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  #11  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:15 PM
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Something wrong with his gut?
That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. My horse has, from what we've been able to deduce, some sort of IBS that doesn't show up on any of the many, many types of tests we've done. A lot of what Sako is showing is similar to what we saw. Sometimes okay, sometimes not. Sometimes I could get him eating for a meal or two by changing things up (where he was eating, his bucket, the type of grain), but he'd quickly go off that as well. Stress at feeding time (Tristan would just go to the back of his stall and not interact at all, whereas he's normally very social, wanting to hang his head out the door). We never saw a single sign of tummy issues other than the eating - normal manure, no colic or anything.

The vet finally suggested trying him on Prednisolone as a last ditch effort before putting him down last fall; it was like night and day within 24 hours. I'm certainly not a vet, and obviously stuff needs to be prescribed, but I wonder if trying him on some sort of steroid or something for tummy issues for a few days might be helpful from a diagnostic standpoint? You could see if it seems to help or not, and go from there.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:19 PM
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Since it seems like a turkey neck started this both times I wonder if there is something about the turkey neck as he was eating it that didn't go well with him. Maybe it scratched his throat on the way down or something, or got a bit stuck - something that would make him think "eating this hurt me" and could then become "eating hurt me?"
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. My horse has, from what we've been able to deduce, some sort of IBS that doesn't show up on any of the many, many types of tests we've done. A lot of what Sako is showing is similar to what we saw. Sometimes okay, sometimes not. Sometimes I could get him eating for a meal or two by changing things up (where he was eating, his bucket, the type of grain), but he'd quickly go off that as well. Stress at feeding time (Tristan would just go to the back of his stall and not interact at all, whereas he's normally very social, wanting to hang his head out the door). We never saw a single sign of tummy issues other than the eating - normal manure, no colic or anything.

The vet finally suggested trying him on Prednisolone as a last ditch effort before putting him down last fall; it was like night and day within 24 hours. I'm certainly not a vet, and obviously stuff needs to be prescribed, but I wonder if trying him on some sort of steroid or something for tummy issues for a few days might be helpful from a diagnostic standpoint? You could see if it seems to help or not, and go from there.
Ha, Oddly enough, I completely forgot I'm going through the whole refusing to eat, acting different when I try to make him eat thing with Nacho right now. And yah, Prednisolone is definitely a good suggestion, it's actually my potential next step here.
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  #14  
Old 06-02-2013, 09:43 PM
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I know this isn't common, but my vet did it to his own dog when she quit eating. A full on colonoscopy/endoscopy to see if there are any polyps or lesions in the upper and lower GI tract. I'd also do xrays of his chest/abdomen and probably a full on mouth exam while he was out. Just to rule out tooth issues.

Not sure if my suggestion is of any help, I sure wish you the best.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:59 PM
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And yah, Prednisolone is definitely a good suggestion, it's actually my potential next step here.
I know there are a lot of negative side effects, so I'm certainly not pushing the med without a vet being involved (and I'm pretty sure it's prescription anyway); in my case, it was literally "put him down now, or use the meds until they stop working and buy him a few years". But I'm thinking that it may be a relatively non-invasive diagnostic tool? If the prednisolone works, you know you are dealing with something physical rather than behavioral?

I don't know, I'm way better at horse medical stuff than dog stuff - it's just a thought.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
GI distress/upset from food was the first thing that came to mind for me. Maybe do a fecal to see if there's bacteria over growth or something? Not sure what other diagnostics would help. Another thought would be a sore neck - making it painful to bend down to eat. Maybe a chiro visit?

Sue Ailsby's technique for teaching a dog to eat miiiight help as well if you think it's behavioral: http://sue-eh.ca/page24/page39/
Will read over that website tomorrow, thanks!

Fecal is negative for anything. Chiro isn't a bad idea though, I've never taken any of mine to one so I'd have to find one locally.

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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
That was the first thing that came to my mind as well. My horse has, from what we've been able to deduce, some sort of IBS that doesn't show up on any of the many, many types of tests we've done. A lot of what Sako is showing is similar to what we saw. Sometimes okay, sometimes not. Sometimes I could get him eating for a meal or two by changing things up (where he was eating, his bucket, the type of grain), but he'd quickly go off that as well. Stress at feeding time (Tristan would just go to the back of his stall and not interact at all, whereas he's normally very social, wanting to hang his head out the door). We never saw a single sign of tummy issues other than the eating - normal manure, no colic or anything.

The vet finally suggested trying him on Prednisolone as a last ditch effort before putting him down last fall; it was like night and day within 24 hours. I'm certainly not a vet, and obviously stuff needs to be prescribed, but I wonder if trying him on some sort of steroid or something for tummy issues for a few days might be helpful from a diagnostic standpoint? You could see if it seems to help or not, and go from there.
My last horse had stomach ulcers and went through a similar thing, actually. 6wks. of Gastroguard and he was like brand new.

I can certainly talk to my vet about Pred or some other stomach med. to see what they think.

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Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
Since it seems like a turkey neck started this both times I wonder if there is something about the turkey neck as he was eating it that didn't go well with him. Maybe it scratched his throat on the way down or something, or got a bit stuck - something that would make him think "eating this hurt me" and could then become "eating hurt me?"
This is what I think might've happened. As I said, he's always been a sensitive dog who takes things very personal and I really do think this is all mental. Especially since it started both times with turkey necks. Obviously this time is much worse than last year since it's now transferred onto just about any food but I feel like the turkey necks are/were the trigger to all of this. My friend describes him as "fragile" and that's really a perfect description for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
I know this isn't common, but my vet did it to his own dog when she quit eating. A full on colonoscopy/endoscopy to see if there are any polyps or lesions in the upper and lower GI tract. I'd also do xrays of his chest/abdomen and probably a full on mouth exam while he was out. Just to rule out tooth issues.

Not sure if my suggestion is of any help, I sure wish you the best.
I think when he gets neutered I'll ask if they can do a mouth exam. The vet checked his mouth at his appointment but he was awake so it wasn't the best, I'm sure. He's getting neutered at the SPCA though ($90 vs. $350 at my regular vet) so I'll have to see what they say. I could ask about an xray then as well..
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2013, 10:32 PM
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Yea prednisone is used for IBD/IBS in dogs and sometimes as a therapeutic trial if the diagnosis isn't for sure, and every once in awhile I'll do a trial of an acid reducer in a dog with weird behaviors around food in case it's something like GERD/reflux, but...

...it just seems like such an unusual way for GI disease to manifest that it really screams "food aversion/ negative association" to me. Especially in a young dog with recent normal labs and exam. I mean, you never know since they can't verbalize, but refusing only such a specific food (necks) at the onset and slowly generalizing over such a long period of time... it's just hard for me not to put behavioral causes at the top of the list.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
GI distress/upset from food was the first thing that came to mind for me. Maybe do a fecal to see if there's bacteria over growth or something? Not sure what other diagnostics would help. Another thought would be a sore neck - making it painful to bend down to eat. Maybe a chiro visit?

Sue Ailsby's technique for teaching a dog to eat miiiight help as well if you think it's behavioral: http://sue-eh.ca/page24/page39/
That was my thought. It seems like it might be pain related to me.

Summer stresses severely about eating when she doesn't feel good. She will refuse and then will hide from it, especially if I am 'making a big deal' about her eating (aka acting 'weird'). when she had her muscle sprain in her neck she stressed big time because bending down hurt! She is FAR from a stoic dog when it comes to pain though so it was obvious she was injured somewhere on her neck. Most bullies I know are a lot more pain tolerant so it makes me wonder if he doesn't have neck pain? I had to hand feed Summer for a while because she couldn't bend her neck down.

She also has a lot of texture issues with certain foods (raw is a big one, THK is another, canned food) Too many non 'normal' kibble meals for her and eating starts stressing her. She has starved herself for days before to the point she was showing signs of low blood sugar. I finally gave up on raw with her because of that. It's a vicious cycle- she stresses, doesn't eat, doesn't feel good, so stresses more, refuses food again, etc.

Not sure if that helps.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2013, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Yea prednisone is used for IBD/IBS in dogs and sometimes as a therapeutic trial if the diagnosis isn't for sure, and every once in awhile I'll do a trial of an acid reducer in a dog with weird behaviors around food in case it's something like GERD/reflux, but...

...it just seems like such an unusual way for GI disease to manifest that it really screams "food aversion/ negative association" to me. Especially in a young dog with recent normal labs and exam. I mean, you never know since they can't verbalize, but refusing only such a specific food (necks) at the onset and slowly generalizing over such a long period of time... it's just hard for me not to put behavioral causes at the top of the list.
Last paragraph is how I feel. I'm not trying to discount anyone's opinion that it could be medical (or maybe it's a bit of both medical and mental), but I really feel this is all behavioral.

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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
That was my thought. It seems like it might be pain related to me.

Summer stresses severely about eating when she doesn't feel good. She will refuse and then will hide from it, especially if I am 'making a big deal' about her eating (aka acting 'weird'). when she had her muscle sprain in her neck she stressed big time because bending down hurt! She is FAR from a stoic dog when it comes to pain though so it was obvious she was injured somewhere on her neck. Most bullies I know are a lot more pain tolerant so it makes me wonder if he doesn't have neck pain? I had to hand feed Summer for a while because she couldn't bend her neck down.

She also has a lot of texture issues with certain foods (raw is a big one, THK is another, canned food) Too many non 'normal' kibble meals for her and eating starts stressing her. She has starved herself for days before to the point she was showing signs of low blood sugar. I finally gave up on raw with her because of that. It's a vicious cycle- she stresses, doesn't eat, doesn't feel good, so stresses more, refuses food again, etc.

Not sure if that helps.
Here's the thing though, he usually eats out of a raised bowl. I only changed it because I wanted to see if anything changed when I put it on the ground, and he seems to eat better with it there then anywhere else.


He did eat again this morning, FWIW. So that's 2 meals in a row. I videoed it so you guys can see his body language when he's in a completely "normal" frame of mind:



Fed him outside again, which as I said, he seems to be more comfortable with. No tail tucking, pacing, head low, etc. going on. I put the food down, he ate. This is how it goes most of the time when he does eat, then after doing this for a couple meals, he reverts back to the other behaviors.
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2013, 08:37 AM
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Is there any possibility that one of the other dogs was doing something to intimidate him? Since he eats better outside away from the other dogs, it made me wonder.
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