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Dog Digestion Problems - please help

August 18th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Hi all,

I recently adopted a 12 year old staff mix and since the moment I brought him home he has had problems with food digestion and/or appetite. The first week he came home I anticipated a transition period and he did eventually begin to eat and have regular bowel movements (although I did take him to the vet to have blood work done and all came back clear). He seemed to be doing well on the Innova Senior dry food but within several weeks he lost his appetite again and began having diarrhea once again. I was advised by the vet to feed white rice and boiled chicken and this did indeed entice him to eat. He ate his kibble again for a few weeks and then the same thing happened. Once again we were off to the vet with no real answers being provided (I've gone to two different vets).

I started to think it was the food so I switched to an allergy formula which he ate without problem - until about a week ago when the cyle began again. As a result of the digestion issues he becomes lethargic and tires much more easily. I just don't know what to do anymore? I am so worried. I would tremendously appreciate any advice or suggestions you may be able to provide.

Thanks kindly!

Senior Dog

August 18th, 2009, 04:04 PM
Welcome to :) and congrats on your new addition :highfive:.

We've recently adopted an 11 year old dog as well. At that age, especially the larger breeds, they do slow down considerably. Our Toby also didn't have an appetite + had diarrhea. I think a lot of it has to do with transitioning to a new home (it can't be easy for the older fellas :sad:). In Toby's case, he also had considerable pain from his arthritis.

Have you had your dog's stool examined to eliminate the possibility of intestinal parasites? Did the vet do a thorough physical to determine if he's in any pain?

I would also recommend sticking to one food, preferably one without corn and too much wheat...we're feeding Orijen Senior. I cook several days worth of beef and rice or chicken and rice stew and add it to his meals every time. He won't eat dry kibble alone but he now devours everything if 1/2 cup of stew is added to it. At their ages, I believe they've earned the right to be spoiled with whatever will encourage them to eat :).

August 18th, 2009, 04:18 PM
Thanks luckypenny. It's been about 4 months and the problem has continued and I am worried it's something more serious. Yes, I did take stool samples with me to the vet but they did not detect anything out of the ordinary.

Thanks so much for the stew tip - I will definitely try it! I absolutely agree with you that at this age they can be indulged. I just want him to have the best life possible in his senior years.

August 18th, 2009, 04:23 PM
I just want him to have the best life possible in his senior years.

I know exactly how you feel :o. Thank you so much for taking him in :grouphug:.

When you have a chance, it would be great to read a post from you in the "introductions" forum...I'd love to hear more about your 'pup' :cloud9:, and see photos when you're able to upload them (I think it takes 10+ posts) :goodvibes:.

August 19th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Since it seems to recur once he's been on kibble for a few weeks, I'd have to wonder about an intolerance to something in the food. If the intolerance is mild, it would take a while for it to make him sick.

I would also suggest trying the Orijen Senior - it's grain free, so if the symptoms are caused from IBD or something similar, you should see some improvement. Also, make sure that you aren't over-feeding. IMO the feeding guidelines on high quality kibble are overstated.

Bless you for adopting this guy! The elderly ones are always hard to place.