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MikeH.

He won’t eat

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MikeH.

Almost two weeks ago on Friday I took my 10 y/o male Lab to the Vet. He would not eat or drink anything and was pretty lethargic the day before and it continued into Friday. At the Vet mid afternoon. He examines Oak and thinks he has an irritation in his gut. He gives me meds for the irritation and for naeusa. It was five days worth.

The next week on Thursday we are back at the Vet. Oak is now feeling much better, he is his normal bouncing around the waiting room and barking a little, normal. He is normally a very active, and even some what hyper dog. But he still is not eating well. He is drinking water. He won’t eat his regular food. I had been feeding him anything I can get him to eat. Hotdogs he was OK with, he eat them but not like he normally would. Then I tried liver worst sandwich spread. He liked that a little better. So he ate every day, but not as much as he normally would.

 

The doctor gave him a shot of cortisone for any internal swelling. This seemed to help. I decided on Saturday to try canned dog food. He liked that, he ate it like a hungry dog, normal.

 

The problem now is he won’t eat his normal food. I use Doc’s Choice. He won’t touch it. I mixed is some canned, he would only sift out the canned. Then tried warm gravy with the kibble. He didn’t touch it.

 

I think I know what made him sick initially. I had half a bag of the dog food in my truck. The first half went into a canister in the house. It has a screw down lid with an O ring seal. The half in the truck I believe went bad in all this heat. When I started using what was in the truck he got sick. I did not think of that until after the second Vet visit or I would have told him.

 

The bottom line is now he won’t eat the regular food. It is acting very normal for him, just will not eat his food. I believe he is simply holding out for the stuff I spoiled him with when he was sick. I suppose he might have put it together that that food made him sick. I am not sure. He now has ate very little of anything for two days and refused his food again just now. 

 

Any ideas? I believe he will get so hungry he will eat his regular food, but any ideas are appreciated.

 

Thanks, Mike

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gunsrus

Good luck , I know your frustration . My GSP did the same and we spent the last two years of his life changing foods daily . He became very picky but being that he was always very skinny we caved in and went with canned to hamburg and rice to chicken and carrots to......

I miss him .

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lee sykes

I would talk to the vet about runnng some tests.  Just in case.  See what he says. 

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WI Outdoor Nut

I am doubting the heat.  Work for the parent company that sells Purina, and we don't ship in refer trucks - the food is exposed to heat. 

 

I would worry about something bigger going on.  My brother lost a GWP due to eating a bone and tearing his stomach lining.  He did not find it until too late and his whole GI track was infected and dead.

 

My GSP ate a rope (You would have to ask him why).  Was not sure what happened at first, but knew anything he ate, it came back up.  Went in for a scan, they could see blockage, but did not know what.  Did the experimental surgery and we were lucky - fully recovered.  He did that at 6 mo, and he just turned 10. 

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MikeH.

I lost a dog to a blockage. The symptoms are different. In most cases they will not eat anything, or very little. They also don’t have much urination or poop. Oak is urinating regularly, and pooping. The poop is a smaller quantity than when he is normal. Also, prior to the sickness he had not been out of my sight for two weeks. I had not taken him out for a run becasue it was either 95 and humid or raining. I know he did not eat anything strange.

 

I will have more tests run if he does not eat in a few more days. I may try the canned food again, just to see if he will eat. I am almost 100% sure he will gobble it down. Which will make me believe even more he has become spoiled. 

 

I am still looking for more ideas, maybe more ideas of how to get him to eat his regular food.

 

He has been on 3 foods over his life. Each time I switched there was no problem at all. He is your normal Lab he eats like he is very hungry all the time and eats all you give him. This is the first time, of his ten years, that I have seen him sick. Only pukes if he eats part of a dead animal when out in the country, and even then only rarely. Never has diarrhea, except when running hard hunting. It clears up the same day when the extreme exercise is over.

Very healthy 51 pounds most of the year, and 48-49 during bird season. I hunt him 3-3 times per week. 

 

Any more comments, ideas are very welcome.

 

Thanks, Mike

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Allen McCallie

My hope would be that Oak just had a "bad episode" where something in his regular food disagreed with him, or even that something else disagreed with him but he still associates it with his regular food. (That does not explain the initial malady, and I agree that further analysis is a good idea).

 

Dogs have strong memories, and if something bothered him once, he is going to be very reluctant to go back there again.

 

It is an easy thing to switch to a completely different food, then stick with it if he likes it. Changing all the time and providing special treats is of course a recipe (no pun intended) for creation of a picky eater.

 

I sure hope its not an internal health issue.

 

Allen

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DD Huntress

Cook some hamburger meat and mix it with some plain white rice. My 5 yr old drahth has always been a picky eater. We just went through a vomiting stage with him. He would vomit approiately 6 hours after his evening feeding. At my breeder's suggestion ( they are also a veterinarian),I stopped all dog food and fed him rice and cooked hamburger topped with a sprinkling of Viokase for a week. Then slowly started adding kibble to the mix. He seems to be doing well. I am slowly introducing him to a new food recommended by my breeder. Good luck!

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CzechSM

A friends dog recently was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. On her road to recovery she was prescribed appetite enhancers. She also had become very selective on what she wanted to eat after being sick. 

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Chukarman
2 hours ago, Allen McCallie said:

My hope would be that Oak just had a "bad episode" where something in his regular food disagreed with him, or even that something else disagreed with him but he still associates it with his regular food. (That does not explain the initial malady, and I agree that further analysis is a good idea).

 

Dogs have strong memories, and if something bothered him once, he is going to be very reluctant to go back there again.

 

It is an easy thing to switch to a completely different food, then stick with it if he likes it. Changing all the time and providing special treats is of course a recipe (no pun intended) for creation of a picky eater.

 

I sure hope its not an internal health issue.

 

Allen

 

I think that this is correct.

 

However, I have never heard of a LAB of any age or sex that won't eat damn near anything, and lots of it.

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10K

When you have a minute, google "conditioned taste aversion."  If, in fact, the dog food left in the truck made him sick, you could be dealing with an acquired aversion.  Wayyyy back when I was in college, I had to compile and review a bunch of articles regarding the use of aversion conditioning to deal with nuisance animals (bears raiding beehives, deer eating ornamental plants, etc.).  Long story short, very strong aversions could be conditioned on as few as 1-2 exposures, and the conditioned aversion could last a very long time.  Worth a look, anyway.

 

Rob

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SODAKer
3 minutes ago, Chukarman said:

 

I think that this is correct.

 

However, I have never heard of a LAB of any age or sex that won't eat damn near anything, and lots of it.

+2 and mine loved straight bourbon. She'd see the glass, walk by, frack it with her tail, glass on floor, and lapped every drop up before I could get out of the chair. I never drank alone.

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MUSTANGER7

I have a setter that sometimes will not eat for a few days and then eat, noticed that she had not had a BM so when she does this I give her a tablespoon of mineral oil and shorty she's unplugged and eating. Your dog seems to be worse but it may help.

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Jack L
6 hours ago, gunsrus said:

Good luck , I know your frustration . My GSP did the same and we spent the last two years of his life changing foods daily . He became very picky but being that he was always very skinny we caved in and went with canned to hamburg and rice to chicken and carrots to......

I miss him .

 

This was my Duke as well.  I eventually fed him cooked rice and canned chicken warmed up.  One of his last meals was cooked sharptail on the prairie .  It's a tough tough deal whe they get that finicky.

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MikeH.

I think I will buy a small bag of a different feed for him and give it a try.

 

Today I tried a test. I gave him a can of the canned food to see if he would eat anything at all. He gobbled it down. About 45 minutes later he threw up just a little. Nearly three hours later he had a BM that was sort of runny. I think both may be a reaction to the fact that he has not eaten hardly anything in nearly three days. He always drinks water. 

 

But, he clearly will eat when it is something other than his regular food. Hopefully I will find a good dry food he will switch to. Surely they all smell different to dogs, and we know smells are most important to dogs.

 

Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome, and I will keep you posted.

 

Thanks guys. This site is so great for things like this, and everything else bird dogs.

 

Mike

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C.J.L.

Hmmm.  If he checks out fine with the vet I'd start using a different brand of food,  look him in the eye and say tough nuts buddy, that's your food and all you get. He's drinking water right?  Run him or swim him for the day and if he's moving along fine I wouldn't worry and wait til he's hungry.  If he's the only dog in the house and no other dog is going to eat his food.........build a bridge and get over it.  Tough love.  

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