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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I adopted Oscar, an approximately 12 year old dog, and just 4 3/4 pounds. He has been a finicky eater since I got him from the shelter. At first he was on science diet, nut the kibbles were big and he had trouble eating it (because of a huge overbite). I switched him to my regular kibble, which he ate for two days, then turned his nose up at that. I found a really good canned food that had mostly meat, and he loved that and has been eating it for just over 2 weeks. Then Thursday night, he wanted nothing to do with it. He didn’t eat at either meal Friday. (He came to me skin and bones, and after started the wet food he was putting in some weight). Finally this morning I got ground chuck and brown rice. I cooked him that and he ate heartily. I dint know if it was because he was so hungry, or if he was really interested in it.

With him being so tiny, how many meals can he miss before it’s detrimental? Is it normal for seniors to suddenly stop eating? He acted just fine and never like he didn’t feel well. Now that he’s at least eating something should I take him t the vet? And if not now, when would I need to take him? I was so worried about low blood sugar and tried nutrical, but he hates it. Won’t eve lick it off his paw. He did lose just a bit of weight after missing these meals... I could tell by the way his ribs felt. I believe I can’t let him miss meals. I dint mind cooking for him. Just need to find a recipe he can live with and likes.

He also has a cataract on his left eye, but it’s small. The vet called it adolescent. Do the grow quickly? Should I watch the other eye closely to see if one starts there? Or watch the growth of the other eye? Also he is hard of hearing I think. I have to speak loudly to him, but sometimes he surprises me when he is in my lap, by hearing and his ears respond to pretty soft talking, but not all the time. The vet wouldn’t even do an old fashioned hearing test, (she wants me to go to specialists to address these issues).

I want an old fashioned vet who knows how to diagnose issues ina good, physical exam. I was charged $35 to smear ear gunk on a slide and look at it under the microscope to diagnose a slight ear infection. Whatever happened to looking into ears with a light, and diagnosing and treating? This is the first time I’ve had a vet do this. I am looking for another vet.

Most of the time he just wants to lay next to me in the recliner, but sometime, for a very shirt time, he gets playful and zooms around the room.

I have only had one dog his age, and had no problems except going deaf and blind. He was never sick a day. He lived to near 16 yrs. I just don’t really know what to expect.

I a, reading threads in here, but I must admit most of them scare me.


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I got Merlin at 5 pounds, fattened him up to 6 pounds. He can go 72 hours without eating, that’s 3 days. In his case, it’s due to his severe anxiety. But still, he’s not eating.

If he doesn’t want to eat, I don’t insist, he’ll eat whenever he’s ready. Making little special dishes for him is a sure way to make him even more finicky.
 

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I got Merlin at 5 pounds, fattened him up to 6 pounds. He can go 72 hours without eating, that’s 3 days. In his case, it’s due to his severe anxiety. But still, he’s not eating.

If he doesn’t want to eat, I don’t insist, he’ll eat whenever he’s ready. Making little special dishes for him is a sure way to make him even more finicky.


That’s what I was thinking too. I was planning on softening kibble and adding it to the mix tonight and more and more until he’s back on the kibble. Tonight would have been 72 hours, I was concerned because the bones towards the back of the ribs are really poking out again. I feel like I lost most of the progress we made in the last 3 weeks. So I did wrong, or am doing wrong?

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Awww...Jojo, don't worry too much. As long as he eats a little something he's not likely to get hypoglycemia at his age. Keep trying to find something he likes. But yes, I'd take him to the vet (try another one) to see if there's anything bothering his teeth or something else because it's strange how he liked the soft food, then didn't. It could be plain old picky eating but again, at his age, I'd double check with the vet that there's nothing going on medically. Maybe his tummy hurts sometimes or has heart burn. How are his poops? Are they covered in mucus?

I'm with you on some of these outrageous charges vets come up with. Just take a look in the ear with a light like you said. Actually, you can tell yourself if he has an infection or can't hear. It will usually be red, damp, itchy, painful, might smell badly. You can do your own tests to see how he hears when he has his back turned. You can try different types of sounds etc and see if he twitches his ears or turns toward the sound. Do it when he's least expecting something, not a whole bunch of sounds in a row because he may just get habituated to that and not pay attention. It's normal for dogs when they age to get cataracts and get deaf etc. (like us) It's usually okay. They can see well enough to get around. It's probably a little blurry for them. Sometimes they react fearfully to a quick moving shadow or quick movement in front of them because it's distorted. They'll flutter their eyes and jerk their head back as though they think something is going to get them. I've had a few dogs with that affliction. But you just reassure them and they're okay.

Good luck. And try not to worry too much. You'll find just the right food and as long as the vet sees no problem with teeth or anything else physical, then you can start a little tough love. Like an apron I have says something like, "Two choices for dinner tonight. Take it or leave it." hahaha.
 
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His teeth were just checked 2 weeks ago, by 2 different vets. They both said his teeth looked good for his age and he did not need a dental at this time. And he has a habit of eating something well, and the the next meal, or treat too, he just turns his nose up at it and walks away.

His poops are great. No mucous, not soft and look a healthy color. They don’t put off really much odor really. Of course they are pretty small.

I just worry about him. I am already so much in love with him! When I get home from work he runs to the door to greet me, begging me to pick him up. I hope I’m not sounding childish or too naive about the whole thing: I am just inexperienced with it all.


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Ah-well...I figure sometimes people don't feel like eating some particular thing that they may like at other times. Or they just aren't in the mood for eating. Poodles aren't pigs typically like some breeds. lol. If the vet sees nothing wrong then he's just not in the mood. Just keep feeding him something reasonable, make sure it's not rancid or something and he'll eat it if he's hungry. I switch things around quite a bit. And right now I'm on my 2nd bag of Orijen dehydrated raw and I crumble some of that on their Victor kibble. That seems to really appeal to them...a little water and a shot of fish oil and they're good to go. Or I'll use canned Merrick 96% meat with the kibble. Some days I put a sardine or some scrambled egg on their food. I want them to like it if possible. And don't mind trying different things. As long as they eat once in a while, I figure they're okay. lol. :hungry: As long as their weight is maintained.
 
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Instead of cooking the hamburger, give it to him raw. The natural enzymes in the meat help it to break down/digest.

Also, I would give him a little bit of vitamin C. I use Thompson's buffered. It's cheap medicine. For such a little dog I would put a pinch on his food once a day, but you could go twice for a few days. I've never had a dog refuse vitamin C, it must taste good. The C will help maintain his bones. C also dissolves cataracts. We use more vitamin C when we are anxious, and this dog has probably been very anxious. I know dogs make their own vitamin C, but he is old and his body isn't working as well as it did in the past. I have used it for arthritis in my dogs, too.
 

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Instead of cooking the hamburger, give it to him raw. The natural enzymes in the meat help it to break down/digest.

Also, I would give him a little bit of vitamin C. I use Thompson's buffered. It's cheap medicine. For such a little dog I would put a pinch on his food once a day, but you could go twice for a few days. I've never had a dog refuse vitamin C, it must taste good. The C will help maintain his bones. C also dissolves cataracts. We use more vitamin C when we are anxious, and this dog has probably been very anxious. I know dogs make their own vitamin C, but he is old and his body isn't working as well as it did in the past. I have used it for arthritis in my dogs, too.


I’ll definitely get him the Vitamin C. I’m going to look up raw/cooked diets for him I think. It makes me feel better to see him eat heartily, and he obviously feels better, just in the last 3 days, than he has felt since I got him 3 weeks ago. I’m not sure if I’m the one who is spoiling him: he couldn have been fed this way for a long time, but I’ll never know.

I’ll do research on the food threads here too, to determine whether I want to go raw or cooked. I’m very new to this. If I hide kibble in the food he leaves it: won’t even take it in his mouth. I need to also look into what other vitamins he needs on a daily basis. I have a powdered multi vitamin that I’ve given to my other dogs.

Thank you for the suggestions!


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Merlin likes his kibbles with about 2 tablespoons of warm water and 1 table spoon of canned food (with 1/4 cup of dry kibble). It makes a little gravy and it also makes him drink, because he doesn’t drink a lot of water. That’s how I got him to eat steadily when I got him.
 

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Update:

So I cooked for Oscar for a little while, and kind of said "the heck with this!". I was determine to find a kibble he would like, and try to get him to eat it. I noticed when I was cooking for him, that he loved nothing better than salmon, so I set out to find a kibble with that as the main protein. I found one called "Crave Salmon and Ocean Fish". The kibbles are tiny, which makes it easy for him to eat, and apparently he thinks it is pretty tasty. He has been eating for 3 weeks now and is still eating. He did have one setback last week: he turned his nose up at it one day, both meals, and the next did the same thing. I gave him a famotodine and it did help a little. He went 2 whole days without eating. Finally in the evening of the 2nd day, he ate.

I mix a little cottage cheese in with the kibble and he really likes it. He has put on weight, and is at about a perfect weight for him. His ribs don't protrude and have a little padding on them, his shoulder bones don't jut out in the front of his chest any longer either. He did turn up his nose at his meal the other day, but ate later on. The vet thinks it may just be the acid in his stomach churning and that I can continue to use the famotadine as needed. I don't have to take him back to the vet unless it keeps happening. Skipping one meal is no big deal, but if he goes a couple of days I have to keep track of that type thing.

So he is doing much better, and is back on kibble with a bit of lowfat cottage cheese. This make me very happy.
 
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