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Thread: My cav is refusing to eat. What can I do to get his appetite back?

  1. #11
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    Cardiologists recommend that when a dog is in congestive heart failure, feed him whatever he will eat.
    Rod Russell

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    Rod,

    Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, we've been giving him anything he would nibble at.

    Up until last night, there had been some moments where he showed some slight interest in eating. We immediately hand-fed him with some turkey or ham slices along with his medications. In other words, we have barely been able to manage to administer his medications. But not last night and not this morning. He absolutely showed no interest in food whatsoever. He simply walks away. So, he skipped his PM and AM meds.

    Yesterday, the blood test and urinalysis results came out. According to his GP, there was nothing unusual except slightly elevated kidney function and slightly low in calcium (I am sure this is because we've been giving him home-cooked meals last several months). There is nothing abnormal in his urine. So, he suggested we give him TUMS for a couple of days to increase the calcium level. Since Da Vinci doesn't want to eat, I ground a TUMS tablet (750mg) into powder and mixed with water. He was hesitant first, but managed to drink it. I am planning to do the same today.

    I am waiting for my cardiologist's read into the test results. There is definitely an ominous thing going on in his system. He is so lethargic and low-energy with sleepy eyes. It is hard to watch. As I mentioned earlier, he drinks, drinks and drinks. That's the only thing he manages.

    I am wondering if anyone has had any experience like this.

    Thank you for all your help.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by summerwalk View Post
    Rod,

    Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, we've been giving him anything he would nibble at.

    Up until last night, there had been some moments where he showed some slight interest in eating. We immediately hand-fed him with some turkey or ham slices along with his medications. In other words, we have barely been able to manage to administer his medications. But not last night and not this morning. He absolutely showed no interest in food whatsoever. He simply walks away. So, he skipped his PM and AM meds.

    Yesterday, the blood test and urinalysis results came out. According to his GP, there was nothing unusual except slightly elevated kidney function and slightly low in calcium (I am sure this is because we've been giving him home-cooked meals last several months). There is nothing abnormal in his urine. So, he suggested we give him TUMS for a couple of days to increase the calcium level. Since Da Vinci doesn't want to eat, I ground a TUMS tablet (750mg) into powder and mixed with water. He was hesitant first, but managed to drink it. I am planning to do the same today.

    I am waiting for my cardiologist's read into the test results. There is definitely an ominous thing going on in his system. He is so lethargic and low-energy with sleepy eyes. It is hard to watch. As I mentioned earlier, he drinks, drinks and drinks. That's the only thing he manages.

    I am wondering if anyone has had any experience like this.

    Thank you for all your help.
    Hi,
    I gave my Bee soup very often. If he drinks, try give him soup so it has some nutritient.
    kitty

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    Up until last night, there had been some moments where he showed some slight interest in eating. We immediately hand-fed him with some turkey or ham slices along with his medications. In other words, we have barely been able to manage to administer his medications. But not last night and not this morning. He absolutely showed no interest in food whatsoever. He simply walks away. So, he skipped his PM and AM meds.
    Skipping his medications just because he didn't want to eat is NOT a good practice. It's been 24 hrs. since his last dose and if you wait until his regular evening medicine times that's 36 hrs. that he is not getting medicated. It may seem cruel and I hate doing this myself, but you must get the pill into his mouth, and gently hold his mouth closed. You can also gently rub his neck so he will swallow. I wrap Sydney's pills in a small amount of the pill pockets then a small amount of fresh chicken. Most times he takes it with no problem.

    Also, even though you should be feeding he whatever food he is interested in, I would try to keep the foods to a low sodium level. In addition to his regular kibble and wet dog food, I feed Sydney steamed chicken or lean beef I make myself. The broth from that can be poured into a water bowl for extra nutrition.

    Yesterday, the blood test and urinalysis results came out. According to his GP, there was nothing unusual except slightly elevated kidney function and slightly low in calcium (I am sure this is because we've been giving him home-cooked meals last several months).
    The results of elevated kidney function and low calcium is most likely the result of the diuretics and not home-cooked meals.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  5. #15
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    Thank you.

    For getting the pills into his mouth, we actually tried to force a tablet of Furosemide with a small portion of a thin turkey slice lat night. He looked horrified and so tightly closed his mouth. We basically gave up on it. I will try it again tonight.

    I am quite mindful of salty food. This morning I cooked chicken thighs without salt, but he refused to eat and walked away. Then, a couple of minutes later, he came around with that look of "I am hungry." So, I gave him a small chunk of the chicken thighs with Fursodemide and Enalapril. I couldn't administer Vetmedin because he spat out. He ate a tiny portion of organic cereals we eat (low sodium), which we used to give him as a treat.

    Today, I've got his blood chem test result in a hard copy. I went over it. A couple of things that bother me are:

    NRBC 4 (reference range 0)
    Glucose, Serum 51 (ref range 65-130)
    BUN 42 (ref range 6-29)
    Creatinine 1.1 (ref range 0.6-1.6)
    ALP 560 (ref range 10-84)
    ALT 84 (ref range 5-65)
    Calcium 7.4 (ref range 8.0 - 12.0)

    As you can see, BUN level is very high in my view (but obviously GP didn't see it that way). ALP (Alkaline Phophatase) is unbelievably high (but GP didn't mention anything about this either). Again, I have yet to hear from my cardiologist on the results.

    Thanks again for all your thoughts and advice.

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    For getting the pills into his mouth, we actually tried to force a tablet of Furosemide with a small portion of a thin turkey slice lat night. He looked horrified and so tightly closed his mouth. We basically gave up on it. I will try it again tonight.
    Just checking to see if you've gotten DaVinci to take any medications this evening. If I'm reading this right it's been 3-4 days since his last dose. I don't know how to stress this enough, but you need to get those meds in him. Try wrapping the pills in different food. I've used chicken, beef, pate canned food, peanut butter, bread, apple sauce, cheese, cottage cheese, jam. In other words, he may be bored with what you are giving him. If he doesn't take it, wait 5 minutes and try again. You are not allowed to give up.

    Again, I have yet to hear from my cardiologist on the results.
    Have YOU called the cardiologist about this turn of events? Sometimes you need to not wait for a call back and bug them for help. I also think there is a medication that will help with the appetite (sorry, don't know what it is). The cardio and/or GP may also be able to give you hints on how to feed and medicate.

    I'm sorry if I sound harsh, it's just that I know how important it is to be nurished and medicated properly. There are times that this does become very trying, but you must do it anyway.

    Please let us know how you get on and how DaVinci is.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  7. #17
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    Sydneys Mom,

    Thanks for your concern. By the way, no,we don't give up on him. Never will!

    Today, he was able to eat something a little more substantial. His appetite is still terribly poor, but he ate chicken thighs and chicken breasts in the evening (very small portion, but positive). It always starts with a couple of cereals. He looks at them, but showing no interest. We encourages him over and over. Once he starts taking one or two, then that triggers his appetite slightly. From then on, I can hand feed him turkey slices, chicken thighs, etc. As a matter of fact, I was barely able to manage to give him his regular meds except Vetmedin and Sprionolactone. Yes, we tried many of the foods you suggested.

    Thanks again.

  8. #18
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    I'm happy he was able to eat something. It's so hard sometimes to do what's best. keep us updated on his progress.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

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    Are the chicken pieces precooked and cold? You could try cooking them fresh and giving them as soon as they are cool enough to eat - I found that my Meg would eat this because it was succulent and smelt very nice!

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  10. #20
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    Kate,

    Thank you. They are precooked and warm. We saute chicken thighs in a dutch oven. So far he seems to prefer them in a stewed pieces as opposed to sauted. As a matter of fact, I don't ever remember we give him anything cold when we fix meals for him. We've been fixing meals two times a day very warm up until this refusal. I am sure his preference would change in the future.

    My cardiologist double confirmed yesterday that there is no evidence that we've induced kidney damage and the electrolytes are fine. While we're contemplating the next move, he surmised that advancing heart disease might be making him uncomfortable or a mild side effect from the medications might be contributing to the problem.

    Today, Da Vinci ate about 1/2 cup of Nature's Path cereal of "Flax Plus Pumpkin Seed Granola" in the morning. Very reluctantly at the beginning of course, but once he started, he began taking more and more. I am sure it was about 1/2 cup. In the meantime, I was able to administer Furosemide and Enalapril only.

    We're managing the situation one day at a time right now, hoping things will be better tomorrow.

    Thanks for your thoughtful suggestion.

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