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Feeding/drinking ideas please?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Ryan Mills, Feb 12, 2020.


  1. Ryan Mills

    Ryan Mills PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, firstly thank you for taking your time to view my post.

    I was hoping some of you may be able to give advice, for supplying water to my dog. My dog is a labrador, with a very very rare condition. His 'corpus callosum' on his brain is missing. We didn't find this out until he had several brain scans, at the age of just 4 and a half months. He is now 16 months old.

    This condition means he never knows when he's thirsty, and therefore does not drink water EVER. It also causes his sodium levels to drop quicker than a normal dog as its not managed so to resolve this we feed him 4 times a day. Usually to feed him we give him a wet food (harrington) with water, and we calculated how much water he needs based on his weight, and in summer we give him more. On a rare occasion he will see the cat drink water and copy but this is rare.

    Tuesday (yesterday) he was sick, our vet is very good with him, as soon as there is a slight problem they fit us in straight away, gave him antisickness and said he might not eat for the rest of the day. The problem is without him eating, he has no water whatsoever! The vet said that it is very important to get fluid in him based on him being sick and his sodium never controlling itself propally. If he doesn't drink for about 2 days he can't walk he gets so unwell so quickly.

    Last night he had around 100ml of water, his daily intake should be around 1300ml. Then this morning he had his whole bowl around 400ml, a hour later he had an extra 200ml to try to make up for yesterday, since then he has had about 50ml across 3 meals as he is refusing to eat again! (will eat out hand doesn't want water but sick was water based, and was around 2 meter square sick, so his whole day's before food/water ) He is currently still happy and playing just don't want him to get unwell again :/

    Things we have tried:
    - Boiling a chicken, wouldn't drink the juice, in the summer he loves this!
    - we tried teaching him drink command back in summer, but as with any brain condition, he gets forgetful, to the point sometimes he doesn't know who we are!
    - luke warm goat milk, he didn't drink it so the cat stole it
    - siringe squirting into mouth, limited amount but its the best option!
    - chicken and liver in water, he picked the liver and chicken out of the water in the one bowel, so changed it to the slow eating design bowel and didn't touch any of it!

    I would also like to point out, the vet at specialist hospital (not our local vet) said when we found out about his brain that he will be an expensive dog, and most people would put him down as he will always be hard work, THIS IS TRUE! But he is in no pain, and as long as we can get his meals right with water, he is as very happy as any normal dog! If I didn't tell you, you would never know unless you saw me feed him! So please no comments saying we're being cruel for trying to give him the best life he deserves! Have had that on other forums already!

    Sorry its lots of information, just don't want people to not know the facts if they're trying to help, thank you for your time and any suggestions you may have!
    received_203061727487229.jpeg
     
    #1 Ryan Mills, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
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  2. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    I don't think anyone here would say you are being cruel, you are fab! It's not easy with a dog with a serious chronic health condition, and it sounds like you have thought things through.
    I can't really think if anything else you could try to get water in him. You could try a stock cube or gravy granules - very weak obviously. You can get doggy gravy which could be worth a try?
    Syringing is at least a way you know you can get water into him, so definitely don't rule it out, but it's obviously a bit of a pain trying to get his daily amount in him.
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I don't think you will get any hate comments here, in fact the opposite - much respect for your commitment.

    As for ideas - I have no experience with his condition but do have some knowledge of older people who are reluctant to hydrate.

    Jelly and ice lollies are often used so could you freeze some water or chicken broth for him to lick? What about watermelon, would he eat that?
     
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  4. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I think I would be tempted to syringe the water down him several times a day. Would he drink if you made a game of it. maybe put something in his water bowl and play with him.
     
  5. Sarah-p1

    Sarah-p1 PetForums Junior

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    I would say he’s a lucky pup to have such committed, caring owners! I would agree with sticking with the syringe atleast then you can monitor how much he is getting. Making something into a game is a good idea also I know you can get water fountain drinking things for cats, sure it would be fine for a dog though if you think he would take any notice of it.

    Lovely photo also!
     
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  6. karenmc

    karenmc PetForums Senior

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    I think you sound like very caring, committed owners and he is a lucky dog. Love the photo! I was wondering like some other members suggested would frozen water e.g ice lollies or cubes (if safe) as he might play with them in his bowl and lick the water as it melts. Syringing will probably be a good idea though as you can monitor the amount of water. He is a lovely dog. What is his name?
     
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  7. Jason25

    Jason25 PetForums Senior

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    What about ice cubes? Just frozen water or maybe chicken broth made into them?

    I think raw food has a higher water content too? Might be worth looking into.
     
  8. Ryan Mills

    Ryan Mills PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, firstly thank you for your replies! And all of your kind words

    We haven't tried thag so we will have a look into thag idea thank you! The problem with syringe is you cannot get his daily amount in, you get to about 300ml per session (over 45 mins) and he wants to get away, can only do this about 3 times a day before he sits in other room and won't go near anyone because he's stressed :/

    We have never tried jelly, we was recommended It but salt make his electrolytes go a bit mad, we was told this when he was in hospital. This is another reason he has the harrington grain free, wheat free food! It's very hard to find low salt food! But we froze ice cubes before, he did not like them at all, if anything was a bit scared of them! We did also try hydration toys which you freeze, which he always got bored of! We have not tried watermelon, this is a brilliant idea and I will definitely try it thank you!

    Can't get his whole daily intake by syringe but something is better than nothing! No we tried that and he always just spills the bowl and then get excited like he won the game :/

    The dog is Bowser and his best friend the cat is Arlo, when I walk the dog the cat commonly follows via surrounding fences and then attacks him (playfully) if he's let off in field! Can monitor it by syringe but it takes forever and you never quite get the full daily intake in, normally not even half!
    He isn't a fan of frozen items, I think it's because he can't chew it propally!

    As said above he won't really do anything frozen, will try chicken if he doesn't eat again today :/ I work as a butcher so have very easy access to raw meats, tried him in cooked liver and all but was recommended by vet not to give him raw as if he gets unwell he won't eat/drink! That's why he has grain free, wheat free dog food.

    ___________
    This morning the dog has had half a bowel of water with his normal food, but his nose was wet first thing this morning (usually always dry all year around). He has a wet food not the dry alternative as if it doesn't mix up with water quite well then he will pick food out of water, instead of drinking water.

    He did also do a number 1 on the towel in his cage last night, he only ever does this at night and we bought his biggest cage we can, so we can put a towel as far away from his bed as possible. It's probably because his final feed is about 30 mins before he goes to bed. We did try to stop him doing this but to no success, vet said its probsbly because he drunk so much just before bed but to get fluid/sodium levels to be okay over night he has to have it then! The only time he hasn't done this overnight is when he was unwell months ago and when he was in hospital! So I guess this is good news in a wierd way!

    Also have stopped walking him again now, not as punishment but more as a safety precaution until. He's a regular eater/drinker again!
     
  9. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

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    Ice lollies, or frozen yoghurt, you might have to sit and hold it while he licks it though, we get mini milk ones for our pup.
     
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  10. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    What about goats milk? Most dogs like it but ask your vet first.
     
  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    As a butcher you will know better than me how to do this but as a kid I remember elderly aunts making potter meat which was meat in natural jelly.

    Could you make something like that, salt free?
     
  12. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    wow, that sounds like an extremely difficult condition to manage! Cant think of anything else to add....the only other thing I could think of is kibble. If there is any low salt kibble he likes, I know if you soak kibble for long enough it does retain alot of water.
     
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  13. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    Does he like carrots if so you could all always freeze them or really any veg. or fruit he likes. You don't have to freeze them solid If you don't want too, just enough for them too ice up a bit.

    Just to add your a wonderful Mom and his very lucky to have you.
     
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  14. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    He picks dry food out of water it was said somewhere, but I think if you put plenty of water in and let it soak for long enough then mashed it all up, maybe with some wet food too, it might work?
     
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  15. Ryan Mills

    Ryan Mills PetForums Newbie

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    I will try this if he continues, thank you

    He had this as a pup, just gave him some with his food, mixed with water, LOVED IT, but didn't eat the food

    Usually the problem is getting other ingredients with no salt in, not the final product, but I will look into it! Thank you

    I did not think of this, thank you I will try

    Thak you very much :) he doesn't tend to like lettace, haven't tried others (he robbed a sandwich and only left letttixe) but will try thank you!
    P.S im his dad :D his mum is just as concerned!


    If it soaks up water he won't touch it, we tried this before he went to hospital when a puppy!

    We fed him a hour ago, he picked a bit of food then left it, I added a splash (literally a splash) of goats milk to it and he drank 90% of the water/milk, but left All of the food as seen below(sorry it looks a mess/dirty, cleaning isn't a priority until he's better, the towel is where we've been splashing food trying to get him to eat/drink, usually it's clean don't worry!)
    IMG_20200213_182800.jpg
    received_477972526217629.jpeg received_2589089731367683.jpeg
     
  16. karenmc

    karenmc PetForums Senior

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    How about if you mfroze ice to the 'slushie' stage. You can by slushie maker cups that you put ice in and you press the sides or something and it becomes like a slush. Bowser might like the texture as crunchier than water but not as hard and solid as ice cubes. You could maybe freeze ice in tube shapes then crush and feed like an icepop pushing ice slush out of the tube/wrap. I hope this makes sense. It does in my head!! Lol
     
  17. Ryan Mills

    Ryan Mills PetForums Newbie

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    After posting the above post, I tried adding more goats milk, wouldn't touch it, made a seperare bowl of goats milk with water, had a tiny bit but left it, poorer goats milk straight into a third bowl but just covering bottom and drank the entire thing,aalthough not alot (please note all of these bowels are approx 1 litre in size)

    So Im now on the consideration of trying bottled water, thinking its our water (Welsh water provider) , but I could be going insane. He just drank it mixed with water, and now suddenly is refusing to again! Arg!
     
  18. Ryan Mills

    Ryan Mills PetForums Newbie

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    This sounds like a good idea, I can get small bags and pack water thinly in work, then freezer it and bash it lose, I will try this, tomorrow, thank you
     
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  19. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

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    Maybe try giving a little at a time and refilling it as he drinks it? Apologies if you've tried this before, was thinking it could be the sheer volume that's putting him off?
     
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  20. Ryan Mills

    Ryan Mills PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, if we don't have success tomorrow morning feeding him, we are going to try that tomorrow lunch. But when I just fed him, as soon as he finished that first bowel of water with a splash of goats milk, he was uninterested in everything so that might happen!

    Today has been different, he has drunk not far off the amount he needs BUT he has hardly eaten, didn't want the food mixed in, maybe he could smell the water?

    Several months ago he didn't want breakfast so I walked him and he'd Finnish it after, tonight I tried that before goats milk (very very short walk for him, around 10-15 mins usually has 2 walks a day around hour and 15 each) and he still didn't Finnish it or even touch it. And he was very 'chilled' when walking, didn't sniff to much, didnt pull once, usually he does near every lamp post if he can't quite reach it. So thinking maybe he's still feeling unwell just hasn't been sick because aintisickness? :/
     
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