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My dog won't eat much at all...
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My dog won't eat much at all...

over the past month or so my dog has slowly had a hard time eatting and has lost interest in food.  we were feeding him canned dog food with a bit of boiled chicken breast.  he then stopped eatting the canned dog food and would only eat the chicken breast.  now he won't eat chicken breast and we have to find something that he has an appetite for and he will then eat "a little bit".  when he does eat he seems to like to be hand fed at times.  we also noticed that when he eats, the food often falls out of his mouth and he seems to chew funny, like he is over chewing.  he also has bad breath, which he has had for a long time.  we are hoping that it is just some bad teeth or an absess (abscess) in his mouth.  we took him to the vet 2 days ago and she was unable to look in his mouth as he gets nervous at the vet office and will nip (he has always been that way).  the vet did a complete blood panel and listened to his heart and lungs and all was normal.  he is scheduled for a "dental" under anestesia.  does this sound like it could be a dental issue?  he has never had his teeth cleaned, etc.  would a complete blood panel/test normally show any other "issues" that could be causing this?  are these the symptoms of dental problems, pain, etc??
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Avatar_f_tn
oh, by the way he is a 13 year old dacshund and his "complete blood panel" came back normal and his heart and lungs sound good.
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82861_tn?1333457511
It absolutely sounds like a dental problem and I completely agree with the treatment plan your vet proposes.  Some dogs tend to build up more tartar than others (just like humans) and need some extra dental care during their lives.  The tartar eventually causes gum disease which in turns causes a lot of pain while eating.  If an abscess was present, I assume your dog's white cell count would be elevated on the CBC labs.  Since it isn't, gum disease is the likely culprit.  Either way, anesthesia appears to be the only way your vet can get a good look at what's going on.  Thanks for taking such good care of your friend.  :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks.  in the back of my head i am worried that it could be cancer...  he only eats a little bit every day now and he use to be food aggressive.  at times it seems like he really has an appetite and will get a little bit of food down and other times he is just turning his nose up at people food that he would normally love!  he will not even look at canned dog food, we've tryed different types.  the other day he would eat some liverwurst but today he won't.  yesterday he would eat fish (just the fish portion from burger king) so i'm going to try that again.  i know this is not good food for dogs but i'm just trying to get some calories in him as he has always been naturally slender.  his dental is tomorrow and i'm hoping this will resolve the problem and he will eat normally again.  again, he over chews his food and sometimes has food fall out of his mouth.  i'm hoping this is just a dental problem...    
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974371_tn?1364538460
Definitely sounds like it can be a dental issue to me also and glad you are getting that done.  Hopefully, his appetite will improve after the cleaning.  Otherwise, sounds like he is is pretty good health for that age.  
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675347_tn?1365464245
This very much does sound like a dental problem. I bet when he gets all this fixed -he will thank you for it! I would like to bet after a few days his appetite will return.(his mouth could feel a little sore the first day or two) Let's hope so. I do think this will happen.
There is one small thing though. He has become used to being hand fed. Dogs are very "routine based", and so he may have got used to this ritual.
Anyway -if he's hungry enough (and I am sure he will want to make up for lost dinners!) he should chow down sometime soon!
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Avatar_f_tn
well, he ate a very small amount of hills prescription h/d canned food.  other then that he only ate a very small amount of fish earlier.  he has no interest in food...  tomorrow is his dental appt which he will be put under anestesia for.  i thank you all for your comments...  PLEASE, if anyone else has had similar issues with their older dog please let me know if it was dental related or something else.  i am so worried right now.  my anxiety is horrible as i'm afraid it may be somthing worse...  ;-(
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675347_tn?1365464245
Well I do hope it isn't. But from what you described it sounded very much like he was having mouth-related problems, and especially as he hasn't had his teeth professionally cleaned before, he could have built up tartar deposits on his teeth, which can cause gingivitis of the gums (which would feel very sore to eat on) He may also need some teeth pulled.Many dogs do by his age.
Anyway good luck for tomorrow. I will be thinking of you both.
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Avatar_f_tn
i will update tomorrow evening...  i am already dealing with a 12 year old long haired dachsund dog who is an insulin dependent diabetic and a 12 year old shih tzu - beagle mix who has a heart murmur although he is asymptomatic.  my diabetic dog was diagnosed this past november and the vet said he is doing well so far.  i give him twice daily insulin shots with 2 meals per day.  the vet said just to watch for any symptoms with the heart murmur dog.  these dogs are my family.  i've had them since they were pups.  i have severe anxiety and am a hypochondriac (am afraid to go to the doctor) for which i am going to therapy for.  i don't think i'll ever get any more dogs as the pain of watching them be sick brakes my heart...  i am a nervous wreck thinking "what if he doesn't get his appetite back" and this is something very serious...  he has always been a slender dog and he has lost weight since this started and i can now see his spine outlined under his fur.  :-(
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974371_tn?1364538460
You sound like me in some ways and, like my mother says, "Wait to worry when you have something to worry about."  Sounds like you take good care of your animals and they've lived a long life with you.  I'm dealing with an aging Greyhound but have certainly been through a lot with many pets over the years and always say "never again" too.  A dog can go for some time without eating, it is important they get fluids.  We are all hoping that this is a dental issue and the dog will be much improved when this is done. So, think positive and be glad you are going to have this done and check out.
Do keep us posted and take a deep breath.  :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
i just picked him up from the vet.  he had 13 teeth removed and had a couple of abscesses.  the nurse brought him out and i didn't even get to talk to the vet as she was busy with an emergency.  i'm going to see if he will eat anything tonight or tomorrow as he is in some pain and just out of anestesia...  i hope this is why he won't eat...
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462827_tn?1333172552
Yippee!!!!!!!!!! Mystery solved...........He won't feel very good for a few days....I'm hoping that they started him on an Antibiotic (Which he needs)...& pain meds....

Only feed soft foods and small meals for a couple of days....He will feel alot better having this done.......

I'm excited for you both.....Karla
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Avatar_f_tn
he has been home almost 2 hours and is just mopeing around the house.  i offered him some soft canned food and he turned his nose up...  he is so skinny and week.  do dogs normally not want to eat after the type of procedures he had today?  he has barely ate anything all week!  i'm afraid he forgot how to eat or will never show interest in food again...  
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Avatar_f_tn
i just seen your post.  yes, he has a liquid antibiotic that he starts tomorrow.  they did not give him any pain medicine.  i asked them why and they said the pressure (pain) should be releived by having the teeth removed.  he sure looks miserable right now.  i pray that he wants to eat by tomorrow because he is sooo skinny.
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462827_tn?1333172552
He'll be fine....He didn't forget how to eat, he's sick right now....The anesthetic makes them nauseous....I DO wish they would have given something for pain, though...

Let him sleep it off....If you can, cook some boiled Chicken w/rice or potato...Add some veggies if you have any (Canned or frozen, but cooked)......A dash of fresh Garlic added would be good....Cook all in the same pot & mix together.... Offer small servings....

Do you have any Vitamin E...Like in a capsule form? If you do....Cut it open and rub it on his gums...This Will help, alot!

The antibiotic will start working by Sunday....This will make all the difference....Hang in there and give this some time......Karla

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thanks misfits4me.  here is more info that i just wrote on another board.  it has a bit more details...

i need some help - advice! not regarding my diabetic dog, but my other non diabetic dog who is a 13 year old dacshund. over the past month or so he has lost interest in food. he would barely eat for the last week and when he would he would over chew his food and it would end up on the floor instead of in his stomach for the most part. yesterday he only ate 2 tablespoons of canned dog food. even his favorite people food he will not show interest in. he use to be very food agressive. i took him to the vet last tuesday and they did a complete blood panel and listened to his heart and lungs (all which were normal). the vet could not look in his mouth as he is a biter (always has been) especially when he is nervous. we scheduled him for a dental which was today. he had 13 teeth pulled out and had a couple of abscesses. has anyone had anything similar happen to them with their dogs? if so, was it a dental problem and your dog started eatting again after getting it taken care of? he has gotten so skinny from not eatting (he always was a slender dog his whole life). over the past 4 months or so he has had occasional diarrhea as well, which in the beginning had some blood in it. we took him to the vet for that and they did a rectal exam and feces test both which were normal. he was given an antibiotic and some digestive enzymes. the blood has stopped but he still has diarrhea sometimes, or maybe just soft stool (not every time though). if this were something more serious then a dental problem (such as cancer) would something have been "suspicous" on the blood panel??? the blood panel he got was called an "IDEXX Total Health" blood test.  i could only talk to the nurse today when i picked him up because the vet was taking care of an emergency... he was sent home with liquid clindamyacin (antibiotic) and was given nothing for pain. the nurse said having the pressure (teeth) removed should relieve his pain. i tryed giving him some food about 1/2 hour ago and he just walked away. he is now hiding under the bed.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't believe they didn't give your dog some pain meds.  Our cat had the rest of his teeth pulled out (10) four days ago, and he was really miserable for the first two days, you knew he was hurting.  The hard part was giving him the pain meds cause his mouth was so sore.  After two-three days, your dog should feel better than he has in a long time.  Try feeding canned food that you mixed up really good to get soft, our cat gagged until he got used to a new way of eating.  Also, I think it helps if you pile it up high so he doesn't have to work so hard to pick it up while his mouth is so sore.
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974371_tn?1364538460
13 teeth pulled?  Well, that is probably why he hasn't been eating and I would not worry about him eating for the next day or two. Just make sure he is drinking.  I'm surprised they didn't give any pain meds.  Years ago, they never gave pain meds but they are more widely given now.  Hopefully, he will sleep off the anesthetic and you will notice a difference in the next 48-72 hrs.  Poor guy.  I would give a soft diet, maybe add some soft cooked rice and maybe some uncultured yogurt or acidolophus to help the bacterial flora in the gut from the antibiotics.  Always did that for my kids and animals.
Never heard of the Vit E on the gums.  Interesting
Please keep us posted and fingers crossed this will do the trick.
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for anyone who has been following what's been going on here is an update...  thanks again for all your thoughs and feedback!!!!!!! i will update more later! :

ok... i brought him back to the vet's office this morning. she gave him a 10 minute fluid treatment, a shot of an anti inflammatory medication, some tramadol pain pills i can crush up and some hill's critical care dog food that i can inject into his mouth with a big "syringe dropper". she said his teeth were "horrible" one of the worse that she has seen in a while. he also had abscesses that were pus filled. i will feed him today using the syringe dropper and hope that as he recovers and feels better that he will eat on his own again...
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974371_tn?1364538460
Sounds like a plan and he must have had one sore mouth!!!!  Oral infections can take such a toll of the body in general.  I would feed a little bit often as opposed to a lot at one time.
Hope today goes better and he continues to improve.  Glad you got the Tramadol.
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Avatar_f_tn
He never should have left the vets office without pain meds, I'd like to see them get 13 teeth pulled out without anything.  Good Luck, hope he recovers quickly.
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82861_tn?1333457511
I'm so glad you took him back and got the tramadol.  Giving nothing for post-op pain was completely out of order for such a large dental procedure.  When this is over, I think I'd be looking for another vet.  Two of my dogs had major surgery and both were put on the 75 mcg fentanyl patch for post-op pain management.  How's that for humane?!

On the appetite front, he should get a little brighter each day.  You might even try baby food - any of the meat flavors should be fine - since it's very, very soft and requires little to no chewing.  The poor little guy.  I went through a period of time where it seemed every time I turned around I had an abscessed tooth requiring a root canal.  Talk about PAIN!  No wonder he didn't want to eat.  I hope the next update shows some positive improvements.  :-)
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974371_tn?1364538460
Oh, glad you brought the dog home and hope that works out.  No,Mom does not need another dog.  Did you try asking her what will happen to the dog if/when she can't care for it?  Can you talk her into a parakeet or canary maybe?  :-)
I've been down this road too. Had aunt that had no kids and was always worried what would happen to her animals if she died. I promised her, if anything happened, I would take care of them. Well, watch what you promise. She had this little mutt (ugliest thing, really) that was left alone when my aunt passed.  Long story, but nobody wanted her and I knew the chances of her getting adopted were slim.  I brought her home. Yep, spoiled rotten too.  My aunt always cooked for her, gave her ice cream, etc. Took me a month to get her to eat dog food.  She passed a couple of years ago at around 15 or 16. I had her longer then my aunt did!!  LOL!!  I probably had 5 or 6 Shelties here when I brought her home. She outlived them then I got the Greyhound.  What a group!!
When my Dad passed 3 year ago, my Mom (89 now) insisted on staying her home, alone.  Well, DH and kids were after me to get her a dog. They had Doxies for years.  Try to explain to everyone that is not such a  good idea.  She would have to take care of it, a puppy would be too hard, etc.  Add to that she has COPD and Congestive heart failure and asthma.  Ah, a dog would not be a good idea.  Ok, so I contacted a rescue I knew of and they happened to have a little dog that sounded like it might work.  My mother lives on a relatively busy street.  My concern was if the dog tried to get out, it being lost or hit or my Mom being hurt trying to contain it.  Long story short, and I know she was disappointed, we decided it was probably not the best idea for her to get a dog.  I felt bad and guess who is the *bad guy* again.  :-(
Well, if she gets another dog, I hope you have more room at the Inn.  LOL
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942557_tn?1272698419
If you are still worried about him not eating.You could get some Nutri-cal and give him.When my baby got sick she wouldnt eat and it helped her keep her strength up.The tramadol is a really good med for him.It should really help with the pain..I know in the past i have always used Antirobe for any problems with the mouth and with what all your baby had going on i dont understand why they didnt put him on it.It is a really strong med and with all the teeth they pulled it sounds like that is what your baby needed.Well i hope he feels better soon.Take care and God Bless
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update to future people who may read this:

this was all dental related!  my dog is now eatting with a strong appetite!!  also, it seems his diarrhea has subsided so maybe that could have been related to his dental pain as well.  it took about 2 days for him to get his appetite back and he is once again "food agressive" which makes me so happy!!    
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462827_tn?1333172552
Great News!!!!!!!!  Thanks for our "Good Story of the Day".......I'm happy for you & him, too....Karla
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974371_tn?1364538460
Yes, that is great news and happy to  hear he is feeling better.
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