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View Full Version : Somebody help? Please!! Anorexic dog!?!



~Angela~
8th August 2006, 04:22 PM
Hi there everybody! How is everyone doing today?

I have a series of concerns that I hope some of you experiences Cav owners can help me with..

Charlie was rescued ffrom a puppy mill( or So I think) a week ago. he is 8 mts old. And he only weighs about 8-10 pounds.( is he underweight?)
My problem is that he won't eat anything. I've tried both the puppy food he Was eating(pedigree for dogs) and the food we intend to feed him( Iams...my vet said this was the only good 'retail' food out there) and he refuses to eat. He has ate out of my hand twice, but in a week he's only had about 1/2-1 cup of food (IF THAT!!) I have made him hamburger/rice mixture that he gobbled up, as well as 'liver brownies'(homemde treats) milkbones for puppies and some carrots that he stole from my son!.. I don't want to feed him too many treats b/c I'm afraid he will think that it is ok NOT to eat his puppy food. But I don't want him to STARVE!!! I finally called the breeders and asked what his feeding schedual was. He was fed on a night schedual!! He was feed, put to bed(without being let outside to go poop)and in the morning he would let him out to do his 'thing' and then back in he went. It makes me tear up to think about how they treated him. My heart just breaks in two. Anyways, i've tried to handfeed him in the night, but he still won't bother. just a few little bits of kibble( I can count the pieces he's ate on fingers and toes!) He goes to the vet tomorrow to finally get neutered(something that should have been already done months ago!!). SO, I'm hoping things will get resolved.

I've also noticed that he is 'mopey' and lays around A LOT. When we first got him he was a little more 'peppy-er', but I think he's getting a little lethargic. Lack of calories? or am I just a neurotic dog owner?

He's also been nipping at his leg a little. It's not raw, but The pink color of his skin is starting to show through his white fur...is this something to worry about? or once again...am I loosing my MIND?

Does anyone have ANY advice, comments, or words of encourgement that they could share with me? My stomach is in knots..... :(

GudrunTheRed
8th August 2006, 04:56 PM
I am so sorry for your troubles. I have no experience with rescue Cavaliers but there are lots and lots of folks on this board that do and they will respond to your post very shortly.

I can talk to you about food. First off, your vet is wrong about Iams being the best "retail" food out there. We are fanatic about our food on this board and I can personally recommend several foods that are all highly regarded by the Whole Dog Journal and also loved by many members on this board. Chester can personally recommend (and LOVES to eat) these:

Canidae (dry and wet)
California Natural
Timberwolf Organics
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul
Innova (dry and wet)
Merrick (dry and wet)
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance

If you want to read about all these foods and many more, you should check out this website that ranks dog foods from 1 (for really crappy) up to 6 stars for the best: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/. Personally, I would stick to the 4, 5 and 6 star foods. Every food is reviewed and analyzed and you learn a TON.

When Chester was a pup he was picky and if I mixed a spoonful of wet food in with the dry he would eat it. If that didn't work I would sprinkle parmesian cheese on it all which is very fragrant and yummy. He also loves low-salt canned baby peas, green beans and canned pumpkin (get the plain kind wihout spices).

Have you tried boiled chicken and rice? That's always wonderful for sick or finicky dogs.

The nipping on the leg could possibly be an itchy spot which can be cleared up with a healthy diet.

Best of luck to you and I suggest you get in touch with another rescue person from this board. There are tons of helpful, experienced people here and I'm sure one or several will be happy to talk with you over the phone if necessary. Hopefully one of them respond soon!

Claire
8th August 2006, 05:04 PM
Hi Angela - you are great for giving him a home, which he will really need to get used to - love and caring are new for him, I would really try some nice boiled chicken and rice, or boiled lean minced beef with carrots to see if that interests him - if he is taking them then you can soon introduct dry food. If he is going to the vets tomorrow check about fleas, worming, etc. as this may be causing the itching... there are plenty of great people on the site (especially Karlin who runs one of the rescues in Ireland) who will be able to help you.

Alison_Leighfield
8th August 2006, 05:25 PM
Hi Angela,

I have taken two puppy farm rescues, although sadly they are not with me now...however maybe I can help you...

Remember when in the mills their food was more than likely all rubbish, bones, scraps, trash, bad, rotton etc, etc and it wasn't in any way given in a routine like we all do here. So now he comes to you. He isn't used to it, he finds it strange, you are a kind mom and he hasn't had that before either, food was more than likely thrown at him not put nicely in a dish. He more than likely had to run for his food before the others got it, he ate for pure survival. Some days he was fed others he wasn't. The same goes for his water, you give it nice and fresh always clean etc, I bet he had never had it like this before.

I started with tiny, tiny meals, 5/6 a day and never made a fuss if it wasn't eaten. I fed quietly and calmly. I fed fresh cooked meat, fish, rice, chicken and gradually put in biscuit etc, her tummy wasn't used to alot of things so the runs/upset tummy was a common problem for a while. I never over fussed or started "special treatment" she just accepted our routine as it was. I collected fresh rain water for a while and slowly introduced her to tap water in time.

It will take time...months...but he will eat normally soon.

Perhaps he is finally allowing himself to unwind and isn't so tense any more and is enjoying his rest, he is still growing and pups do sleep more, it's natural. I don't think he is "mopey" perhaps just relaxing and resting.

Have you wormed and flea treated him? again if he hasn't lived in a home he may be having a slight allergy to fabrics, polish, air fresheners etc all those things we take for granted....they are all new to him and his system.

Angela please don't worry or stress yourself here, take it easy on yourself and allow him time for his little character to come through, his whole life has changed around and it all takes time. Rescues are hard work and can be demanding, it's part of the package, it all comes together.

You have done a wonderful thing by taking this little one into your home, you have given him a whole new life, give it time, don't worry, be patient and things will come good! :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

~Angela~
8th August 2006, 05:46 PM
Thank you so much for your kind advice.

I will try to give him the 'real' food and see how he does. ( and ofcourse TLC)He's a great pup. I sometimes I think that he's an ol' soul when I stare into his eyes....



Hi Angela,

I have taken two puppy farm rescues, although sadly they are not with me now...however maybe I can help you...

Remember when in the mills their food was more than likely all rubbish, bones, scraps, trash, bad, rotton etc, etc and it wasn't in any way given in a routine like we all do here. So now he comes to you. He isn't used to it, he finds it strange, you are a kind mom and he hasn't had that before either, food was more than likely thrown at him not put nicely in a dish. He more than likely had to run for his food before the others got it, he ate for pure survival. Some days he was fed others he wasn't. The same goes for his water, you give it nice and fresh always clean etc, I bet he had never had it like this before.

I started with tiny, tiny meals, 5/6 a day and never made a fuss if it wasn't eaten. I fed quietly and calmly. I fed fresh cooked meat, fish, rice, chicken and gradually put in biscuit etc, her tummy wasn't used to alot of things so the runs/upset tummy was a common problem for a while. I never over fussed or started "special treatment" she just accepted our routine as it was. I collected fresh rain water for a while and slowly introduced her to tap water in time.

It will take time...months...but he will eat normally soon.

Perhaps he is finally allowing himself to unwind and isn't so tense any more and is enjoying his rest, he is still growing and pups do sleep more, it's natural. I don't think he is "mopey" perhaps just relaxing and resting.

Have you wormed and flea treated him? again if he hasn't lived in a home he may be having a slight allergy to fabrics, polish, air fresheners etc all those things we take for granted....they are all new to him and his system.

Angela please don't worry or stress yourself here, take it easy on yourself and allow him time for his little character to come through, his whole life has changed around and it all takes time. Rescues are hard work and can be demanding, it's part of the package, it all comes together.

You have done a wonderful thing by taking this little one into your home, you have given him a whole new life, give it time, don't worry, be patient and things will come good! :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Cathy Moon
8th August 2006, 06:01 PM
Poor little guy! I'm thinking he may have something that is causing pain in his mouth or with swallowing. I would want the vet to xray and check his teeth for abscesses and cracks. And whatever else the vet can check for.

My sister has a rescue dog, and even though he was kenneled by the rescue group for a very long time, he had a very badly abscessed tooth for who knows how long! She chose a vet who specializes in dentistry to give her dog a root canal, and he was on antibiotics several times. To this day, he is not motivated by food, probably because he had pain when eating for a long period of time!

Hope he feels better soon, please keep us updated. :flwr:

~Angela~
8th August 2006, 06:06 PM
well, fortunatly his teeth look really nice.
But it doesn't hurt to get him checked for that. I want him to get the full 'once over' tomorrow.

I post the scoop tomorrow evening or the day after on his results...


Poor little guy! I'm thinking he may have something that is causing pain in his mouth or with swallowing. I would want the vet to xray and check his teeth for abscesses and cracks. And whatever else the vet can check for.

My sister has a rescue dog, and even though he was kenneled by the rescue group for a very long time, he had a very badly abscessed tooth for who knows how long! She chose a vet who specializes in dentistry to give her dog a root canal, and he was on antibiotics several times. To this day, he is not motivated by food, probably because he had pain when eating for a long period of time!

Hope he feels better soon, please keep us updated. :flwr:

Maxxs_Mummy
8th August 2006, 06:34 PM
Hi Angela,

I think Alison has already posted everything I was going to post. Poor little guy but at least now he has a loving Mummy which in itself takes time for them to get used to.

I would also give him tiny amounts (tsp or so) of organic natural yogurt with bifidus acidophilus in it. This will help his digestive system and you'll probably find he loves it.

Let us know how it goes tomorrow? Give him a kiss from me xxxxx

WoodHaven
8th August 2006, 06:46 PM
They also make a "nutracal" or "nutrastat". It is a sweet suppliment that has many vitamins and minerals that may help get him through this transition.
There are some foods that make a gravy (Merrick is a good one) when you add warm water to the mix. This makes my littlest girl eat.

misty
8th August 2006, 07:13 PM
I think Alison's summed it up really.

I'm sure your dog has never been lucky enough to be presented with a bowl of food all to himself before. Have you tried putting some food on the floor for him?

The vet will tell you if he is underweight.

Our Bradley is a puppy farm rescue. We've only had him 2 and a bit weeks. He also looks underweight, although the vet maintains that he's only a tiny bit underweight.

Bradley too looks 'mopey' at times. I think they probably just get used to staring into space, because that's all there is to do at the puppy mills/farms.

I was lucky - Bradley ate straight away and now looks forward to his meals.

Alison is a mine of information on puppy farm rescues and she did a wonderful job with hers.

You are doing a wonderful thing in rescuing your dog from such a bad place. Just take things one step at a step and the rewards will come to you.

Good luck.

Bruce H
8th August 2006, 07:15 PM
We have a little girl that is real finnicky. What we do is add about a heaping tablspoon of cooked chicken to her kibble, then mix it up real good to get the chicken flavor all over the kibble. Works very well for us.

emsley
8th August 2006, 07:44 PM
Toby was such a fussy eater, however he eats well now.
I have found that he loves his food if it is warm, either warm cooked meat mixed with kibble or warm pasta. It obviously smells more when warm.
Good for you on rescuing Charlie!
You will be rewarded ten-fold with love from this little boy. :flwr:

~Angela~
8th August 2006, 08:04 PM
Thank you sooooooo much!!javascript:emoticon(':thmbsup:')

I tried the parmasian cheese over his food and he went NUTS for it!!! he didn't eat a huge pile, but it was the most i've seen him eat since we got him. I will try that again at his next feeding to see if it works again! I'm soo excited!!



I am so sorry for your troubles. I have no experience with rescue Cavaliers but there are lots and lots of folks on this board that do and they will respond to your post very shortly.

I can talk to you about food. First off, your vet is wrong about Iams being the best "retail" food out there. We are fanatic about our food on this board and I can personally recommend several foods that are all highly regarded by the Whole Dog Journal and also loved by many members on this board. Chester can personally recommend (and LOVES to eat) these:

Canidae (dry and wet)
California Natural
Timberwolf Organics
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul
Innova (dry and wet)
Merrick (dry and wet)
Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance

If you want to read about all these foods and many more, you should check out this website that ranks dog foods from 1 (for really crappy) up to 6 stars for the best: http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/. Personally, I would stick to the 4, 5 and 6 star foods. Every food is reviewed and analyzed and you learn a TON.

When Chester was a pup he was picky and if I mixed a spoonful of wet food in with the dry he would eat it. If that didn't work I would sprinkle parmesian cheese on it all which is very fragrant and yummy. He also loves low-salt canned baby peas, green beans and canned pumpkin (get the plain kind wihout spices).

Have you tried boiled chicken and rice? That's always wonderful for sick or finicky dogs.

The nipping on the leg could possibly be an itchy spot which can be cleared up with a healthy diet.

Best of luck to you and I suggest you get in touch with another rescue person from this board. There are tons of helpful, experienced people here and I'm sure one or several will be happy to talk with you over the phone if necessary. Hopefully one of them respond soon!

Cathy T
8th August 2006, 08:12 PM
Angela - you're doing a great job with this little guy. Everyone has offered wonderful advice and I can't add anything more. One thing I will say about an abcessed tooth and that the teeth can look perfectly normal and healthy but it's what's going on under the gum line that can cause a problem. See what your vet has to say. And keep up the good work and love.

arasara
9th August 2006, 02:28 AM
Angela,

I am so happy for you that you've found such a cute little guy!! (: Doesnt it feel good to be able to provide a wonderful home to a little cav?!

Kosmo too has had the same issues with food. He came from a store and although he was fed, his sister was with him and she was about twice the size of him. I am assuming she probably hogged most of the food. He was very underweight when we got him. He has had issues with food since we've had him but slowly we're working on it. We fed Eukanuba which is made by the same company as Iams but have recently switched to Royal Canin. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he clearly chose the RC over the Eukanuba. Also something I learned that was he doesn't like lamb. Apparently some dogs just don't. Like the others have said, try mixing something in with their kibble, like boiled chicken and rice. Make the pieces small enough so that he can't pick through them and has to eat the kibble too. "tricking" Kosmo is the only way we've been able to keep our minds sane. A little is better than nothing. Remember, baby steps!!

Good luck and take care! :flwr:

Snugglesmom
10th August 2006, 03:24 PM
Angela: I answered your pm before I saw this post. As I said, I cook "boiled" meats for Snuggles with rice, add fine chopped carrots, peas, maybe greenbeans, etc. whatever I have and he loves it. The vet said he could live on this forever, and if he eats it, to keep it up and nothing else worked nearly as well. Like I said, she recommended the crushed TUMS for the calcium also. Good luck and STOP STRESSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are doing a wonderful job with Charlie, and God would not have placed Charlie into your hands at this time of his life, when his needs are so great, if you were truly not meant to be his savior! Trust in yourself a lot more and give yourself a lot more credit girlfriend!