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Discussion Starter #1
We are going through a period of changes, or as Annie sees it, an awful lot more treats than usual. I figured she would probably put on a few pounds from all the cheese, chicken wings, beef lung, other kinds of kibble, table scraps, etc. That's what happens when you give a dog too many treats, right?

Nope. Her spine has gotten quite pronounced and she is way too ribby. She refuses breakfast, won't eat while I am gone, and begrudgingly snacks a bit in the evening- not from her bowl, but from her wobbler. She does eat her kibble when I hand feed it as part of training though. Poodles! It's like she is saving room for more snacks. I wish I had her self control.
 

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Free feeding works for me. I put down 2 cups in the AM and find that Poppy often eats most of her food after 8 PM and sometimes a fair amount during the night. Iris pretty much ate the same way. Both were lean and Iris tended to be almost too skinny. If Poppy eats all her food and if she runs out I add more, but I measure it in the AM so I can track how much she is actually eating.

I feed a high protein formula or Poppy would lose weight. Purina Pro Plan Sport works for us as it is higher in protein than other formulas. It is formulated for very active, sporting and working dogs. She maintains a good weight and her coat and condition are amazing. You might consider that food if you want a higher protein formula.

Poppy also LOVES her treats but I am careful to not plump her tummy up on treats instead of her food. Poppy was "off" on her food for a couple of days so I just put a big fist full in my treat bag that I wear and she got her kibble for treats that day. She was happy and I was happy that she ate more of her regular diet yesterday. It is rare that she is off on her food routine.

For the first couple of years of Iris' life I fussed and worried about her boney weight. My vet finally said he would rather have her skinny than to battle all the overweight health issues most of his clients have. . . he was happy with her weight so I shut my mouth and quit worrying about her. I had her skinny little self for 14 yrs!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Oh don't worry Dechi. I am not hand feeding her, I just use her regular kibble as training treats sometimes and she gobbles it up.She also gobbles up food from her wobbler but ignores the bowl sitting 3 ft away with the same stuff in it. I am a "you'll eat what's in that bowl,and you will like it without any special additions" kind of person. Just laughing at her poodle brain.

Viking Queen, yes she's been a skinny girl since I got her. Probably like your Iris.First thing my dad said when he met her was "don't you ever feed that dog?" Yup. But she doesn't always eat it. I do a free feed compromise. I put food down in the morning, at lunch if her bowl is empty,then again at dinner. A measured amount so I know what she's eating (Acana classic red, right now- I'd love a performance food, but she's sensitive to chicken and fish, and I am celiac, so finding foods that work is a challenge, and the higher end of the Acana range has fish). She is also an 8pm and 1 am eater. Not really worried, just rolling my eyes because she's doing the opposite of a "normal" dog again.

I might stop by the vet and have her weighed if she doesn't stop this soon. She hits the top of a 30" tall crate,but she was <50 lbs last time I weighed her(1 month ago, 9 months)

Edit.went to vet figuring I would be reassured and it's only a 5 Min drive. Not worried really, since what kind of dog would starve itself? Nope. not reassured. She has gone from 48.5 to 44.5 lbs in a month. Sitting with her to force her to eat dinner. Cancelling doggy daycare for this week. Will go back on Friday to reweigh her.
 

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That is a lot of weight to lose in one month! I personally, would make a Vet appt for her....it could be that she is not eating because of a painful gut or maybe giardia or coccidia, it could be so many things......maybe find an Veterinary Internist
 

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Discussion Starter #6
MollyMuiMa, I would normally agree, but I am pretty sure the issue is mental. I just sat with her for an hour, and she ate 1 cup of food, followed by a chicken wing and a scrambled egg. I will give her more kibble in a few hours. We have been dealing with moving and massive separation anxiety, and I somehow forgot she prefers to eat with me in the room.

The good vet at the clinic is also away right now, and I don't trust the other one to know which side of a dog is up. I will sit with her and watch her eat until Friday, then reweigh her.

If she seems to get bonier or lethargic , or doesnt eat her full ration of food, I will book an appointment right quick!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She has now eaten about 2 1/4 cups in total since yesterday evening (from her bowl and from a Kong), with meals at 5, 9, 12 and 7, plus the egg and chicken and some beef treats, and a bit of sour cream. She should eat about 3 cups /day based on the bag. I think I also heard her snack at 3 am or so (put her dishes in my room overnight). I measured out 3 cups as a goal this morning. I do have to stay in the same room as her or she stops eating, which is a challenge. I added a few "sprinkles" to her meals of a sample food I was given which makes her MUCH more enthusiastic. Poor puppy is not going to doggy daycare this week, as it's a lot of running and she refuses to eat while there. Hopefully the separation anxiety doesn't rear it's head again. Needless to say, I feel guilty for not catching this earlier.i guess the fluff hides a lot.
 

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I skimmed thru your past posts and noticed that in June (when she was 6 months old), she seemed tired and you felt you had to lift her out of the car. It was pointed out that poodles don't get tired like that at age. So now in addition her appetite is way off.

This suggestion is a long shot, but consider dropping off a stool sample to see if she needs to be de-wormed, even if she was as a young pup. If she's positive for this, it could be why she's so ribby and her appetite is off. When you see the vet, I'd recommend a heartworm test too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Vita, MaizieFrosty,

We will see when she goes in on Friday morning... If she hasn't gained any weight, i will go for the full appointment.

So far other then ribbyness I see nothing worrying me about how she is acting. I doubt it's worms or heartworm, as she has been on meds since I got her, even though we mostly spent the summer in an area where heartworm has never been reported. Always possible though.

Her Eat!, Damnit!! Program has been successful today. She ate 2.5 cups of dog food,plus 2 eggs, pumpkin, a bit of meat with oatmeal, some treats, and conned me into sharing my cucumber. I am trying to get her to eat kibble and empty a small bowlful THEN she gets tasty stuff. I do have to be settled and in the room for her to willingly eat kibble, which I haven't been since we moved as there is no chair in the kitchen where her dishes are.At Mom's house, she generally ate whenever mom's dog did.

I also stopped mixing in small amounts of an old kibble she did poorly on but seemed to be tolerating in small quantities til I used it up.

Her appetite for treats and desire for human food has been so strong I didn't see anything as wrong, just figured she was self regulating to eating less because I was giving her cream cheese and other goodies to recrate train her.

Her energy level is fine, her tail is up, we did a 2 hr hike on the weekend and a fetch session at the train yard today,and she went to doggy daycare twice last week and ran the other dogs out.

Her last weigh in was our first day here. She's gone through some major stress since then. I am suspecting this is yet another separation anxiety manifestation I was too stupid to notice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So we went to the vet today. 47 lb, so I will slow down feeding. She isn't as hungry as she was before either, and her ribs have filled out.

She really likes puppy casserole.... Kibble and eggs mixed and then microwaved together. I think it smells gross but she disagrees.

I decided to have blood tests done anyways. Really don't like the vet, after this is done I am going to try to find a new one that I like/trust. I like the other vet at the practice but she is seldom there. This one does a poor job of examination and has terrible people and dog skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So... the vet scared me yesterday by telling me that my 10 mo old dog either had congestive heart failure, Addison's disease (which, allegedly, "almost all standard poodles develop"), or pancreatitis, or I forget what all else (worms, giardia, and a few other more obvious and less dire things were never mentioned). He suggested these possible diagnoses based on the generic symptoms of intermittent panting, possible tenderness in her stomach (I would arch my back if you pushed up hard against my diaphram too), recovering weight loss, some diarrhea and presenting like "not a sick dog", and having the vet tell me I'd "ruined her for life" and "taught her she is the boss" for sitting with her on the floor so she'll eat after discovering she had lost 4lbs...

She started coughing overnight. And coughed, and coughed, and coughed up foamy phlegm. Took her in again this morning. Bloodwork came back perfectly fine. I don't trust their scale - with me feeding her lightly for 24 hrs, overnight she is now 48-51 lbs, with no consistent number in 5 repeats with her at a "sit-stay" on the scale.

Apparently a "very bad" case of kennel cough. (yes, she's vaccinated) She's coughing up phlegm and now small amounts of vomit. He claims it will keep getting worse for the next few days. Apparently she's the 6th dog he's seen with it. Her throat is swollen - he didn't pick up on it yesterday, in my opinion, because he refused to touch the dog anywhere but the stomach (he has me restrain her anytime he touches her, and has me hold her mouth closed while he touches her too which is absurd). I guess she picked it up at doggie daycare last week :( I wonder if her weight loss made her immune system susceptible.

She's on an opioid based (human) cough suppressent and (dog) antibiotics. I am walking her on a harness rather than a collar for now. Not that he told me to, but I'll supplement her food with kefir for the probiotics. Anyone have tricks for administering human cough syrup to dogs?

I asked how long she is contagious, as my mom and her dog were supposed to visit- they were supposed to arrive tomorrow - the doctor said a minimum of 3 weeks, and she shouldn't see any other dogs until she has had a return visit. Did not give me any instructions about returning or going to the emergency clinic if there are any complications or it worsens. A third vet visit seems a bit excessive for the canine flu, no?

Anyway, I need to look into finding a new vet that I actually like going to. One of the reasons I was reluctant to go is my distaste for this vet, which is not a good reason to delay medical treatment. For my few hundred dollars in vet fees, I'd like to have a vet that actually answers questions and gives advice other than what medications or procedures to do, and who doesn't just throw out dire possible diagnoses without explanation.
 

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Oh wow, this vet is a piece of work. I definitely don't like that attitude, both in scaring you with possible diagnoses and in critiquing your training (which is absolutely fine in my opinion and what I'd do with my dogs).

Okay, so kennel cough is bordetella (a bacterium), not canine influenza (a virus). Been through it many times with my rescued dogs. It is so miserable for them. I've never given them cough syrup--just antibiotics. I also give them honey for their throat. If I were to give a liquid oral medication I would use a syringe to make sure the entire dose is given correctly.

This illness usually starts getting better pretty quickly with antibiotics. Continue them until they are finished, and keep her isolated from all other dogs, as it is HIGHLY contagious.

Keep monitoring her and looking for another vet. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
She is one sick puppy! Hydrocone was a BAD idea. Now have pink cough syrup splattered around my kitchen from where she jerked away from the syringe, and vomit everywhere- I guess she doesn't do well on opioids. Honey helped this morning, not so much any more. I will keep dogs away, wouldn't wish this on anyone. So glad I got her back up to weight before this started.

I knew I didn't like the vet, but he was super convenient for puppy shots as the practice is less than a km from my house and work. Now that we are done puppy shots, I really do need to change.

Oh, and I am also hovering on the edge of the flu. I guess the dog and I will be good company for each other.
 

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She is one sick puppy! Hydrocone was a BAD idea. Now have pink cough syrup splattered around my kitchen from where she jerked away from the syringe, and vomit everywhere- I guess she doesn't do well on opioids. Honey helped this morning, not so much any more. I will keep dogs away, wouldn't wish this on anyone. So glad I got her back up to weight before this started.

I knew I didn't like the vet, but he was super convenient for puppy shots as the practice is less than a km from my house and work. Now that we are done puppy shots, I really do need to change.

Oh, and I am also hovering on the edge of the flu. I guess the dog and I will be good company for each other.
Wish I could help out somehow! Will be keeping you both in my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks PeggitheParti.
We both survived the night and Annie is so much better!!!

At about 1 am I was desperate and started googling... She was hacking up blood tinged white bits and was coughing more than she was silent. She was shaking from the effort of coughing, poor puppy. My sister had told me her vet recommends robitussin dm. Nope. None in my medicine cabinet.

Google found an online vet resource that recommended benadryl as their first treatment for kennel cough. More Google confirmed benadryl is generally safe for dogs and is prescribed for mild coughing and as a sedative. That I have (liquid form)... I gave her about 1/4 to 1/8th the recommended dose for dogs of her weight because I am very nervous about human meds for dogs and of my ability to do math when sleep deprived..

And magic happened...

Within 20 Min she was only coughing every few minutes. Within an hour we were both asleep, only waking every half hour or so for her to have a coughing fit. This morning I haven't given her anything for a cough just her antibiotics. She is rarely coughing ( I cough with more frequency, she beats me with loudness/duration) and was sprawled on my bed upside down begging for petting. Her breath smells bloody and she is uninterested in food, I think her throat hurts. All in all, I am so glad she is feeling better.
 

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I'm glad you found at least a temporary solution and I sincerely hope you find a decent vet - that one sounds just awful! You have to wonder how someone like that ever graduated. ((Hugs))
 

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I’m glad she’s feeling better and I hope you are too. I’ve only had the flu once as an adult, and it was miserable.

Like MF, I’ve also had rescue dogs with kennel cough. Never did the cough syrup, just humidified the air, gave calorie dense food, and a quiet place to heal. They all recovered, and some came in pretty compromised in other ways.

Good luck finding a new vet. I just switched also for similar reasons, and love the new vet. My prior vet was at least competent, which is why I stuck with him, but the attitude got on my nerves.

Like human medicine, some vets are still stuck in that Patriarchal mindset, and feel their job is to tell people what they should be doing, and not listen to the goals of the owner. That didn’t work out very well in human health care, and is no different in veterinary medicine.

Let us know how it’s going
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Carolinek, she is doing so much better! I don't know if it was the benadryl or coincidence but after I gave her the benadryl once she now only coughs if she overexerts herself or barks too much. (Cough, SQUIRREL, cough, cough,cough)

As for vet's, I was very spoiled in the past from dealing with my parents vet. She has great people and vet skills, even nervous dogs and mean cats are happy to see her, is excellent at diagnosing, gives good home care advice, stays up to date on current research, and prefers non-medical solutions first, etc. She is the sort of vet you call on her cellphone in the middle of the night. If she wasn't a 6 HR drive away, my girl would be her patient in a heartbeat! If I can find a vet half as good, I will be happy.

Back to my original tangent which was about her food pickiness. She had won. Her appetite is fine, if she is interested in the food and feels safe, and she can hold out on not eating far longer than I can stand to see her not eat. From now on, I will give her toppings on her meals. A few tbsp of plain yoghurt and an egg a day won't hurt her and means she scarfs down her food rather than ignoring it. My main reason to avoid it is my frequent travel and love of canoe and backpacking trips and the difficulties of refrigerated stuff. For the amount I use, I can afford to buy a bag of freeze dried raw or something to bring with me to top up her meals when we travel.
 

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Wish I could Free feed. Problem is.. my little dog (nicknamed miss piggy) would be eating too much and the others???
 
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