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Who says dogs won't starve themselves!

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by DebsPink, Mar 1, 2010.


  1. DebsPink

    DebsPink PetForums Member

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    My 9 month JRT girl seems determined to starve rather than eat any of the food offered. I have been a member of this and other forums since we first got her at 8 weeks and I've been determined to feed only good quality food and/or raw. She's always been fussy, but now it's getting ridiculous. She's going for 2 days at a time without eating, and even then only picking. I've been to the vets today and she's got a clean bill of health and he's says she's not underweight. However, every day is a battle/worry. I put the food down, she comes over, sniffs it then walks away. I leave it for a while then pick it up. Sometimes I fridge it (usually it's wet/dry food), sometimes I just leave it out because I don't think she likes cold food (as well as everything else). Then I put it down a few hours later. She still ignores it.

    I've tried NatureDiet, Natures Menu, JWB pouches, Natures Harvest to name a few. I usually mix it with a complete dry food - I've tried Burns, JWB Orijen and am currently on Arden Grange.

    She was eating a lot of raw (chicken legs, thighs, lamb ribs, liver, kidney etc) but she's gone off that too. She will only eat chciken legs/thighs now but don't want to give that every day in case it's too much bone. She won't eat mince, or breast any more.

    She will eat cooked food, like chicken or leftovers but I rarely give that as I don't want her to get used to it. She never gets treats anymore, only tiny bits as rewards for training.

    Ideally I wanted to feed a proper raw/Barf diet, but have had awful trouble finding somewhere to get the right food, so to be safe I was trying to mix raw and good quality wet/dry. She's never really eaten any dry food on its own (not even the bakers she was sent home with :eek:). However she does seem more interested in "cheap" foods, ie Cesar etc from Tesco or so called "scientific" food like Hills, or Royal Canin, but I really don't want her to have those. The only time she really eats dry food on it's own is when it's in the dog pyramid and its part of a game - but she has to be in the right mood for it.

    I am at a loss at what to do now. It got really bad yesterday after two days of not eating, she sicked up that yellow bile and was walking around like she was hiding from something. Eventually she ate a little food and then I gave her some left over sausage which she seemed to really like and we played some games where the reward was kibble/meaty treats and she seemed fine. Today, back to square one. She hasn't eaten all day. I've offered the same food as yesterday (Natures Menu and Arden Grange Puppy), even just now tried something completely different (HighLife Prestige Chicken) which she like previously, in a different bowl and place - and still not interested. And she just sicked up brown bile and grass!

    I know I've really messed up but I was trying to do what I thought was best after reading horror stories about certain foods on here and elsewhere, now I don't know what to do next. The vet says be strong, but I need to know i'm doing the right thing. I don't think she's allergic to anything and poos are usually fairly normal although colours may vary!

    In every other way (well except one which is the barking/lunging at strange dogs but we won't go into that now) she is perfect - obedient, quiet, content, playful, and I try not to stress over this but it's very hard!

    Any advice gratefully received :confused:

    Debs
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Tbh, if she will only eat the cheapo stuff, then you may have to resign yourself to feeding that to her for the time being.

    You can always try changing onto a better food if she settles into a routine of eating.
     
  3. mashabella

    mashabella PetForums VIP

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    I am sorry not sure what to suggest but just want to say you sound just like me wit Jack-jack!! and he's tried nearly all the things you mentioned too!!

    i also feed him one raw meal and one dry with wet. He went through a phase not eating and sicked up too...but he is a lot better now. So your case does sound more severe.

    When you took him to the vet...did they check whether there's anything in his stomach? My last dog was much like yours and sicked up bile often and it turned out she had a tumour which we was giving her pain and sickness...therefore not wanting to eat.

    Not trying to scare you but just something I thought of.
     
  4. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Dont know if I can be of any help as my experience of this is v mild compared to what you are going through but it may spark a thought or idea to try.

    Heidi was on beta puppy when I got her and ate it no problem. Soon she became disinterested and wouldnt touch it. At around the same time I realised that it wasnt one of the better foods so put her on Pets at Home Wainwrights. Hey presto, shortly afterwards - she didnt like it. I bought some wet and mixed in - and yep, that stopped working. I tried other brands until I made her poorly in my bid to find something she would like. Runny pooh with blood in it. Then I realised that all the chopping and changing was harmful and put her back on Wainwrights because her tummy it was the one thing her tummy knew and dealt with happily. I put it down and left it until she ate it - but it was hard work.

    The one thing you shouldnt do with a child is make a drama out of mealtimes and I had done it with my pup. By picking it up, I was giving the meal attention so I put it down first thing and left it. Eventually adopting a couldnt careless attitude but she still didnt eat a lot. Uncannily, she didn't lose weight so I tried to stop worrying.

    I became concerned that she didnt like the wainwrights and at 10 months put her on pets at home own brand(adult). She went off it but I craftily took it out with me on walks and treated her everytime she brought the ball back until her quota was gone (100g) Eventually I took less and less with me until she was eating it all in her dish at home - grazing through the day.

    Sorry this is long.................

    Joining here I realised that PAH isnt wonderful and I have lost my job so could do with saving a few pennies. Sent for some samples and she loved Skinners Salmon and Rice. I have now weaned her gradually on to it. Still the same proceedure - whole amount goes down first thing. BUT she tucks into some for her breakfast. A bit more after her morning walk and by mid afternoon its all gone. In the evening she has a treat of a raw bone, chicken wing or a bit of wet food. My thought was that if she doesnt eat all the kibble, then evening treat wont happen but fingers crossed that hasnt happened. Ideally I would like her to have 2 meals a day but I am going to wait until this routine is well and truly established before I try and make any changes.



    Heidie is a Westie x Jack Russell.
     
  5. DebsPink

    DebsPink PetForums Member

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    He did feel her tummy, ribs etc and didn't say he felt anything odd. She's only really had the bile the last couple of days. It was a while before that previously. Bit worried about the brown colour and grass tonight though. Although I've read on here about other people's dogs eating grass and being sick after.
     
  6. welshdoglover

    welshdoglover PetForums Senior

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    My poodle can be a bit fussy and I tried the chopping changing his diet and it cost me a fortune. Let's face it, bags of dried dog food isn't cheap.

    He does like cheapo Asda chicken & ham, I wanted to feed up market food but he wanted none of it.

    The one thing I've had success with is to take food away when he's finished so he should be a bit hungry at dinner time. Just before then I'll take him for a short walk and some fresh air and hey presto, he's usually bit starving and tucks in and eats the lot! :D

    Good luck, its not easy having a fussy eater.
     
  7. findley

    findley PetForums Member

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    If she likes cheap food and she continues with good health by eating it I would not worry. Although my dogs started on Purina, one of them can only eat Chappie dry original. She is even putting on weight now.:)
     
    lorilu likes this.
  8. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    Oscar was very fussy and really hated the dry foods. I tried Nature diet which he liked but it made him sick.

    I have resigned myself now to the fact that it is more important that he eats regularly rather than stressing too much about the food.

    He has a delicate stomach and after seeing some posts on here i tried him on Chappie. I don't think Chappie has anything particularly nasty in it, it's pretty basic ingredients.

    He loves it and has decent firm stools for the first time ever. I have found that i can mix a good quality complete dry in with half a tin a day (he is a cocker) and that way i think he is getting an ok diet. I put dry down only in the morning and i have to say he has started eating that now ;)

    He also has some raw chicken wings or thighs every now and then as a treat.
     
  9. mashabella

    mashabella PetForums VIP

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    The vet did tell me it's unusual for young pups to sick up bile or stomach liquid even when they are starving... it happens a lot more to older dogs.
    When my pup did that, the vet did give him something for his tummy as he might have refused to eat cos he wasn't feeling that well (his tummy might be a bit upset)

    if my pup has been sick up stomach liquid quite a few times, i would try to look into it a bit more.. it might be nothing, but due to what happened to my last dog, i would be more cautious. She was doing it for years on and off but was looking very healthy and not losing weight so we thought nothing of it.,.. just gave her antiacid meds which the vet thought would be sufficient and then when we changed the vet...it turned out to be a much bigger problem which she was suffering for years.

    Like i said, it might be nothing so don't want you to panic... but might be a good idea to get a second opinion if possible (another reputable local vet?)
     
  10. moboyd

    moboyd PetForums VIP

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    One of my boys would go 5 and 6 days at a time not eating, was always a good weight too, it just drove me mad personally thinking he was going to starve to death, after the 5-6 days he would eat for a few days then turn his nose up again, I tried all sorts getting his to eat, eventually I did go raw whith him and never really looked back to be honest, he was on the raw for a good few years and never missed a meal, even when the girls were in season, I have recently changed to dry food, simply because I get good deals on it through work, I had it in my mind that if he went back to his old ways I would keep him on the raw and just feed the other 4 the dry, but I am glad to say he now has a taste for eating and has gone on the dry happily, he is now 9 years of age and still in great condition even though we had those first couple of years of refusing to eat. having said that years ago we had a x breed that was fed chappie all his life, never had a days illness, and lived til he was 17, so if your dog will eat that then I say go for it.

    Mo
     
    #10 moboyd, Mar 2, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  11. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried disguise in it, ive fed burns for a few years now and wouldnt feed anything else 4 weeks ago we rescued a cocker and he had obviously being pulling the owners strings she said he had cchappie wet with a few pedigree biscuits with it if he doesnt eat it as he doesnt always put some grated cheese on if he doesnt eat that make some gravy and try him with that, i said ok but had no intention on letting him dictate what he was eating and when and i was determined he was going to eat the burns no matter what.

    The first day he walked away from it so i opened some oily fish and put some with it he ate it no problem i gradually reduced it over a full week so the last day was no more than i hint of fish, he is now eating the burns no problem, the main thing is he doesnt particularly enjoy it while the kibble is hard but once its softened a little he downs it, i was determined to win this battle as after all i know whats good for him and he doesnt. So i would try adding something he likes if i was you and gradually reduce the ammount, i really do believe a dog wont starve himself it just depends how far you are willing or able to stick them out with no food, i know its worrying.
     
  12. samsgr

    samsgr PetForums Junior

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    hi
    by terrier has had very similar issues to this, every food we tried he would run away, almost anorexic symptoms. If the vet has checked him (?) sure nothing serious; ours was finally diagnosed with campylobacter - cleared with antibiotics and then due to the ongoing problem diagnosed with endoscopy for IBD (inflammatory bowel disease in small abdomen). He could only tolerate Naturediet Turkey and Rabbit.
    Also he was good on boiled rice and tuna (not long term as not eough stuff in it)

    He is currently on Hills z/d for ibd and steroids.
    Much better and wants to eat 24/7!

    Maybe if it continues long term (few weeks) perhaps get a faecal test done.

    Could just be under the weather...
     
  13. DebsPink

    DebsPink PetForums Member

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    Hi thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I have tried adding things she likes to the food to make her eat it (eg chicken) and this used to work, but it seemed to be "giving in" and going against what other people and vet said about being strong and not giving them a choice - eat or starve. But maybe if that's what it takes.....

    Anyway, good news today, she ate a raw chicken drumstick for breakfast, then a few bits of leftover ham and rest of that Hi-life chicken at lunch. Then, I had put down a bowl of dry food (Arden Grange + Royal Canin) last night and this afternoon when we came back from a long walk, she actually ate some of it, which is rare, and proves she will eat the AG after all (I have a large bag of it!). And then for tea I gave her some Cesar (I know, I know) and she ate the WHOLE tray, a third at a time, kept licking the bowl clean. This is a LOT for her in one day recently.

    So happy tonight - lets see what tomorrow brings. Will try to repeat the same I think.

    Thanks again for your advice and thoughts!

    Debs & Ginny :)
     
  14. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    You are giving her mixwd messages by giving her different foods, yes give her something different but in the dry food you are wanting her to eventually eat dont give in leave the food for 10 mins if she doesnt eat it take it away, stick to your guns on this one, a dog can go days without food if they really had to so not eating for a couple of days will do no harm, she definetly wont starve herself.
     
  15. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    I agree about the mixed messages but i must say when Oscar went off the dry i tried sticking to my guns and i never really worried about how much he was eating as his weight was ok BUT i had problems with his behaviour and it all stemmed from him being hungry all the time.


    His guarding habit was much much worse and he just sloped about looking nervous and upset all the time.

    To be honest that was the reason behind giving him something he wanted to eat in the end because i was resorting to all sorts of stuff just like the OP and somehow it just seemed right to put him on something he would eat that was an actual dog food and stick to it for a bit. As i said he will now quite happily eat just the dry for breakfast but i keep him on half a tin of Chappie with a bit of dry in the evening because that's what he likes :)
     
  16. noogsy

    noogsy PetForums VIP

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    hi one of my mums dog was a fussy eater,
    and it was really difficult.
    have you tried soaking the AG so its nice and soft and easy to eat.
    totally the wrong thing to do but my mum use to put milk in sukies food.
    she loved milk:D.
    its is frustrating for you if you are paying a fortune for food,and it feels like she would be happier with WAG or BAKERS.:eek:hmy:
    love noogsy x
     
  17. mashabella

    mashabella PetForums VIP

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    I have also found that the behavioural problems worried me more than him actually not getting nutrition for days. Jack-jack would be very naughty and not listent to commands or get too boisterous with my kids if he got really hungry...mouthing behaviour was also a lot worse...making him almost unpleasant to be with when it got bad but once he ate, he calmed right down. Sometimes it does make me feel maybe it's not worth trying to make him give in because he is still being trained and it's important that he doesn't get used to behaving badly...obviously he finds it very hard to control himself when he is so hungry.
     
  18. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    I think you know what to do :)

    Have you tried him with Chappie ?? It is a very basic food, shouldn't upset his tummy and doesn't contain all the additives some of the other low grade foods do. Vets even recommend it sometimes :)

    By incorporating the Arden grange into it he is still getting the nutritional value from the arden grange just in a tastier format.

    I would put just dry down in the morning and then the chappie with a small handful of dry in the evening. Remember to not exceed daily amounts as Oscar put on rather alot of weight when i started doing this as he was suddenly eating everything ;)

    Remove everything else you are feeding him except maybe some chicken wings etc as a treat a couple of times a week :)

    If you want to try him with the Chappie pop some in a kong for him for a few days running to see how he gets on with it.

    Feeding Chappie does NOT make you a bad dog owner :wink:
     
  19. mashabella

    mashabella PetForums VIP

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    I have kind of found a solution by only feeding him twice a day even tho he is only just under 5 months old. I give him one raw and one royal canin+orijen mixed with a bit tinned applaws. (i am gradually switching from royal canin to orijen)
    he seems to be eating most meals now. I try to stick to this pattern but give him some variety (raw lamb instead of beef ..and different flavours of applaws or sometimes use tinned sardines/salmon instead)
    I have found in the past when I gave him too much variety or fed too frequently, he would always be waiting for something better. But if I feed the same thing all the time, he just refuses completely and starts to misbehave. (He is the sort of dog which would even refuse a pig's ear or roast chicken if you give it to him two days in a row :rolleyes: )


    Thanks very much for your suggestion tho. I will keep that in mind, it is always useful to know more.
     
  20. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    LOL, sounds great. Think i got confused between your posts and the OPs :D

    That's a good point though isn't it, at the end of the day it's about what works best for you and your dog. :)
     
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