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Thread: Dog not eating

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
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    34

    Dog not eating

    My 22 month old Doberman/Lab mix is not eating well. We had problems with him before. When he was 1 year old he weighed 120lbs. Then in the fall we had him to the vet because he was vomiting every day and not really interested in his food, they weighed him and he only weighed 103lbs. His ideal weight is 115lbs - 120lbs, even though he is still "safe" at 103lbs. The vet tested his stool and it was fine so she thought maybe he was allergic to chicken. We feed him good quality food but it was always chicken. We switched to a lamb & rice formula and for the first couple of months he tore right into it. We go back every month to have him weighed and he has gained about 1 pound per month over the last 3 months. The vet said as long as he didn't lose anymore, we didn't have to come back. The past couple of weeks he hasn't wanted to eat much and now he is vomiting again because his stomach gets irritated when he doesn't eat. Has anyone else experienced this? I am really worried about him. We have to have him weighed again this week, but I am scared to know. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,447
    I dont really have any advice aside from consulting your vet again...... and support as well of course... I am a dobie mommy too... I hope you can share a pic of your baby soon! Keep us posted!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    I'm a welsh born aussie living in the USA
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    12

    sick doggie

    It sounds like either a food sensitivity or a bowel/stomach condition. It may pay to ask the vet for an ultrasound just in case (expensive though) . Are his stools ok? Is he fixed? My aussie shephard goes off food for a week if there is a dog in heat, he also throws up...mostly foam. If it is a food sensitivity, he will need a holistic or veggie diet probably, with protein supplements. Hope it helps.
    I love my babies

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Upper penninsula Michigan
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    2,021
    I wonder if you could give him something really mild, like chicken broth and a few little pieces of cooked chicken breast & maybe some cooked rice, just to get something in his stomach until it settles down a little? I agree with Sparky about the food sensitivity or gastrointestinal problem.


    Thanks for the siggy, Lexi_Lover!

  5. #5

    The anorexia, nausea and loss of weight

    could have several causes.

    It is logical to assume it's a food allergy. You indicate the change from chicken to lamb helped. You could also try switching again to duck, turkey, or fish based dog food. You also indicate the dog tore right into it after switching to lamb, but despite a healthy appetite gained only 3 lbs in 3 months, still 14 lbs from his original weight. Despite the initial success with lamb the lack of real weight gain may suggest something else is going on.

    Another possibility is that your dog has an ulcer. For a dog your size, you could try giving 150 mg Rantidine (Zantac) morning and at night -especially at night. If an ulcer is the underlying cause you should start to see a renewed interest in food (i.e. lack of a nauseated feeling) within a week.

    A third possibility is an absorption problem due to improper levels of pancreatic/digestive enzymes. This can be checked via specific blood tests.

    Also possible is chronic pancreatitis that could also create a chronic nauseated condition.

    But before you get too fixated on food, you should definitely have a blood panel run to check the liver and kidney function or enzyme levels.

    If the blood appears normal, then a final diagnostic would be a ACTH response test - to check for Addison's Disease. This disease resulting from insufficient production of adrenal hormones has the symptoms of poor appetite, sometimes with nausea and vomiting, and lethargy. If untreated heart problems can occur. Supplemental oral cortisteroids are used to control the disease.

    In summary: Try further diet change, along with Rantidine to lower the stomach acid. If puppy doesn't respond to this, then you need to run some more diagnostics to eliminate some other common causes. The continued inability to gain weight even when eating might point to other causes than just diet. Try to get a referral to a specialist.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    34
    Thank you all so much for the advice. I will definately take all of it into consideration. We are planning to take him to have him weighed on thursday, so I am going to try to get an appointment with the vet then. I hope it's something that can be corrected easily. When he was 6 months old he had a surgery to have two non malignant tumors removed from his head, one was on top and one was behind his ear and I worried like crazy. I love my Goliath, wish me luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
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    Well we took him to get weighed last night and he put on 5 lbs in the past month! Yay!!! I was shocked since he hasn't been eating right. He weighs 111 lbs now. As for his eating, we think he might just get bored with the taste of his food, so we tried this flavored sauce stuff (just a little bit) mixed in with his food last night and this morning and he loves it. I hoping thats all it is. We will continue to monitor his weight and hopefully we won't have anymore problems. We will be satisfied if he gains another 5 lbs.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    337

    Eat some grass

    Have you allowed him to eat some grass? Grass is good for doggies stomach when they are upset. Give a little pepto bismal for those real bad cases of upset belly.
    I would start adding canned dog food to his diet. Canned foods have more calories than dry. Mix the two together.
    He was checked for parasites correct? If he starts eating wood objects check for worms.
    Dogs tend to eat less in the summer and more in the winter. How many times a day do you feed him? Once a day is appropriate but may need to increase to twice. Adding water to dry food can be an issue. I had to add water to my dog's food temporarily as I was dealing with a tooth issue. However, by the next day I noticed bugs/worms had formed in the food if not all eaten. My other dog's didn't particulary care for the wet food. They would leave it in the dish.
    I hope he gets better soon. It just may be a sensitive stomach issue. Good luck!
    Scooby, Shaggy the "Dogs", Ms. Thang the "Cat" and introducing Measley Weasle "The Ferret".

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
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    Grass is a great idea, but unfortunately I wont see any here until at least April/May, we have lots of snow. I will keep the pepto and canned food in mind though. He was checked for parasites and I will keep an eye on the wood objects too. Thanks for the advice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kelowna, BC
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    12,069
    Aww, he's gorgeous.

    What brand of kibble do you have him on? What time of day does he throw up and what does the vomit look like? Is it greenish yellow? Alot of dogs will throw up bile when they haven't eaten enough. It usually happens in the morning. How many cups a day do you feed him, and do you feed him in meals or just one meal?
    I've been BOO'd!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
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    We have him on 1st Choice large breed adult food lamb & rice formula. He usually throws up in the morning and it is usually clear foamy stuff (when he was still getting chicken it was either yellow or the actual kibble all mushed up). He gets fed 6 cups per day, 3 cups in the morning around 6am and 3 cups in the evening around 6pm. I am still putting the sauce on his food, he still has no interest until he hears the fridge door open, then he can't wait to eat his food. He thinks it's people food so of coarse he wants it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    West Columbia, SC
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    1,819
    You might try a cookie or two at bedtime. His evening meal might not be getting him through the night. Can't hurt to try. And your dog will love you for it

    Mary

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    34
    Thats a great idea, but we already give him a cookie before he goes to sleep. Maybe I could try giving him two.

  14. #14
    I am new to these forums; in search of other dog lovers and those that could offer me comfort.

    I couldn't help but notice your thread and I feel the need to respond to it. I don't mean to scare you but I want to share my experience.

    My dog Ziggy was displaying similar signs as yours. Not eating, throwing up, losing weight. I took him to the vet and x-rays were done; then endoscope; then ultrasound;finally explorartory surgery. It was discovered that Ziggy has cancer, and a bad form of it. A tumor was formed in his stomach. The doctor called me while Ziggy was on the operating table with three choices: 1) euthanize while under anesthesia, 2) bring him out of the anesthesia to say goodbye, then euthanize, 3) or remove the part of his stomach that contained the tumor, reforming it, and have him go through the pain of recovery. He stated that average life span for this kind of cancer is 6 months. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck, but not prepared to lose my beloved Ziggy; so I said go ahead with the operation. My thoughts on this are as long as Ziggy is alive, there is hope; when he is dead all hope is lost.

    So again, I don't want to scare you, however, I would like to recommend that you take your dog to a specialist. One that cares, and that will work with you to find out a firm diagnosis and treatment plan. Do this as soon as possible.

    Dogs lives are so bright and precious. They bring such love and joy into our lives and hearts and deserve the best care we can give them. Ziggy is coming home tomorrow, and I plan on giving him the best love and care that I can, for as long as I am able to. I'm going to reduce my hours at work in order to spend more time with him. I will enjoy my time with him and try not to let my sorrow show too much. He doesn't understand; he only knows that he wants to make his momma and dada happy.

  15. #15

    Hopefully for Goliath

    given his age it's not cancer.

    Did your Vet send the stomach tumor off to Pathology to find out the type of cancer? If it's gastric Adenocarcinoma then it's very difficult to treat due to the metastasis. If you are located in the U.S. you might want to contact the Animal Cancer Institute to see if an anti-angiogenic drug trial is open that you could get into. If it were to turn out to be gastric Lymphoma, then you could follow up with standard Lymphoma chemotherapy.

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