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B-12 & Protein supplements for dogs ?
Hi ! I am having a bit of a problem getting my little dog firmly on the road to recovery. She was recently diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (aka Rickettsia). She has seen her vet several times, and received two baytril injections, as well as a B-12 shot. She's on anti-biotics (doxycycline) for the Rickettsia. And the vet thinks she'll make a full recovery.

Her problem is anemia, and a bad appetite. And the vet did say this was a result of the Rickettsia. But her gums and tongue are very pale. And, of course, to help her overcome this anemia I need to get her to eat and get blood-building nourishment into her system.

And wouldn't you know it - Cookie is a very picky eater. And this bout of Spotted Fever has made her finicky eating habits even worse. She wont eat near enough of her dog food, and even some human foods, she doesn't want to eat. Like scrambled eggs.

So, I need to boost her appetite and I need to get some nourishment into her. When the vet gave her a B-12 shot, it was to boost her appetite, and it did do a great job of that for as long as the shot lasted.

My question - would it be ok to give her B-12 vitamins normally made for humans ? I was thinking of getting her a liquid B-12 supplement. But, I'd want to know if this is safe for a dog, and if so how much of a dosage to give her to jump-start her appetite.

Also - protein - she needs more protein and as long as her appetite is low, I was wondering if it would hurt her to give her some protein, like you get in those "protein shake" mixes. Once again normally intended for human consumption and normally used by people trying to build up strength or muscle for athletic competition. I was thinking of mixing some into a bowl of milk, and letting her drink that.

Good idea ? Bad idea ? Ask the vet ?

What do you guys think ?
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4 Answers
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675347 tn?1365464245
Poor Cookie!
B12 would be the same vitamin whether for dogs or humans. But you would need to get the right dosage for her. I'm afraid I don't know what that is, so I would say yes, ask the vet about it. I am sure he could tell you, and maybe over the phone, so you wouldn't need to be charged for a consultation to get an answer.

About the protein shakes....again I don't know for sure. They may have additives or sweeteners or something which are not good for dogs (Xylitol, for example is toxic for dogs) I don't know obviously, if the shakes have stuff like this in them. Hopefully someone else will post who knows. Again you could ask the vet about this.

Have you tried tempting Cookie with a little boiled chicken? Or a little steamed fish? You are right you need to jump-start her appetite if possible. Exercise in the fresh air will help if she's well enough. Hopefully once she starts eating again it will take off and she'll get her appetite back. I hope so.

Milk isn't such a good idea for dogs. They can't process lactose. It can give them digestive upsets.
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Thank you so much !

I will definitely try the boiled chicken and steamed fish. Little Cookie loves chicken, I know that for certain.

Fresh air- running, and jumping in the sun... she so misses that. For the past two weeks she's been shut in in the cold weather that seems to have us in it's permanent grip here. Today... 33 with a 29 degree wind chill. And Cookie normally loves to go out and run !

I did manage to find a post in another pet-care forum about the protein shakes, and they mentioned exactly what you did- about the additives. And they advised against it, suggesting, instead puppy food for extra protein.

I'll definitely give our vet a call, and get her some liquid B12.

Thank you again for your help and advice.
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Dogs generally loved cooked salmon, and cooked bacon, and liver, (raw or very lightly cooked).  You shouldn't have much problem getting your dog to eat these items(!) Also, Walmart carries frozen buffalo patties, (6 per box) in the people section - dogs love that raw, or warmed 30 sec in microwave, (anti-biotic and hormone free).

Doxycycline can cause really painful GI problems is used more than a week.  Speaking from experience!!!  Your dogs gastrointestinal trac might need some attention to feel better. You could start giving some plain yogurt on the side, (don't use anything flavored with artificial sweetners as can be poisonous to dogs)... Also, get some "SUPER DIGESTIVE ENZYMES" by GNC.  These things can REALLY help to get your dogs digestive system back on trac, (no pun intended).
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I know this is a late answer but I do not believe the B-12 would be supplemented daily just to boost the appetite. There are other things in the vitamins specified for humans and dogs do not necessarily need them or may not be able to handle as we can. Which is why we never recommend a human drug for a dog at our clinic. Giving table food is an extreme NO NO in ANY case, it takes just one time for them to catch a pancreatitis from ingesting table food and your out about $1000 for a vet bill at least, and is very life threatening for the dog, especially if left untreated. Milk should not be an option either. Dogs cannot digest dairy products properly and will cause extreme intestinal discomfort and constipation/diarrhea etc. The possibilities are never in your favor. A dog will never starve itself as long as food is available. If there is an extreme need for your dog to eat at that very minute your vet will let you know but as long as you have food available to the dog it WILL eat when it is hungry.
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