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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:11 AM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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How long can a dog go without food?

Hi everyone,

My 12 year old dog Mickey's last meal was Thursday evening. Today is Sunday. Thursday past midnight he vomitted several times as well as Friday.He couldn't keep water down. I talked to a technician at the vet's office Friday night and Saturday morning and followed their advice: no food or water for 24 hours and then start giving bland food in very small amounts.

Mickey's last vomit was Saturday morning; it was yellow bile. He can now drink water OK but doesn't want to eat at all. We even tried cheese and peanut butter but he wants nothing. He spends most of his time sleeping and doesn't have his usual energy. If he doesn't eat today I will call the vet tomorrow morning and hope they can find time for Mickey. On the phone, the tech told me he could have eaten something bad or maybe he caught some kind of flu bug in the air. We have no emergency vet services here. He hasn't eaten for 2½ days. Should I force him to eat something? How long can he fast before it become something to really worry about? At least he is drinking and urinating Ok.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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Kristin7 Kristin7 is offline
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I am not sure but I believe they can go for awhile without eating (unlike cats). Your dogs symptoms sound a lot like pancreatitis, though, which can be deadly (which I unfortunately know about first hand). Your dog needs to see a vet. I would not force-feed the dog. When my dog had pancreatitis she could not eat or drink and had to have IV fluids. I read up on it and I do recall that dogs with this probably should not be fed, their digestive system needs a 'break' and they can go without eating for days, sorry I do not remember exactly how many. I'm not saying this is what your dog has, but really he needs to be seen by a vet and asap. Hope your dog feels better soon!
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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Here are a few links for you with pancreatitis info:

http://www.judithstock.com/Speaking_...s_in_dogs.html
http://www.vetinfo4dogs.com/dpancrea.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/doghealth/pancreatitis.html
http://www.pets.ca/encyclopedia/pancreatitis_dog.htm
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Old January 27th, 2008, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helene4 View Post
I talked to a technician at the vet's office Friday night and Saturday morning and followed their advice: no food or water for 24 hours and then start giving bland food in very small amounts.

Mickey's last vomit was Saturday morning; it was yellow bile. He can now drink water OK but doesn't want to eat at all. We even tried cheese and peanut butter but he wants nothing.
cheese and peanut butter do not qualify as BLAND foods. bland means boiled chicken & white rice. try very small amounts of those, boiled chicken & white rice. not cheese & pb... the point is to get the dog to eat something that won't further irritate the stomach or digestive tract.

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Originally Posted by Helene4 View Post
He spends most of his time sleeping and doesn't have his usual energy. If he doesn't eat today I will call the vet tomorrow morning and hope they can find time for Mickey. On the phone, the tech told me he could have eaten something bad or maybe he caught some kind of flu bug in the air. We have no emergency vet services here. He hasn't eaten for 2½ days. Should I force him to eat something? How long can he fast before it become something to really worry about? At least he is drinking and urinating Ok.
a lethargic dog who won't eat is cause for concern. I wouldn't wait much longer than 24 hrs before seeing a vet if this were my own dog. My general rule w/ stomach upset is wait 24 hrs to see if it resolves itself w/ rest, however, if the dog worsens or doesn't seem to be on the mend in 24 hrs, a trip to the vet is a MUST.

don't force the dog to do anything. a dog WILL eat when ready. just make small amounts of food available incase he does want it. in the meantime, I'd make arrangements to get to a vet first thing in the morning.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 02:44 PM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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I did try bland food: boiled rice and small pieces of boiled beef. He didn't want it. I tried only a very small amount of peanut butter and a very small piece of cheese just to see if he would at least take it. I wasn't going to give him more than that; I do know it's not bland food. I am still giving him the bland diet today, but he does't want to eat.

This morning, I talked to a vet in another town who is on call this weekend in our region. I explained all of Mickey's symptoms. He told me it could be a number of things but that his situation seems better because he can drink water without vomitting and that I should take him to my regular vet tomorrow even if he starts eating. In his opinion, I can wait till tomorrow. But if things get worse, I can make the 2 hour trip to see the emergency vet. That clinic is open until 8 o'clock tonight.

At least he is drinking and peeing. Tomorrow morning I will call my vet and insist they take time to see Mickey.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 03:13 PM
Hogansma Hogansma is offline
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I'm sorry to hear your dog is sick. I'm no vet but if he's drinking, could you try some diluted chicken broth?
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Old January 27th, 2008, 05:18 PM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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Good news! Mickey ate some cooked rice/beef late his afternoon. I mixed a few tbsp with warm water and gave him the plate. I was sure he would turn away but he ate everything. So far so good, there is no vomit and the sparkle is back in his eyes. After 3 days, he seems to be getting better.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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Glad to hear that Mickey is feeling better. Don't let him over-do it for a day or so, and IMO I would still take him to the Vet tomorrow to make sure that whatever the problem is, has been solved!
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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:04 PM
the gang the gang is offline
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horray for mickey brenda and the pins.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 07:55 PM
Helene4 Helene4 is offline
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Smile

I saw the vet this afternoon: Mickey has no fever, heart and lungs are ok but his stomach is a little tense. He prescribed 2 meds to calm his tummy: Pepcid and Novo-Sucralate. He is eating small amouts of bland food and the vet told me to call Wednesday if his appetite isn't back to normal by then. We will decide if bloods tests or X-rays should be done. In his opinion, the worse has passed and Mickey is on his way to recovery. He hasn't vomitted since Saturday morning and keeps down the food he started eating yesterday. He is still tired and doesn't have his usual pep but he is way better. I hope he starts eating soon with more gusto and I'm anxious to see his poop!
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Old March 1st, 2012, 05:58 PM
TrooperRat TrooperRat is offline
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How Long?

Well, I can tell you my dog went 14 days without food. She had several things wrong with her that I ended up taking her to the vet twice for. Even after both vet trips she STILL wouldn't eat, though she was and is taking water (I am presently dealing with this situation, this isn't something from the past). My dog, Coco, looked emaciated, like a dog you would see on that show with the animal cops that find homes with dogs that aren't being fed. Skin pulled tight into her rib cage.
Excepting, I have been trying to feed her - chicken; beef; dog biscuits; canned dog food; all kinds of treats that she always likes: wouldn't even think about it.
Yesterday, she could barely get up and when she did, she was wobbling and almost falling over.
That was enough for me. If you can force feed prisoners in jail, then by golly, I was going to force feed my dog and that's exactly what I did. Took half a can of dog food: a whole leg of chicken - meat and skin removed from the bone of course; some leftover chicken and rice casserole and dumped it all into a blender and also dumped a can of beef broth on top of it, salt free.

I let'er rip for a long time, wanted that concoction to be as watery as possible. Poured it into a large bowl, got out my turkey baster and proceeded to delve into unknown territory: basically shoving food down a dog's throat in the form of a liquid. Would she choke? Would she puke it back up? Well, I hoped not but I HAD to try, she was otherwise going to die of starvation. Several cups later and she was sitting there, looking at me.

I waited it out - 20 minutes, an hour, 2 hours. After 3 hours, I decided that she was not going to puke it up and also decided that if she was not going to eat tomorrow (which is today), I would do it all over again. Come home from work today and offered a smorgasbord of different types of food - none of it dog food, all human stuff that I KNOW would normally appeal to her. She would have none of it. I proceeded to make much more of the concoction today than yesterday. 20 minutes later, it's all down her throat. But to a dog, it tastes good, or it should anyway, it should all taste like chicken with rice.

BTW, yes the vet did blood panels at the animal hospital and tested the kidneys and whatever else - she was urinating blood - nothing turned up positive. She did an extremely severe urinal tract infection, which the antibiotics, after 2 days now, are finally getting in there and getting somewhere as the excessive bleeding has stopped. But it matters little if the dog survives the infection but dies due to starvation.

Anyway, she is holding down the rather large amount of liquid food I gave to her about an hour ago, and for that? Extremely happy doggy owner.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 07:31 PM
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pbpatti pbpatti is offline
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Oh my dear what a terrible time you are having TrooperRat. I sure hope that your vet's can figure out why your dog does not want to eat. I am so happy for you that she was able to keep doen the food you did give. Best wishes to the two of you....
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Old March 1st, 2012, 08:19 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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You need to know your dog. I've seen picky and perfectly healthy dogs go on hunger strikes for as long as a week. If that is not the norm for your dog and there are additional symptoms as you have described I would be consulting a vet (as you did).
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 05:26 PM
im_nomad im_nomad is offline
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wow Trooper, it's great that your dog would actually allow you to do that. I'm pretty sure I'd be missing a few fingers !

I can only comment on short term hunger strikes with my dog, but she's not a picky eater normally. Once when I couldn't get her to eat, the only thing she'd touch was if I hand fed her plain potato.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 07:20 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is online now
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This is an old thread from 2008, I really need to start looking at the dates on these things before I read it all!
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 07:32 PM
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TrooperRat added a comment on March1/2012, about her/his dog not eating....so it is up to date at this time MaxLisa. Do you have any inforamation that the OP can maybe use?
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 09:11 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is online now
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I didn't see a question there fro TrooperRat....looked like s/he was offering advice and not asking a question.

I would certainly add some probiotics, and would consider using a different protein than what the regular food is, but it sounds like the infection is causing the lack of desire to eat perhaps, and the dog is now being liquid fed.

I would also want to retest awhile off the abx to make sure that all the infection was handled by the abx. Often vets don't prescribe a long enough course, or there is a slight resistance to the abx.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 07:49 PM
boxerdogrosie boxerdogrosie is offline
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TrooperRat

What happened with your dog. I'm going through the same as you. Did he survive?
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Old April 29th, 2014, 02:22 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is online now
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Dogs can go a long time without food, but not fluids. They need supportive care, and the cause of the issue also needs to be found and treated.

I have found homemade chicken bone broth to be a lifesaver for a non-eating dog.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 02:37 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Originally Posted by boxerdogrosie View Post
What happened with your dog. I'm going through the same as you. Did he survive?
How old is your dog , I would be concern with why my dog was not eating.
Have you checked inside his mouth to see if there anything wrong , is he pooping OK ? I would call the vet as they know your dog medical history and could tell if you should bring your dog in for a check up. I always like to be on the safe side .
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Old May 4th, 2014, 06:11 PM
boxerdogrosie boxerdogrosie is offline
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My dog is 6. Her first trip to vet she was treated for hook worm and given Sucralfate for the vomiting. Second trip she was prescribed an antiobotic Clavamax and given a Vitamin K injection. I will call Monday to make another appointment. However after a lot of time on the internet today I think I have just diagnosed her myself. She has every symptom of Boxer Histiocytic Ulcerative Colitis: Mucus in stools, blood in stools, soft unformed stools, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss and lethargy.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 10:26 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is online now
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She would need care for this, probably from an internal medicine specialist, also to verify the diagnosis.
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