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Sick Senior Golden needs temporary liquid diet

September 20th, 2007, 12:30 PM
My beautiful 13 yr old golden girl, Ginger, was rushed to the vet this a.m. by my BF. He thought she was either poisoned or having a stroke because when he woke up she was wobbly and unable to walk and there was white foamy vomit all over the carpet...poor thing!

The diagnosis is Vestibular Disease, which is a good thing because as terrifying as it was to see she will get better over time. The problem is she does not seem able to chew. She has been drinking her water, albeit awkwardly. I tried to hand feed kibble (which she loves) and she spits it out. I put some cottage cheese on a plate and she licked the liquid part but did not even try to eat the curds (which she also loves).

The vet says if she does not eat/drink we have to bring her back to monitor her and IV if necessary. The thought of her NOT being with me when she is so sick makes me sick so I have to get some food in her. I was thinking of blending her kibble and some cottage cheese and green beans in the blender with some water and see if she can "drink" it.

It is really important to me that she does not have to go back to the vet's so I need to get some nutrition in her. Does anyone have any experience/suggestions of what might work?

I know I don't post often but I read everyday and always appreciate the info I get from this board.

Also, whatever you believe in, if you could put a "good word in" for Ginger We would really appreciate it. She really is my heart and soul. :lovestruck:

Thanks and sorry so long ; )

September 20th, 2007, 12:34 PM
to try something to see if this will work, go get a LARGE can of baby food chicken, a small jar of spinach, carrots and a box of the oatmeal or rice.

add 2/3 the water to a serving of the oatmeal/rice and mix it 1pt oatmeal/rice, 1pt spinach and carrots mixed together and 3 parts chicken.

from there, wet it down as needed.

i hope that helps in a pinch!!

if she takes to that, you can make all of that stuff on your own with a blender. its not 'perfectly balanced' but its good enough for a week or so and far far better than nothing at all!!


September 20th, 2007, 12:59 PM
I don't have any practical suggestions but my heartfelt good wishes are with you and your Golden...

Ford Girl
September 20th, 2007, 01:07 PM
Good golden vibes heading your way...from us and Dazy! :goodvibes:

I would blend stuff for sure, kibble if it breaks down that easily, you can add things like pure pumkin, and the stuff Ashley mentioned, it's worth a try. I would also do what ever it took to keep her home with you. Good luck, keep us updated!!! :grouphug:

September 20th, 2007, 01:11 PM
be careful wetting kibble, it contains grain products that mold easily.


September 20th, 2007, 01:22 PM
Wow, thank you all for your speedy replies and especially the good wishes.

I will get BF to stop and buy some baby food on the way home. She is on grain free kibble (thanks to this site) and I don't think I will make a big batch at first anyways just in case she is not over the nausea. The vet equated what she was feeling to sea sickness so I don't want to feed her too much because she can't get up on her own if she needs to vomit. She also can't get up to go "out" either. It also says some other neurological problems in her face which is why I feel she can't move her jaw properly right now.

Poor much discomfort yet she STILL can wag her tail when I come up to her. I KNOW she will be just fine in a few days and thankfully I am off until Monday so she won't need to be alone.

I'll let you know what I "cook" up and how she takes to it.

Once again, thanks for the quick replies.

September 20th, 2007, 01:42 PM
I'm so sorry to hear what you and Ginger are going through. :grouphug: Can you give her Gravol for her nausea? I hope the blender food works and sending lots of good wishes your way. :pray: :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes:

September 20th, 2007, 03:01 PM
Thanks Rainbow, you are 100 % right...Gravol is the only thing the Vet prescribed for her. She has not vomited since early this a.m. and has been sleeping most of the day so I guess it is helping.

She is so pathetic when she wakes up. Her head is tilted to the left (which also makes eating and drinking difficult), one eye is going side to side the other is going up and down. Fortunately she has no interest in getting up or she would fall right over. Hopefully tomorrow will be better but we were told it will take at least 72 hours and effects can last for months after...Oh Mon Dieu!

She is a really strong willed girl so I am sure she will get over this with flying colors too.

September 20th, 2007, 03:44 PM
I have had three dogs in the past that had vestibular, and my experience with them has been that once the nausea passed, the eating improved, and gradual improvement to almost normal.
I have a friend whose dog was also diagnosed with this about 1 month ago, and you can hardly tell now!
Slow and steady, and good luck!

September 20th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Thanks for that Gypsy_girl. I have never heard of this and do not, to my knowledge, know anyone who has dealt with this.

What can we expect for "almost" normal? In other words, what is not the same? Don't get me wrong, I just want her here, happy, and healthy but would just like to be prepared for the "worse case scenario".


September 20th, 2007, 04:59 PM
Worst case scenario would be that the appetite doesn't improve due to the nausea.
All the dogs that I have seen show head tilting and a bit of wobbling, but it seems once they adjust to the change, they recover quite quickly
Here's an article

Good luck!

September 21st, 2007, 07:58 AM
So we are off to the vet's again this a.m. Ginger's back legs don't move at all so when we finally do manage to get her out to do business she can't even squat to do it. Tried a towel under her abdomen but nothing happens either.

I am really out of my comfort zone on this one so we will bring her back there...trying to follow my head and not my heart on this one :fingerscr

I'll keep you posted.

September 21st, 2007, 07:03 PM
As hard as it was, I think you made the right decision. :grouphug: I hope she is home with you again soon. :fingerscr :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

September 21st, 2007, 08:25 PM
Sorry to hear about your problems with your girl. I'm hoping all is well with her and she returns home soon. I just wanted to make a suggestion if you want a very palatable food that is also very easy on the stomach for her. Canned green tripe, is very easily digested, and quite irresistable to most dogs. It's meant to compliment the diet of a good quality kibble or raw. I mix it with my dogs kibble and they go crazy for it. If you are having trouble getting her to eat, try giving her some, then maybe adding your kibble as you go. It contains digestive enzymes, so it will help her digestion and there are alot of benefits to feeding it, you can check it out on their website. I've even heard of people feeding it to their dogs to help with car sickness, so it could even help with nausea. Good luck, hope she is feeling better. :pray:

September 21st, 2007, 10:04 PM
:fingerscr that you got good news from the vet and Ginger is home again! Our thoughts are with you tonight! :grouphug:

September 23rd, 2007, 11:43 AM
Sorry it took so long to get back...this is why I don't post often!!!

Anyhoo, as awful as it was leaving Ginger at the Vet's on Friday and we were not allowed to visit Friday night as she was so uncomfortable/irritated/agitated that she kept pulling her catheter out and they did not want us exciting her more it was ssssoooooooooooooo fantastic bringing her home on Saturday!!!!

Saturday morning she was able to stand a bit but was still not walking and had not peed. The vet asked us to come on Saturday afternoon in the hopes of stimulating her to walk and, OMG, it worked. She saw us and walked out of her run to see us. Not far but enough to get her going. We brought her outside for a visit and it was obvious she was not going to let us out of her sight again so we brought her home where she slept most of the afternoon and all night until 8a.m. We let her out front where she walked practically the whole yard and finally squatted and peed. Later on she let me know she needed out to do her other business so we feel we are really going in the right direction now.

She still has a head tilt and leans left when she stands and can't walk far but her appetite is great and she is definitely letting us know what she wants!!!!

Thank you Purpledomino for the info on Tripe. I bought some and she and Hobo both LOVE it. Everyone else thanks so much for the positive and encouraging words. It really meant a lot, especially since I am a virtual stranger!

Here's a pic from this morning resting in her spot!

September 23rd, 2007, 11:59 AM
My BF says she looks peaceful and she is thinking, "I am at home again, YES!!!" We hope that everything is good news from here and she makes a speedy and full recovery. :grouphug::grouphug: :fingerscr

September 23rd, 2007, 12:17 PM
She looks so comfy in that spot! I wouldnt want to move either! She is beautiful! I see a familiar blanket in the picture...bottom right corner? from Costco? I have one and my boy loves to lay on that blankey!

Lots of good vibes coming your way for a speedy recovery...

:thumbs up

September 23rd, 2007, 12:40 PM
Glad you have Ginger back home and she sure looks happy to be there. :cloud9: What a beautiful girl she is. :lovestruck: I hope her recovery goes well and she is soon back to normal. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes:

Please keep us updated on her progress. :grouphug:

September 23rd, 2007, 05:57 PM
:goodvibes: Good news! I'm so happy Ginger is home and resting, I'm sure she is happy to be comfortable and at home with her family. Glad they liked the tripe too....I knew they would! :D