Eating issues

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by puppydog, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    We are back at it. Riley has gone 5 days now without willingly eating on her own. I am literally force feeding her twice a day. I put her food on a tee spoon and hold it in her mouth, head up until she swallows. She hates it, I hate it. The alternative of starving her out does not work. She won't eat until she collapses and requires medical attention.

    She eats "junk food" like treats, toast and pizza bases, but if I try anything else she is a no go. She won't touch her raw, cooked chicken, plain beef mince, cheese, canned food or kibble. NOTHING at all remotely healthy.

    The vet has done tests and found nothing wrong with her. In every other respect she is a healthy, happy 10 month old. She just refuses to eat without it becoming an issue.

    I have tried putting her food down with no fuss and walking away, no good. I have tried picking it up after 5 minutes and offering it to her for dinner, no way. I have tried coaxing and praising, huh uh. :rolleyes:

    I am sh*t out of ideas as of now. We are going away in two weeks time and I don't know if the house sitter will cope with her.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. dachshunds4me

    dachshunds4me Member

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    Have you tried not feeding her ANYTHING until she eats her regular food?
    I have found that people who are concerned about the dog eating generally free feed and/or hand feed, but also give the dog gravy and other "human foods" in between meals, so the dog does not feel compelled to eat it's own food.

    I apologize if that's not the case with you - but when you mention treats, toast and pizza bases, it makes me think you're feeding between meals and therefore the dog knows it doesn't have to eat it's own food and it can still not go hungry.

    I've found few dogs will actually starve themselves to death unless there's an underlying problem like kidney failure, etc.

    Again, if your dog does have a health issue, I apologize - I don't know her history.
     
  3. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    If you read near the top of my post you will see that starving her out does not work. I had her collapse after 3 days of NO FOOD AT ALL and had to rush her to the vet. It cost a fortune and I nearly lost her. That is when the battery of tests was done and they found nothing wrong.

    I know she readily accepts those foods because Lilly gets pills twice a day and all three dogs get a treat at the same time as her. So it is not an issue of her not wanting all food, just decent food, proving it is not a health issue.

    She is now on a strict no eat no treats regime and she is still more stubborn then me. I am really out of ideas.
     
  4. dachshunds4me

    dachshunds4me Member

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    Well then that's not normal and you should take her in for more tests- what tests have they done? I'd suspect a liver shunt (possibly a mild one) or some kidney disease, or possibly some bacterial issues in the gut. Have you had her tested for EPI (pancreatic insufficiency) it looks like a Shepherd mix if it's the dog in your avatar.
    Before our Luke was diagnosed, we had his blood tested for folate and B12 levels, if those are low it could be a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
    Those can both cause lack of appetite.
    You'd have to specify what tests to run though.
     
  5. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Will she eat "junk food" dog food? Like Kibbles 'n Bits or something? I would think a dog food with less than stellar ingredients would be better than starving to death.
     
  6. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Realizing that cross-species stuff doesn't always relate, you first of all have my serious sympathy. I've been dealing with this for nearly 5 years with my horse, and like you, tried pretty much everything. It got to the point where he was 250 lbs underweight, and I was seriously thinking I was going to have to euthanize rather than see him starve to death.

    The two things that helped of the thousands of dollars worth of tests, meds, feeds, etc.

    Steroids. Now, if she in an intact breeding prospect, I have no idea if that is even an option. Anabolic steroids turned my sweet calm gelding into a horny stallion for several months, but was the initial treatment that pulled him out of the woods.

    Colostrum. The near-miracle cure. As a last ditch effort, I started giving him a product called Re-Borne. It is sterilized bovine colostrum marketed for horses. Every ounce of schooling I've had says that colostrum should not affect an adult animal, but the stuff is unreal. Within three days, he was eating some of his grain; after a 2 month treatment of it, he looked nearly normal and was eating very well. For the last four years or so, he's held up reasonably well. He still doesn't eat super well, and he's about 100 lbs under where I'd like him, but I no longer put a blanket on him to hide his bones. I have no idea if a similar idea would be worth trying with a dog.

    Other than that, you have my thoughts. I know how scary and frustrating this sort of thing is.
     
  7. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    She is a Papillon. They tested for a liver shunt, kidney disease, bacterial gastroenteritis, and pacreatic issues. She is clear.
    My avatar is The Red Guy from Cow and Chicken.
     
  8. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    She eats Royal Canine, I have just ordered her a bag of Orijen that is MASSIVELY expensive because it is imported but I will try anything at this point. :)
     
  9. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    Thank you so much for understanding. It is so hard, people don't believe that there is a problem, especially seeing as she is essentially healthy. It is so trying, I find myself so stressed about meal times. I force fed her a bowl of food just now and it was hell. She fought more then normal. She then ate an entire pack of liver treats willingly right afterwards!

    I am going to try the colostrum! Anything is worth a try right now!
     
  10. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Maybe try her on a different protein? If she doesn't like chicken or beef, try duck or turkey or pork. If she doesn't want boiled white rice try wild rice or oatmeal? Possibly she's having stomach upset issues on those other foods?
     
  11. dachshunds4me

    dachshunds4me Member

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    Liver treats would be way too rich to feed her an entire package I'd think.

    Have you tried rewarding her - for eating - using her "favorite" foods?? Dogs are pretty smart and she could learn to do it. So hold a bite of her usual food out, then when she eats it, a TINY piece of liver.

    I have to add though - switching her foods around so much may indeed be giving her stomach issues-sticking with one brand of products, for instance, Natural Balance food AND treats may help resolve that.
     
  12. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    :eek: Why did you give her ANY liver treats, much less a whole pack? I know that when my chihuahua gets treats - even just a little - it affects her appetite. If I gave her a handful of liver treats, she probably wouldn't eat the rest of the day. Maybe this is the problem?
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Papillons are picky eaters often times. Summer kept refusing and refusing food when I was trying to get her to switch to raw. Honestly, I just had to keep on being consistent and not feeding her too much of what she wanted. She eventually gave in. But if she IS going off the food for several days that's very bad. I definitely think you should talk to the vet. I also keep nutrical on hand just in case. I've only had to use it when Summer didn't eat for 3+ days though. Yes, Summer's starved herself for 3 days before too and made herself go into the shakes, so I understand.

    I do find it odd she won't eat anything though. summer's always been up for cooked meats or canned food at least. I would try a second vet opinion.
     
  14. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

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    Hey she sounds exactly like Nia. Nia refuses food all the time for days at a time. At first I tried all sort of things like spicing it up, adding supplements, feeding raw, cooked, etc. etc. etc. etc. Nothing worked. In the end, I just left her alone to starve if she didn't eat. No treats, absolutely nothing supplemented.

    She starved for a few days but ended up eating. Even now she'll sometimes go a while without eating. I don't fuss about it and I just leave her be. I leave kibble out at all times though so that she can eat if she decides to.

    I would just get some Nutrical and ignore Riley. If she's really becoming hypoglycemic or something, give her some nutrical, otherwise no supplements, nothing.

    Also I find that after heavy exercise, Nia will eat a lot better so you might want to try that. Usually Nia gets a 2 hr run and after that she eats pretty well.

    Another thing that worked for me was to take the kibble outside, and offer them as training treats when she was playing. Especially with other dogs around that really want to eat the kibble. It only worked for about 2 weeks for me though.

    Edit: However, Nia has never been one to collapse though. She's gone up to a week with only 2 half meals and she didn't collapse and played like normal so I'm not sure if you want to do the same for Riley.

    I would get a 2nd vet opinion too. I don't understand why a healthy dog will starve herself to death or collapse.
     
  15. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Maybe try feeding some sort of healthier protein with a "junk" carb? Like a "dog burger"--wheat toast with cooked ground beef? Or some sort of "gravy" mixed with meat?
     
  16. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I expect I'm being hyper sensitive, having lived this for so long. But believe me, when you are watching your animal starve themselves to death, you let them eat whatever their hearts desire. I used to do research into my horse's feed just like we do for dogs and feed him only the best. These days, if he wanted Twinkies and Ho-Hos every day, he would get that.

    I dearly hope it is something as simple as "stop feeding treats", but having been accused of being a terrible horse owner for years due to my horse's anorexia, I will also tread lightly on similar issues.
     
  17. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    Thank you! Besides, I make up my own packets of liver treats that I make myself. There are about 7 to 10 tiny pieces in a ziplock. They are my training treats. So she ate about 7. Big deal, SHE ATE!

    She does not have stomach issues, no diarrhea, no vomiting, nothing. She HAS been checked extensively by two different practices, they found nothing out of order.

    I would be happy to let her starve is she wasn't a puppy. She needs all the nutrition she can get in order to grow correctly. Trust me, as soon as her bone plates have closed off she will not have me pandering to you. Surely everyone understands that she NEEDS to eat right now, even if I force her??
     
  18. dachshunds4me

    dachshunds4me Member

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    Well you've heard from two Papillon owners who explained how to get her to eat - and also that it's not normal for a dog to collapse from hunger (they generally will eat before that).

    I honestly feel you need to stop with all the treats, get her a healthy food (or your raw - done properly) and do the nutrical if she gets hypoglycemic.

    I stand by my original statement - if she knows she's going to get something "better" if she holds out, why eat what she's supposed to...?
     
  19. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    I don't think you are understanding. She HAS held out where NOTHING passed her lips for 3 days and she promptly collapsed. I very nearly lost her. The vet said to not allow her to starve out until she is at least 18 months old.

    She ONLY gets treats directly after finishing a bowl of raw. Which is done properly (not sure what you meant by that).
    I give her the treats to minimise the trauma of being held in sit and having raw put in her mouth. She swallows when I put in in her mouth, she just refuses to eat it out of a bowl.

    There are days at a stretch where I will put down her food and she will happily finish the entire bowl without issue. Then there are the weeks like I have been having with her now, where I have to force the issue.

    I don't mind doing this until she is 18 months or big enough to handle being starved out, what my worry is (if you read my original post) that we are getting a house sitter in here for 10 days and I am worried about her having hassles with Madam Iron Paw.

    I am going off to pick up a pack of Orijen for that time period. My worry about the kibble was that Lilly, who has heart problems, CANNOT ingest any grain. Now that I have found out the Orijen is finally in my country, problem solved for those 10 days. I can safely allow them to be free fed and not worry about Lilly having fluid build up on her lungs.

    Back to the treats. It is my opinion that if she has eaten her bowl of food, whether forced or willingly, treats are a good thing. Calories are calories in a puppy and she needs all she can get.
     
  20. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

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    I did starve Nia from as young as 6 months old because of her eating problems but of course, I wouldn't do that if she had collapse or her vet told me not to.

    Have you asked a vet if they have any suggestions? Perhaps an appetite enhancer?

    I don't know what to suggest honestly. I've really had my fair share of Pap eating problems but thankfully we've worked through it.

    Best wishes to Riley and hope her eating picks up soon.
     

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