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Ideas for old dog with poor appetite

MBRA518
February 13th, 2008, 09:33 AM
I have and 11.5 year old rottie that is not eating well.

She is under vet care - she developed an autoimmune condition in the fall, she was extremely anemic, through drug therapy (steroids) she came back to normal and we have been slowly weaning her off the drugs for the last 6 months. Over the last 2 weeks we've added codeine for arthritis (the steroids were keeping it in check until that point) and have been dealing with her being bloated/swollen belly (still do not know why - may be a symptom of the existing problems) She's been getting more and more picky over the last 4 weeks… we went from hot water on the kibble, to milk or other tempting things on kibble to adding some wet dog food to mostly wet dog food to all wet dog food.. And yesterday the only thing she would eat were dog biscuits and sandwich meat….. Each thing would work for a few days to a week or more.

The blood tests last night showed her heading in the anemic direction again so we've upped the steroids a little again (which may help the appetite on it's own) and she's on a round of Antibiotics again (the steroids are an immune suppressant so this is the 3rd round in 6 months) The vet gave us a special recovery food yesterday, which she readily scoffed down last night but she wasn't too interested in this morning - though she may eat it through the day -we'll see. I have some chicken out to try tonight and I'll do some rice and potatoes with that. But I'm looking for other ideas that have worked for other people. I fear we are nearing the end here :sad: and just want to make her comfortable as long as possible. She's very interested in food - readily checks out any new addition to the bowl but she don't usually like what she finds - though she tends to taste test everything. We've also tried different bowls - human plates etc… all with limited success.

The vet fears cancer - though the x-rays 6 months ago showed no tumors. She has a lump on her side that she had previously that went away with anti-inflammatory drugs she was on for arthritis (Derramax) before the AI issue. That lump has since came back but were are rather sure that is not cancerous as it went away before. But rotties are prone to cancer so…..

Any ideas would be appreciated. :fingerscr

badger
February 13th, 2008, 10:05 AM
Could it be the codeine? Codeine makes me nauseous.
Has her swollen tummy been checked? I'm sure the vet would know if it was a fluid buildup, which would also have an effect on her appetite wouldn't it? Maybe she feels full.
Someone more expert than I will be able to give you ideas.
Poor girl.:pray:

MBRA518
February 13th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Could it be the codeine? Codeine makes me nauseous.
Has her swollen tummy been checked? I'm sure the vet would know if it was a fluid buildup, which would also have an effect on her appetite wouldn't it? Maybe she feels full.
Someone more expert than I will be able to give you ideas.
Poor girl.:pray:

I don't think it's the Codeine as it started before we started that; and at this point her quality of life is crap with out it - shoulder arthritis - and it's the easiest on the system of our options which are limited because of the prednisone steroids she's on - so removing it is not really an option - If I don't have better luck with the chicken tonight I will back off the codeine a little though and see if it helps. I think it has more to do with the anemia - our warning sign originally was a lack of appetite and that is a rather common side effect.
The belly is likely fluid, though she is gas-y too, but the vet doesn't know what type of fluid or why - though he fears cancer. It very well may be the fluid effecting her appetite as well, we have a round of wormer (it's a long shot) and the antibiotics (blood work showed a minor infection) so we are trying to cover all bases and are hoping the increase in steroids may clear it up. I will not put her through surgery at this point in her life - too much pain for not enough gain - so we are trying to cover all possibilities with drug therapy.

MBRA518
February 14th, 2008, 09:06 AM
Well she is eating chicken...raw??? She doesn't usually like raw (I tried raw diets with her before and she preferred cooked) But I'm happy with what ever she will eat at this point. She was looking at the counter with the defrosting chicken (I was planning on cooking for her) so I offered her some raw and down it went... no upset stomach or vomiting and she seems to have perked up a little (she wasn't that lethargic - just a little)

She ate about 1 pound of chicken yesterday (1/2 cooked and 1/2 raw - but the raw went much quicker) and 1/2 pound of raw this morning... I'll try a stew tonight.... so far so good. Wish us luck!:fingerscr

rainbow
February 14th, 2008, 02:37 PM
Glad to hear that she is eating. Raw is very good for her. Check out the Food Forum here...there is a sub-forum for raw feeding. Good luck and keep us posted. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

Purpledomino
February 14th, 2008, 03:06 PM
You might want to try giving her some canned green tripe. I use the Tripett brand. You can purchase it at most good holistic pet food stores.

Tripe is rich in everything good for the flora in the gut, like amino acids, digestive enzymes, essential fatty acids and digestive juices.:yuck: It sounds and smells disgusting I know...but dogs go bonkers over the stuff and I haven't met a dog that doesn't love it. It's designed to compliment a quality kibble or raw diet, and is great for picky eaters or dogs with nausea or digestive issues.

Just remember that the tripe you buy at the store or butcher is not the same...that tripe is bleached and quite different. You need the green tripe, either canned specifically for dogs, or frozen. Good luck, I hope your girl feels better soon!:grouphug:

www.tripett.com

MBRA518
February 14th, 2008, 03:19 PM
You might want to try giving her some canned green tripe. I use the Tripett brand. You can purchase it at most good holistic pet food stores.

Tripe is rich in everything good for the flora in the gut, like amino acids, digestive enzymes, essential fatty acids and digestive juices.:yuck: It sounds and smells disgusting I know...but dogs go bonkers over the stuff and I haven't met a dog that doesn't love it. It's designed to compliment a quality kibble or raw diet, and is great for picky eaters or dogs with nausea or digestive issues.

www.tripett.com

I was actually thinking about that. I've used it before - but the store I bought it from is closed... I'll have to call around and see where I can find it. It will be interesting to see if she likes that - I have no idea what is on her gross radar... I don't understand why treats (I use mother hubarts) are still ok but kibble and canned dog food is gross!?? I do know that doggies get expensive as they age - chicken for dinner!!! … she's lucky she's worth it! lol

and yes - tripe smells aweful! lol

geisha
February 14th, 2008, 04:22 PM
Sometimes even searing the meat helps bring out the flavor a bit more.
She is probably not exercising as much and that decreases the appetite. Codeine does constipate. How are her poops?

MBRA518
February 15th, 2008, 08:34 AM
Sometimes even searing the meat helps bring out the flavor a bit more.
She is probably not exercising as much and that decreases the appetite. Codeine does constipate. How are her poops?

Her poops are ok - the vet warned us about that and as a result I took her back a bit from the recommended dose as she was a little constipated on the full 4 pill/day - she's at 3/day now and that seems to be ok. She went up the stairs to her favorite bed on her own last night while we were out… normally she waits until we go to bed… so she's feeling a little stronger now. I'm going to have to start walking her I think as she will not go to the barn with us (we have horses and the barn chore trips are her normal exercise) I think the deep snow is too much for her - so I think some walks down the road will have to start tonight.
She's still eating her raw chicken well and ate almost 1/2 can of tripe last night and most of the rest of that can this morning. She also ate most of her stew this morning (I think I gave her more than enough) Hopefully she will eat the rest during the day. Salami is making the pills go down easy and no vomiting :fingerscr
Her belly is still swollen - though doesn't appear any bigger and her gums are no worse - though they are not much pinker either… Cross your fingers for her!:pray:

badger
February 15th, 2008, 09:08 AM
Can we have a picture, and a name?
:pray: that she continues to improve.

MBRA518
February 15th, 2008, 10:22 AM
Her name is Rosie my web shots has some pics of her
http://pets.webshots.com/album/116493744gyYQlD

I don't know how to post them here - some who knows is welcome to do so from the web shots page.

badger
February 15th, 2008, 10:54 AM
Rosie is adorable, as are your other beasts. Did you rescue the horses?

MBRA518
February 15th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Thank you!

The 2 pinto's (horses) were not rescues but the solid mare (Tomi) was a starving PMU baby my father rescued at auction as a 6 month old. She has some issues due to the starvation (a bone spur and flattish hoofs and mild club feet) but is perfectly sound with regular trimming and fun to ride and a great mover - even with less than perfect conformation.

The 2 ponies I got for $50 each… the gelding (brown one) is about 25ish and was very much over weight and the mare (pinto) was/is severely foundered. She is now pasture sound (went from laying down all day to running, bucking and kicking :shrug: her pasture buddy). Her feet still look odd due to the bone structure changes - we are hoping to do a little bit of cart work with each of them this year… we'll see how much the mare will be able to do. The gelding is a true 'evil pony' lol very much an imp and full of P&V he is going to look great in a cart! You would never guess his age in a million years.

want4rain
February 15th, 2008, 12:49 PM
if she is eating raw chicken, have you tried any red meats? you mentioned anemia. also feed raw chicken/beef liver if you can. if you can, go as raw as possible. its the absolute best thing you coudl be feeding her. i would *strongly* suggest finding some green tripe, as others have mentioned. especially if she is on antibiotics. is she eating any bones?? also see if you cant get some glucosamine in her. the suggested ratio for nutrition with raw is 80%meat, 10%bones(we feed raw chicken bones because they are softer), 10% organs with 5% of that being liver based.

:grouphug: i hope she feels better soon.

-ash

MBRA518
February 15th, 2008, 01:12 PM
I got some green tripe last night - she's eating it but not in huge amounts - less than a can/day.

I have some liver that I will be feeding her and I'll be calling the neighor to see if I can get some more (beef farmer).

She ate some cooked beef this morning... I made a stew for her last night... carrots, peas, potatoes and beef in water in a little low sodium beef broth.

I have some bones that I'll thaw out for her too.. (we have a side of beef in the freezer from the neighbor). I just didn't want to throw everything at her at once... slow and steady seems to be the safest... I don't want to turn her off what she's finally eating.

want4rain
February 15th, 2008, 01:37 PM
oh ah!! beef farmer!! see if you cant get some lung, heart, trachia, kidney.... brains!! yum!! also you dont have to feed much tripe in a day. a few table spoons should do it. :)

when cooking for her, make sure there is no onion or raisin/grapes in her food!!

hey, you know some folks here had really great success with Satin Balls (dont laugh!!!) im sure if you hunt around you can find a recipe for it but it goes something like this-

raw hamburger meat
total cereal
eggs w/shells
yogurt
err..... touch of liver??? i cant remember now!

also, for posting pics (not that any of us cant click on your link and see your lovely little lady) do you see up below the title spot? to the right of 'fonts' and 'sizes' is a little paper clip you can click on. in there you can upload pics that are less than 100k.

-ashley

MBRA518
February 16th, 2008, 09:36 PM
:cry: Well... sad day, she was vomiting last night (5 times) and couldn't eat anything today, so we had her PTS this afternoon. Her belly swelling was starting to hurt and she just let us know it was time..... we will miss her very much. A very nice neighbor came with his backhoe and buried her in the yard for us.. she will always be under her favorite tree now. I think I'm almost cried out now... been a rough day. :rip:

Thanks to everyone for your help and thoughts

the gang
February 16th, 2008, 10:28 PM
your baby was beautiful!!!!:sorry: for her passing but she is pain free now its just the people they leave behind it leaves a big hole in our heart, we have all been there, its tough i know try in a bit to think of the fun you had with your pup you take care i send you my thoughts brenda and the 5 min pins :rip: little one!

Luba
February 16th, 2008, 10:38 PM
I'm very sorry for your loss.
God bless this little angel.

shredy
February 16th, 2008, 11:20 PM
I am so sorry for your loss, it sounds to me like you did everything you possibly could have to help her get well and keep her comfortable. She is running again and will wait for you at the bridge. I know how you must be feeling right now and my heart goes out to you.

:rip: Rosie :candle:

rainbow
February 17th, 2008, 12:09 AM
I am so sorry to hear about Rosie. :sad: My deepest condolences for your loss. :grouphug: :candle:

MBRA518
February 17th, 2008, 10:06 AM
Thanks everyone. She was a wonderful dog and I'd had her through most of the major events of my life. I got her before I left home for my last 3 years of university. She was with me through university, moving to Ontario from Nova Scotia, buying 2 houses, finding my husband and getting married. I have many wonderful memories that will keep her alive in my heart.

She was loved by all who knew her and will be dearly remembered.:angel2: