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Very finicky chi pup

August 15th, 2007, 01:54 PM
I need some help and will do a very quick summary of our life with Eddie.

Today marks 3 weeks of ownership. 3 days after bringing home from breeder Eddie almost died from severe giardi, coccidia, and glucose levels that couldn't even be read. 3 days in hospital on IV and meds $1500.

Very small meals for week after that every two hours. Strength back, happy puppy but then cut feedings back to every 4-5 hrs in an effort to cut down on poop. (10+ /day) This resulted in lethargic Eddie. Small bouts of energy followed by sleepiness, depression, only eating if hand fed. Because of first experience, worried and so back to vet office. They were stumped so suggested a few more tests. $300 in fees to run full blood panel, urine, fecal. Everything ok - vet suggested more tests. Declined.

I think I have this finally pinpointed to hypoglycemia. If he doesn't eat, the cycle begins. Little food equals blah Eddie which in turn results is no appetite which further complicates the matter at hand. Have been pretty good about enticing him to eat for me now however he is extremely finicky. Turns his nose up at dog food more often than not. Favorite meal seems to be turkey/chicken breast/carrots/peas and apples.

Fine... I will make homemade dog food if this is what works but need some good advice as to what his nutritional requirements are. Kibble from breeder was Kirkland specialty puppy. Soft was Medical development formula. No interest in either which is why I started feeding him the human food. I can't afford to keep taking this little guy to the vet when he gets sick so would like to do the best that I can for him.

Where does one start when attempting to make their own dog food? Any good resources out there for me to read? Anything in particular that this brred needs?

Eddie is now 12 weeks old and weighs 1.56 pounds. Including purchase price we have now spent close to $2500 on this little beast (I say this with tongue in cheek) within 3 weeks. If the princess needs different food to keep him happy and healthy and out of the vet's office then so be it.

Enlighten me oh brilliant ones... where do I start?

August 15th, 2007, 03:37 PM
I'm glad Eddie is being a finicky little beggar ~ he's on the mend !! I homecooked for many years and highly recommend it. There are TONS of resources (I've posted a bunch of recipes and there are tons of others posted as well) in this forum (the dog/cat forum) of this board. If memory serves I and others have posted a couple of lists of books on canine nutrition and other links. Have a good and thorough read ~ there's LOTS of information here. And don't hesitate to ask questions. The only caveat I would add is that as he is still on the mend KEEP IT SIMPLE and don't look at novel proteins (like elk or rabbit) quite yet. Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions along the way !

August 15th, 2007, 04:20 PM
yep, a good place to start him would be 50% chicken, 25% rice and an equal blend of kelp, carrots and peas to make up the rest. maybe a table spoon of plain yogurt and a fish oil supplement.

thats pretty basic. you can get way with that for a few weeks without repercussion. you want to end up with a variety of meats, dairy, small amount of grains (smaller than 25% i cited above) and veggies.

one thing i found that helps is to think of MY diet (or rather what i SHOULD be eating??:) ) and mold his after it. he needs more meat (by far) and less grains, probably fewer veggies if i feed organ meats such as liver, heart, and kidney.

Kelp contains a fair bit of calcium. you may want to look at how MUCH calcium you need (isnt it 600mg per lb of muscle meat??) per meal for him. eggs are also good but pretty rich, do no feed them raw while he is sick and malnourished.

good luck with this!! there is no exact science to this so im sure you will get many many different kinds advice. most of them are probably right. :)


August 15th, 2007, 06:47 PM
Might I also suggest you ask your vet if they carry a liquid food called Rebound. This can be used as a supplement to fortify the little guy. He weighs under 2lbs so has to eat a minimum of 6 small meals a day. No way can something that tiny eat kirland and medical development. Chi's that I know, all eat home cooked or raw for this very reason. Best of luck... btw.. are there photos somewhere of the little one?

August 18th, 2007, 07:51 AM
We have a little yorkie, who I've just managed to put some weight on to (he now tips the scales at a whopping 3 lbs). We had a horrible time trying to find food that had enough substance to keep him going, but being diabetic, I know about hypoglycemia so at least that wasn't as stressful for us.

He now eats a food called Origen, it has lots of protein and naturally occurring animal fats which take a long time to metabolize, plus some fruits and veggies for faster acting carbs, which keep his sugar levels propped up over the course of the day. But the switch to this food was a little rough as his body was used to have rice to metabolize. We did the switch over a 4 day period when someone would be home with him. And gave him honey when he started to crash, the honey was given to him on our finger (dip finger in honey pot basically), and he'd get a 'finger-full' every 10 minutes until he perked up (just like you'd do for a diabetic who was having trouble).

Good luck, and don't hesitate to call the vet to ask questions.

August 19th, 2007, 11:02 AM
Thanks everyone. We are back to vet today for 12 week boosters. I will see if they will give me some advice as well. He has been eating the homemade but will only do so if we encourage. I worry about daytime hours now as after the summer off I am back to my contract job. Friday was his first day on his own and while I put out 3 choices (what a sucker I am eh?) he didn't touch a thing. Ate extremely well when I got home but that means he went from 8am thru to 5pm with nothing.

What I have made:

Turkey/carrots/peas/brown rice
Roast beef/veggies/rice
Cooked egg/veggies/oatmeal/plain yogurt (he loves the yogurt)

Fruits he likes: apples, bananas, mango
Veggies he likes: carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower

Its a shopping day today so I will pick up the ingredients for many of the recipes that I have read on here.

I'm going to try and find a kibble that he will eat - figure I should try the orijen?

Pics... everytime I try to upload it says file too big. There is a link i attached before to my first post but I haven't added any recents pics to it.

August 19th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Orijen is a very good food by my standards for kibble. It may be worth a try ~ I know my petfood store sells sample sizes.

August 19th, 2007, 01:36 PM
I would also suggest Orijen. :thumbs up

August 19th, 2007, 03:12 PM
Back from vet office where I got in trouble for feeding Eddie like I have. Was told to try Science Diet. I asked about Orijen and he had never heard of it.

Because this is an Vet/Animal Hospital, we haven't seen the same vet twice. I think that I will look around for one in our area and hopefully find someone good who knows a thing or too about chis.

Went to pet store and was going to buy the Orijen even though they did not have a sample package in the puppy. I ended up talking to a lady who was promoting Go! Natural and she felt that too high of a protien kibble would be hard on the liver. She told me she works at the spca and has rescued dogs and stood 100% behind the product. She also gave me 2 bags plus a can for free. First bag (green) has no grain, second one (blue) is supposed to be the highest caloric count in all brands out there. Kibble is small so a better size than Kirkland was.... of course Eddie stuck up his nose but he is also tired and sore from the 3 shots today.

Opinions/comments on what she told me and about the Go Natural brand itself?

August 19th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Hmm that seems odd, as GO! Natural makes a no grain high protein, so not sure why she would say that????
Opinions/comments on what she told me and about the Go Natural brand itself?
What did she tell you about the food, or are you referring to the high protein???
High protein is not an issue in this respect, but sometimes some of the littlier guys get runny stools on the grain frees.
I feed GO! and mix around between the flavours, and really like it. I like that the ingredients are from N America, and it's Canadian to boot!

August 19th, 2007, 03:48 PM
She was concerned about the no grain high protien for the chihuahua. She feeds it to her dogs and loves it but she has big brutes as opposed to the pipsqueak we have.

I need to find a high quality kibble or can that he will eat and not risk him starving himself out of stubborness. If we were talking about a 20lb pup as opposed to the under 2lb one I wouldn't be as concerned. The thing is when his blood sugar drops from missed meals it starts a whole schwack of problems.

August 19th, 2007, 03:56 PM
I fed my big guys the high calorie GO!, as even if they don't eat that much, they would still be getting more calories than if they ate the same amount of grain free or other typical holistic or super premium.
At this point in time, I think that whatever you can find that he likes will be the ticket ( as long as the quality is there)
Have you tried warming it in the microwave for a few seconds? This heats up the fats and oils, and can increase palatability

August 19th, 2007, 05:27 PM
He may find canned food more palatable. Two good ones to try are:


Innova (

August 19th, 2007, 07:13 PM
He's a poop. Still turning his nose up. Ate 3 kibbles though. I gave him a dab of the canned which looks good and heated it up. Sniffed and walked away. Argh!

I can tell his sugars are low today though and combined with the blahs from the boosters this morn it will be one of those nights where I bug him every couple of hours to have a bite or two of whatever he will eat.

This may sound odd however I think that I will crush the kibble up into a powder and sprinkle it in within the chicken/rice/veggies/yogurt. Then, even if he only has a couple bites he is getting the nutrients from the high calorie kibble.

Woe is me! :wall: Cursed cute puppy. I feel sorry for all that he is going through these past 3 weeks but why oh why won't he just eat?!! Ahhhhhh. :p

August 21st, 2007, 08:10 PM
This pup is going to starve himself to death. What he once gobbled down he now sticks his nose up at. I am at a loss as to what to do. Nothing seems to interest him. He will have a tiny bite or two and then walk away. :sad:

August 21st, 2007, 08:41 PM
Have you tried mixing in raw (canned) tripe in with his kibble. My gang goes cuckoo-for-cocoapuffs for the stuff. It's stinky though...

August 21st, 2007, 09:35 PM
Am presently fostering a 13 week old 4 lb. chi mix (toy poodle) and was having same feeding problems until I tried Medi-Cal Development Formula. She will nibble 7-8 kibbles every few hours and has managed to gain 1/4 lb in 1 week. her poop is solid, less frequent and she has tons more energy. Everything else I gave her just seemed to go right through her, she was pooping 4 times a day, seemed very sluggish and weak.

August 21st, 2007, 10:47 PM
What the heck is canned tripe mummummum and where do I find it?

He used to nibble on the Medi-cal development if we hand fed. It has been a few weeks since he has done so though.

I have various cans in the fridge from the vets and pet store. They are all pretty much full - he will have a taste if I am lucky and then turn away.

Energy level is pretty blah unless I am successful in getting some food in him. Then he perks up and does super eights around the room and I can tell he feels so much better but do you think it sinks in and he will eat on his own without prodding? Forget it.

I do not think he is getting adequate nutrition with what "people food" I have been able to get in him. I am worried and frustrated.:shrug: :shrug:

August 24th, 2007, 08:38 AM
Hi There

Realistically, 4 kibble is quite allot. The Yorkie's portion is 1/8 of a cup twice daily... which isn't a whole lot. Since he's just a pup and his teeth might be hurting, try soaking the food in hot water to make it soft?! Or the canned foods suggested are quite good as well, maybe a mix of the two?

If you see his energy drop, try giving him some honey, just a bit and see what happens. Where possible, try to stay away from the foods that have grains in them. Since the dog is so small, he needs foods that will 'stick to his ribs', as grandma used to say, and grains that are metabolized within an hour of being eaten aren't going to help (and by the way, its normal for a dog not to eat when no-one is home, lots of dogs are like that!). I agree, that in most cases, a homemade diet isn't going to have all the good stuff in it that commercial foods have, but then neither would a Medi-cal or Science Diet.

August 26th, 2007, 07:45 PM
Pup has been doing pretty good. He seems to tolerate the Go! Natural and will eat when we "remind" him. Every now and then he will surprise us all by eating alot. He ate 32 small kibble for the kids yesterday morning. Holy cow! Didn't want anything for the rest of the day.

Thanks for your suggestions. They all came in handy.

September 1st, 2007, 08:43 AM
My picky baby girl loves canned tripe. Gets it about once a week, plus raw frozen would probably be a good choice. Ours eat that plus Innova's Evo (kibble and canned) plus some Merrick and Candidae canned. Eggs about once a week, snacks are small baby carrots, diced apples, bites of pear, melon. Keep in mind at 1.5 pounds his little tummy will probably only hold a couple ounces. :eek:

September 1st, 2007, 05:31 PM
twruble, you can get canned tripe at most of the pet stores that sell premium/holistic food. :pawprint: