author Topic: getting sick dog to eat  (Read 6544 times)

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Offline k1maplewd

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getting sick dog to eat
« on: September 15, 2008, 10:22:35 AM »
One of my dogs has been in the vet's for the past week and is coming home today.  He stopped eating last Monday, then started massive vomiting and diarrhea.  While the vomiting and diarrhea are under control now, he still has no interest in food at the vet's which is why they are sending him home, to see if he'll eat for me.  He would touch NOTHING I had left for him at the vets (this dog has major food allergies, he can't eat a lot of things or else that will set off diarrhea and skin reactions)

While he is not my SD, he is one of my dogs and I do care for him and love him and he's part of my family.  He's a flat coat, I've never had a flat coat not interested in food, he usually LOVES food, usually is the one demanding dinner hours before it is due.  This is so very much freaking me out.  Especially since the vets have no idea what is going on (test after test is coming up with no answers, we're all at our whits end).  If I can't get him to eat, by tomorrow morning, he will have to go back to the vet and back on IV fluids and probably think about force feeding him.  I've run out of money, my parents are floating me to help him (thankfully).

I'm going to try his usual favorites, but those are also what I gave to the vet to try.  He can NOT have anything with chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, fish oil, wheat, or corn in it.  So usually I find other things to feed him and make his food myself.  I've got to get him to start eating.

Anyone have any tried and true ideas?
Katrin & Tom

Offline bj2circeleb

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2008, 04:56:03 AM »
Given that he has been at the vet for a week, he could very well be incredibly homesick. I would simply try his usual favourites but not make a big deal out of it. If things are different to what they usually are at home then he is going to know that something is going on. Not eating can be a real control thing for dogs. It may not be common for this particular dog, but it is really hard to know what he is feeling giving how long he has been at the vet. Even if he loves going there normally we can never know what is really going on for him now. I would definately go back to leadership basics and make sure that you eat before him, and each time he sees you eat then you can offer him a small amount of food. Place it down in its normal place then walk away and leave him for 15 minutes if he doesn't eat it, pick it up and leave it until the next meal time. Try to have 3 small meal times a day so the food is regualr and he has plenty of opportunity to eat, but above all else do not make a big deal out of it.

Offline k1maplewd

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2008, 02:53:06 PM »
While, that is normally what I would do, unfortunately, I don't have that luxery right now as he has lost so much weight.  And his inappitance is cause more due to nausea than anything I think, as I can tell he is still incredibly nauseas

Last night I ended up force feeding him.  About a spoonful of something every 30min or so.  And he did keep it down.  Though he vomited a small amount in the middle of the night.

This morning, he drank on his own (after watching one of the other dogs drink and getting a little jealous, he decided he wanted something to drink too) and has since decided that he could manage that ok in little bits.  Which is basically what is keeping him from having to go back to the vet and back on IV fluids.  I tried the same trick with food to see if he'd get jealous with another dog eating what he doesn't want, but that didn't work he said, "Ok please do let them eat it, I feel awful"

But still doesn't want food.  Turns up his nose and you can tell just the smell makes him feel sick.  So I'm still force feeding him, a spoonful at a time.  Mostly some canned dog food and canned squash (mixed with some probiotic powder) and some broth have been things he can keep down and will tolerate me giving him without much fuss.

It could be a control thing, but my gut says with this dog, right now, that's not the case. 

Thanks
Katrin & Tom

Offline Shidash

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2008, 04:40:03 PM »
Ouch, that does not sound like a control thing from the way you describe it. That must be terrible! Any idea what it is and how long it will take to run its' course?

Offline Cera

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2008, 07:39:19 PM »
I am so sorry you are having to go through this.  And it is horrible when you don't know exactly what is wrong.

Will he give ice cubes with broth a go?  How about the rice baby food that you mix with water.  Maybe having something that bland would be better and Hope was able to handle the rice powder when she couldn't handle the rice.  Idk if not adding the probiotic to that (maybe something else) would help spur the appetite for one thing.  Hope would eat around the probiotic powder and I ended up force feeding that in a small quantity separately.  Might end up force feeding regardless though, then I'd stick with the canned dog food.

I really hope he starts feeling better soon.  Hope you are able to treat yourself with extra care too.  I know when Hope gets sick, I too go downhill.

I'll be thinking of you.
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Offline Ilghaus

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2008, 08:33:39 PM »
I don't know anything about Flat Coats as a breed. What type of medical problems do they have? Any special digestive concerns?
TJ
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Offline Ilghaus

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2008, 08:56:12 PM »
Only ideas I can think of to help --please check with vet as some breeds are more sensitive to some things or could work in opposition to what you are already doing.

Pediolyte—An electrolyte replacement liquid which can be purchased from grocery stores or places like Wal-Mart.

Nutrical - I've never used it but it comes in a tube like toothpaste and is suppose to be good to add calories and stimulate appetite. I've seen it in catalogs like Drs. Foster & Smith.

Pepto Bismo tablets - you would really need to double check with your vet to make sure okay for your dog and also for dosage. I've used for a very short period of time for one dog under guidance of my vet.
TJ
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Offline k1maplewd

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2008, 09:28:49 PM »
Thanks for the ideas.  A friend suggested baby food, I meant to get some today (or actually have my father pick some up as he went shopping for me) and forgot to put it on the list.  Will have to do that tomorrow.  The rice powder is good to know about too, didn't know they even made that.  Tired ice cubes, and ice chips, he has no interest at all.

This evening I noticed he was starting to get dehydrated, so gave him some subQ fluids which he perked up after, which was good.  Will probably have to repeat that again tomorrow.  (checked with vet 1st, they said go ahead)

I will ask vet about the nutrical and pediolyte (not sure about that since he is getting the subQ fluids), but pepto I think I'm not supposed to give because of one of the meds they are having me give him.

Flat coats, the only major health concern as a breed is cancer, specifically histosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma.  X-rays and ultrasounds have ruled those out.  (which is very, very good!)  No one knows what is wrong with him.  3 different vets at the usual practice we go to looked at him, numerous vets at the ER/specialty clinic looked at him (ER vet, dermatologist, internal specialist, interns, sr vets, etc) and another vet at a practice where my friend is a tech.  No one knows what is going on other than, "that's one sick dog".

As to me, I started to get rather sick when my other dog was sick 3 weeks ago (seizures).  It's been a very bad month.  Migraines are getting more frequent, fibro is flaring, don't remember the last time was able to sleep more than a few hours at a time, anxiety attacks, etc.  My dogs who aren't ill are all working over time, and one of my good friends has taken to practically living at my house in the spare room when she isn't at work and another friend calls and e-mails and otherwise harasses me to remember to eat and drink something on a regular basis.  And on top yesterday I learned that my health insurance company that covers my meds says I'm over their coverage limit for the year so they aren't going to pay for any of my meds till Jan 1st.  Why that had to happen this month of all months, I don't know, but it did.  So trying to work that out on top of everything else.  (making some headway, just more additional stress)

my head is rather spinning.  I really need to get this dog to eat voluntarily.  Still force feeding today.
Katrin & Tom

Offline Roxie

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2008, 10:03:57 PM »
I'm not sure what to suggest. It really matters most what is wrong with the dog... symptoms and diagnosis. I wouldn't give anything to a sick dog without checking with a vet first. Usually, when a dog is ill, and they stop eating, they will resume eating when they are not feeling ill. What kind of fluid is in the subq? I've used ringer's lactate.

For my dogs when I need to attract them to eat food... I use bacon, cooked meat grease, hamburger, cooked rice soaked in meat grease. peanut butter and butter sandwich, bread soaked in meat grease. Sometimes I make a slurry of rice, moistened dry kibble or wet dog food.

Keep us posted.

Roxie and Tay
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Offline Cera

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2008, 10:34:46 PM »
This is what it looks like:

http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=161826&catid=104868&aid=336119&aparam=gerber_cereal_for_baby_r

It's just the blandest thing ever created.

I'm really glad your friends and parents are helping you out.  Sounds like any one of the things going on could be a nightmare.  If I think of anything else I will let you know.  Hopefully something will change for the good and soon.

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Offline bj2circeleb

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 07:41:19 AM »
sorry I made those statements about psychological things, I honestly did not realise just how sick he is, and from your response I can see just how sick that sounds. 

I have heard that warming things up can make them more palatable for dogs who are reluctant to eat, but I have also heard that this increases the smell which in your case may make it worse. I've also heard that cottage cheese and rice is good for sick dogs, not just the usual chicken and rice, don't know if he can have that or not.

In terms of getting him to drink, when Brooke was quite ill at one stage and was reluctant to drink I was given some electrolytes to put into her water and she simply drank the whole 2 litres straight!! That may increase the amount of water he is willing to drink which will at least keep his fluid levels up. I would think of boiling the water and then cooling it before you place it in the water bowl to ensure that he is getting real clean and pure water. Keep the water bowls clean and refill many times a day to ensure that it is always fresh and clean water.

Is he on antinausia medications, as I would have thought that this would have helped a bit, and he should definatley still be on them, from what you are describing. Yes, you need to get to the cause, but you also need to ensure that he is getting some food and nutrients into him. I would definately be doing all I can to keep the food as bland as possible, as if you are feeling sick anything that isn't bland is really hard to stomach.

Above all else take care of yourself. You cannot help him, if you yourself are not well. I am glad that family and friends are looking after you, along with your other dogs.

Take care.

Offline k1maplewd

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2008, 08:45:00 AM »
This morning he actually ATE SOME FOOD!!!!!!   YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was so hard not to make a big deal of it (as if I did I knew he'd stop)

He was really nauseas still when we got up, so after I let everyone out, and fed the other guys (locked in their crates) I gave him some pepcid (antacid that my vet said was ok to give him) and waited a little over 30 min.

Then I put some canned rabbit and squash in a dish, added some of the probiotics and got a spoon ready to shove it down his throat again.  I put the dish on the floor, he saw the spoon in my hand and GOT UP AND STARTED TO EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!  :-)  :-)  When I saw him do that, I quietly praised him and backed off and he ate about a 1/2 can of rabbit and 2 heaping spoonfuls of squash all by himself. Progress!!

So this afternoon, if he looks nauseas again I'll give him some more pepcid (vet said he can have up to 20mg per day, I gave him 10 this morning) and try this again and cross my fingers!!

But he ate, he ate, yeah!!!!  :-)
Katrin & Tom

Offline Cera

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2008, 12:30:12 PM »
Yeahhh!!!
A Story of Hope: http://blog.workndog.org/hopesclan/

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Offline Roxie

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2008, 02:02:23 PM »
I'm SOOOOOO happy   :biggrin:  he is eating!!

Thanks for the tip on Pepcid. Also, canned rabbit!!!! Where on earth can that be bought???? How expensive to feed is that???  I'm changing og foods and would like to stimulate my Terv's appetite. He is a very light and finicky eater... I'd like to see him gain about 8 pounds.

Gosh! I sure learn a lot around here!

Roxie and Tay
Choose happiness! Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Be so happy, when others see you they become happy too! I have the courage to follow my dreams! Where am I going & why am I in a hand basket? Take time to play! Be creative & innovative! Never lose hope or give up! Try new things!

Offline fledchen

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Re: getting sick dog to eat
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2008, 02:11:30 PM »
I'm very glad that he is interested in eating again! I hope this keeps up so he can get his strength back.
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