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Thread: Chronic Lack of Appetite

  1. #1
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    Default Chronic Lack of Appetite

    I have an 18month old medium sized entire bitch.
    She has had a chronic lack of appetite for about 9 months now.
    She will only eat a very small portion of food one day, maybe again the next day but then she will eat virtually nothing for a couple of days.
    It is extremely worrying and obviously not normal - my other dogs all have healthy appetites & her mother has a healthy appetite.
    I have tried feeding her twice daily - premium dry food in the morning which she will eat sometimes but only 1/4 cup. If I put out more for her she will leave it.
    Of an evening I feed BARF which she will eat sometimes. I also offer chicken necks which she likes but she will only eat 1.
    I have taken her to the vet many times because of this and recently got referred to a specialist internal medicine vet. They have taken bloods on several occasions and the last thing that was done was an ultra sound - all of which came up with nothing - they could find nothing wrong with her!!
    She is approx. 6kg and she should be about 8kg.
    I am at my wits end, I just don't know what to do next.
    Can anyone help??

  2. #2
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    How does she look physically? I know you said she is about 2kg underweight but how does she look?

    Is she ribby, any bones protruding?

    Also, just wondering, does she poo much?

    Previous to the 9 month what were her eating habits like?

  3. #3
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    She was never a big eater and has always been on the skinny side.
    She has a thick coat which is deceptive but yes you can feel her ribs - there is a thin covering of fat not the usual covering you get in a normal dog.
    She poos about twice a day and the droppings are smallish, well formed, not mucousy or anything that you could say there was a problem.
    One of the possiblities was that she may have Addisons Disease but that was dismissed as she is very alert, not depressed and quite active.
    For her level of activity she should eat 4 times the amount she does.

  4. #4
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    she's still alive after nine months = she's fine.

    if the food is there and if she is hungry she will eat.

    We actually went to see a doctor when our son was hardly eating, we were worried for the same reason as you are with you dog, but the doctor basically said he is still running around being hyper, he is fine, if he wasn't eating enough he wouldn't have the energy to do this.

    So, you say you dog has a high energy level, this would not happen if she wasn't eating enough, I think you'll be right, like the doc said to us, if they're not eating but still hyper there is no problem, but, if they're not eating and have no energy then it's time to be concerned

  5. #5
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    Do you keep her separate from the other dogs when you feed her? She may feel intimidated by them and leave her food because of that.

    Have you talked to a different vet or nutritional specialist about the problem? How are her teeth and bite? Maybe food is hard to chew? Have you tried pureed food? Is there any kind of food she gets really excited about.

    If you desex her, she will need less food to maintain weight and that might solve the problem of her being underweight.

    Someone posted a recipe ages ago about a diet for putting weight on a dog that involved a lot of high calorie food like raw egg. Satin Balls or something.

    "saturn balls"
    1kg fattiest mince you can find
    1 jar full cream
    1 doz eggs (including shells for calcium boost)
    1 jar peanut butter
    1 cup wheatgerm
    1 cup oats
    1/4 cup flaxseed (ground or seeds)

    mix together and add to her kibble one week on and one week off

    And premium kibble would be Artemis or Eagle Pack.
    Dog's Dry Food - Bowhouse - Australia's Award-Winning Store for All Your Dog and Cat Needs
    or
    (this is for american dog food only, not the stuff made in OZ but it will give you the tools to analyse the ingredient list on what you have)
    Dog Food Reviews - 6 Star Premium Dry Food - Powered by ReviewPost

  6. #6
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    She seems OK from what you say.
    But I understand your concern.

    How is she with treats?

    Is there nothing she likes?


    My standard loves egg and noodles. Best with oil. He found it by accident and geez was he happy.
    Marley would die for chicken loaf... anything cooked as long as it is chicken.
    Last edited by Marley; 08-02-2011 at 08:18 PM.
    There are no paths, paths are made by walking
    www.rightnowyoga.blogspot.com
    2 Schnauzers, 1 mini girl 13 months, 1 standard boy 19 months.

  7. #7

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    It is actually surprisingly normal.

    Between 12 and 18 months of age a lot of dogs go on hunger strikes. It is usually males, but it happens to females as well.

    My boy was skin and bones until he was 18 months old, then all of a sudden he got his appetite back and stacked on the weight.

    Some dogs will be naturally thin as well, one of my mothers dogs was a skinny little thing her whole life. They tried feeding up to 6 times a day, feeding high calorie, high protein diets... nothing worked. They had her spayed when she turned 6 years old and BAM now she's a little butter ball.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crested_Love View Post
    It is actually surprisingly normal.

    Between 12 and 18 months of age a lot of dogs go on hunger strikes. It is usually males, but it happens to females as well.

    My boy was skin and bones until he was 18 months old, then all of a sudden he got his appetite back and stacked on the weight.

    Some dogs will be naturally thin as well, one of my mothers dogs was a skinny little thing her whole life. They tried feeding up to 6 times a day, feeding high calorie, high protein diets... nothing worked. They had her spayed when she turned 6 years old and BAM now she's a little butter ball.
    That's a good point, My dog went from eating his dry food, plus 1.5kg of chicken mince per day to not even finishing a kilo of mince every second day when he hit about twelve months and stopped growing "up", he was still filling out but I think his bones and body size had stopped growing

  9. #9
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    I cut back my dog's food around the 12 to 18 month age, but she quite happily would eat as much as I'd let her. No appetite problem. She's just nicked another kleenex out my pocket. Sigh.

  10. #10
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    Over the last 9 months I would have tried every food possible both human and dog, raw and processed without obviously pandering to a picky eater - which is quite difficult.
    I have also tried tough love ie. put the food down for 10 minutes & if it is not eaten I take it up again.
    All my dogs are fed separately so I can monitor how much they eat and the young and the old all eat very well.
    She will eat 1 treat sometimes but will not eat the second treat if offered.
    She has favourites but a favourite to her means that she will eat it straight away but will not eat another one if offered.
    I tried Satin Balls for about a week but she just picked at them with long teeth and eventually wouldn't eat them at all.
    It seems that she has a psychological limit to how much she will eat and if she reaches that, she won't eat again until the stomach is completely empty again - that can take a few days sometimes.
    Normally I feed my dogs BARF but with her I have bought premium dogfood which she occasionally eats of a morning. It is like she counts the pieces because if I try to increase the amount over the 1/4 cup she leaves it.

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