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  • #121414 Report Abuse

    I just too my 22 month old doodle to be spayed, and after doing a physical, they said he was too underweight and weak to have sugery. He is 32 lbs and his ribs and other bones do show. He has never been a good eater, eats very little. He did vomit and have diarrhea quite a bit when he was 6 months and will did some testing, but nothing was wrong. Currently he eats Farmina Puppy food with lamb, has a fortiflora probiotic every morning and I also supplement with cooked chicken. But may issue is not interested in food and doesn’t want to eat. Other then having vomiting and diarrhea every 5-7 days for 1 day, he seems to be fine.
    Any suggestions on what to do at the Vet for further checking and how to get him to eat more or eat better? Thsnks.

    #121416 Report Abuse

    I would go to a grain inclusive dog food, check with your vet. Your dog may have serious potentially life threatening issues (by the symptoms you have described). I would ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary internal medicine specialist asap, something is wrong.
    The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis. You won’t find that here.

    PS: Some more diagnostic testing may be indicated, talk to your vet.

    #121425 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Hi, how about trying boiled ground beef (drain the fat) and cook some white rice mix 50/50 together and just give him that without dog food and see if he eats it and see how he does maybe it is the dog food not sure. If he does well than I would mix in new diet with the beef and rice. I agree with Anon about trying a good grain in diet. There is one called holistic select look on chewy’s website it suppose to be good for digestive issues. If you do change dog food do it very slowly over about 2 week period. They have a lamb and oatmeal one. If that doesn’t work get a second opinion. Maybe he might need prescription diet. I hope everything works out for your pup. Oh, how long has he been eating the Farmina?

    P.S. IF he don’t eat the beef and rice flake in a little tuna. I hear a lot of dogs like that strong smell and taste, but you don’t need to put much, Just a teaspoon and mix it in the beef and rice.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by joanne l.
    #121431 Report Abuse

    Hi Doodlemom,
    Sounds like your doodle is suffering from Stomach/Bowel problems = IBS….
    later on as he ages may turn into IBD if he isnt treated when he is young…
    When you were at the vets did the vet recommend to feed one of their Digestive Health vet diet??
    I have a rescued dog who I rescued age 4yrs old he suffers with IBD now, I’d say when he was a pup he suffered with similar health problems like your Doodle has, then as he aged it turned to IBD….If you have the money I’d see a vet who specializes in IBD, there’s a good f/b group called “Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD – Raw Feeding & Holistic Support” https://www.facebook.com/groups/292537937935806/
    I would change his diet, the Farmina Puppy food with lamb diet might be too rich for him or an ingredient isnt agreeing with him??
    Have a look at “Wellness Core” Large Breed Adult, very easy to digest, high protein-34% low/med fat-13%, low in Kcals-345per cup, formulated for large breeds digestive tract, my boy has “FINALLY” gain weight, after years of struggling to keep his weight on, he does firm poos every day, stopped his vomiting…. It’s worth a try then if your Doodle doesn’t gain weight I’d see a vet that knows alot about Intestinal problems & take it from there..
    Im wondering does he suffer with food sensitivities?? My boy does this is when the Hypoallergenic vet diets are really good to work out what your dog might be sensitive too & do a food elimintion diet…
    Patch did a vet diet elimination diet, then we did a raw diet elimination diet a few years later when Patch saw a Nutritionist 2015….
    Patch ended up having Endoscope + Biopsies 2013 & again Jan 2018 to work out what was wrong again?? the Biopsies tell the vet so much information that cant been seen thru Ultra Scan, Xrays & blood test..

    #121481 Report Abuse

    Thank you all so much for your ideas and suggestions. This forum is a wealth of information. Many of your ideas I have tried and either they didn’t work or nothing changed. My next step is back to the Vet with a round of blood test to see what we can find out and then most likely the scope if the Vey thinks its IBS or IBD and need more info on it.

    My main problem is how to get him to gain weight? If we try another diet , how to get him to eat? The things we have tried are:
    Different dry kibble
    Raw diet
    Ground Beef
    Freshly cooked food
    Different probiotics
    Stool test
    Kibble toppers
    So far the only kibble he will eat is Farmina. Won’t touch many kibble. Won’t eat anything with fish. Doesn’t like ground beef. He is on a probiotic every day. Fortiflora.

    #121528 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Hi, so sorry to hear this. Don’t worry there is light at the end of the tunnel. Since it seems that he may have IBS I would ask the vet about prescription food for now hoping he will eat it. It sounds like his tummy hurts and can’t eat but not sure just guessing. If this helps, I know a friend that has a GSD that was diagnosed with IBS and the food that worked like a charm was natures variety limited ingredient diet for him. But every dog is different. There is some kind of clay in this food that helps with IBS. look on this forum and see what is says about it, pull up the ratings and read were Mike goes through the ingredients and see what is said about this clay.

    #121543 Report Abuse

    Thanks Joanne for all your input and support. I will look into the Nature Varity Limited Ingredient and hope that he will eat it.

    Has any one tried any OTC medicine or herbs or homeopaths meds that has helped with tummy troubles or IB S/IBD?

    I am trying slippery Elm right now mixed into his food, but so far not helping. And have tried several pumpkin foods and sweet patato. And giving his pepto bismal. Problem is not so much his stools but it’s his not eating and cant gain weight.

    #121617 Report Abuse

    you have a very smart dog, he knows what foods cause pain, nausea etc & now will not eat, my boxer was the same with dry kibbles & raw Kangaroo, if it smelt weird & caused any stomach/bowel problems she wouldnt eat it ever again, where Patch he keeps eating & eating foods that cause gas/farts, nausea, sloppy poos etc, I have to be a mind reader & work out what is causing his pain his acid reflux etc but when I first rescued him he didnt want any thing to do with dry kibble, when I offered it to him he’d just walk off, he liked cooked food, loaf rolls, raw meaty bones & wet can foods….

    Slipery Elm has to be made into a slurry/paste, pull up into a syringe about 5ml =1 teaspoon & you give 20mins before a meal not with the meal…

    Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency, has your dog B-12 been tested?
    When Vitamin B12 is injected, the vitamin is readily absorbed by the blood and can get to work immediately. If your dog doesn’t have any problems with cobalamin malabsorption or there is no vitamin B12 deficiency, you can give oral supplements available in 100-, 250-, 500-, 1000-, and 5000-microgram tablets.
    Ask your vet about him not having any apetite & can you do the weekly B-12 injection for 1 minth & see if there’s an improvement in his appetite a lot of ogs who have IBD EPI who have low appetites are givenB-12 weekly injections to make them want to eat….

    Have you tried wet can foods or those good premium loaf rolls?? I know vet diets are expensive but next time you see vet get 1 can of Hills I/d Digestive Care Chicken & Vegetable stew. I have the I/d cans in the cupboard & the Royal Canine Intestinal Low Fat wet cans in the cupboard. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-food/pd-id-canine-chicken-and-vegetable-stew-canned
    I rotate foods, I dont feed the same food for all of Patches 5 meals a day..
    Are you feeding more then 2 meals a day? I know he isnt much of a eater but smaller meals of a few different foods thru the day he might want to eat them? a dry dog biscuit offered a few times a day, break biscuit in 1/2, we have a cat & as soon as Patch hear’s Indy getting something to eat he comes running to see if he can have some aswell & normaly he cant thats why the cat is getting the food cause Patch cant eat it.. she/cat is my garbage disposel bin..

    I feed the Wellness Core Large Breed Adult dry for breakfast, Patch finally gained weight eating the Wellness Core & the cat keeps stealing Patches Wellness kibbles so they must taste good as she doesnt pinch any of Patches other dry kibbles, for lunch Patch use to get a small can of the Hills I/D chicken Rice & Vegetables wet food or 1/3 of the can of the Royal Canine Intestinal wet food but he kept getting his acid reflux on & off after eating the wet can vet diets & they’re low in fat so Id say its all the Omega oils, they are very high in Omega Oils so now Patch gets 2 big Dog Biscuits, My Boxer use to just look at food & gain weight she where Patch has problems keeping on his weight, I remember Angies vet asking me, what is she eating she’s over weight, she needed to lose 4kgs, she use to eat 1/2 of what Patch eats, she was bigger & he is smaller, I told vet she eats cooked meal, what we eat, & sometimes she eats some dry kibble but not much & she gets a dry dog biscuit maybe twice a day, the vet said do you know 1 of those dry dog biscuits is = to 1 Hamburger for a dog, I said what a Hamburger he said YES start halving her biscuit, so she is just getting 1 dog biscuit a day or completely stop these dru dog biscuits as they are high in fat, so now Im giving Patch 2 big dog biscuits for lunch everyday he loves them, I either feed the Purina Lucky Dog Biscuit Bones, Canidae dry Biscuits or you can get Hills Ideal balance Treats they’re smaller or Hills Vet Diet Hypoallergenic Biscuit treats.. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-food/ib-soft-baked-naturals-with-chicken-and-carrots-dog-treats..
    If you dont want to feed a wet can vet diet then look at Hills “Ideal Balance” Chicken & Zucchini slow cooked wet can food.. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-food/ib-slow-cooked-chicken-and-zucchini-stew-adult-dog-food-canned#accordion-content-054167331-2
    or look at Costcos Kirklands Signature Turkey & Pea Stew wet can food its very popular. Just make sure any wet can foods are 4% in fat not any higher, wet can foods fat protein fiber % havent been converted to dry matter yet so when you convert say 5% fat thats around 20%min to 26% max fat, so 4% min is around 12% fat min best to emal the pet food companies & ask them for max fat concerted to dry matter, they will give the exact max % you dont want to feed him foods that cause pain in stomach or wind pain in bowel then he will become more fussy….lean limited ingredient foods..

    All Hills Science Diet wet & dry formula’s are very palatable if your dog refuses to eat then return to pet shop for a refund if you have bought a carton of wet can food, rotate, 1 day feed the Hills Ideal Balance for Dinner then the next day for Dinner he eats a different wet can food or try FreshPet Roll, Stew, Cooked Roasted meals?

    Still feed his Farmina dry food, Farmina is a good food, are you feeding him the LAMB DIGESTION N&D Quinoa Functional Canine formula & the N&D Quinoa Skin & Coat Venison formula
    its isnt rich or too dense like the other Farmina formula’s, my Patch gets his stomach pain as soon as a dry food is over 370Kcals per cup he whinges & wants me to rub his stomach/pancreas area…

    What vet diet did he eat? maybe put him back on the vet diet & feed the matching wet can food rotate in his diet so he gains some weight & feed 4-5 smaller meals a day & give a few dry dog biscuits thru the day aswell as treats or as a dry dog bisciut as a snack before bed, eating then going to sleep gains weight…

    I always ask Patch “Which One (kibble) do you want to eat” & I show him 2 different dry kibble brands in their air tight containers with their lids off, he sniffs the containers then he licks the side of the container that he wants to eat or I get out 1 kibble from 1 container & another kibble from the other container, I have 1 kibble in one hand & the another kibble in my other hand & I let him sniff them & ask him “which One”& he takes teh kibble he wants to eat, thru the day he eats about 3 different brands of foods… If I just feed him the same dry kibble day in day out he starts to react & gets his IBD stomach pain & starts whinging & lifts his right paw & wants me to rub his stomach area I thought he had Pancreatitis when I first rescued him, he has all the symptoms but now 5 yrs later Patches vets says he has Stomach pain its cause of his IBD…

    If you join the “Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD – Raw Feeding & Holistic Support” F/B group, go to their “Files” scroll down 11th pdf & click on “Digestive Sensitivity and Dog Size.pdf”
    it’s research done on small breed dogs & large Breed dogs, what happens when these dogs eats the same dry kibble, how both breeds digest the same kibble different, now I know why Patch does heaps better with his IBD when he eats a Large Breed dry kibble the Large Breed kibbles have fibers formulated for large breed Intestinal tract so the dog doesn’t get bloat, the Large Breed dry formula’s seem to agree with Patch the best…..

    #121620 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Hi 2doodlemon, if you find a dog food that works for him please don’t rotate his food. Unless the vet tells you too.
    P.S. Sorry Susan, for butting in with the idea for rotating foods. Some dogs can develop IBS from doing that. My vet told me that advice. In my experience rotating did not go well with me and my dog. Now if you are rotating fresh food that I can do. But dog food is a formula, once the dog adjusts to it and is doing well I was told leave it alone. Formulas are much different than fresh food rotating. That is my experience with it. I know it is the old school way, but anymore the old school seems better than the new for me.
    here is something to read https://www.dogfoodinsider.com/rotating-dog-food-good-idea/

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by joanne l.
    #121622 Report Abuse

    Hi again,

    here’s the Slippery Elm Slurry,
    Slippery Elm Gruel is made by the following Method:
    1. Put 1 tablespoon of Slippery Elm Inner Bark Powder in a small Bowl or cup.
    2. Slowly stir in 1/2 – 3/4s of a Cup of Boiling Water, making the Mixture into a Paste.
    3. Add a little MORE Water to thin-out the Paste to the consistency NEEDED for a Poultice.
    4. Add enough Water to make the Paste into a Gruel, that is THICK, like Cream of Wheat!

    Then I cover the cup up with cling wrap or foil & put in fridge then when I need to use again I take out about 1 spoon of the slippery elm paste it turns toa thick jelly, put 1 teaspoon in a cup & slowly add a little bit at a time of boiling jug water until its smooth again & the paste can be sucked up into a syringe pull up 5ml & put side back of teeth/gums so he swollows, its soothe throat esophagus & stomach then about 20-30mins give is meal

    Join this f/b group
    “Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD – Raw Feeding & Holistic Support”
    Heaps of support help & holistic information, I know its a raw holistic feeding group BUT we all dont feed raw, the dog needs to be stable & 100% doing well, then the dog comes off his vet diet, cooked or premium dry food onto a raw diet …
    A few dogs in this group wont eat & have no apetite, very skinny, Doodles are normally have big appetites so something is wrong with your poor boy & he’s learnt if I dont eat, I wont get ??? my pain, nauseaous or wind pain etc… sometimes its good to rest the pancreas, stomach/bowel for 24hours but not for your boy..

    “ROTATING” encourages the dog to eat when a dog is not eating & doesnt want to eat the same boring food 24/7, changing foods can also make a dog fussy but when you have a dog that wont eat everything needs to be tried…
    Rotating foods strengthin’s a dogs immune system, especially when they have IBS/ IBD they need to strengthen their immune system & try as many foods, it has made Patches immune system so much stronger now, when I keep feeding Patch the same dry dog food nothing else for 3 months + Patch starts to react to that food, I’ve been seeing this in a few IBD dogs, my vet said she has a few IBD patients that start reacting when they eat the same dry dog food, this is when food allergies/sensititivies happen after a dog has just eaten the same food 24/7 year after year….
    at first Patch would take 3 weeks to introduce a new dry food, now it only takes Patch 2-3 days & he’s eating the new dry food, as long as there isnt any “new ingredients” he has eaten before or Im not sure he is OK eating them…
    it really depends on the dog, listen to your gut you know your dog best..you’ll know what to do..

    Ask vet about Mirtazapine, Mirtazapine is most commonly used as an appetite stimulant for dogs and cats that are refusing to eat. It is also prescribed for the long-term treatment of various patients who are experiencing nausea, vomiting, and anorexia..

    also you could post a post in the IBD holistic group & ask what do people give & do to encourage their dog to eat, there’s 1 lady at the moment Emma she is having problems her dog is very skinny & is not putting on any weight, the vet has said to stop the feeding the raw food for the moment, vet has put her dog on a Holistic Duck dry food…
    Groups are good cause everyone is sorta going thru the same thing & you pick up so many good idea & some quirky ideas that work….

    Good Luck I hope you get some answers 🙂

    #121626 Report Abuse

    Hi Susan and Joanne:

    Thanks again for your support and all the great ideas. I am already trying some of them before I fnd out more next week at the Vet with blood test and all.

    Thanks for the slippery Elm receipe, already trying that but didnt know I have to give it 30 min before a meal do will do that.

    I may not be able to rotate dry kibble even if I want to as I have tried different kibble and he just won’t even touch them. The only thing he does like most days is cooked Chicken, but after eating it some times he will get diarrhea. So it’s a double edged sword.
    I would like to try more cooked foods for him, but he so far will not eat ground beef or any fish.
    I would like to be able to join and read the post of the FB page but I do not have a FB account and do not want one so I dont think I can read the post without one.
    Did some one say there is also a Yahoo Group for dogs with GI problems? I think I read it somewhere but now cant find it.
    Thanks again.

    #121628 Report Abuse

    Quote “I am trying slippery Elm right now mixed into his food, but so far not helping. And have tried several pumpkin foods and sweet patato. And giving his pepto bismal.”

    I hope you will speak to your vet about dispensing supplements and over the counter meds before continuing. Especially meds not intended for veterinary use unless prescribed by a veterinarian that has examined the dog (off label use).

    Not all supplements and over the counter meds are benign, some have side effects, some interfere with the absorption of prescription meds. They can also throw off blood work and other diagnostic tests..

    “Slippery elm may interfere with the absorption of other drugs, so give the supplement at another time. Slippery Elm can be used for sustained periods, but not long-term. Never give your dogs any herb or other supplement — or change the dogs’ diet in any way — without consulting your vet first”. (excerpt https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/side-effects-slippery-elm-root-dogs-7609.html)

    Possible Side Effects of Pepto Bismol (https://www.vetinfo.com/dog-pepto-bismol.html) excerpt:
    Side effects are rare but they can occur. Potential changes include:
    A darkening in color of the tongue
    A darkening of the stools, which may become grey, black or a green color
    An interference with readings of abdominal X-Rays
    Inaccuracies in urine test results
    Like every medication, it is possible to overdose on Pepto-Bismol. If you think this has happened, it is important to contact a vet immediately. Keep observing your dog closely and watching for changes in his temperature. Other potential effects include changes in the dog’s blood, seizures and liver and kidney damage.
    Pepto Bismol is useful for soothing stomach upsets that can make your dog sick. However, it is a good idea to get a vet’s advice before giving the medication to your dog. That way, you can try and rule out any other, more serious, causes of stomach problems first.

    Ps: Be careful about using too many medications and supplements including homeopathic remedies. It can become difficult to distinguish side effects from true symptoms.
    Polypharmacy is the simultaneous use of multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition.

    #121629 Report Abuse

    Hey Doodlemom, I’ve been meaning to reply to you but I had some serious issues with my computer that kept showing the site as an error.

    I have a pup with really bad stomach issues, we can’t really figure out what it is but what does help her is this little concoction I came up with, it settles the stomach and any acid reflux that may be present. The most important items to add based on my dog of course are as follows.

    Super greens powder, this means chlorella, barley grass and wheat grass and spirulina, it’s very good in neutralising acidity and I feel it helps her out the most, when I didn’t add it I noticed her relief was very short lived or not present at all and her pain continued to depress her.

    Ginger, settles the stomach very effectively and from personal experience using it in a turmeric tea daily helps for several hours. I’ve noticed it helps her a lot too.

    Goat milk powder, reduces the heat of the ginger while providing it’s own set of relief, I was able to eat the powder when I was sick, which said a lot because I couldn’t stomach any dairy at all.

    Probiotic and Enzyme both are together, they help her immensely and help her digest her food as I’ve noticed she doesn’t digest food very effectively and then has pains from that, but she gets pain in the mornings too which is why I reckon acid reflux.

    These you can try if you want but are not necessarily necessary, turmeric with pepper for anti inflammatory action, settles the stomach for me, for her she was able to have it, but now she pukes it up usually onto the white carpet so I’ve stopped giving it to her.

    Colostrum powder, provides nutrients to the body, gives them a healthy immune system and helps with heart disease supposedly.

    Bone broth, same thing nutrients, immunity, joint health, heart health, may help with stomach problems.

    I also give her a digestive support powder but I think it’s only available in Australia, this helps her immensely.

    You mix these things together into water and you administer them with a faux needle or the pup drinks it and you wait 15 to 30 mins for it to start working it’s magic before offering food.

    Of course this works for my dog, you can try it with yours but do take into account that it may or may not work. But it’s a natural option to try if you want.

    #121630 Report Abuse

    the yahoo group is called “IBDogs” they will recommend you do biopsies thru Endoscope, as it’s too much cutting him open to get a biopsies especially if he is very thin, you need a vet who specializes in Intestinal health. Getting Ultra scan will not show up much & can be a waste of money as you can not see the stomach properly, you can see bowel but vet still wont know whats wrong? I’ve heard there’s a 3d Ultrascan now that might be better but not all vets would have the new 3D Ultra scaning…
    Has he ever been put on Predisone? sounds like he needs it, Prednisone increases appetite but start with a VERY LOW dose, some vets start on a very high dose which can cause dirahhea, nausea, vomiting & do the opposite to what it should do…

    Here’s Dr Judy Morgan DVM pup loaf, I make something similiar, buy some grounded turkey breast or grounded chicken breast mince, put in bowl, add 1 whisked egg, have you ever tried giving him some scrambled egg?? then add some fresh chopped parsley about 1/2 a teaspoon- 1 teaspoon parsley, then I finally chop up some broccoli heads not much, also grate 1 peeled small carrot, mix all together & make 1/2 cup size rissole balls put on foil lined baking tray & bake 15mins take out drain any fat/water turn the rissole balls over & cook another 15mins they cook quickly so do not over cook them.
    I boil a peeled cut up sweet potato, small pieces of sweet potatos, sweet potato freezes really good, add 1 rissole ball which is 1/2 a cup & add 1/4 cup cooked sweet potato pieces & mash all together or I put in a blender & blend…

    Are you buying BBQ chicken? this can be greezy thats why he might be having diarrhea, better off cooking chicken breast cut into small pieces or Turkey breast cut up into pieces & add boiling jug water & stir & sit in the boiling water until cooked only take about 3-5mins then rinse the chicken breast pieces in a colander & wash off any fat..

    Have you tried wet can foods?? if he likes chicken he’d like the Hills I/d Digestive Care Chicken, Rice & Vegetables stew wet can vet diet, its balanced & he will be getting all the nutritents he needs, maybe give up on the dry kibble, its causes pain or does something & now he dislikes it so give up on the dry kibble….
    Here’s Judy’s Pup loaf video, you can leave out ingredients you know your dogs cant eat or likes, she has a few easy to make meals on her Face Book site, she uses a crock pot.

    #121631 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    To get his appetite going how about good old scrambled eggs with a little american cheese mixed in. Also boiled salmon. Has a strong smell and might get his appetite up. Very lean steak mixed in with kibble. I have a 16 year old and she is hit and miss with her appetite. These food always work. Fromm is also a favorite . Small breed Gold.
    My other two get freeze dried Primal/Stella’s. She won’t eat that at all. BUT I recently purchased Bixbi Rawbble Chicken n Salmon freeze dried. Very expensive but she loves it dry.
    Hope this helps.

    #121637 Report Abuse

    All dogs that are sick can be enticed to eat a meal or two, something new, especially if you cook for them.
    From the information provided (read the OP’s original post) this is not a senior dog, poor appetite is unusual in a dog this young…unless something is wrong. Plus the dog is underweight.
    So, instead of trying this or that, I would have whatever diagnostic tests that your vet advises, asap.
    Regarding the need for an endoscopy, I have never had one done on any dog I have owned, that would be an extreme measure. An invasive procedure.
    Usually a basic GI workup and labs will lead to an accurate diagnosis, then you can go from there.
    Best of luck
    Ps: A biopsy is usually done with a very thin needle, takes a second. Just wanted to correct some incorrect info I saw (I ignore as much as I can) plus your vet may not think it is indicated.

    #121649 Report Abuse

    Hi 2doodlemom-

    If you are having trouble getting your dog to eat and she is TRULY underweight, I would ask your vet if he is comfortable prescribing Mirtazapine.

    It is used as an appetite stimulant in dogs and cats and may be helpful in jump starting your dog to want to eat again.

    One food that I find typically settles well with dogs with sensitive stomachs is Purina Pro Plan. This is a food that may be worth trying for your dog. I find it is palatable and easy on the digestive tract and they make a sensitive skin and stomach formula that I used for a long time for my dog with GI issues.

    Since your dog is almost 2 and having trouble gaining weight (again if he really is underweight and not just in good physical condition) blood work is always a good idea. If anything this gives your vet a baseline and if something comes up later they can look back and see what normal looks like for your dog.

    #121652 Report Abuse

    “If you are having trouble getting your dog to eat and she is TRULY underweight, I would ask your vet if he is comfortable prescribing Mirtazapine”.

    Of course the vet is uncomfortable prescribing anything, until diagnostic tests have ruled out medical conditions for the poor appetite. The poor appetite is a symptom, not the cause.

    Get to the root of the problem, get the recommended diagnostic testing advised by the vet that has examined your dog.

    #121653 Report Abuse

    “The poor appetite is a symptom, not the cause.”

    And treating symptoms is important. Are you the examining doctor? What tests did you run through the internet on this dog that allowed you to determine that poor appetite does not need to be addressed at this current time?

    I advised her to ASK her VET if he is COMFORTABLE prescribing it, not to DEMAND that he prescribe it to her whether he wants to or not.

    There is absolutely ZERO harm in this because it is at the doctors discretion.

    #121654 Report Abuse

    People do this all the time , they take advice online and go to the vet and ask for this test and that test, this med and that med. Of course the vet cannot accommodate them without further testing.

    Veterinarians take an oath “First do no Harm”

    Ps: Keep in mind that the examining veterinarian refused to do a basic spay surgery on a 22 month old dog due to it’s physical condition. That speaks volumes (imo)

    #121655 Report Abuse

    I’m sorry, but I fail to understand how the doctor would be doing any harm to her dog by choosing whether or not he wanted to prescribe that medication?

    He is the professional here after right? So if he goes “yeah if you’d like to give her an appetite stimulant that is a great idea!” that is HIS professional call. And if he says “no I do not want to prescribe that to her just yet” that is also his choice as a professional. So either way, a professional who IS her vet would be making the ultimate decision.

    All I did was make her aware that there are medications for poor appetite available that she could inquire about.


    A spay is not a basic procedure. Not sure what made you think that. If the dog is actually underweight, it is an anesthetic risk. Spaying a dog requires the doctor to make a midline incision into the abdominal wall. I’m very glad the doctor did not spay this dog. Does not mean the dog is too underweight to have a perfectly safe drug meant to stimulate appetite.

    #121656 Report Abuse

    Wouldn’t it be best to find out what is causing the condition that sounds like malnutrition first?

    Step one: Diagnosis

    Step two: Treatment options

    #121657 Report Abuse

    Being underweight =/= malnutrition. Now you are attempting to diagnosis the dog. Her vet believes the dog has either IBS or IBD.

    #121658 Report Abuse

    The vet thinks that the dog cannot tolerate surgery? Hello!
    I have had senior sick dogs glide through major surgeries, no issues.
    Ps: “thinks” does not = diagnosis. Obviously the vet would like to do some more testing, not sure any was done anyway.
    “Her vet believes the dog has either IBS or IBD”. Yeah, only additional testing will confirm or rule out.

    Ps: The longer the OP waits to get her dog diagnosed and treated, the lower the chance for a positive outcome.

    #121659 Report Abuse

    How does the dog not being able to undergo anesthesia mean it can not tolerate a medication meant to stimulate appetite?

    Also why are you choosing to argue this point, when it is not my decision or yours if the dog is prescribed this medication. I made her aware of the option, nothing more. Yet here we are continuing to argue about something that we have zero control over and the owner of the dog has not even responded back.

    #121660 Report Abuse

    You are right. I will ignore you. Have a nice day.

    Ps: Not sure if you know this, but vets can’t just prescribe meds on a hunch. They have to document a diagnosis based on examination and/or tests and mention alternative treatments that have been tried.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by anonymous.
    #121665 Report Abuse

    I mean, if your only solution is to ignore me then by all means go right ahead. I won’t be offended.

    The vet is suspecting IBD or IBS, which I said before, which is a diagnosis. And AGAIN, I never told her to demand the Mirtazapine from her vet, I advised her to ASK him if that is something he thinks could benefit her dog. Reading comprehension.

    Trust me, I have no issue understanding how medication is prescribed. I work with 5 vets.

    #121666 Report Abuse

    “The vet is suspecting IBD or IBS”

    This is doctor speak for, I need to do some more testing to accurately diagnose and advise you accordingly regarding medication and treatment options.

    Just my opinion 🙂 Have a nice weekend everyone!

    #121668 Report Abuse

    You do know that vets will often treat based on suspicion right? Especially if it means possibly providing some relief for the patient.

    #121669 Report Abuse

    Not anymore. Defensive medicine is being practiced by even the best vets nowadays.
    All health care professionals, really.


    #121670 Report Abuse

    Uh, not true. This is still done when needed. Especially for clients who can not afford diagnostics.

    #121700 Report Abuse

    Thank you all for your support and all the informed suggestions. I truly appreciate it. We are all in the same boat when it comes to our furry babies, we just love them like our own kids and its always very distressing when they are not well. Dont worry, I hear all of you and your kindness. I will know much more by next week after we see our Vet and then get some results back. So no worries, I will be patient and rational at this time to wait for a better diagnosis and picture before we proceed! I totally understand we all have different opinions and perspectives on how to take care of our pets, so please don’t get into a jam over this. Like I said, you are all very kind just to care and let me know what your experiences are on how best you took care of your babies, I am grateful for that and this forum. Thanks and take care.

    #121702 Report Abuse

    Thanks for your feedback.

    #121887 Report Abuse

    Hi all:

    Blood test results are back and they are all normal, great news. But Vet says it doesn’t tell us why he is not eating and cant gain weight. She would like to do a intestines ultrasound next, but it is too expensive and hubby says No! So we are back to the guessing game and either to try foods or Vet said we can try an acid reflux med like pepcid 10mg, but she doesn’t think it would do much. We could also get a GI diet but again since he mostly refuses to ear his kibble, shes doubtful that that would help. But Cet says he must try to gain weight, much too underweight rrd weight and thin.

    Any suggestions on any foods or what else we could try? Thznks so much.

    #121888 Report Abuse

    Hi all:

    Blood test results are back and they are all normal, great news. But Vet says it doesn’t tell us why he is not eating and cant gain weight. She would like to do a intestines ultrasound next, but it is too expensive and hubby says No! So we are back to the guessing game and either to try foods or Vet said we can try an acid reflux med like pepcid 10mg, but she doesn’t think it would do much. We could also get a GI diet but again since he mostly refuses to eat his kibble, shes doubtful that that would help. But Vet says he must try to gain weight, much too underweight and thin and he can not do any surgery!

    Any suggestions on any foods or what else we could try? Thanks so much.

    #121904 Report Abuse

    until vet finds out why he isnt keen on eating, I’d treat him as if he has IBS/IBD…..
    Feed him fresh foods, NO kibble, he doesn’t like kibble, he’s made that pretty clear, kibble must cause pain, nausea, acid reflux & makes whatever is wrong with him worse, so best to stop offering him any dry kibble, you’re just wasting money…
    Feed lean white meats, feed him meats he likes to eat, try my Rissole Balls recipe or Judy Morgan Pup loaf with either ground lean Turkey or ground lean chicken breast with a whisked egg made into small balls bake in oven so all the fat comes out, then add some boil sweet potatoes for the carb, sweet potatoes are healthy & sweet, dogs love sweet things, also boil rice can he eat boiled rice?? put all in a blender & blend with his chicken…
    I know he needs the fat in his diet to gain weight but high fat diet can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, acid reflux, pancreatitis….
    also try limited ingredients wet can foods instead of dry kibble, make sure the wet can foods have 4% fat or are under 4% fat in just incase he is getting acid reflux or Pancreatitis pain etc….then he wont want to eat any wet can foods like he doesn’t eat the dry kibble…
    Keep a diary so when vet ask question you have diary also for yourself foods you have tried….
    Did you get 1 can of the Hills I/d Digestive Care Chicken, Rice & Vegetables Stew? then you would have known if he liked it, the wet vet diets are made for dogs wont eat, the wet vet diet can foods smell really good & are guaranteed for palability…
    should have tried a Wet can Vet diet for Intestinal Health, use 1 can & add your own ingredients & double the amount of ingredients for the day & keep in the fridge then he’s getting a balanced diet & all the nutrients he needs.. if food is cold heat up in microwave, did you ask vet about trying the “Mirtazapine” to increase his appetite??.
    Maybe the Pepcid given twice a day morning & dinner, 30mins before he eats might make him feel better & want to eat & reduce any acid reflux….fingers X ??
    you can also try Zantac it’s the same type of drug its a newer ant acid drug…..

    The Ultra Scan might show nothing, I always read people first get blood test everything comes back good, then they get Ultra Scan, result come back everything “looks” OK cause it doesn’t show enough a& if something does come up then further testing is needed, Ultra Scans are good if vet needs to see the Pancreas or if there’s a blockage or vet wants to see if there’s any thickening of the bowel but your boy is a bit young to have thickening of the bowel already?? & when it comes to the stomach, the vet said the pancreas was in the way to get a good look at Patches stomach so I wasted about $400….
    I’ve heard there’s the new 3D Ultra scan now, maybe this is heaps better & vet can see heaps more then the normal Ultra Scan but the vet need to have this new 3d Ultra scan & I don’t know how modern your vet practice is…

    Email or ring leave a msg for your vet to call you back when she’s not busy have a written list of question you have forgotten to ask her & tell your vet, my husband said no its too expensive for Ultra Scan & ask your vet what procedure will give you the most answers, she will say Biopsies & ask how much will it cost for Endoscope & 2 Biopsies to be done?
    then ask your vet are there any Clinical Trials – looking for participants, any School of Veterinary Science who are doing clinical trials/studies for research or learning vets, needing to learn on dogs at the moment… we have few trials in Australia at the moment.

    Pitlove might know more about this..

    #121914 Report Abuse

    @ 2doodlemom
    I hope you will continue to work closely with your vet and I urge you to get the abdominal ultrasound done asap. As recommended by the examining vet.
    Ask your vet what she suspects. What does she need to rule out. It may be cost-effective in the long run.
    Trying various supplements, over the counter meds, and changing the diet frequently could end you and your dog up at the emergency vet $$$ Meanwhile the diagnosis and the medical treatment that the dog may need is delayed.
    If finances are a concern

    Sincerely, best of luck

    Ultrasounds for Dogs http://www.tuftsyourdog.com/issues/19_6/features/For-Your-Dog-X-ray-Ultrasound-CT-Scan-MRI-or-Nuclear-Medicine-250-1.html (excerpt below)
    Best for seeing: most body tissues and their architecture, including the heart, abdominal organs, and musculoskeletal system (muscles and tendons).
    How it works: Sound waves are transmitted into the patient and reflected back from tissue based on the architecture and acoustic properties of that specific tissue. (Ultrasound is not good for looking at bone or gas-filled lungs, both of which do not allow the transmission of sound waves.)
    Sedation necessary? Not usually (which helps keep down cost). Exceptions include anxious or boisterous dogs or those in pain.
    Cost: (roughly) $300-$400.
    With an ultrasound, unlike an x-ray, you can “discriminate between different things going on in one organ,” Dr. Sutherland-Smith says. “It won’t be just all one shade of gray.” For instance, if you’re looking at the liver and there’s a tumor nodule, the sound waves will reflect that differently, and it will come across as a different color and therefore get picked up.
    An ultrasound also looks at the workings of tissue in real time. It’s not just a snapshot of a single moment. For instance, you can see blood flowing through the chambers of the heart. You can see if any of the valves don’t close properly when blood goes through them and thus cause some blood to flow backward instead of forward, like it should.
    You can even see differences in fluid types you’re zeroing in on, Dr. Sutherland-Smith says. For instance, if you’re looking at the bladder, abnormal urine (perhaps containing blood or crystals) will be more reflective than normal, and it will come across as a white or gray dot in a sea of black. You could also see “cellular debris if there were an infection in the bladder, like cystitis,” Dr. Sutherland-Smith explains.
    Ninety percent of ultrasounds performed on dogs is for imaging of structures in the abdominal cavity or for looking at the heart, Dr. Sutherland-Smith points out. Occasionally, he says, ultrasounds will also be used to look at musculoskeletal issues — tendons and ligaments around the joints — or abnormal structures within the thoracic cavity.
    The dog does not usually have to be sedated unless she is particularly excitable or nervous. On the day we visited the ultrasound unit on the radiology floor of Tufts’s Foster Hospital for Small Animals, a dog was lying on her back, gel smeared across her belly, for a look with an ultrasound probe to see if her mast cell cancer had metastasized to any body organs. The dog was as comfortable as could be, with several technicians at her side to help her feel secure.
    One difference between abdominal ultrasounds for people and those for dogs is that with dogs, the medical team will generally look at all of the organ systems at one time rather than just in one location. “If the owner is spending a lot of money, we want to make sure he or she is not missing something else that will change the treatment plan,” Dr. Sutherland-Smith says. “By the time we perform an abdominal ultrasound, an older pet can often have more than one disease, and some of the illnesses may not have any outward signs for the owner or veterinarian to notice.”
    Note: Sometimes, whether to order an abdominal ultrasound or an x-ray is a judgment call. “If it’s not urgent,” Dr. Sutherland-Smith says, meaning the dog is stable and not in acute pain, “most people will wait to do an ultrasound” as the procedure cannot generally be performed on the spur of the moment. But if the dog is in bad shape, an x-ray might be ordered to see if something has ruptured, torn, or broken, or if there’s a life-threatening blockage in the G.I. tract that needs immediate surgery.

    #121915 Report Abuse

    Your post DOES NOT mention 1 thing about Scaning Intestinal Tract (Stomach & Small Bowel) not 1 thing, what this post is all about…

    Ultra Scan is excellent for Pancreas, Kidney, Urinary Crystals, Heart, Lungs, blockages in “Large Bowel”, Bones etc but when it comes to the stomach & small bowel Ultra scan is NO good, the vet can’t see around corners, vet cant see thru the Pancreas to see into stomach or small bowel, Ultra Scan can see the large bowel pretty good but that’s about it…the dog stomach area is shaved, not allowed to eat & dog is mildly sedated the dog isnt awake..

    Ultra Scanning on Stomach & Small Bowel is a waste of money, this money can go towards 2 bisopies thru Endoscope & the vet “WILL” see down thru the Esophagus into stomach & if sphincter flap to small bowel is open the vet can get 1 biopsie from small bowel where I think this dog has all his problems, then vet “Will” get “answers” what is wrong with this dog…
    I’ve been thru all this, I think I’d know more about test for Intestinal problems, then some one who always googles all their info….

    #121929 Report Abuse

    @ 2doodlemom

    Another informative article. Hope this helps https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_multi_Weight_Loss_and_Cachexia?page=show (excerpt below)

    When should your dog’s weight loss concern you? The standard is when the loss exceeds ten percent of normal body weight (and when it is not due to fluid loss). There are many things that can cause weight loss, including chronic disease. It is important to understand this because the dog’s entire body will probably be affected by the weight loss, and it ultimately depends on the cause and severity of the underlying medical condition.


    Insufficient calorie intake
    Poor quality of food
    Taste (palatability) of food
    Spoiled food/deterioration from prolonged storage
    Reduced appetite (anorexia)
    Inflammatory bowel disease
    Chronic protein-losing intestinal disorder
    Intestinal worms (parasites)
    Chronic infections of the bowel
    Tumors of the intestine
    Blockages in stomach/gut (gastrointestinal obstructions)
    Surgical removal (resection) of segments of bowel
    Disease of the pancreas
    Liver or gall bladder disease
    Organ failure (heart, liver, kidney)
    Addison’s disease
    Chronic blood loss (hemorrhaging)
    Skin lesions that ooze and cause loss of protein
    Disorders of the central nervous system that interfere with eating or appetite
    Paralysis of the esophagus
    Neurologic disorders that make it difficult to pick up or swallow food
    Increased physical activity
    Prolonged exposure to cold
    Pregnancy or nursing
    Fever or inflammation
    Bacterial infections
    Viral infections
    Fungal infections


    Your veterinarian will begin with a variety of diagnostic tests to find the underlying cause for the weight loss. After an initial health assessment, the following are some tests that might be recommended for your pet:

    Fecal studies to look for chronic intestinal parasites
    Complete blood count (CBC) to look for infection, inflammation, leukemia, anemia, and other blood disorders
    A biochemical profile that will evaluate kidney, liver, and pancreas function, and the status of blood proteins, blood sugar, and electrolytes
    Urinalysis to determine kidney function, to look for infections/protein loss from the kidneys, and to determine hydration status
    Chest and abdominal x-rays to observe heart, lungs, and abdominal organs
    Tests to evaluate the condition of the pancreas
    Ultrasound of the abdomen
    Bile acids test to evaluate liver function
    Hormone assays to look for endocrine disorders
    Using a scope to view the intestines (endoscopy) and biopsy
    Exploratory surgery (laparotomy)


    At times your veterinarian may recommend treating your pet’s symptoms, especially if they are severe. This is not a substitute, however, for treating the underlying cause of the weight loss.

    Once the appropriate treatment has been assigned, make sure a high-quality diet for your pet is provided. It may be necessary to force-feed, with nutrients given intravenously as necessary. The diet must be supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Appetite stimulants are also used occasionally to get the animal to start eating again.

    Living and Management

    A proper medical follow-up is vital, especially if the animal does not show improvement quickly. Monitoring during this period is also critical. The underlying cause of the weight loss will determine the appropriate course for home care. This includes frequent weigh-ins for the animal. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for treatment. And if your pet does not respond to the treatment, contact your vet right away.

    #121930 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    You say that his ribs and bones are showing and vet refuses to do spaying because he is so underweight. You’ve listed all the many foods you’ve tried and still he doesn’t eat or gain weight. You’re vet suggested an ultrasound to find the true cause and you stated your husband said no. I believe this dog is suffering and at such a young age a cause of starving needs to be found. Maybe in leu of gifts for birthdays, xmas etc can help in raising money for cost of ultrasound ?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Patricia A.
    #121931 Report Abuse

    @ Patricia A
    Exactly! Give up cable. Eating out. A pet is a family member. Talk to your vet, maybe they can work out a payment plan. It’s not easy. But sometimes you get a pet that needs the extra help and care. This is not an acute issue, the OP has tried various things, nothing has worked… it’s chronic

    #121938 Report Abuse

    Thanks for all your concerns, great ideas and advice. Going to work with out Vet very closely and see what next steps we should take. Talked to the Vet again today and she recommends trying the anti acid and a OTC sensitive stomach food pulse cooked chicken for now. Then we will have a recheck and decide what the next steps will be.

    #121961 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    Be careful with watching him for any side effects on the antacids. Ranitidine(Zantac for dogs) https://dogtime.com/dog-health/54801-ranitidine-zantac-dogs-uses-dosage-side-effects. Please keep us updated. We’ll all be waiting for that good news post that he’s enthusiastically eating, gaining and now is one happy pup.

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