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Old 12-14-2010, 08:23 AM
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Default Eating issues

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.

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?
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
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.
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.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dachshunds4me View Post
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.
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.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:12 AM
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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.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:24 AM
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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.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:50 AM
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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.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dachshunds4me View Post
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.
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.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2010, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *blackrose View Post
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.
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.
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Blog---> http://bananarepublic-ct.blogspot.com/
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2010, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
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.
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!
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2010, 02:08 PM
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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?
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