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Started RAW - Don't wont eat (anything)

October 24th, 2008, 12:10 AM
EDIT: Ack... the title was supposed to say "Dog wont eat (anything)" /drinks more coffee hehe

After a few attempts at some new food, we've decided to put our dog, Koda, on a raw diet. Here's some background info...

Koda was recently diagnosed with diabetes and is 3 years old. We switched him to new red meat kibbles and rice and chicken. He had a reaction to the cooked chicken or rice we were feeding him and was scratching really bad. We went to the vet asap and he was given prednisone pills, flea treatment and a needle of something. Forgive me, I can't recall the name of it at this time, but I'm sure it started with a 'D'. After that we switched vets. The meds made him VERY ill. Still to this day he hasn't eaten more than a handful of food a day since these meds (about 3 weeks) and he's a 65lb dog, so a handful sure isn't enough. He throws up about 2-3 times a day, and this started the day he got that shot. The new vet was telling us that the shot Koda received for the itchy skin was, in her opinion, extreme for the situation and probably unnecessary. She said in all of her years of practice she has only ever used this medication once, and it was a quality of life issue, before death. She explained to us that it shuts down his immune system, makes his body unable to heal, makes him throw up and have diarrhea, and she thought it was a bit extreme for some itchy skin. She also explained that it is a slow release medication and will stay in his system for some time. I didn't even think to ask how long, exactly.

Anywho... she examined him very thoroughly, ran blood work, skin samples under the microscope (to be sure the itching wasn't mites/bacteria) and she said everything was normal besides his blood sugar levels. Since Koda received that shot at the other vet he is eating very rarely, and then throwing up within about 20 mins of eating. Even treats he is throwing up too. The new vet switched Koda from EVO to DCO kibble for diabetics. He ate 1/2 a bowl, threw up and then hasn't touched it since. That was 1 week ago. In the last week he has eaten raw eggs and raw ground beef in very small amounts, and throwing it back up.

Today I went to Tailblazers and bought a raw bison dinner diet for Koda. As soon as I came home I gave him a full frozen patty and 1 raw egg. He ate about 1/3 of the patty and the egg minus the shell and he threw it all up about 3 hours later. Tonight when I came home from a dinner out with family I gave him a thawed patty, he sniffed and walked away. I tried giving another frozen patty, again, sniff sniff and walked away. My dog usually goes CRAZY over "human" food, aka meat of any kind. He is completely uninterested in this raw diet. I am going to call the vet tomorrow and see if I can get him in asap. Him not eating is making me not sleep, and driving me insane with worry.

I feel that I'm making the right decision with the raw diet, I know it will be the very best for him, but what good is it if he wont eat it?! I tried giving it frozen, mostly because I didn't want him to gobble it too fast. At least if it's frozen he has to work at it. I've also tried putting it in his bowl with a bit of water and mixing it up so it's more like stew and he still doesn't want it. I tried to sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese on top, nope, doesn't' want it still.
How can I get him more interested in this food? I hope it wasn't a waste of money. I bought a whole case! lol :shrug:

PS - He still is drinking and peeing/pooping as normal. No diarrhea, no constipation.

EDIT: The raw dinner patties I bought are "Arusha Bison Dinner Patties" in case anyone was curious.

October 24th, 2008, 01:08 AM
The shot he got was most likely Depo-medrol a cortisone shot, it suppresses the immune system response instead of working with the body to cure the ailment.

Raw should be fed thawed or mostly thawed not completely frozen straight from the freezer.

You can try a little cooked ground beef ontop of the thawed raw see if that will tempt him to eat more.

Is Koda on a probiotic to rebalance the bacterial flora in the gut? I would suggest putting him on one right away, especially with the several recent food changes.

Are you raising Koda's dishes? This helps to keep the stomach acid in the stomach where it belongs. I'm guessing Koda doesn't want to attempt to eat because of nausea.

Do you have Koda on Vetsulin injections to regulate the blood sugar levels? This and regular scheduled feeding will help control the vomitng since his system will be more balanced.

I'm not very knowledgeable about diabetes & unfortunately the member who is, Sugarcatmom, is on vacation right now.

October 24th, 2008, 08:18 AM
Like growler mentioned, I would not feed the patties frozen as it could very well contribute to vomiting after eating (one of my dogs will, even if food is too cold, promptly bring it back up about hour later or at the very least become very nauseated).

A good system I've found is to float the feeding bowl with the food in it in a larger bowl of hot water to bring it to room temp. This also may help you as it bring out the smell of the meat a little, which may help in making it appealing to your dog.

I would suggest that you maybe try the Arusha chicken or turkey patties to start. The bison bones are much harder than poultry bones, and harder to digest. Under normal circumstances it may be totally fine, but if there's already a bunch of digestive upset happening, starting with the most easily digestible meals might be a good idea. Doesn't mean you've wasted your money, you could certainly set the bison aside for a bit later.:shrug:

October 24th, 2008, 08:51 AM
Thanks you two. Koda is on Humulin insulin twice a day, 4 units each time. But, since he hasn't been eating, he hasn't been getting his insulin.

I will try the floating bowl tip, and I will also get him a probiotic supplement. Just 90 more mins till the vet opens, and then hopefully I can take him in.

The lady at Tailblazers suggested that I try Bison because of Koda's previous reactions to poultry (The itchy skin). She also said it was the leanest of the meats, and best for diabetics. She didn't tell me it was harder to digest. Good to know, though.

Maybe I will run and grab a few packages of different meat types and see if he likes one better than another to start. I'm hoping he's going to start eating soon, or I fear I may have to force feed with a syringe. That's not going to be fun for either of us hehe. He can be stubborn.

The reason I tried the frozen patty to begin with was that when I got home Koda was very excited I had a big box, and I figured I may as well take advantage of this "food excitement" moment while I could. As opposed to thawing it out - he may not be interested in it any longer if I waited. The lady at tailblazers also said that some dogs prefer their meals frozen, but she did warn it was a bit harder to digest.

EDIT: I also wanted to add that I don't believe it is an appetite problem. I think it's him being overly picky. Kibbles aren't exciting him AT ALL, but when I was giving raw chicken (a few days ago, even though it bugs him I was desperate to get him to eat) and eggs, he would gobble it up. So I get the feeling it's an "I'm going to wait it out till I get the food I want" type of thing. If he wasn't diabetic I would make him fast until he ate, but that would be treading in dangerous waters considering at our current situation. So eventually I just have to give in.

October 24th, 2008, 09:55 AM
So I just called the vet and they said the shot he received at the other vet would most likely not still be in his system. So, it looks like we're dealing with ANOTHER problem here. I'm just waiting for them to call back to see when I can get in.

On a good note, I fed him another patty about 30 mins ago. He hasn't thrown up yet :fingerscr And he did seem to enjoy it quite a bit!

Vet called back, we'll be in to see them at 11:30, hopefully they can provide some answers.

October 24th, 2008, 07:12 PM
Back from the vet.... the good news is that my vet is very accepting to raw diets. She even feeds her dog a raw diet. We're going to wait until Koda is feeling better again before starting it, though.

October 24th, 2008, 09:30 PM
my thoughts are to use something super tasty sprinkled on top to see if that entices him to eat. my father is a diabetic and frankly its hard to find things he likes to eat. i know dogs are dogs but if he doesnt like it, dont make him eat it as long as its reasonable. maybe trying some other birds will work?? turkey? duck?

also my dog reacted badly to kibble (all but evo) although we have fed him on a raw/homemade(he gets our leftovers) of which he gets all of the different things included in the kibbles we tried. we figure he has an intolerance to perhaps whatever an ingredient is cooked into?? not sure. has he had raw chicken and reacted badly??


October 24th, 2008, 11:42 PM
Thanks you two. Koda is on Humulin insulin twice a day, 4 units each time. But, since he hasn't been eating, he hasn't been getting his insulin.

Do you home test his insulin levels throughout the day?

Remember I know very little about diabetes so this maybe a dumb question - Did you ask the vet if he should still get insulin even if he's not eating?

October 24th, 2008, 11:49 PM
I am a big fan of raw and feed it to both my dogs and cats. I would suggest however trying a home cooked meal for a few weeks until you can strengthen his immune system a bit.

How about making a BIG batch of stew. Get a big bunch of meat (beef, turkey ?) and throw in some potato and veggies and a bunch of water. Cook it all up and serve slightly warm. Definately add in some probiotics and then hopefully after he gets eating properly you can slowly introduce a raw diet. The stew is not an ideal balanced diet but for a week or so it would be ok.

Good luck :goodvibes:.

October 25th, 2008, 12:16 AM
Hi all.

growler - yes, I do test Koda's insulin levels at home with a meter. When we found out he was diabetic he was at 32 (normal is between 3.3 - 6.6)! We got down to about 12 within a few weeks, but then he got sick (from the vets meds) and the insulin has been very occasional, and unscheduled - unfortunately. He can ONLY get his insulin when he has eaten at least 1/2 of his meal, which lately has been almost never. The vet thinks part of the vomiting could be his glucose going up and down, up and down, like a roller coaster. Right now I am testing about 1x per week since he is no where near normal glucose levels. When he gets closer to the 6.6 mark I will test before each shot, to ensure it's necessary. If I tested before each meal right now his ear would be all butchered - I still haven't quite got the hang of the poking/squeezing for blood part yet (But I try!).

On a side note, growler, when I was at the vet today I peeked inside the file and the old vet gave him a high dose of Dexamethasone. That was the 'D' medication I couldn't remember the name.

TeriM - I absolutely love the idea of making some stew for Koda. I would love some more details about what exactly to do. I'm good at step-by-step things, I get lost when I have to fill in blanks or be creative :laughing:

"The stew is not an ideal balanced diet but for a week or so it would be ok" - I agree, but it would be better than his current diet of NOTHING lol =(

I was thinking if it was possible with ground beef, beef stalk (or water) and frozen veggies I could make it first thing in the AM. If not I'll have to wait for Safeway to open to get other ingredients. I do have canned red and white kidney beans also, would that be ok for him? I don't have any supplements at the moment, other than human potassium or cranberry pills? lol. Oh, now that I think of it I have some pro biotic pills I take myself. They are called Acidophilus. Wonder if those would be ok? Should I wait and get doggy supplements or would those ingredients suffice for now? I spent over $500 this week at the vet, so if I don't have to spend a whack more and can get creative here at home then I prefer to do that. But only if it's ok for doggy.

The vet told me to fast him for 24 hours, but still allow endless water, and then slowly bring in bland foods like egg, rice and cottage cheese, but stew sounds yummier lol. My primary concern right now is to get him eating regularly again, without throwing up. The vet and I are on the same page with this; when he is sick/not eating diabetes comes 2nd unless the diabetes is contributing, of course.

Here is the link to the Acidophilus ( I have. What do you think?

October 25th, 2008, 12:27 AM
The acidophilus for humans is fine, that is what I use. I would recommend using a lean cut of meat (stewing beef etc) instead of the ground beef. I would just use about 1/3 meat. 1/3 sliced potato, 1/3 veggies (frozen would be ok, just make sure no onions or peppers). Sweet potato/yam would also be a good addition to add some fiber. I would just put in crock pot or big pot, add water until mostly covered and then cook the crap out of it.

October 25th, 2008, 12:32 AM
Want4Rain - I tried to sprinkle some Parmesan on his patty this morning and he ate about 1/2 of it, then threw it up about 2 hours later. He did at least show some interest in it, which is promising. I don't believe it's an appetite problem since he gets excited every time I grab his bowl.

When we switched Koda over to a more diabetic friendly dog food I also made him home cooked long grain brown rice and chicken breast and mixed it in with the kibbles to make him eat a bit faster. He's a nibbler and it doesn't really work well with his insulin shots. About 1 week or less into changing his diet he got extremely itchy and we ran into all sort of problems (see above lol). The vet said he most likely had a reaction to the chicken or the rice so I stopped feeding it to him. We haven't yet run any allergy test so I'm not 100% sure what it is that is making him itchy - could be poultry, could be rice :shrug:

October 25th, 2008, 12:34 AM
TeriM - Thank you! I'm going to do that tomorrow, first thing! I'll let it cook 1/2 the day and then see if he'll have some. I think I'm going to feed a tbsp or so at a time, in case he throws up again /sigh

October 25th, 2008, 12:41 AM
I have also found for an upset tummy that a few scrambled eggs mixed with a tiny bit of plain yogurt is a good fix and easy to digest. I also often give a pepcid ac (not pepcid complete) to help calm down the bile acids, it really helps my yellow lab when she has an upset tummy. If you can give it about 15-30 min before feeding then that might help.

Diluted broth is also a good way to get them a bit of nutrition when drinking water. Use about 1/3 broth to 2/3 water.

October 25th, 2008, 12:44 AM
Diluted broth is also a good way to get them a bit of nutrition when drinking water. Use about 1/3 broth to 2/3 water.

Right on. That was my next question... water or broth. I will add some in then. Super Duper! I can't wait till tomorrow!

October 25th, 2008, 01:16 AM
Just saw your question about the kidney beans. I would not use anything like that right now especially. His tummy is obviously very sensitive so only bland easy food for now.

You can also try giving a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt about 10 min before you try feeding anything.

Goodluck and keep us posted :goodvibes:.

October 25th, 2008, 01:53 PM
I ran to Safeway this morning and got some cottage cheese, plain yogurt and some strip (stir fry) beef. I chopped it a bit smaller than bite size, threw it in the crock pot, added 1/2 cup of broth and 2 cups of water. I added about 1.5 cups of frozen veggies (I tried to pick out the carrots until my hands almost froze off) and right now I'm steaming some potatoes till 1/2 cooked and then I will throw them in the pot too. When it's good and done I will add in some supplements and mix with either the plain yogurt or the cottage cheese. I'll see which he seems to prefer lol.
This morning I fed him 1 scrambled egg with some cottage cheese. So far so good.... he's kept it down :fingerscr

Late last night I could tell the hunger was really setting in. He was sniffing around the edges of the kitchen looking for any left over kibbles or dropped food. Good thing I like to sweep lots! :D

PS - The stew is smelling good, with a bit of seasoning I could eat it myself :laughing:

October 25th, 2008, 02:12 PM
Try adding a tablespoon of canned pumpkin to the food. This calms the stomach. We use it for all our dogs when they have upset tummys! Make sure you get the 100% PURE canned pumpkin (NOT the pie filling as it has sugar in it).
When our fur kids have upset tummy we give them cooked white rice and boiled chicken breast with pumpkin. This usually helps clear it up. Once your baby gets feeling better you can try the raw again. I would suggest that you stick to 1 food source however initially. Good luck and keep us posted:)

October 25th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Thank you, Totallyhip. I usually do add a tbsp or so of pumpkin into his food, but this morning he seemed a bit constipated so I skipped the pumpkin :)

I gave Koda about 1 ladle/soup spoon full of stew, poured a bit of broth over it and added some yogurt. He licked up all of the liquid and ate the meat and veggies minus the potatoes. He put those to the side on his place mat lol. I guess he isn't in a potato mood today! He's held everything down today. He's just been burping a bit.

My question is, since he's been sick and throwing up, how much stew should I give him. I don't want to over-stuff his tummy, but right now he's sitting and licking the empty bowl lol. Should I feed a bit more? Maybe a bit every two hours or so? How should I go about this?

October 25th, 2008, 09:40 PM
pumpkin hellps with constipation too. Its fiber so it will make your regular:)

Sorry I don't have an answer for you about how much stew to feed. I would think that you wouldn't want to over do it. Although he is eating you don't want to overfeed b/c that will make him sick too.

October 25th, 2008, 09:43 PM
Silly me, I'm thinking pumpkin only hardens soft stool /bonk myself on the head!


October 25th, 2008, 10:54 PM
LOL your not silly!!!!

How is your baby feeling? Better now that he has eaten?

October 25th, 2008, 11:04 PM
I gave him a bit more stew, maybe 1/2 a ladle full and he didn't' touch it. He is still drinking, and he seems to be sniffing for more food, but isn't eating. Once in a while (in a very desperate attempt to get him to eat) I will give him a frozen boneless chicken breast. I know frozen can be harder to digest but if I give it raw he tries to swallow it whole and chokes. About 30 mins ago I gave him a chicken breast outside and he just carried it around the yard, kept it in his mouth to pee and play. Previously he has always eaten it before coming inside, but since he wasn't eating it I let him in and he took it into his kennel. Then he started walking all over the house with it and dropping it everywhere. I finally took it away from him and cleaned the floors and his kennel. I tried another scrambled egg with cheese (his favorite) but he wont eat that either. Maybe he just knows his limit because his tummy is sore? I'm on pins and needles waiting for the blood work from the vet (hopefully Monday!) to see if there is an underlying issue. I just want my doggy back, if you know what I mean :sad:

October 25th, 2008, 11:16 PM
have you tried hand feeding him piece by piece?

Sometimes this is the only way a super picky pup (or cat) will eat :shrug:

October 25th, 2008, 11:25 PM
I tried taking some of the beef pieces out of the stew, cooling them so I could handle them and then I sat on the floor and tried to feed piece by piece... Koda could have cared less. Then I tried to show him I had something in my hand and I walked all around the house, Koda followed right behind me, very curious, and then I'd give him a piece. He took 2 pieces and then didn't really care anymore and went to his bed to sleep :frustrated:
I even tried to give him one of his new peanut butter treats that he looooves, and he just put it in his bed and slept beside it. It's still there now.

October 25th, 2008, 11:42 PM
gotta be tough w/a dog that's not food motivated :grouphug: all mine were very interested in food of all kinds :laughing: